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My two biggest problems with Motorola’s $1,000 flip phone

The back of the Viva Magenta Motorola Razr Plus.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Motorola Razr Plus is an excellent clamshell foldable. It’s got a mini phone on the outside, with perfect software integration that makes the most of it. The device packs a decent processor, a good user interface, and a comfortable-to-hold design.

But the Razr Plus isn’t perfect. I’ve used the phone for a period of three weeks, and there are two problems that are keeping it from being the perfect clamshell foldable.

My two issues with the Motorola Razr Plus

Motorola Razr Plus rear camera selfie
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

It’s a known fact by now that clamshell foldables don’t have the same camera versatility or quality as their slab phone counterparts in the same price range. And the Motorola Razr Plus is no exception. The smartphone sports a dual rear camera setup that includes a 12MP primary camera with an f/1.5 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS), plus a 13MP ultrawide angle lens with a 108-degree field of view. The cameras are average at best.

The main problem that I’ve had with the cameras is that they are inconsistent. At times, I get a great shot that I’m quite happy with. But other times, images don’t look good at all. Digital Trends’ Mobile Section Editor Joe Maring had the same issue and talked about it in his review. Sometimes the algorithm boosts the saturation or doesn’t process the details accurately. As a result, it’s a toss-up as to whether you’ll be happy with a photo or disappointed in it.

The big cover display enables you to use the rear cameras as selfie shooters, and that’s good for the most part. I’ve gotten some great selfies with these cameras, but they start falling apart at night when there’s a light source behind you.

It’s a very specific scenario, but I take a lot of selfies at dinners or when out with friends in cafes. As you can see from the above images, there’s a blooming effect around the subject that makes the overall image look weird. It happens every time you have a light source behind you. The ultrawide-angle camera is mediocre at best, and the selfie shooter is average too.

Battery usage settings on the Motorola Razr Plus.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Secondly, the Razr Plus’ battery life isn’t very good either. I’m a heavy phone user who is on the internet throughout the day, be it for work or memes. And as a heavy user, the Motorola Razr Plus barely makes it through the day for me. In my time with the device, I ended one day with 10%  to 12% battery left – not giving me the time to read on the Kindle app before going to bed. If you are a lighter user, the Razr Plus is likely to last you an entire day, but for anyone who is dependent on their phone throughout the day, it won’t last you through a full workday — especially if you’re using Google Maps or the camera app a lot.

I believe the battery efficiency could have been better had Motorola used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. I’m currently on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, and it’s giving me better battery life than the Razr Plus. Plus, the Flip 5 doesn’t get warm as frequently as the Razr Plus does.

Motorola missed an opportunity

Motorola Razr Plus and Galaxy Z Flip 5 in hand.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Motorola was the first company to provide a big cover screen on a flip phone, and it perfected it with the Razr Plus. I’ve talked before about how the cover screen software on the Razr Plus is better than that of the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Motorola had the opportunity to stand out with its flip phone this year, and while it got close, I don’t think it got all the way there.

The big outer display still puts the Razr Plus ahead of the competition, but it doesn’t help the Razr Plus stand out as an overall phone because of the lack of good image processing and battery life. The optics aren’t bad, but they aren’t the best. In comparison, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 clicks much better photos and lasts longer on a single charge.

The Motorola Razr Plus is a good flip phone with an unparalleled cover screen experience, but it isn’t the best. It had the edge when it launched because its main competitor at the time was the Galaxy Z Flip 4, but with the Flip 5 available now, the Razr Plus falls behind in cameras and battery endurance.

I want to love the Razr Plus, but as someone who relies a lot on those two things — camera quality and battery life — Motorola is making it more difficult than I would have liked.

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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…
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