REVIEW: Is The New Motorola Razr, A Flip Success Or A Flop?
Back in early 2000, I use to love my Motorola Razr phone, while it was no smartphone by today’s standards it was a solid performer and a highly practical communication device that fitted easily into a pocket.
That was back in 2004, 16 years on, the Razr is back in name only and while it does flip open, the new device has a few new tricks up its sleeve driven primarily by new materials, software and processor evolution.
Recently Motorola gave me a model designed for the Australian market, however It took a pub test for me to work out who would actually buy this new Flip device.
Mosman is one suburb in Australia where people do have money and at $2,699 this device is going to suck up a lot of coin if you are interested.
Standing around a table of drinkers at the local Mosman BV I got instant feedback on the likes and dislikes of this device.
The older audience of both male and female 50+ drinkers not only remembered the old Razr they appeared to seriously warm to it because they perceived it as being easy to use, it was not bulky and could fit easily into a pair of shorts, trouser pockets or handbag.
To the sub 35 audience it was seen as “different” “cool” “real retro” and that was before they were able to take a journey inside this device which is set to get competition from a new Samsung Flip device.
Currently this audience are died hard smartphone users and I doubt that they are going to give up their cutting-edge large format smartphones. For the Razr unless they simply want to make a fashion statement.
Back in 2004 Motorola was the hot kid on the block, the brand that had cool devices that soccer stars like David Beckham and celebrity Nicky Hilton promoted.
Today the Motorola brand is suffering from attention deficit disorder.
It’s forgotten and not associated with the cutting-edge smartphones such as the iPhone or the new Samsung S20 5G devices that are set to be launched shortly.
This was a big US brand who delivered the voice device that consumers craved.
This month they made an entrance back on stage with a sleek new device that has taken four years to create.
While the Company is owned by Lenovo this is a creation that would make Donald Trump and his Make America Great Again campaign proud because it has been designed and created in the USA by a team of engineers in Chicago.
The new Motorola Razr comes in a sleek black case and while it is slightly heavy due in part to the use of two batteries at each end of the screen.
It feels highly practical due to the width of the screen which is tall when flipped open it’s also slightly wider than the old Razr 3 and fits easily into one’s hand more so than today’s iPhone or Android device.
The new Motorola Razr works on an eSim so you won’t have to insert a SIM but you will have to visit your local carrier store to activate this device, eventally all smartphones will operate this way.
The term “eSIM” simply means an embedded SIM card.
There are no physical SIM cards involved and no physical swapping over required by you. … An eSIM is basically a small chip inside your phone and works in a similar way to the NFC chip that’s used for payment tech like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
The Razr folds up completely flat like the original and what Motorola engineers have done is cleverly emulate the former success formula of the Razr 3, It’s even thinner that the old Raz despite the plastic film screen.
If you’re a road warrior or manic Facebook user this device is not for you, it’s too refined and restrictive.
But if all you want is a device that’s incredibly stylish and easy to use for talk emails and messaging and fits easily into a pocket or bag, this device has a lot going for you.
This is a very tall phone with an extended 6.2inch display and 21.9:9 aspect ratio.
While I really liked the thin width of the overall display in the hand , I found it a tad too small for heavy duty use such as constant messaging access to Dropbox files or reading a PDF file on the fly, I still like the keyboard width on a traditional smartphone.
For me this is a great weekend device when all you want is voice, messages and weekend appointments.
Another big plus is that when folded a real neat feature is the display that activates information to the screen without the large screen being open.
Ideal for the theatre when you don’t want to light up an audience opening a traditional smartphone a simple tap delivers information.
You can easily see the time and get access to message headers and if you really need to watch a video you can, but I do suggest that you take advantage of the large screen when opened.
Motorola’s main development is their patented hinge that minimizes creasing of the plastic screen not only does the Razr close completely flat, if you run your fingers over the screen you will feel what is underneath which is why Motorola has produced a video saying that these minor lumps and bumps is “normal”, I found little interruption if any to my viewing experience.
The processor and the 2,510mAh batteries are housed in the sleek casing that gives the device it’s stylish compact type look.
This sized battery is not for road warriors which is why I believe that this device is for people who want simplicity, practicality and a great looking device.
It’s ideal for the technology dyslexic who don’t want to admit that they are not into bells and whistles smartphones but want the core basic features with a few spiced-up features.
There’s no wireless charging either, but it does support fast charging via standard USB-C Power Delivery.
It’s a feat of engineering and absolutely a practical device when you don’t want a big heavy device in your pocket.
A fashion device that delivers the basics, you are not going to take a pro picture but you will be able to shoot a picture that significantly better than what we shot on digital cameras when the old Razr was proving popular.
And if you do want to play music to a pair of Bluetooth headphones on your morning walk, this device is ideal, no bulk and great sound.
I know where Motorola are trying to go with this device, and I suggest that they move quickly to the Razr 2, if they want to win over the hardcore smartphone market.
While the new Razr is a retro revival so was records when they came back and that market is booming.
Flipping a phone open and closed in 2020 is new and Motorola have the opportunity to excel because they have done it in the past, by this time next year I suspect we will see at least half a dozen Flip models I only hope that the Motorola Razr is one of them for nostalgic sake.
An undeniably cool phone, the $2,699 is not going to be an issue for those who appreciate simplicity and are over the glitz smartphones that every kid on the block wants.
It’s for the I am different, cool and sophisticated individual who takes the view that if you must ask the price, you can’t afford it.