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The Motorola Razr 2022 is quickly becoming my most anticipated phone of the year

The Motorola Razr has been my favorite clamshell foldable smartphone since I got my hands on it in 2020. The big front display and infamous chin were a couple of standout features that made the Razr special to me. It wasn’t just another foldable phone. It stood out in the segment with those two features. However, it lacked firepower under the hood — and it’s better if we just don’t talk about the cameras.

But the 2022 Motorola Razr is shaping up to be one extraordinary phone if the leaks are to be believed. Here’s why the rumors have me excited for the upcoming Motorola Razr.

A flagship chipset, finally!

Motorola has stuck to the mid-range Snapdragon 7-series chipsets for its foldable Razrs. As a result, Razrs have lacked the performance needed for a smooth smartphone experience. When I used the Razr 5G, it let me do day-to-day tasks well, but as soon as there were a couple of apps running in the background, it started showing why a flagship chipset is important for a phone costing over $1,000.

And that’s another thing Motorola has never gotten right. Despite using less expensive pieces of silicon, it’s done so without a notably lower price than competing foldable like the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Riley Young / Digital Trends

According to the rumors, the 2022 Motorola Razr will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. The SoC is not only Qualcomm’s latest, but also more efficient with better thermals than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that powers the best Android phones of 2022. That Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip is also rumored to be offered with 8GB/12GB RAM and 256GB/512GB storage, ensuring there’s ample room for files and multitasking. This should all enable the upcoming Razr to perform better than any foldable Razr of the past, and that’s not something to be taken lightly.

(Hopefully) good cameras

The 2019 Razr came with a single 16MP primary camera. And the pictures it captured looked like they came from a 2016-era smartphone. The low-light performance was even worse. The Razr 5G improved the imaging capabilities with a 48MP primary camera, which let us capture more detailed pictures but lacked the results that we expect from a $1,000 phone.

Motorola Razr folded in hand
Riley Young / Digital Trends

The 2022 Motorola Razr is expected to feature a big upgrade in the optics department. It’s said to sport a 50MP primary camera alongside a 13MP ultra-wide lens. Is that the most amazing camera setup around? Not at all. But I expect it to at least deliver on-par results with most 2021 flagship smartphones — a potentially huge upgrade compared to past Razrs. The addition of a second lens would only make the camera setup more diverse and up-to-date with the competition.

These are all relatively small asks in 2022, but compared to how the Razr 2020 and Razr 5G dropped the ball here, any meaningful upgrades should be a big deal.

The Razr’s best feature gets better

The first two foldable Razr smartphones featured a 2.7-inch OLED display on the front, which occupied a much bigger surface area as compared to the segment-leading Galaxy Z Flip 2 and Flip 3. I’d pick the Razr over the Flip any day solely because of the larger front display.

Official teaser for the next-gen Motorola RAZR foldable phone.

— Nadeemonics (@nsnadeemsarwar) July 13, 2022

It’s not there just for the looks. The outer display lets you reply to WhatsApp or Telegram messages without unfolding the phone. The usual features like controlling music playback, looking at notifications, and checking the time at a glance are there as well. As per the latest rumors, the outer display is getting a bump in size with a 3-inch screen on the 2022 Razr — making its best feature even better.

Crease begone

Motorola developed the teardrop hinge that we see on many foldable smartphones these days. While Samsung is sticking to its own design, the teardrop hinge decreases the crease depth. And the leaks shared by Evan Blass show even lesser crease, which could make the Razr stand out from the competition while it does away with the chin.

Hello, Maven.

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 24, 2022

The 2022 edition of the Motorola Razr smartphone could be launched in China in the coming weeks, with a global rollout followed soon after. I’m looking forward to seeing how it stacks against the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 4. An even bigger outer display, flagship performance and cameras, plus a better crease make it sound exciting.

My hopes are high with the 2022 Razr. The rumors are promising, the potential is there, and Motorola could very well be gearing to launch one of 2022’s best handsets. Count me excited.

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Prakhar Khanna
Prakhar writes news, reviews and features for Digital Trends. He is an independent tech journalist who has been a part of the…
I used Motorola and Samsung folding phones. Only one gets this feature right
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr Plus folded in hand.

Software plays a crucial role in any device, but it becomes even more important when you have a limited amount of screen space to interact with the user interface. The Motorola Razr series has always been better than the Galaxy Z Flip lineup in terms of usability when folded. This year, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 closes the gap between the two clamshell foldables by offering a big cover screen.

But sporting a big outer display doesn’t immediately make a flip phone foldable a whole lot more useful; case in point – the Oppo Find N2 Flip, where Oppo gave us six widgets (and added a couple more later) to play around with and called it a day. While Samsung brings 13 widgets to the table, the cover screen software is still not on par with the Motorola Razr Plus.

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Samsung messed up the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s most important feature
Two Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 phones next to each other.

Samsung just held its latest Galaxy Unpacked July 2023 event in Seoul, Korea, and it was packed with a ton of new upcoming products. We have the next generation of foldables with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5, as well as the Galaxy Watch 6 series and Galaxy Tab S9 lineup.

But let’s take a closer look at the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which is hot on the heels of the latest Motorola Razr Plus. Both flip phones are pretty similar with that larger cover display, but unfortunately, this is where Samsung really fumbled the ball.

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Motorola’s folding phone just had a durability test — and it’s painful to watch
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra broken cover screen.

Motorola’s latest clamshell foldable, the Motorola Razr Plus, has won well-deserved praise for its design and the functionally rewarding cover screen that occupies almost one-half of the rear panel. In my brief time with the phone, I felt that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 5 will have a hard time beating this one.
Praise aside, it looks like the Razr Plus' top selling point could also be its undoing. Zack Nelson of JerryRigEverything put the phone through his customarily brutal stress and bend test, and the Razr Plus failed at an unexpected point.
This has NEVER happened before...
While applying pressure on the rear side of the phone to check the hinge strength, the lower edge of the cover display breaks rather awkwardly. First, the screen shatters, and then, the glass assembly can be seen caving inside.
“Never have we ever been able to break a screen with a single finger,” says Nelson. However, it appears that the cover screen’s fragility has more to do with the gap underneath than the structural integrity of the glass itself.
It seems the area right above the hinge is hollow, which means putting pressure on the cover display could damage the screen, as there is no solid support underneath. Simply put, don’t put the phone in the back pocket of your denim jeans, and take care about putting heavy objects over the phone.
What’s really surprising is that unlike the Google Pixel Fold’s fragile frame and hinge mechanism, the Motorola Razr Plus didn’t show any such signs of damage. There was no permanent damage recorded due to the phone bending in the reverse direction, and the flexible OLED screen also remained intact.

It’s quite paradoxical that the cover display — which Motorola markets as the Razr Plus's standout feature — is also the part that is uncannily fragile. But the rest of the package seems solid.
Motorola told Digital Trends in an emailed interview that the Razr Plus ships “with an optimized inner structure stacking and stronger housing design” and that it also features “the industry’s first dual-axis tracking in the teardrop hinge.”
Compared to the previous-generation Razr foldable phones, this one can survive 400,000 folding cycles, twice that of its predecessors. It’s a great phone, and if you want to see how it stands out, Digital Trends Prakhar Khanna had some fun with its cover screen to see everything that it can accomplish. And it's great! So long as you don't accidentally shatter it like this.

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