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Motorola Razr display reportedly already peeling at fold

Giant air bubble appears on the screen of a unit reviewed by

The screen on Inputmag's Motorola Razr has reportedly developed an air bubble and is beginning to peel back.
Raymond Wong/Inputmag

The Motorola Razr has been on the market for less than two weeks and already one of the foldable phones is reportedly showing excessive wear and tear.

Made of a combination of glass, plastic and stainless steel, the Razr comes at an important moment for foldable phones. It's the first proof of concept for a folding phone where the screen bends in half vertically to maximize screen real estate while saving physical space. It's basically an ultra high-tech flip phone.

Part of the charm of those flip phones of yore was that they were practically indestructible -- those gadgets could be dropped, beaten and tossed and still manage to survive. But for one early reviewer, the new Razr has been a "nightmare."

A writer at Input reported that the publication's Razr is peeling apart at the device's fold, with a giant horizontal air bubble separating the top lamination and the display panel. The damage isn't the result of rigorous durability tests but rather occurred in the user's front jeans pocket sometime during a 45-minute subway ride in New York, reporter Raymond Wong wrote.

He noticed the air gap when taking the phone out to shoot some photos, he said.

"The screen was completely warped from hinge-to-hinge with the top layer raised like a poorly applied screen protector," Wong writes.

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CNET has put the Razr, as well as foldable rival Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, which went on sale last week, through a series of real-world drop tests. The Razr sustained a hairline fracture across the glass from a three-foot drop while closed, and a flip-open drop from 5 feet resulted in a few more cracks on the front, but the touchscreen still worked well, and the screen inside was still in working order. We did notice that the metal grille that covers the bottom of the phone had started to come loose.

Input speculated that its Razr problems were due to extreme temperature changes (Wong is based in New York, where the temperature has been cold), but Motorola on Tuesday disputed that.

"We have full confidence in Razr's display and do not expect consumers to experience display peeling as a result of normal use," the company said Tuesday in a statement. "As part of its development process, Razr underwent extreme temperature testing."

Motorola said users shouldn't store the Razr (or any phone) in temperatures below -4 degrees Fahrenheit and above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. "If consumers experience device failure related to weather during normal use, and not as a result of abuse or misuse, it will be covered under our standard warranty," the company said.

CNET's Shara Tibken contributed to this report.

Originally published Feb. 17.
Update, Feb. 18: Adds comment from Motorola.