The RAZR is back

The new Motorola RAZR. (Photo: Motorola)

On Wednesday, Motorola unveiled a redesigned version of the RAZR V3 flip phone. Motorola is bringing back the iconic RAZR design with modern technology. The new phone runs Android and is a foldable device that trades the original keypad for a full screen.

The Motorola RAZR V3 was immensely popular back in the early 2000s when it was released. It sold approximately 130 million units and was a perfect blend of form and function.  Motorola is capitalising on the nostalgia with the reinvention incorporating the latest foldable technology.

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Though the newly redesigned RAZR phone resembles its older sibling, there are several key differences.

The main display is a 6.2-inch, “Flex View”, foldable OLED panel with 2142 by 876 pixels arranged in a 21.9 aspect ratio. The outer “Quick View” screen is a 2.7-inch OLED, 4:3 aspect ratio display with 600 by 800 pixels.

The device is only 6.9mm thin when unfolded (14mm when closed). Because of the slim design, Motorola put necessary components in the familiar chin at the base of the phone. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the device for authentication.

(Photo: Motorola)

The Motorola RAZR is a unique folding phone that flips vertically instead of horizontally. The Samsung Galaxy Fold flips open horizontally. Motorola worked some engineering magic to create an attractive “zero-gap” hinge. The mechanism allows the new RAZR to fold completely flat when closed. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold has a noticeable crease in the screen. Somehow, Motorola managed to reduce creasing on their phone significantly.

“There’s good news though as the phone has 6GB RAM and comes with 128GB internal storage.”

The new RAZR runs Android 9 Pie and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor. I would have liked to see Qualcomm’s 855+ chipset and Android 10, but at least we’re getting a new RAZR.

There’s good news though as the phone has 6GB RAM and comes with 128GB internal storage. The battery is a rather small 2510 mAh, non-removable implementation. However, the RAZR supports 15-watt “TurboPower” charging through its USB-C port that should top-up the phone relatively quickly.

You can take photos with the phone open or closed. (Photo: Motorola)

Two cameras adorn the RAZR phone. You can take pictures with the 16MP, f/1.7, primary camera, or shoot selfies with the front-facing 5MP sensor. Interestingly, you can close the device and shoot selfies with the primary camera, using the secondary screen to frame your shots.

While the RAZR looks impressive, the specs make it harder to justify the eye-watering US$1,499 price tag. However, this new design may appeal to the nostalgic teens turned adults who rocked the old version and miss the satisfying thud of a flip phone after ending a sour call.

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The refreshed RAZR phone represents a shift in the industry as manufacturers try to innovate away from the host of boring, rectangular smartphones made famous by the first iPhone.

The Motorola RAZR will be available exclusively on Verizon in the US when it is released in January 2020. Let’s hope there are plans for an unlocked version.