News: Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Motorola RAZR

Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Motorola RAZR

If you had a phone in 2004, there's a pretty good chance it was a Motorola RAZR. The iconic phone is the tenth highest-selling of all time, and it marked the height of the flip phone era. Now that the technology has caught up, Lenovo (Motorola's parent company) is bringing it back in a big way.

Lenovo first started working on this phone four years ago and initially didn't intend to recreate the Motorola RAZR. But as technology improved, they saw an opportunity to hit the market and bring back a style that many wish still existed. The result is a phone that combines the old with the new. You get everything you expect from a 2020 smartphone: OLED panel, USB-C, fast charging, and more. But you also get the retro appeal of a clamshell design that practically begs you to make phone calls again.

While this is very much so a first-generation product, there is a lot to like. If this is direction foldable smartphones are going, I just got excited about the new form factor.

Jump to a section: Standout Features | Dates | Storage | Price | Body | Basics | Software | Skin | Display | Performance | Battery | Camera | Audio | Media Formats | Sensors | Connectivity | Security | Box Includes

Standout Features

Motorola is recreating the iconic RAZR with modern-day hardware. It's now a full-screen clamshell design, made possible by a foldable OLED panel. It will use the flagship-lite Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor and will include a secondary display for interactions when the phone is flipped closed.

Important Dates

The Motorola RAZR was announced on November 13, 2019 at 7 PM PST. The event took place in downtown Los Angeles. Lenovo informed the public that the phone would be available for preorders on December 26, 2019 (Boxing Day) on Verizon's website. It will release on January 9, 2020.

  • Release date: Jan. 9, 2020
  • Preorder date: Dec. 26, 2019
  • Announcement: Nov. 13, 2019
Image via Motorola

Storage Capacity

There is only one option available for the internal storage, 128 GB. We're glad it at least has this amount. It doesn't support microSD cards so the only way to expand its storage is by using a USB-C flash drive such as SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive (from $8.97 on Amazon).

  • Storage available: 128 GB
  • Expandable storage: no

Price for Everything

The Motorola RAZR will be available for $1,499. While this price seems a bit steep, think of it like this: it's nearly $500 less than the other available foldable smartphone on the market, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, with a more practical design. Also, unlike the Galaxy Fold, it hasn't already been recalled and delayed for nearly six months.

  • Price: $1,499

Body

The bottom half of the back cover of the phone is a textured plastic material which makes it easy to hold as you flip the phone with one hand. It also uses glass on both the top half of the back cover and the inside of the phone as well. The RAZR comes in one color, Noir Black.

  • Frame: glass
  • Finish: noir black

Basics

The phone is 6.77 inches tall and 2.83 wide when unfolded. But as with any flip phone, you cut the length considerably (in the case of the RAZR, a 45% decrease). The width stays the same but the thickness doubles from 0.27 inches unfolded to 0.55 inches.

This is a Verizon exclusive phone. However, you can bring the phone over to another carrier if they support eSIM and they have the right bands. According to Brian Higgins, vice president of product and consumer devices for the carrier (via CNET), this is lifetime exclusivity, which means you can't buy the phone without going through Verizon, at least in the US.

  • Height: 6.77 inches (unfolded), 3.70 inches (folded)
  • Width: 2.83 inches
  • Depth: 0.27 inches (unfolded), 0.55 inches (folded)
  • Weight: 7.23 oz
  • Dust/water resistance: Unrated, Splash-proof with water-resistant nanocoating
  • Supported carriers: Verizon
  • Infrared blaster: No
Image by The Verge/YouTube

We don't know its operating temperature, nonoperating temperature, relative humidity, or operating altitude yet.

  • Operating temp: Unknown
  • Nonoperating temp: Unknown
  • Relative humidity: Unknown
  • Operating altitude: Unknown

Software

Out of the box, it will run Android 9 Pie. Lenovo promises a quick update to Android 10 after the phone releases, which at the time would make Android 10 four months old. Motorola averaged ten months when updating its flagships to Android 9 Pie, so we are assuming around April 2020 (8 months later) thanks to improvements to Android 10 that help make software update easier for OEMs.

Skin

Motorola's phones usually run a pretty barebones version of Android with a few features and apps that technically make it "not stock." The skin running on the Motorola RAZR emulates this style with a few enhancements.

According to XDA, Lenovo has creative plans for how you can use the dual screens. Listed below are some of the rumored features.

  • Using the outside display as a trackpad for scrolling through web pages in Chrome when the phone is unfolded.
  • Displaying up to six Quick Settings tiles on the external screen when the phone is folded.
  • Since there is only one camera (the rear camera), to take selfies when the phone unfolded, you need to turn the phone around, with the screen pointed away from you. To help with this, Lenovo added the ability to tap anywhere on the screen to take the photo, not just the shutter button, as well as letting you zoom with a swipe up. The idea this should make taking pictures easier despite not being able to see the screen.
  • You can have Google Assistant animation appear on the outside screen.
  • You can use different wallpapers for each display.
  • Version: new Motorola skin over Android 9 Pie

Display

The main display on the Motorola RAZR is called "Flex View." It is a 6.2-inch pOLED with a resolution of 2142 x 876. It has a 21:9 aspect ratio, which, like the Xperia 1, makes it perfectly suited for most movies since they're filmed in this aspect ratio. It is manufactured by BOE, the same company behind the foldable display of the Huawei Mate X

What is interesting about the display is how it initiates the fold. By shifting the bottom of the screen down and curling the screen up into the hinge, it's able to fold completely flat without creasing the display. The result is a phone that lets minimal debris in when closed and is flat when folded out.

Image by Mr. Mobile/YouTube (via Motorola)

The external display, known as the "Quick View," is a gOLED panel with a 600 x 800 resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. Here you can see the time, answer messages, interact with Google Assistant, manage Quick Settings tiles, and more. Essentially, this is an enhanced lock screen for the Motorola RAZR.

  • Screen size: 6.2 inches (main display), 2.7 inches (external display)
  • Screen resolution: 2142 x 876 pixels (main display), 600 x 800 (external display)
  • Total pixels: 1,876,392 pixels (main display), 480,000 pixels (external display)
  • Pixel density: 373 ppi (main display), 370 ppi (external display)
  • Screen type: pOLED (main display), gOLED (external display)
  • Notch: yes (main display), no (external display)
  • Screen-to-body ratio: 70.2% (main display)
  • Aspect ratio: 21:9 (main display), 4:3 (external display)
  • Minimum brightness: Unknown
  • Maximum brightness:Unknown
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz (60 Hz for touch-sensing)
  • Color temp: Unknown
  • Color gamut: Unknown
Image by TechRadar/YouTube

Performance

The Motorola RAZR will be one of the first US phones to use the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 700 series chipset. As the name implies, it sits right between the midrange 600 and flagship 800 series, offering flagship-like performance at a lower price.

The Snapdragon 710 includes many of the features you expect from the 800 series, including the Snapdragon X15 LTE module for fast cellular data, support for 802.11ac with MU-MIMO, and the ability to play HDR video up to 4K.

It sits just below the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in single-core and multi-core scores in GeekBench and shares many of the same architectures found in the Snapdragon 845. And it's paired with 6 GB of LDDR4X RAM.

  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
  • Chip size: 10 nanometer
  • CPU frequency:2.2 GHz
  • CPU cores: 8 cores
  • GPU: Adreno 616

Battery

The RAZR uses a 2,510 mAh power cell. We believe it to be two batteries connected, spread across both halves of the back cover. It will use 15 W TurboPower for fast charging, which Motorola will include in the box. There is no support for wireless charging.

  • Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Capacity: 2,510 mAh
  • Wired charging: yes, either TurboPower 15 W
  • Wireless charging: Unknown

Front Camera

Within the notch of the main display is a selfie camera. It is a 5 MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture. We currently don't much else about the camera besides the fact that it lacks a dedicated flash (uses screen flash instead) and that it can be used for video calls as well.

Image by The Verge/YouTube
  • Resolution: 5 MP
  • Pixel size: 1.12 µm
  • Aperture: f/2.0
  • Zoom: Unknown
  • Flash: yes, screen flash
  • Image stabilization: Unknown
  • RAW support: Unknown
  • Lens cover: Unknown
  • Object detection: Unknown
  • Formats: Unknown

Rear Camera

The star of the show is the rear camera, and it's somewhat disappointing. It uses the Sony IMX 519 camera, which is a 16 MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture and 1/2.6" sensor size. This lens is the same one used in the OnePlus 6, which wasn't exactly turning heads when it released in early 2018. Hopefully, they open this phone to the modding community so that an official version of Gcam can be ported.

There is electronic image stabilization but no optical. There is dual pixel autofocus, laser autofocus, and a dual-LED flash. Overall, we don't recommend buying this phone if you are looking for a great camera, as it is a stark reminder that this phone has been four years in the making.

  • Resolution: 16 MP
  • Sensor size: 1/2.6 inches
  • Pixel size: 1.22 µm
  • Aperture: f/1.7
  • Zoom: yes, Unknown digital
  • Flash: yes, dual LED flash
  • Image stabilization: yes, EIS
  • RAW support: Unknown
  • Lens cover: sapphire
  • Object detection: Unknown
  • Formats: Unknown
Image by The Verge/YouTube

For video capture, we know very little. Outside of the formats it can capture in, we don't know anything else, but we will update this once we receive official word from Motorola.

  • Resolution: Unknown
  • Max frame rate: Unknown
  • Slow motion: Unknown
  • Time-lapse: Unknown
  • Photos: Unknown
  • Zoom: Unknown
  • Flash access: Unknown
  • Image stabilization: Unknown
  • Object detection: Unknown
  • Autofocus: Unknown
  • Audio: Unknown
  • Formats: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9

Audio

Another place Motorola compromised is in the audio department. Instead of stereo speakers, it has a single bottom-firing speaker. There's also no headphone jack. Where it does do well is making clear phone calls thanks to four microphones.

  • 3.5 mm headphone jack: no
  • Stereo speakers: No, mono (bottom firing speaker)
  • Mics: 4 microphones
  • Max speaker volume: Unknown

Media Formats

The Moto RAZR supports the usual array of audio and video formats supported by Android.

  • Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MID, M4A, IMY
  • Video: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265(HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM

Sensors

The RAZR supports the usual array of sensors with one addition: ultrasonics. We know it is not talking about the fingerprint reader, so we're unsure what exactly this sensor does, but we will update this page once we found out more.

  • Sensors: Fingerprint reader, Accelerometer, Magnetometer (compass), Gyro, Proximity, Ambient Light, GPS, "Ultrasonics"

The Motorola RAZR supports GPS, aGPS, and Glonass satellite navigation systems. It also supports LTEPP and SUPL.

  • GPS: yes
  • aGPS: yes
  • Glonass: yes
  • BeiDou: no
  • Galileo: no
  • QZSS: no

Connectivity

Connectivity is standard on the Motorola RAZR with Wi-Fi 5 support and Bluetooth 5. One thing to note is the lack of a nano SIM. You are instead limited to eSIM only, which will limit your ability to use this phone on another network.

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band
  • Bluetooth: 5
  • NFC: yes
  • Cellular: eSIM
  • Port: USB Type C (USB 3.0)
Image by MrMobile/YouTube

The Motorola RAZR supports Verizon's network fully. However, it lacks key bands for the other US wireless networks, which is another hurdle if you plan to use the phone on AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile (in addition to the eSIM-only issue).

  • LTE: B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B13, B20, B28, B66
  • UMTS: B1, B2, B5, B8
  • CDMA: BC0, BC1
  • GSM: B2, B3, B5, B8
Image by Tech Radar/YouTube

Security

The only biometric available to the RAZR is a physical fingerprint reader housed on the bottom bezel of the phone. This reader can be accessed whether it is unfolded or folded.

  • Fingerprint scanner: fingerprint reader (front)
  • Face scanner: no
  • Iris scanner: no
  • Manual authentication: password, PIN, pattern, swipe
Image by Mr. Mobile/YouTube

Box Includes

In the box, you'll receive a headphone adapter so you can use your wired headphones, RAZR earbuds, and the TurboPower charger.

  • Motorola RAZR
  • RAZR earbuds
  • accessories case
  • TurboPower charger
  • USB-C cable
  • headset adapter cable
  • guides
Cover image via The Verge/YouTube

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