Review: Motorola’s Razr 5G Is Modern & Chic With A Dash Of Nostalgia
Motorola took a serious gamble when it reintroduced humble flip-phone with the Razr.
It triggered waves of nostalgia within the smartphone market – albeit a lot of raised eyebrows at the expensive price point – and Motorola has done it again in 2020 with its premium smartphone, the $2299 Motorola Razr 5G.
A gentle blend of modern technology and features from a bygone era, the Razr 5G coaxes consumers with the snap-shut flip phone feel which reminds me of a simpler time, when Blockbuster was king and CD mixtapes were the ultimate gift.
When flipped shut, the pocketable design reminded me of an early 2000s Blackberry. But what the original Blackberry didn’t have was a vivid quick view display that users could navigate like a mini home screen.
The clamshell look is quite stylish and when closed shut, the hinge mechanism is so tight not even a piece of paper could slip through. It also has enough spring to open the phone with one hand.
The quick view display itself, while locked, is quite basic with just the time, date and battery. But once unlocked users can personalise which apps they can access via the small screen and you can set it up so the app will stay open once you un-flip and open the big screen.
You can also use the selfie camera while it is on the small screen. Motorola has touted it as the “most advanced selfie camera on the market” as it has the same quality as the main camera. You can also dial and make calls from the small screen, too.
The biggest plus for me as a ‘90s baby was the ability to end calls by flipping shut the phone. I haven’t done this in years and it’s a tangible feature that a lot of top-tier smartphones on the market cannot compete with.
Motorola tried to accommodate the awkward flip mechanism with a sleek, chic and thin design. Equipped with both fingerprint ID technology and Face ID, my first qualm was the fingerprint sensor is a little lower than anticipated.
The rear-mounted sensor doesn’t sit where the finger naturally goes, so you have to feel around for it until you get used to where it is.
The back of the phone is neatly designed with the Motorola logo on the fingerprint sensor and a small, double-lens camera.
I had the Razr in dark grey and it is a very stylish look, although it does come in rose gold too.
Once on the main display, I was impressed by the vivid colour on the 6.2-inch OLED screen.
There’s virtually no crease where the phone closes either. The only design flaw would be the chunky bottom which accommodates the flipped screen and the two large screws in the middle to supports the fold function.
Otherwise, the long, slim screen size gave it a similar look to a Samsung or Apple phone.
The design was upgraded from last year’s Razr with curved glass and aircraft-grade aluminum which makes it feel soft and comfortable sitting in my hands.
Although notably, the Razr 5G only has two modes. Unlike the Samsung Z Fold 2, it doesn’t have ‘flex mode’ which allows you do use it as a mini laptop or book.
Powered by a Snapdragon 765G paired with 8GB RAM, the Razr 5G has the same chipset as the Google Pixel 5 ($999).
It is also equipped with Google Assistant and has NFC for Google Pay.
After scrolling through the screen for a while, I found there was minimal screen lag and the apps were all well-optimised and easy to navigate.
And with an 876 x 2142 resolution, I was pleasantly surprised at how the display fared in direct sunlight. Legibility of the smaller quick view display was a little worse.
The Razr 5G is made with a 2800mAh battery and the battery life was quite decent with regular use. Probably due to the flip function, the phone doesn’t support wireless charging which a surprise given the price point.
It also has, of course, 5G connectivity. 5G has been a bit hit and miss with the smartphones I have used regularly reverting back to 4G when connection was lost. The data speed on the Razr was quite fast and the 5G support is a great perk for this model.
There are three ways you can utilise the camera on the Razr 5G: Selfie on the closed phone, selfie on the open phone and the rear camera.
For a premium smartphone, I wasn’t overly impressed with the quality of the Razr’s camera.
The pictures taken are quite nice but competition in the price department is the iPhone, which has pro-grade cameras which take incredible photos.
Specs-wise, the Razr’s camera has a 48MP resolution, with an f/1.7 aperture and a 26mm focal length. It also shoots 4K video at 30fps. But it doesn’t have an ultra-wide lens. Despite this, my test photos came out crisp and with somewhat vivid colours.
Portrait mode came out okay but again, it’s hard not to compare this camera with other premium smartphones on the market when its resolution, depth-mapping and colours are not top-tier.
You can also open the selfie camera on the mini screen by twisting wrist twice, which is a fun novelty.
Photos taken on the Razr 5G
The box doesn’t come with a pair of motobuds charge, which the $299 Moto g9 play does, but it does come with a pair of standard headphones, a wall charger, lightning USB-C cable and adaptor because the model does not have a headphone jack.
Advance hinge tech for the flip mechanis,
Good quality screen resolution/quick view display
Impressive battery life
Stylish and minimalistic design
No screen lagging
Not the best camera
Doesn’t support wireless charging
No flex mode