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The new Motorola razr preys on your 2004 nostalgia (and 2019 FOMO) with a $1,500 folding clamshell

In a year that brought thousand-dollar creases, ”holeless” handsets, and waterfall displays, it’s only natural that the final phone of the year would be the craziest of all. Meet the new Motorola razr.

That’s right, the iconic RAZR V3—the phone everyone wanted before the iPhone changed the world—is back with an updated design, edgier (non) capitalization, and a whole new philosophy. The original ultra-thin design that gave the phone its name is nowhere to be seen—the new one measures a whopping 14mm when closed—but it still opens like the flip phones of old and retains its hefty chin. And because it’s 2019 and every phone needs a headline-grabbing gimmick, it has a folding screen.

Motorola could have gone with two screens akin to the LG G8X to still deliver a cool retro phone, but it clearly wanted to make a statement with the razr. And that means you’re going to be paying $1,500 for a slice of 2005 nostalgia.

But aside from its flexible screen, the Motorola razr is by no means a flagship phone:

  • Display (inside): 6.2-inch HD pOLED 2142×876
  • Display (outside): 2.7-inch HD gOLED 600×800
  • Processor: Snapdragon 710
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Camera (rear): 16MP, f/1.7
  • Camera (front): 5MP, f/2.0
  • Battery: 2510mAh
  • OS: Android 9 Pie

The Snapdragon 710 isn’t a bad chip by any stretch, but it’s targeted at mid-range phones that cost $300 to $400, not thousand-dollar flagships. And the battery seems insanely small to power a 6.2-inch screen for a whole day, even if it is only 720p. And don’t get me started on a $1,500 Android phone that doesn’t run Android 10, especially one that isn’t going on sale until 2020.

It’s also a Verizon exclusive, with no plans to bring it to any other carrier, but doesn’t have 5G networking on board. I’m the last person to push for 5G in phones, but after Verizon has been pushing its next-gen network, it’s odd for a high-priced exclusive handset to launch without it.

All about that hinge

But even with low-end specs and an outrageous price tag, the Motorola razr is definitely an interesting handset. It’s small enough to comfortably fit in a pocket or a bag, and the hinge mechanism allows it to fully shut with a satisfying snap. Motorola says the hinge is designed in a way to prevent creasing, but only time will tell if that’s the case. But Motorola seems to have learned from Samsung’s mistakes with the Galaxy Fold and designed a thoughtful, functional hinge.

motorola razr hinge Motorola

Motorola designed the razr’s hinge to be more flexible and less creasy that the Galaxy Fold.

However, because this is new tech, no one’s really sure of just how reliable it will be, so Motorola is giving users a little peace of mind for their $1,500. In the U.S., Motorola will offer 24/7 chat support and 14hr/day agent direct access with device analytics, as well as 24-hour turnaround and free advanced exchange support with free next day delivery. That doesn’t exactly scream confidence, but at least Motorola will quickly make things right in the event of a display issue, which are almost certain to crop up.

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