Motorola Razr 2019 Price, Release Date, Specs – Motorola says it didn’t set out to recreate a legend when it started designing this phone four years ago. It’s just that sometimes the best ways are the old ways. And this is the new Razr for 2020.
Now Samsung’s Galaxy fold might have been the first with a flexible display in the US. But there’s more than one way to fold a phone. While the Galaxy fold is more like a tablet that collapses to a chunky candy bar. The Motorola Razr 2019 is a new take on the clamshell phone when it’s open you get a tall 6.2 inch plastic OLED display. That reminds me of a lot of Sony’s latest experience. It’s 21 by 9 aspect ratio is ideal for cinematic video. And reading long documents with a minimum of scrolling. And it’s easier to use one-handed than a wider display would be.
It’s bordered on the top by a notched 5-megapixel selfie camera. Which is meant mainly for video calls. And on the bottom by the Razr’s signature chin. The chin is also functional, it’s where you’ll find the speedy fingerprint sensor. As well as the 4G LTE antennas, no 5g this time around. Even in the chin a big resonator for the new speakerphone.
Motorola is known for high audio quality. But the hands-on venue was pretty noisy, and it couldn’t quite overcome it. And I look ahead to giving it a decent listen during the review. I was able to make a couple of test calls though. And the feeling of talking on a Razr hasn’t changed. It’s weirdly flat and then, in point of fact exactly as then as the first model from 14 years ago.
Now hanging upon and doesn’t pack quite the satisfying clack as the clamshells of old. But that’s because there’s a lot more going on inside this hinge. Motorola worked with Lenovo’s laptop team on this design. Which lets the screen curl in a sort of teardrop when you shut the phone. You see how it flexes here, and how it slides down into the chin by a millimetre or so. What that does is let the stainless steel casing close entirely around the screen. Which makes it tougher for dusting it in there.
And it also avoids a sharp, tight kink that might cause a crease to form in the screen. On that subject, it’s not the smooth perfection of a glass display. But the Razr’s is much flatter and Lessenberry gated than the galaxy folds. Motorola also applied its usual nano-coating to the panel. So it’s water-resistant with these big gaps in the sides when you open and close it. I still wouldn’t take it anywhere near the beach. But I was struck by how confident and nonchalant the company’s engineers were about durability. They really don’t seem worried about it, which to me says a lot.
While that primary displays the main attraction, you’ve got one on the front too. And Motorola calls this 2.7 inch OLED touchscreen a quick view display. Because it’s here just for the basics. That’s kinda like a SmartWatch, you can preview notifications, make and take calls use Google pay an assistant or control your music all using the same moto display actions that I’ve been praising for years. And yes, the useful and addictive Motorola gesture shortcuts are here too. Chop it to turn on the flashlight twist it to launch the camera. So far no boat but we’ll see how it goes.
And that camera is where you start to see that Motorola locked in the Razrs components a long time ago. You have to make do with a single shooter, no ultra-wide or telephoto. And the sensor is the same one found in the one plus six. Which was fine but certainly nothing special even for the spring of 2018.
And the spec sheet is full of similar compromises. The processor will be almost two years old when this phone launches. And while 128 gigs of storage is a fair amount of space. There’s no microSD expansion nor is there a SIM slot. If you want to use this on any carrier other than the exclusive launch partner Verizon. You’ll need to take it to a competitor, with the compatible ECM format.
The volume and power keys on the unit I tried, didn’t feel great almost any travel or feedback. The plastic back might suggest wireless charging, but that’s not here. Just wired 15-watt charging through the USB-C port. And on top of that, the battery is only about 2500 milliamp hours. That’s 10 per cent smaller than the battery in the pixel 4 I just reviewed. Which has the worst endurance I’ve seen in years.
And at the top it all off, the units we got to handle we’re running an Android version behind. Though Motorola does promise an update shortly after launch to Android 10. That’s a lot of compromises for $1,500. Which is what this will cost you when it goes on sale in January. So what we have in the Razr is a part flashy technological feat. Part practical portability perk. Sold at a premium price despite some forgettable specs. If you’re thinking it’s not worth it, I’m not gonna say you’re wrong but consider this.
When the first Razr launched in 2004, it too was exclusive to one carrier. It had a small battery, a dim display, a mushy keypad, lousy software and for all that you had to shell out 600 bucks. As much as many smartphones cost back then. A Motorola would go on to sell 130 million Razr series phones over the next four years. It was the most successful flip phone of all time.
Today the market is different. And a lot of us reviewers have been railing against the scourge of thousand-dollar phones when you can get a great one for 500. But this is the only secret between you and me, going to buy this. Doesn’t matter, because I like it.😀😀
The end of the day, this Motorola Razr 2019 is a very intentional fusion of nostalgia and bleeding-edge technology. If profitable Motorola back to relevancy at the high end. And while I’ll wait for the full review to decide if it’s worth it or not. I can say with some confidence that droves of folks won’t wait for people like me to give them the go-ahead.
This is one of those things that if you’re a certain kind of person, you’ve just gotta have. It’s nice to see smartphones like that again. Especially when they come from the brand that basically invented the cell phone.