Foldable phones are the future, but what will they look like? The Motorola Razr is Motorola’s answer to that question, and it’s a nostalgia-tickling stunner that brings the Razr V3’s iconic design to 2019.
By Mark Jansen
The horizontal fold is leagues apart from the Samsung Galaxy Fold Foldable, which uses a vertical fold to hide a massive tablet-sized screen. But which design is better, and which phone is the one to buy right now? We put the two folding phones head to head to find out.
|Motorola Razr||Samsung Galaxy Fold|
|Size||Unfolded: 172 x 72 x 6.9 mm, folded: 94 x 72 x 14 mm||Unfolded: 160.9 x 117.9 x 7.5 mm, folded: 160.9 x 62.9 x 17 mm|
|Weight||205 grams (7.2oz ounces)||263 grams (9.28 ounces)|
|Screen size||6.2-inch POLED and 2.7-inch GOLED||7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED and 4.6-inch Super AMOLED|
|Screen resolution||2142 x 876 pixels and 800 x 600 pixels||2152 x 1536 pixels and 1680 x 720 pixels|
|Operating system||Android 9.0 Pie||Android 9.0 Pie|
|MicroSD card slot||No||No|
|Tap-to-pay services||Google Pay||Google Pay, Samsung Pay|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 710||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
|Camera||16-megapixel rear, 5-megapixel front||Triple-lens ultra-wide-angle 16-megapixel, standard 12MP with OIS and variable aperture, and telephoto 12MP with OIS rear, 10MP front closed, 10MP and 8MP front open|
|Video||Not confirmed yet||2160p at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps|
|Bluetooth version||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes||Yes (side)|
|Water resistance||Splash-resistant nano-coating||None|
|Battery||2,150mAh15W fast charging||4,380mAh (4,325mAh 5G model)Quick Charge 2.0 (18W)Qi wireless chargingWireless Powershare|
|App marketplace||Google Play Store||Google Play Store|
|Network support||Verizon||AT&T, T-Mobile|
|Colors||Noir Black||Cosmos Black, Space Silver, Martian Green, or Astro Blue|
|Buy from||Motorola||Samsung, AT&T|
|Review score||Hands-on review||3.5 out of 5 stars|
Performance, battery life, and charging
Samsung went all out for its first folding phone, cramming as much top hardware into the Galaxy Fold as it possibly could. There’s the powerful Snapdragon 855, a huge 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. There’s no MicroSD card expansion slot, but it hardly seems necessary. Such specs would be overkill on normal smartphones, but with the Galaxy Fold’s enormous internal screen and large multitasking potential, this much hardware is required, and it keeps the Galaxy Fold’s performance smooth and snappy.
Motorola hasn’t used top specs in its flagships for a while now, and it’s not changing that with the Motorola Razr. Instead, you’ll find the midrange Snapdragon 710, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, with no MicroSD expansion.
Those are good specs, but push it with the latest 3D games and you might see some slowdown. That 128GB of storage is fairly roomy, but for serious media-lovers or heavy gamers, the lack of additional space may hurt. Still, performance is good.
We haven’t had a chance to test the Razr’s battery, but we’re worried the 2,150mAh capacity will struggle to make it through the day. Most modern flagships use at least 3,000mAh, and such a small battery could spell disaster for Motorola’s foldable. The Galaxy Fold’s massive internal screen requires a much larger 4,380mAh battery to get a full day’s use. Only the Galaxy Fold has wireless charging, but both have similar levels of fast charging.
While there’s still a lot to be answered where the Razr’s performance and battery life is concerned, it’s clear the Galaxy Fold Foldable Phone is the far more powerful of the two.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Fold
Design and durability
These two phones represent very different design philosophies for foldable phones. The Galaxy Fold embraces the big screen future, unfolding into a massive 7.3-inch display. There’s a sizable notch housing the selfie lenses in the top-right, but it’s otherwise almost entirely screen. That’s less so around the front, where the 4.6-inch display is surrounded by masses of bezel.
The Motorola Razr is — in a word — stunning. Motorola has borrowed heavily from the phone’s namesake, updating the original Motorola Razr V3‘s iconic style for a modern audience. The 6.2-inch internal screen is still large, but the emphasis here is on delivering a portable large screen, rather than a tablet that can be squeezed into a pocket. Motorola has used the foldable phone to make a 6.2-inch screen fit easily in a pocket, and it seems to have worked. There’s still a notch, but it’s small, and around the front, the 2.7-inch front display fits extremely well into the design.
Neither has water-resistance, and neither is likely to be all that durable either. Foldable phones are still new tech, and it’s likely to be some time before we see them become tough and rugged. The Razr’s steel frame gives it an edge though.
We’re giving this to the Razr for its desirable design.
Winner: Motorola Razr