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Early Motorola Razr durability tests don’t look so good

It looks like the Motorola Razr may be following in the Samsung Galaxy Fold‘s footsteps. Just a day after the official launch of the new device, concerns about the durability of the new phone have started popping up, suggesting that the new Razr may not be as strong as it should be.

Perhaps most notably is a new fold test from CNET, which included folding the Razr 27,000 times in around three-and-a-half hours. Once the test was over, the team at CNET found that the phone was struggling to fold properly, and that the hinge may have broken. The display on the device was still working as it was supposed to.

As noted by The Verge, the test that CNET used may not have been entirely fair. For starters, it seems as though the robot folding the phone may not have been completely folding it each time. It’s possible that the robot may not have been properly calibrated for the Razr. Motorola, for its part, agrees with The Verge, arguing that FoldBot, which was built by SquareTrade, wasn’t built for the Razr.

“Razr is a unique smartphone, featuring a dynamic clamshell folding system unlike any device on the market. SquareTrade’s FoldBot is simply not designed to test our device,” said Motorola in a statement emailed to Digital Trends. “Therefore, any tests run utilizing this machine will put undue stress on the hinge and not allow the phone to open and close as intended, making the test inaccurate. The important thing to remember is that razr underwent extensive cycle endurance testing during product development, and CNET’s test is not indicative of what consumers will experience when using razr in the real-world. We have every confidence in the durability of razr.”

Yes, 27,000 folds may sound like a lot, but if the average person checks their device 80 times per day, that equals a little less than one year of use. Motorola says that the phone should work fine for two years of normal use.

Other users note that the Razr may not be as strong as it should. As noted by Ars Technica, a few videos on Twitter show the hinge creaking out of the box. Even in-store units, which have only been on display for a day, are having display issues, with some units shows green lines running through the display. Mobile Nations editor Nirave Gondhia has tweeted videos showing the phone’s hinge creaking as well.

I'm gonna stop uploading these as we know the #MotorolaRAZR is a creaky old bed frame, but wanted to share one more. This was taken just now and it is noticeably louder than yesterday using more natural movements to open and close the screen.

— Nirave 尼拉夫 (@nirave) February 7, 2020

There are a few reasons that the Razr’s display may be breaking early in its life cycle. Unlike the revised version of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which has a lip around the edge of the display to protect from debris getting under the screen, the Razr’s display is a little more open. The result is that debris could get under the display when the phone is in a user’s pocket or in day-to-day use.

Generally speaking, foldable phones are still in their first generation, and most of these first-generation foldable devices have experienced durability issues. It remains to be seen how severe issues with the Razr are.

Updated on February 7, 2020: Added statement from Motorola.

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