Gadgets

Motorola’s 2024 Razr and Razr+ might be the most stylish and affordable foldables of the year

Motorolas 2024 Razr And Razr Might Be The Most Stylish And Affordable Foldables Of The Year

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The original Razr was always sort of a style icon. It was super thin (almost to a fault) and looked more like a prop from a sci-fi movie than all its brick-shaped rivals at the time. And with the launch of a new generation of its signature flip phone later this summer, it feels like Moto is trying to recapture some of that magic with the 2024 Razr family.

Just like last year, the Razr line is split between two devices: the flagship Razr+, which starts at $1,000, and a more affordable non-plus model that starts at $700. That said, Motorola has made some significant changes to help close the gap between the two phones. Both of them feature a 6.9-inch flexible OLED interior display with a 165Hz refresh rate for the Razr+ and a 120Hz panel on the standard version. Meanwhile, on the outside, Moto created a new hinge it claims is 30 percent smaller, while also increasing the size of the front display (which is covered by Gorilla Glass Victus for added durability).

Both versions of the 2024 Razr have larger exterior displays. The easiest way to tell them apart is that the standard Razr (left) has a small body-colored strip below its screen while the Razr+ (right) has a larger 4-inch panel.

Both versions of the 2024 Razr have larger exterior displays. The easiest way to tell them apart is that the standard Razr (left) has a small body-colored strip below its screen while the Razr+ (right) has a larger 4-inch panel. (Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget)

The Razr+’s exterior OLED screen now measures 4 inches across, which is up from 3.6 inches on last year’s model. However, the basic Razr has made an even bigger jump by replacing the tiny 1.5-inch panel on its predecessor with a new 3.6-inch display. But Moto didn’t stop there. Thanks to an update to its Panels UI, you can open basically any app on the Razrs’ front display, with the only exceptions being apps that require specific (i.e. larger) resolutions. But perhaps the biggest improvement for overall usability is that both handsets now also feature IPX8 ratings for water-resistance (up from IP52), which is tested to withstand dunks of up to 5 feet for 30 minutes.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Razr without some fashionable color options and for 2024, Motorola is definitely delivering on that. The Razr+ will be available in Midnight Blue, Spring Green, Hot Pink (which is an homage to the vibrant magenta version of the OG Razr) and Peach Fuzz, with the latter being Pantone’s 2024 color of the year. Meanwhile, the standard Razr comes in three colors: Koala Gray, Beach Sand and a particularly eye-catching hue that Moto is calling Spritz Orange. Notably, every one of those options features a vegan leather back aside from the gray model. That comes in vegan suede instead, which sort of feels like silicone but with an ever softer finish. Whichever finish you choose, both options are a nice departure from the glass backs you get on pretty much every other phone these days.

For snapping photos, both devices feature a 32-MP punch-hole selfie camera on the inside along with a 50-MP main camera on the outside and either a 2x telephoto cam on the Razr+ or an ultra-wide lens on the standard Razr. Moto says it also updated the Camcorder feature so that it automatically activates when you bend the screen and rotate the phone 90 degrees, which should make switching between photo and video a bit more seamless.

As for software, Moto is jumping on the AI bandwagon with its own series of AI-powered features. The Razr supports Google Gemini (including three free months of Gemini Advanced with purchase) along with the company’s own Moto AI tools. This includes things like Magic Canvas, which allows you to generate images using text prompts and the nifty Style Sync mode, which lets you take a photo of your clothing so you can create a matching wallpaper for use on the device, which feels like a small but thoughtful addition for fashionistas that don’t want their phone to clash with their outfit.

Motorola is adding some new AI features to the 2024 Razr including tools like Style Sync and Magic Canvas

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Later this year, Moto is adding even more AI tools including Catch Me Up which can summarize all your notifications so you don’t have to swipe through everything individually after being away for a while. But the feature that might have the most impact is Remember This. With it, you can ask Moto AI to record a photo, screenshot or audio and then repeat important details back to you later when you ask. That said, you have to first prompt the Razrs to do this, and unlike Microsoft’s Copilot feature Recall, the phones only save what you tell them to instead of saving and tracking everything you do.

Finally, powering the Razr+ is a Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chip along with 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a 4,000 mAh battery, the latter of which is slightly larger than the 3,700mAh cell in a Galaxy Z Flip 5. Meanwhile, the vanilla Razr features still solid but less impressive specs, including a MediaTek Dimensity 7300X processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It does come with a slightly larger 4,200 mAh power pack, though.

For 2024, the Moto Razr will be available in two finishes: a vegan suede option that feels a bit like silicone or a vegan leather back.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

While I only had a short while to play around with both devices, I really like what Moto has done with the Razr’s design and software. The exterior feels more luxurious thanks to that vegan leather/suede back and the larger front display supports a wider range of apps and makes better use of space. And while AI has become a bit of a buzzword these days, it feels like Moto is taking a more considered approach with features like Style Sync and Remember This, which are fun or helpful additions that don’t feel too intrusive.

However, I do have some small complaints as well. I wish the Razr’s main cameras were positioned on the left instead of the right. The reason is that if you’re right-handed (which accounts for around 90 percent of people), the way the lens housing protrudes can sometimes get in the way of your thumb. I also think the Razr’s hinge could be a touch stiffer, as its screen doesn’t feel quite as stable as rivals like the Z Flip 5. And while Motorola says the phone will receive three major Android OS upgrades and four years of software support, that’s still way short of the seven years you get from recent Samsung and Google phones.

The hot pink version of the 2024 Razr+ is an homage to one of the signature colors on the original Razr V3.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Lastly, while there is still a crease in the internal display, it’s so faint that it’s really more of a shallow ripple that you only see at acute angles. Motorola says the Razr’s new hinge creates more of a waterdrop-shaped fold when closed, which helps reduce the appearance of creases. After seeing the devices up close, I have to say it’s not distracting at all. But the best part is that with the basic Razr starting at just $700 and the flagship model going for $1,000, we’re getting more foldable phones with solid water resistance and good builds for a reasonable price.

The Razr and Razr+ will be available for pre-order starting on July 10 with official sales slated for July 24.

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