Lenovo’s Motorola division still hasn’t given up on a modern reboot of the Motorola Razr.
Last night, the company announced the “Moto Razr 2022,” though it will seemingly be available only in China. The good news is that there’s a big price drop this year: The phone is now 5999 CNY, or about $900. Previous Razr reboots sold in the $1,400 range, and the second-generation version was actually more expensive (~$1,830) in China than in the US.
The inner screen is getting a big upgrade with this version; it’s now a 144Hz, 2400×1080, 6.67-inch OLED. Powering this super-fast display is the flagship Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC. This is another huge upgrade for the Razr since the previous version had a midrange chip. The phone has 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 3500 mAh battery, and 33 W charging. That’s a lot of upgrades compared to the midrange and more-expensive second-generation version. If Motorola wants to compete with the $1,000 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, though—which this phone seems to borrow a lot from—these changes were necessary.
The design is new—it looks less like a Razr and more like a Samsung Galaxy Flip. Previous versions mimicked the original Razr with a big chin that was as thick as the entire phone when folded up. This new Razr presents a completely flat inner screen area when open. That big chin on the older Razrs made it awkward to use gesture navigation, which requires a swipe up from the bottom of the screen, so this change is a step in the right direction. It looks like there is still a raised perimeter around the edge of the screen, though, so all those “swipe-in” navigation gestures won’t be as easy to perform as they are on a normal smartphone.
The other Razr oddity that has been axed is the top notch. The previous two phones had a big trapezoidal notch on the top for the earpiece and front camera. The Razr now has a more normal hole-punch camera. The top and bottom edges of the phone screen still don’t look straight, but the odd, non-rectangular shape has been significantly toned down. Normal Android phone screens are rectangular because that’s what the OS is designed for, but the previous two Razrs had really wild display shapes, with curved, non-parallel top and bottom edges. It looks like that has been reduced this year, but the screen is still a bit rounded, and Android will have to compensate with a bigger status bar and navigation bar.
The outer display is still a 2.7-inch, 800×573 OLED that’s useful for notifications and custom mini-apps like a clock and media player. Next to the outer display are two “rear” cameras, a 50 MP main camera and a 13 MP ultrawide.
This is the third foldable Moto Razr, and it has been a troubled product line since its inception. No company’s foldable smartphones are very durable. When the original Moto Razr reboot launched in 2020, multiple reports of display issues quickly started coming in. Our review unit broke almost as soon as we folded it, and the touchscreen was unusable after the first day. A second-generation Razr also arrived in 2020, just seven months after the first one. Motorola was so concerned about the devices breaking during shipping that it modified the boxes at the last minute and warned that your “new” device might arrive folded and with fingerprints on it. Even Samsung, the leading foldable display company, hasn’t yet solved foldable durability.
There’s no word on this phone launching internationally. Many companies only ship foldable smartphones in their home market of China, just because the technology is so immature and prone to failure. Motorola taking a similar path wouldn’t be surprising. In China, the phone ships on August 15.
Listing image by Motorola
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