Ask us anything about the Motorola foldable Razr (The Daily Charge, 11/19/2019)
The Daily Charge
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Welcome to the Daily Charge, it's Tuesday November 19th.
I'm Alfa Rain.
And I'm Jessica Dulcot.
And let's get to today's deep dive.
The razor is back, baby, and it's coming as a fifteen hundred dollar foldable phone exclusive with Verizon won't be out until after the holiday season.
But just a doll court has spent a day with it.
And I got to ask.
I mean, how great is it to actually hang up on someone again?
I mean, it's pretty great.
So basically, this whole idea with the Motorola Razr is that You've got this very small screen on the outside, it's a flip phone design with affordable screen.
It's really updated for 2019 and beyond this is just the beginning.
And you use it when it's open that's how you get to most of the Apps that you gonna use And then you close it and just like the flip phone from 2004 when the Razer first came out, that sort of ends most of everything you're doing.
So you can end the call by flipping it closed like you said, you can end most apps.
Some apps you can actually keep using when the phone is closed which can be really useful, like a phone call for example But essentially this is this updated design that gives people the compact device that they may have missed this phones are getting larger and larger and larger.
So it's something that you can pocket But you're not sacrificing all of the screen space, that is the promise of a foldable phone.
Have you purposefully made angry phone calls to people so that you could slam the phone on them or?
That is definitely a big part of my upcoming testing when we get the review unit.
Like how often you can slam the phone?
I'm gonna dedicate a section totally just to how hard I can slam it shut I can send you a list of people to call.
Yeah I'll call them for you, just prank calls, right?
So I mean you had a hands on with it, I think you spent the longest time with it out of anyone I know actually.
Yeah, we went to Motorola's headquarters in Chicago and basically spent an entire day with this device
Which was really great.
I mean, I couldn't test absolutely everything.
That's going to wait for the review unit.
But it was great to just go in there and peer at all the little nooks and crannies and kind of see what the promises are and also what some of the concerns might be when this phone comes out.
How usable was it actually when it was folded?
When it's in the clamshell mode, they have that little screen on the front, right?
Is there anything you can do with that?
Yeah, you can't do as much as that outside of the fold screen.
That's because on the razor, the screen is miniscule.
It's 2.7 inches.
So there's no keyboard there.
You're not typing but it is touch sensitive.
There's voice input to and think of it as more like shortcuts.
So for example, if any kind of alert Notification email, text message comes in, you can interact with it.
You can press a button and then make a voice response or use one of Google's Smart Reply canned responses, which actually is pretty useful, especially if it's something like okay or I'll call you back later.
Then you can also simply open up the device if you selected any email message for example you can open up the device and then it opens up an email message you can type [UNKNOWN] reply [UNKNOWN] it in your pocket and go on your way.
And now he published an article this morning about 6 burning questions that we still have about the phone,.
What are they?
Yeah, so we do know when the phones going on sale in the US that will be January 9. That was one burning question when they first announced it.
But really, I think the two most important ones that it comes down to me are screen durability and also battery life.
So the issue with the screen is that this is a plastic OLED That's is a very similar technology to what Samsung used.
But Motorola is saying that their screen is actually more durable because they've got this harder plastic coating.
But questions that we're always going to have about any foldable phone will be what is the wear and tear like when you open and closed It however many thousands and hundreds of thousands of times in the lifetime of the device, and then also how durable is it can be two things like water.
This one is apparently splash proof.
But also you know if your ring grazes it if your keys accidentally graze it Is that screen which is delicate because it's not protected by class comes into contact with anything else.
So we'll go through some testing material is pretty confident but you never know and 1500 dollars is just too much to spend on a device that's so fragile In terms of battery life, there's a very small battery capacity on this device.
This screen is in a way smaller because of the dimensions.
It's very tall and narrow so it's 6.2 inches corner to corner, but it's also a pretty narrow device and the battery split into two parts which usually isn't as efficient and So it's really gonna come down to is this gonna last the all day that Motorola promises?
Or is this going to be all day with light years,
Given a technicalities where it's like it's all day only if you use it in the clamshell mode or something.
I mean, you wouldn't because it's really meant to be used full screen, but it's more like What do people do with a phone.
So if you're navigating, if you're streaming, all of that is going to hit in to you battery reserves at a much faster rate than if you're using the device much more passively.
I feel like not much attention as when paid to the usual things that happen when we do a phone reviews like how's the camera and stuff like it because it's foldable, everybody, so like did you like the, if this was just a normal phone that wasn't foldable, Like how does this stack up?
I'm really glad that you asked that question because camera I think is one areas potential weakness, even more than the screen just because people I think generally understand that foldable screens are different, and they have to play by different rules.
But everybody wants the same things out of a camera.
And there's just one main camera here.
16 mega pixels, so you're gonna use that to take pictures of everything and also your selfies.
There is a camera on the inside that's five megapixel but that's really what you're gonna be using to kick off video calls and you close the device and continue your video call using the main camera But you lack the telephoto and you lack the wide angle lenses that the Galaxy Fold has.
I mean the Galaxy Fold has six cameras, right?
This essentially has one main camera that you're going to use.
So I think that when you're talking about paying $1500 for a device, this is This is a premium phone.
How many cameras do you expect on a premium phone, right?
I don't use the other cameras nearly as much, but I like that they're there and I do use them.
So yeah, all of that I think nudges the Motorola razor more in the direction of novelty or niche or secondary device or device for your library collection or for people who just like who care more about this iconic and like new form factor than they do about photography.
Most festivals have been kind of, you know, going the route of let's take three foldable two out of the three of them have taken the approach of let's make something normal size bigger right yeah as this one is let's make something small like normal size smaller.
I mean Which one do you think like makes a lot more sense for this kind of market Yeah, I think it depends who the buyer is, there are a lot of people who are really entramsed with this device because they miss having something that they can carry around.
It's all about the screen, people don't necessarily want me to go firm because they want to hold a really.
They want it because of all of the benefits that a large screen affords.
So here we've got this like very alluring promise of having the best of both worlds.
And I think it's just really going to depend I mean with something like the galaxy fold or the Huawei mean x There is let's give you even more screen.
So that's more of a like a tablet or a laptop replacement.
And it is really good for video I have to admit like, the larger the screen is, the more immersed you are and what you're doing.
But it's a lot less practical to carry around.
On that note do you think that this phone what would deliver as a fold word?
Does it feel a little bit more gimmicky like other foldable phones?
I mean, I'm not gonna say any names.
There's only three out there and it rhymes with, ping pong policy pole.
But yeah, I mean, what are your thoughts on the razor fold as a foldable Yeah, I think it's affordable.
I think the concept is really great and it is different and that's something that a lot of people are glomming on to, but I think what will make or break foldable phones including this one, it doesn't matter how great it looks if there are fatal flaws With that screen, then it's automatically a no go.
It's back to the drawing board.
I think where we are with foldable phones right now, the industry is still trying to figure out is this going to be the future?
Or is this kind of a fun side project that we learn from?
Are we gonna move to post phone world at some point, right?
I think they're there There's a lot of value in this kind of concept.
And it's just even from like a design and scientific approach.
It's amazing the fact that we can even get to this point to experiment with it.
But I think that right now in the early days, at least for the next year [UNKNOWN], this is still going to be experimental to see What we can do if we can push it further and how people really respond, if it's just academic and at the end, nobody cares and nobody buys these phones or shows any like real interest in it even as the price comes down and the materials get stronger, then we'll have our answer.
When they first announced the galaxy fold I remember on our show I had mentioned like.
I would much prefer a phone that folds into a smaller room because I think I'm in that camp where I like smaller devices.
So now that that's done I my next call out is just going to be the slap bracelet phone.
You have a normal phone and you just slap it on your wrist and it like just fits there turns into a smartwatch.
So when that happens, please call Called, please reference back to this clip everyone,
So, it has happened.
And it was actually, Motorolla's parent company Lenovo, several years ago had something that they called the C+ and it was Not a slap, you can't go like that with it, but it was that shape and you kind of bend it around your wrist.
And that's definitely a form factor that I think that these companies are working on.
TCL was looking into something like that.
There has been Been a few prototypes and concept devices.
Of course they're all terrible at this point.
They're completely awful, but it's playing around with the idea of what is a phone now and what could it be?
Does it have to be like this?
Or are we gonna be using the same kind of technology in different ways?
It could be like those goggles or whatever from that dude on Star Trek with like the.
Yeah, I never watched the show.
So I don't know his name but I've seen memes of him.
You know who he is?
For the Daily Charge I'm offering and I'm just get awkward.
Thanks for joining us.
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