REVIEW: Want A Foldable Phone That Seriously Delivers New Razr 40 Ultra, The Small Screen Will Stun You
I have waited a month before I put pen to paper, to write my review of the new Motorola Razr 40 Ultra 5G foldable smartphone, which will go right up against the new Samsung Galaxy Flip 5, when it’s launched by Samsung next month, and I have to admit it’s seriously competitive, if not the best foldable we have ever reviewed.
Basically, I needed to get a feel for this device for both leisure and business purposes and if the reaction of my wife who owns a Samsung Fold device is anything to go by the new Razr has a lot going for it.
Motorola has made up for the two average Razr foldables from the past, with the Razr 40 Ultra, a seriously improved device, not only in its design but it’s software functionality and overall performance, and I suspect this is because they knew that they only had one more crack at getting this model right. In the hand this device feels and looks premium, with its round edges and slick design.
The two new Razr devices launched in Australia are reasonably priced considering the built quality and the Android features along with the custom Motorola software that the Motorola Razr Ultra 5G device delivers.
Under the bonnet is a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 – 8GB RAM – 256GB storage a 3800mAh battery. You also get 30W wired charging and Wireless charging.
At JB HI Fi the Razr 40 Ultra 5G which I reviewed is selling for $1,499 with 256 GB of data, its available in Glacier Blue, Viva Magenta, Infinite Black and Satin Black. It comes with Android 13.
The first thing that that you notice is the big new front facing screen that delivers a massive amount of capability, without having to open the device, and compounding this is the one on one ratio the 1.5” OLED display that makes viewing a whole lot easier than on the small current model Samsung Flip 4 device.
When flipped open the 165Hz 6.9-inch pOLED display is bright and sharp, it also has HDR10+ compatible with video’s on both the small and large screen seriously bright.
The 1400 nits’ peaks brightness, and 1 billion colour, coupled with the 1080 x 2640 resolution, at 413ppi delivers as good an experience as you get with most iPhones.
Maps, access to content and music can be easily accessed via the small display screen which bleeds right up to the edge of the device, on the bottom of the display is a hidden function housing the front facing cameras.
What you now have is easy access to interactive applications and, quick settings, which for me includes access to a HD recorder that I used every day for interviews without having to open the main screen.
Another big plus is that the new Razr snaps shut flush screen to screen, and unlike previous models there is no gap leaving you with an impress screen, that displays the date and time and messages when they arrive.
For example, I can sit in a meeting and unobtrusively look at my screen without opening the device of lifting a 6.5” display phone into view and when out at the beach this device fits easily into the pocket of a pair of shorts.
You can also read notifications on the fly, and if need to tap and open the keyboard to respond to a message.
What surprised me was the ease with which one could type on the small screen. This also applied when banging in phone numbers when using the phone or updating a contact.
One area where Motorola has delivered big improvement, is the introduction of a new hinge that adds a totally new prospective to the device.
What you can now do, is set the screen to any angle, making video calls a lot easier to manage, it also allows for easier viewing compared to a traditional smartphone that still has to held in front of the face when doing a video call or as I have done when logging into a Teams call.
With this Razr you simply put the bottom half of the device on a flat surface and then adjust the top screen with the inbuilt camera to any position you want and that a really neat function over a conventional smartphone.
On the flips side there are some issues, firstly and because of the fact that there are only limited numbers manufactured globally there are very few if any third party covers and this is a device you will want to protect.
Yes, there is a plastic cover in the box , but I really need a more protective case because at some stage you may drop this device.
The pOLED display is basically a piece of film and the screen protector, over the large fold down screen does do a good job of protecting the master screen, the small screen has Gorilla Glass, and this delivers further protection.
Unlike a traditional smartphone I found that I performed more daily tasks on the small screen, which in the past I have performed on a large smartphone, and the fact that I don’t have to keep pulling a large phone out of my pocket and then having to open a large screen is a big plus.
The small screen of flip devices that I have reviewed in the past, are too small to be really functional and this is the first really good screens when it comes to having to work through actionable functions.
One of the things I really noticed is that Motorola has done a big job on readability, fonts and the marriage of text display and functionality which allows users to easily read content and perform tasks.
If like me, you have used another brand of smartphone, it takes a little while to get use to the new layout but when you get the hang of it, and you have set the device up to your preferences, the redesign really works.
Why is it that every time someone asks me about a new smartphone, the first question is what is the camera like?
First up let’s get the camera tech specs out of the way.
The Rear Camera is: 12MP (f/1.5, 1.4µm) | OIS, 13MP (f/2.2, 1.12µm) | Ultra-wide + macro | FOV 108°, Single LED flash.
Rear Camera Video Capture operates at: UHD (30fps) | UHD (60fps) | FHD (30fps) | FHD (60fps), Wide & Macro: UHD (30fps) | FHD (30fps)
The Front Camera on the main display is: 32MP (f/2.4, 0.7 µm) | 8MP (f/2.4, 1.4um) Quad Pixel, External display: Main: 12MP (f/1.5, 1.4µm) | OIS, Wide: 13MP (f/2.2, 1.12µm) | FOV 108°
The Front Camera Video Capture display is: 32MP selfie camera UHD (30fps) | UHD (60fps), FHD(30fps), FHD(60fps), External display: Main: UHD(30fps) | UHD(60fps) | FHD(30fps) | FHD(60fps), Wide: UHD (30fps) | FHD (30fps).
Let’s be frank, you are not going to get a seriously top end and often expensive camera sensor and lens rig into the real estate of a flip phone, its not workable.
What you do get is a camera rig that comes dam close to delivering really good images that will impress your friends or can be used in PowerPoint presentations or a newsletter.
The ultrawide camera is really good especially for those big crowd shots or those wow Vivid shots. Even at nighttime, I was able to get really good shots though when shooting at night you do have to hold the Razr really steady for those dark image shots.
in low light conditions the f/1.5 aperture lens allowed for night mode shooting in very low light scenarios as a walk through the Botanical Gardens during Vivid revealed.
Shooting outside our offices in North Sydney I was able to easily zoom into cranes on a building site two kilometers away.
The camera rig also delivers dual macro functionality for those really close in-focus images however colour is sometimes over-compensated for.
Another feature that came in handy was the leveler which allows you to line up shots, you switch this on in Photo settings.
The Razr 40 Ultra is a seriously considered device, do you or don’t you switch to a foldable. If that is what you are considering, this device will not let you down, it has excellent battery life, a highly functional and above all front facing screen and it’s small and portable, without compromising on anything you can do with a larger smartphone.
The build quality is as good as any other device out there and the camera delivers considering the size. This time round its clearly a case of Motorola getting the basics right, and then throwing in a heap of new capabilities, that are seriously cutting edge when it comes to functionality and performance.