Motorola’s cheap Razr could change folding phones forever

Trending 3 weeks ago
A personification opening nan Motorola Razr 40.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

In each nan fuss complete nan Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5, you whitethorn person forgotten Motorola besides precocious released immoderate foldable phones of its own. The Motorola Razr (2023) and Motorola Razr Plus (confusingly known arsenic nan Razr 40 and Razr 40 Ultra, respectively, successful nan U.K.) are 2 flip foldables good worthy your attention. But there’s thing typical astir this duo. While nan Razr Plus is simply a flagship telephone pinch a batch successful communal pinch nan Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, nan Razr (2023) is rumored to beryllium thing we haven’t seen successful a foldable yet — a true, honest-to-god midrange phone.

While U.S. pricing and readiness haven’t been confirmed for Motorola’s caller foldable, nan likelihood are it’ll autumn location astir nan $600 to $800 value range. While not precisely an affordable telephone by astir metrics, it’s apt to person nan cheapest MSRP of immoderate foldable sold successful nan U.S. to date.

In different words, this is simply a very bully thing. Motorola should person released a midrange foldable telephone years agone — and successful immoderate ways, it did. Only it forgot to little nan price.

The Razr (2019) was up of its time

Folding nan caller Motorola razr.Riley Young / Digital Trends

I’m going to peel backmost nan veil of clip and return america connected a travel to nan past to nan very first procreation of flip smartphones. February 2020 saw nan merchandise of 2 flip foldables: nan original Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and nan Motorola Razr (2019). The 2 phones shared a number of similarities: nan horizontal flip fold, obviously, and a precocious value that reflected nan cutting-edge quality of nan tech.

But for each nan similarities, location were much than a fewer large differences separating nan two, and nan astir egregious of these were nan specs. The Galaxy Z Flip was priced astatine $1,380, but it had beardown specs to backmost that up. The Snapdragon 855+ spot utilized wasn’t the latest of Qualcomm’s chips, but it was still a very beardown processor for nan time, and it would still guidelines arsenic a decent spot successful 2023. The cameras, similarly, were taken consecutive from nan Galaxy S20, meaning they were adjacent to nan best camera phones of nan time.

The Galaxy Z Flip look down connected a table, half folded.Corey Gaskin / Digital Trends

The Motorola Razr couldn’t person been much different. At $1,500, it was complete $100 much than nan Z Flip, truthful you mightiness presume it pushed to nan very apical of nan specs available, right? Wrong.

The Motorola Razr (2019) was a midrange phone. It folded, yes, but nan specs were — if I’m being polite — underpowered. If I’m being harsh? They were pathetic. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor was a good chip, sure, and nan 6GB of RAM and 128GB of soul retention were also, well, good … for a midrange phone. Not for a telephone that was only $500 short of $2,000. When put up against nan cheaper, much powerful Galaxy Z Flip, you’d person to beryllium huffy (or blinded pinch nostalgia) to salary much money for an objectively little powerful, little tin phone.

Despite my evident ire, I consciousness sorry for Motorola. The Razr (2019) wasn’t a bad telephone by immoderate means, and astatine a little price, it would person been a smash hit. But nan exertion was simply excessively caller to driblet nan value to a level that matched nan specs. But that didn’t extremity Motorola from pushing retired caller foldable phones successful nan years that followed.

Enter nan Motorola Razr (2023).

The Razr (2023) is precisely what we need

A personification holding nan Motorola Razr 40, showing nan upwind widget.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Foldable phones person been pinch america for respective years now, and Samsung, successful particular, has had a section time pinch them — having released nary little than 10 foldable phones successful nan Galaxy Z series. However, successful each that time, it’s still not released a midrange foldable phone.

“Big deal,” you mightiness think. “Who cares astir a midrange phone? Foldables are premium tech, there’s nary request to present a midrange telephone now.” You’re dormant wrong. Sure, foldables are premium tech, but telephone manufacturers don’t want them to enactment that way. Foldables are a brave caller frontier successful smart instrumentality development, and they correspond a chance for manufacturers to make phones absorbing again.

Be honorable pinch yourself. When was nan past clip you were really, genuinely excited astir a normal, non-folding phone? There’s only truthful excited you tin beryllium astir a caller zoom lens, an upgraded processor, aliases moreover a somewhat tweaked design. But a folding phone? Oh, that’s a wholly caller shot game, and we each cognize it.

The buttons connected nan broadside of nan closed Motorola Razr 40.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The rumor is they haven’t surgery into nan mainstream conscionable yet. I’ve seen a fistful of Galaxy Z Flip phones successful nan wild, but nary Z Folds — and surely nary foldables from different manufacturers. Why? As a chaotic guess, I’m assuming it’s because foldable phones are still seen arsenic experimental and expensive, not traditionally a bully combination. Much successful nan aforesaid measurement VR didn’t return disconnected until it was cheap enough that astir group were consenting to return a chance connected it, foldable phones aren’t going to bloom until there’s astatine slightest a midrange action connected nan market. The Razr (2023), erstwhile mixed pinch nan beardown marque nickname from nan original Motorola Razr V3, could beryllium nan telephone to return advantage of that.

But it needs to beryllium priced correctly. All we really cognize for judge astir nan pricing is it won’t beryllium astir aliases supra nan $1,000 people — because that’s wherever nan Razr Plus is set, and it’s intelligibly nan much precocious related of nan two. If nan Razr (2023) is priced astatine $800, past that mightiness beryllium a harder sell. Put it person to $600 and put it up against phones for illustration nan Google Pixel 7? Well, you mightiness conscionable person a victor there.

It’s late, but welcome

The Motorola Razr 40's unfastened screen.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I’ll opportunity it present and now: nan Motorola Razr (2019) should person been a midrange phone. Motorola should person held it for a fewer years and released it astatine a much reasonable price. However, if nan champion clip to merchandise a midrange foldable was a fewer years ago, nan second-best clip is today. The Motorola Razr (2023), if it releases astatine a decent price, could beryllium nan missing portion that foldables request to commencement taking complete nan smartphone market.

But it’s not going to person an easy time, moreover if nan value is right. Motorola has nan chance to get a caput start, but you tin beryllium judge different manufacturers already person their eyes group connected midrange versions of their foldables. There haven’t been immoderate rumors of a cheaper foldable from Samsung yet, but that doesn’t mean 1 isn’t coming.

Heck, moreover if nan section is presently clear for caller midrange foldables, Motorola besides has to compete pinch nan older variants of Samsung’s folding smartphones. At nan clip of writing, a caller Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 from past twelvemonth tin beryllium recovered connected Amazon for just complete $600 . If you’re happy to drawback a refurbished model, past you tin expect to get 1 for moreover cheaper than that.

But old flagships person ever been a problem for midrange phones, and there’s nary logic to judge nan consequence is immoderate worse for nan Motorola Razr (2023) than immoderate different phone. But I do judge a midrange-priced Razr could beryllium a awesome turning constituent for foldable smartphones — and I can’t wait.

Editors' Recommendations

  • Have a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5? Here are 10 things you request to do
  • Watch Samsung’s Z Flip 5 look an utmost durability test
  • I thought I’d dislike nan Galaxy Z Flip 5 — until I changed 1 thing
  • I spent 3 days pinch nan Galaxy Z Fold 5. It’s not what I expected
  • New Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 features are heading to older devices