Motorola Razr 2020 review: The refinements it deserves
This is the new Motorola razor.
Now technically, there was a razor that came out in February which had a well a number of issues.
Look, we don't have time to get into that, but the new razor addresses most of those issues.
It's overall just a better phone.
So this new razor is definitely better.
But does it have all the specs like the Motorola Edge Plus or the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra?
But neither of those phones can do this or are this small.
That feels good every time.
And while the 1400 dollar price is $100 less than the February razor and $50 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy z flip five V, yet it's still 1400 dollars.
I can buy nine Motorola phones for that price.
I could buy two iPhone elevens for that.
I can rent a small bedroom for one month in someone's house in San Francisco for that Yeah, I'd rather rather get a razor.
So here's what you get for that price.
A phone that folds in half and again that feels so good doing that.
And that is important to remember because there isn't wireless charging, or a high refresh rate display or a gigantic battery or IP Raider water and dust resistance Or a headphone jack or headphones or the most powerful Snapdragon processor.
Instead, you get this and this and in 2022, fold a 6.2 inch phone into something the size of a small drink coaster.
And that's about the thickness of a deck of cards.
You're going to pay 1400 dollars and I gotta say this This foldable flip phone form factor feels so good to us and if it was a car, it would be a fun to see convertible.
Now during my time with it, I wasn't nervous to use the razor like a regular phone meaning I didn't feel I needed to be careful with it.
I wiped the foldable screen on my jeans.
I kept the phone in my pocket or in my bag.
Some of that assurance comes from it's built and how the screen folds flat together being protected by the sides of the thumb.
But some of that is my perception.
I want to be confident that if it's in my pocket with my house keys, that it won't get destroyed.
That competence and trust is huge.
And I didn't feel that all the time when I review the February razor, so Where does this new trust come from?
Simple, it feels solid.
And a lot of that's the new aluminum and Gorilla Glass five build of the phone, aka there isn't any plastic on the back.
Also, Motorola invited me to come visit one of their testing laboratories wearing a mask and socially distance of course.
And see one of the 40 different machines they use to test the razors durability.
Now this particular machine folds the phone in half to simulate years of use in just a matter of days.
The idea is that most people will never fold the razor enough to hit Motorola's 200,000 fold lifespan By the way, if you want to see more about the testing that went into this Razor, I made an entire separate video about it.
Going back to that two seater convertible, it's not a car for everyone and the Razor is the same way.
I don't think I'd take this to the beach or skiing or a Galaxy z flip 5G for that matter, but it is a phone I've used as a daily driver.
And when the day comes that we are regularly traveling and commuting to work again, that's where this phone will thrive.
So, how's it holding up after a week and a half overall?
Perhaps my favorite feature under razor is the quick view display which got a lot more useful on this model.
And fundamentally, this is where the razor and the galaxy z flip couldn't be more different.
There's basically like three modes.
Let's call them modes on the outside display.
The first is peak display mode that lets you see notifications just by pressing and holding on an icon.
The next is like a peak display mode plus, where you can press and hold on an icon, then swipe up to reveal multiple notifications, as well as respond to them.
But it's the third mode.
Let's call it mini android phone mode, where the true power of the quick view display gets unleashed.
When the phone is closed and unlocked, you can swipe down to get to the control panel, you can swipe up to see something similar to the notification shade, swipe to the left to go to the camera, swipe to the right to see a grid of apps, Swipe to the right again to see contact favorites.
The phone can carry a list of apps from your existing apps that will work well on the smaller screen.
And when you use these apps, you can go back and forth between the quick view display version and the interior display, and pick up right where you left off.
Or you can do what I did and put this into unlimited.
Now, that allows me to try pretty much any app on the quick view display like pub g Yes, pub g mobile the game.
Yet while you can barely make up the controls, it is possible to play pub G on the outside display.
Also played some other games like altos Odyssey and Super Mario Run.
Now not every app is optimized for that small display, but it marks an enormous step in the right direction for Motorola.
And as much as I enjoy opening and closing the phone, I really do love living the quick view display life Now a benefit of using the quick view display is that it doesn't tax the battery life is bad and that's good.
As the new razor gets me through almost a day, I typically find myself topping off at dinnertime.
And that's with using 5g.
I'm getting about seven and a half hours of screen on time and in a test with continuous video playback on airplane mode.
The razor lasted 15 hours and 53 minutes, that's an hour and 15 minutes more than the February razor lasted in the same test.
And that's 53 minutes more than the galaxy si flip the one without 5g, but make sure you check in with my written review on cnet.com because I'll be updating that with more battery tests.
Speaking of 5G, the razor can work on sub six flavors of 5G like on AT&T and T Mobile.
I've been testing this razor on T mobile's 5G here in Chicago.
Sometimes it gets speeds over 100 megabits per second for downloads that That's outside, and other times it gets speeds that are 4.55 megabits per second.
That's also outside.
Both of those results were well within the 5g coverage on T mobile's map and I think it speaks more to T mobile's 5g network than it does.
About this phone.
Then there are the cameras which both got solid upgrades.
The selfie camera atop the internal display is much better than the February Razr.
It's great for Zoom meeting.
Taking selfies though video recording on the selfie camera does top out at 1080 p the exterior camera has 48 megapixels and use it pixel binning to create good 12 megapixel photos.
The camera is much better than the February razor.
And thanks to optical image stabilization and the time of flight sensor.
I'm getting a much more acceptable rate of infocus in sharp photos.
Is this camera on the same level as the iPhone 11 or Google Pixel four a no way Jose, unless Motorola added a note 20 Ultra size bump onto the razor.
Please don't do that.
There's only so much room for a sensor and lens in something that's this small, low light and zoomed in photos get soft.
And look like a painting because of all the noise reduction.
There is a night vision mode that can help but I find it works best in medium to low lighting situations versus situations where it's very dark.
Now take a look at some of the photos I took with the razor.
The main camera also shoots 4k video The quality is decent Video definitely doesn't have the same dynamic range as photos and suffers from image noise and artifacts but I'm happy with the clips I was able to record so check them out.
Powering all of this is 8 gigabytes of RAM and a Snapdragon 765 D processor.
Now I know some of you will be turned off by the lack of Snapdragon 865 processor, but as we've seen in other Android phones this year, the 765 is a solid processor.
In the razor it handled gaming, videos, photo edits, multitasking really well, and in benchmark test is scored right on par with the LG velvet.
But not everything was rosy on this new razor.
I noticed that the glass in the back has a few minor scuffs that are.
Are barely visible, but they're there.
Motorola does make this nifty $50 case for the razor.
Also, when I opened and closed my review unit in February, it made this weird loud squeak for the most part.
This one didn't.
I say for the most part because when I was filming the unboxing video for the razor, I didn't hear a squeak.
But when reviewing the footage one of my video producers noticed that my mic picked up a small squeak,
Now my time with the razor has largely been squeak free until yesterday, I don't know if it's the humidity or what but [SOUND]
I mean it's nowhere as loud as the one in February but every time I hear the squeak I feel conflicted.
I feel disappointed.
Now asked a friend how they felt when they heard the squeak and it bothered them.
Now when I guess when it comes to screen, not his foldable screen creases, and squeaks some of you will get used to these things, while others will be wildly annoying.
Wide, I should add to that the squeak comes from the hinge mechanism but doesn't indicate any mechanical problems with the phone.
When all is said and done, where do I end up on the razor?
Well, first I have to give Motorola a ton of credit for all the changes and improvements they've made to this new razor.
I absolutely enjoy using it and I really can't wait to try this out long term.
As far as the price this isn't a phone for everyone, especially with the financial hardships so many people are enduring right now.
I think if you were interested in buying the razor or serious about buying the razor in February, that you should consider getting this version.
It's a refinement in nearly every way over that phone.
No, you are paying a lot of money to get a phone that does this.
And folding your phone in half is something you're willing to pay for.
The new Razr is worth considering.