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If you grew up in your formidable early 20s around the early 2000s, you hold a particular tech spot in your heart for the Motorola RAZR. The slim, trendy phone set the tone for what pre-smart phones could be. Moto, now owned by Lenovo, has leveraged this legacy with the emergence of its folding RAZR line of smartphones over the last few years.
Thanks to our buds at AT&T I’ve been testing the latest rendition, the Moto RAZR+, for a few weeks now and have been very impressed.
I hate that Moto departed from the nods previous generations were making in the hardware design to the original flip phone. Still, I think it was necessary to pull off the innovation they’ve arrived at with the RAZR+. This “flip-style” foldable still hearkens back to the old flip phones from the original Motorola RAZR’s era.
The star of the RAZR+ is the 6.9-inch screen that can be folded in half. The full HD+ screen is a 2640×1080 resolution with 413ppi. The OLED screen looks great and has a crease in the middle to fold up. It’s also capable of a 165-hertz refresh rate making the entire experience very fluid.
The folding mechanism is improved this year with I think a smoother opening feel. It doesn’t creak or sway enough to make you nervous. It’s also sturdy in that it’s stiff enough to allow you to open the RAZR+ at pretty much any degree. And it folds completely flat when closed. No weird gap or wedge look.
But the biggest addition, by far, is the 3.6-inch outer display. The pOLED panel makes the RAZR+ immediately more compelling than any other flip foldable. We’ll cover that in the next segment, but it truly is the headline feature.
Other honorable mentions are that the phone is IPX5 water resistant for general rain but not submersion. There’s also a side-mounted fingerprint reader built into the power button. I’ve found it to be consistent in unlocking the phone. Below the power button are volume rockers that have good tactile feedback when pressed.
Moto’s software is still a bright spot in the Android market. The near-stock approach is right at home for any of us used to Pixels with the few Moto tweaks adding functionality. This includes the twist to launch the camera, the flick of the wrist to launch the flashlight torch, and a few new ones like tapping to launch an app on the back of the phone.
Another great feature while using the primary display is Flex View. This allows you to split the screen in a propped-up view to take in or create content. YouTube and the Moto Camera apps are exceptional examples. YouTube with the top portion of the screen in Flex View will continue to show you the video feed while the comments and recommended content stay on the bottom half.
The same is true for the camera app. If you want to have the viewfinder open while you line up a selfie Flex Mode is great. The finder stays in the top half while the controls shift to the bottom. It’s a small comfort feature but it’s nice once you’ve used it and leverages the form factor well.
The new software, or old if you look at it differently, is once again the star of the Moto RAZR+. There are a nice collection of widgets that act like home screens such as a few clocks, some dedicated app shortcuts, and weather. The app shortcuts are customizable but you can’t add all your apps, only those that have obviously partnered with Moto are available to add to this view.
Despite this, your outer “app drawer” view allows you to add some of your favorite apps. This is great as much like with opening notification, all your available apps can be run on the outer display. While some respect the smaller aspect ratio better than others, I’ve been blown away by just how much I can get done with the phone closed.
First-party Google apps specifically can all be used with little issue. The keyboard isn’t great in tiny format, but I’ve been able to quickly reply with Gmail and Messages with short responses. You can scroll Twitter, or Threads if that’s your thing now, and it works surprisingly well.
Lastly, it’s not a Moto review without mentioning the lackluster software updates. While it’s nice to see OS updates bumped from two years to three, it still lags behind the competition. Security updates will see four full years of support as well.
Moto has always tweaked out decent battery life in its smartphone line and the Moto RAZR+ is no different. I’d wager that most will get slightly better than a similar 3,800mAh battery in a traditional form factor due to the amount you simply don’t use the larger display. I’m able to get through a normal day with around 30-20% left at night.
Charging is easier enough with up to 30 Watts of wired charging and 5 Watts of wireless charging. While the wireless charging rate is nothing to write home about, it’s more than enough for charging overnight and throughout the day on a desk. It’d be great to see this be at least 15 Watts, but I’ll take this over the complete omission of wireless charging from the previous generations.
The RAZR+ has a primary dual-camera array consisting of a 12MP standard and a 13MP ultrawide lens. On the front-facing side, you get a 32MP selfie shooter. Honestly, with the flexibility of the form factor, you should take selfies with it closed using the primary shooter.
Photos taken with the Moto RAZR+ have been a mixed back and still one of the weaknesses of Lenovo’s smartphone division. When in good light and motion, the RAZR+ can take some really good shots. The colors are balanced and the photos come out crisp.
However, when lighting or movement degrades, then so do the results. Low-light photos just aren’t up to par with the $1000 price tag of this phone. It’s a struggle of Motos that it just needs to get fixed. This has been a generational issue for its flagships that should simply be better at this point.
The Moto RAZR+ has immediately raised the bar for flip-style foldables. The almost fully functional outer display makes it the clear leader of this market for the time being. Add in the flexibility of the software tweaks when interacting with the main display, and a clean build of Android, and Moto has a contender.
The Moto RAZR+ is $1000 fully unlocked, but our friends over at AT&T have a nice $10 per month plan that’s simply hard to say no to right now. Hit the link below to head over and snag this deal.