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Galaxy Z Flip vs. Motorola Razr: How Samsung's foldable phone compares to the Moto

We compare the specs, and tell you what it's like to use each clamshell phone with a foldable screen.

Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Expertise Apple, iPhone, iOS, Android, Samsung, Sony, Google, Motorola, interviews, coffee equipment, cats Credentials
  • Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Patrick Holland
3 min read
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

On the left is the Motorola Razr and on the right is the Galaxy Z Flip.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're a fan of foldable phones , February has been a good month. Motorola launched its new Razr foldable phone, with retro looks, a clamshell design and a tall folding screen. On Tuesday at the Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco, the Galaxy Z Flip debuted, which also has a flip-phone design with a foldable screen. The Razr and Galaxy Z Flip have as much in common, like their tall 21:9 ratio screens, as they do that's different, including the fact that Motorola's foldable screen is plastic while Samsung uses a piece of ultra-thin glass.

But on Sunday, Zack Nelson from the YouTube channel JerryRigEverything posted a video showing that the foldable glass on the Z Flip actually behaves and is damaged like plastic. He found that even his fingernail was capable of leaving scratches on the phone's screen at a point in the test where real glass would have typically resisted markings.

Samsung didn't respond to requests for comment.

Read: Galaxy Z Flip: 3 months later, I love it but still don't recommend it

The Z Flip is Samsung's follow-up to the Galaxy Fold, while the Razr is Motorola's first and only foldable phone. I spent a week testing the new Razr for an in-depth review, and I had some hands-on time with the Z Flip at the Unpacked event. Here are how the two phones compare.

Read: 8 Galaxy Z Flip features to try first

The Razr costs $1,499, while the Z Flip costs $1,380. In terms of specs, the Z Flip has a more powerful processor, two rear cameras, Android 10, a bigger battery and twice the storage. The Razr uses an eSIM and is sold as an exclusive on Verizon. The Z Flip has a SIM card and can be bought on any major US carrier.

They are roughly the same size, but the Razr feels heavier. When closed, the Z Flip has a square shape that mimics a Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP, the classic handheld console from 2003. When opened, the Z Flip has a taller 6.7-inch OLED screen, while the Razr has a 6.2-inch display.

On the Galaxy Z Flip you can see a crease. It doesn't seem as obvious as the one on the Galaxy Fold. On the Razr, you don't see a crease, but you can see the edges of two steel plates used to flex and stiffen the display.

Both the screen and body on the Z Flip fold perfectly in half. On the Razr, the screen folds in half, but the bottom of the body is longer than the top, like that of the original Razr flip phone from 2004. The Razr's prominent chin is tall and sits flush when the body is closed.

Flipping both phones open and closed is a blast. The Z Flip is easier to get leverage and flick open one-handed while the Razr has a more controlled open and close. As far as slamming the phone shut, the Z Flip's looser hinge offers a more satisfying "zwap" sound.

Both phones have an external display. The Z Flip has a 1.1-inch wide, pill-shaped screen on the outside that lets you answer phone calls, interact with notifications and take selfies as well as display the time, date and battery status. I should note that both phones accumulate smudges quite a bit, but the Galaxy Z Flip is on a whole other smudge level.

The Razr's exterior 2.7-inch Quick View display works in two ways. When the phone is locked, it becomes a Peek Display and lets you view notifications. When you unlock the screen, you get additional access to a mini control panel (brightness, flashlight, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and selfies) and you can interact with notifications. Tap and hold an icon for a quick peek at messages and notifications. It's wonderfully discreet.

For more on how these two phones differ, check out our spec chart below. And for more information on the other devices Samsung unveiled this week, read everything the company announced at Unpacked.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip specs compared to Motorola Razr

Samsung Galaxy Z FlipMotorola Razr
Display size, resolution Internal: 6.7-inch FHD Plus Dynamic AMOLED; 2,636x1,080 pixels / External: 1.1-inch Super AMOLED; 300x112 pixels Internal: 6.2-inch, foldable pOLED; 2,142x876 pixels (21:9) / External: 2.7-inch glass OLED, 800x600 pixels (4:3)
Pixel density 425ppi (internal) / 303ppi (external)373ppi (internal screen)
Dimensions (inches) Folded: 2.99 x 3.44 x 0.62 ~ 0.68 in. / Unfolded: 2.99 x 6.59 x 0.27 ~0.28 in.Unfolded: 6.8 x 2.8 x 0.28 in. / Folded: 3.7 x 2.8 x 0.55 in,
Dimensions (millimeters) Folded: 73.6 x 87.4 x 15.4 ~17.3 mm / Unfolded: 73.6 x 167.3 x 6.9 ~ 7.2 mm Unfolded: 172 x 7 2 x 6.9mm / Folded: 94 x 72 x 14mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 6.46 oz.; 183g7.2 oz.; 205g
Mobile software Android 10Android 9 Pie
Camera 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultra wide-angle)16-megapixel external (f1.7, dual pixel autofocus), 5-megapixel internal
Front-facing camera 10-megapixelSame as main 16-megapixel external
Video capture 4K (HDR 10)4K
Processor 64-bit octa-coreQualcomm Snapdragon 710 (2.2GHz, octa-core)
Storage 256GB128GB
Expandable storage TBANone
Battery 3,300 mAh2,510 mAh
Fingerprint sensor SideBelow screen
Connector USB-CUSB-C
Headphone jack NoNo
Special features Foldable display, wireless PowerShare, wireless charging, fast charging Foldable display, eSIM, Motorola gestures, splash proof
Price off-contract (USD) $1,380$1,499
Price (GBP) £1,300Converts to £1,170
Price (AUD) UK price converts to AU$2,500Converts to AU$2,185

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip impresses from almost every angle

See all photos

Originally published last month.