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Motorola Razr's secret keyboard screen is a blast from the past

Motorola's new foldable Razr winks at the past with an Easter egg dialer reminiscent of the original Razr phone.

Don't be fooled -- this is the new Motorola Razr foldable phone with a 6.2-inch screen.
John Kim/CNET

Motorola's new $1,500 foldable Razr phone is winking at you. With the right combination of keys and swipes, you can make the newfangled device for 2019 look, sound and act like the Razr flip phone from 2004. Or at least the phone dialer. We went hands-on with the fun throwback screen at Motorola's headquarters in Chicago before the company launched its new foldable phone on Wednesday night -- here's how it works.

An Easter egg buried in the upcoming Razr applies a skin that makes the 6.2-inch plastic OLED display look like a dialer from ye olden days when flip phones roamed the Earth. The secret lies in the Quick Settings menu at the top of the phone. When you go to edit, you'll find an option called Retro Razr. Drag it into the Quick Settings menu and save.

Once the dialer is active, you'll press a soft key and the Razr beep-boop-beeps out its familiar tune ("Hello, Moto"). Peck at the buttons to dial a number, and groan at yourself as you stab the top part of the ordinarily touch-sensitive screen without it responding back. That's right, you have to use the on-screen navigation "buttons" to get anything done.

Motorola's retro dialer screen is a great little shot of nostalgia for anyone who used a flip phone, even if it wasn't the original Razr. Consider it a history lesson for the kids. Getting in and out of the skin isn't all that easy, and it's not really something you'd want to use every day, but that's the point of Easter eggs, and it's nice to see Motorola poke a little fun at itself -- and at us.

Read everything you need to know about the Motorola Razr foldable phone, from the story of how Motorola remade one of the most iconic phones of all time, to Verizon's lifetime exclusive of this foldable reboot.

Originally published yesterday.