Motorola Razr Flip 2020 Head Image

Motorola Razr Flip 2020: Keep or Skip

Ever since I have my hands wet with smart phone things, Motorola Phones are one of those phones I wanted for keeps – nice design, form factors, UI, Firmware, Apps – you name it.

Now, enter the dragon!

Motorola Razr Flip 2020. It is surprisingly a flip phone with a seamless flipping vertical screen – no physical keyboard. I highly suspect that that phone is made up of highly dense metal frames since it’s kind of heavy the first time you hold it – not like the original plasticky version way back in 2004. It weighs nearly the same as 6.55-inch OnePlus 7 Pro phone.

The moment you flip the phone open, the nostalgia of the mechanism crawls back again into your spine and gives you the feeling of deja vu of the golden age of the “not-so-smart” phones.

Flip phone’s horizon in the beaming twilight of candy bar phones hasn’t dimmed yet. In fact Motorola Razr is just one of the many flip phones you can actually purchase out there – this includes Samsung Galaxy FoldRoyale FlexPai and Huawei Mate X. However the design for factor of Motorola Razr differs greatly as it’s like bridging the clamshell type feel of the past phones and the Android supremacy of today.

One caveat though, despite what seems to be a “personality” that the phone possesses, at $1,499 – it doesn’t have the fastest processor and the biggest battery mileage as well camera features. Fortunately, the phone flips, one thing that gives it some sort of “character”. That character somehow gives it a dichotomy from the solid mid-tier phones.

Squeak On Flip

Yes. It does. Considerably concerning.

Flip or clamshell type phones, though lovely to behold, are intuitively regarded as having this mechanical gray area brought about by the hinge responsible for it’s flipping mechanism. Add to that the newly introduced Flexible OLED Module which has certain technical anonymity this early.

Notice that in earlier versions of the flip phones, more in particular Motorola Razr, there is not much ado as to some sort of mechanical issue to its folding mechanism as the only internal parts laid across are the circuit strips to and from the display to the IC Board.

Motorola Razr 2008
Earlier version of Motorola Razr. Released in 2008.

This new version, Motorola Razr 2020, has some sort of squeaking sound – not quite sure if it is due to the friction of the panel against something that holds it or the module itself. Either way, it’s kind of disconcerting if this sound is intended or it would lead to its eventual mechanical failure. But Motorola insider quoted that those little squeaking are natural due to corollary parts involved in the folding mechanism.

How bad does it sound. Not really that bad unless you are not used to using clamshell phones such as this. But as always, any moving parts in any device, such as a phone, could it be the camera, display or keypad is a concern worth your second thought.

Bend Groove

Motorola Razr Flip 2020 Flip Bend groove

This groove pertains to the customary noticeable fine line created on the folding spot of anything that flips or folds. Motorola Razr Flip 2020 is not an exemption to the rule we may think – or maybe there is. According to its special manufacturing design, there is a special hinge that carefully holds the OLED module together as it flips close or open. On flip close, it gives the module a special allowance so that it is not folded into a sharp fold – instead it is done with a smooth rounded corner fold.

This folding mechanism may not spoil your experience of a phone, that’s why a “grain of salt” is necessary on purchasing phones with this kind of mechanical features.

Fold Durability Test

Motorola Razr Flip 2020 Flip Durability Test FoldBot

This might be the very crucial quality test information you want to know. Does it hold water under durability stress tests? A Motorola Razr was tested under a FoldBot (a machine that does fold and open a phone up to some desired times), after such a test, the phone had trouble folding in and out.

However, I can see that the machine and the way it is tested is not the way it should be. The machine folds and opens the unit ones every second – in reality no one in the real walks of life opens their mobile phone that often. In this test, heat builds up due to frequency and redundancy of the action. It doesn’t happen in real life scenarios.

Of course, Motorola did their own stress test and it did pass – speaking of a homecourt quality test of course.

But the real stress test lies in the hands of the real end users. This early, it’s hard to say if what they (Motorola) say holds enough when the users bring the verdict after a year or two. Motorola Razr needs to build the consumer’s trust before anything else.

Keep or Skip

Keeping or Skipping – buying or not buying the unit is basically as unique as your fingerprints. It all depends on your personal orientations – collector, raving fan, function specific etc…

Keep the phone if you are a raving fan of it. I don’t deny that I was once and even now a big fan of the phone’s iconic flipping action coupled with a really mouthwatering design – who doesn’t want that.
Skip the phone if quality is a substantial issue for you. Motorola Razr 2020 was released in February; this writing was just three months after that. It might take a year or two to know from end-users the real deal of the phone.
Keep the phone if you are a collector, not necessarily a user. This phone, as I see it, could be at your collectors’ pedestal sooner or later. If you can see phones today that dance to the tune of the market – this phone is a little of the common tune at least design-wise.
Skip the phone if price is a tremendous issue for you. At more than a thousand bucks ($1,500) you could go get a couple of flagships out there and still get the same app functionality. Else, you could wait for a couple more years and see if prices are a little tamer than now and maybe you can go grab one.
Keep the phone if you are a tester and reviewer of gadgets, more in particular, mobile phones. Reviewers tend to use the phone for a couple of weeks to a month sometimes a year for later review and reference.
Skip the phone if camera quality is your big thing. We are pretty much not sure why Motorola did not work on this despite its hefty price. Could it be that they are pretty engrossed in fail-proofing the flipping mechanism of the phone – don’t know for sure.

Learn more about the pros and cons, Keep and Skip for the Motorola Razr 2020 »

Quick Specs and Comparison

Motorola Razr Quick Specs
Click image to enlarge

So one final note. It is clear that the phone has its own personality. Put all phones side by side and you can easily pinpoint where and what a Razr is – design-wise – with your eyes closed. Just like the review we did with iPhone SE 2016 and iPhone SE 2020, check that out. We are more raving on the design part of the phone, and maybe not much on the functionality and application. Folding phone has something in it that tickles the senses when you flip it open and close.

Know more about Motorola Razr Flip 2020 »

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