Technology NewsTechMotorola Razr 2022 hands-on: Is it love or hate?

Motorola Razr 2022 hands-on: Is it love or hate?

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The Motorola Razr 2022 is no stranger to us. The Lenovo subsidiary already unveiled a powerful trio in its home country China in mid-August, where our foldable was introduced alongside the Moto X30 Pro. And although the 200 MP powerhouse (Motorola Edge 30 Ultra) is available here and has already been reviewed by us, it also carries the Moto RAZR 3 moniker for this model and has finally appeared globally today. I was already able to live a life on the “razor’s edge” for a week and would now like to share my initial thoughts with you.

Good

  • Powerful processor
  • Ingenious form factor
  • Full sized display (when fully opened)
  • Good exterior display

Bad

  • Fingerprint sensor is poorly positioned
  • No choice of memory capacity
  • No microSD card support
  • Poor update policy
  • No wireless charging support
  • Hinge design could be improved
  • Only IP52 certified

The Motorola Razr 2022 in a nutshell

To our regret, the Motorola Razr 2022 arrives on our shelves in only one storage configuration. While the foldable is available with 8/128, 8/256 and 12/512 GB of storage in its home country China, the global distributor has opted for the golden mean. The 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM along with 256 GB of internal UFS 3.1 program memory may be enough for most people in general, but it does lack microSD card support. I can already see how the lack of storage options can be a drawback for those who are interested.

The Lenovo subsidiary could be said to have performed the Razr 2022’s global launch with less than the expected amount of love. There was no live event, no major announcement, nothing! We were expected to make do with just an inconspicuous tweet before the weekend and a press release. It almost seems as if the foldable smartphone was meant to remain hidden from the rest of the world. And if we look at the recommended retail price (RRP) of 1,199 euros (there is no word on a US release), we also have an idea why.

In China, the 8/256 GB variant was priced at 6,499 yuan which is roughly 910 euros after conversion when it was introduced in mid-August. A price of 999 euros would have been good and could have easily undercut the price of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 that carries a RRP of 1,159 euros (for those in the US, it would be just $999).

The Motorola Razr 2022 is only available in Satin Black and it does seem to have ready stock available. The Lenovo subsidiary does not seem to have planned a special sales campaign for this handset at the moment.

Display & Design

Fans of the “Star Trek” communicator or generally known as a pocket make-up mirror will probably fall in love with the clamshell design of the Motorola Razr 2022 right from the beginning.
Even Samsung was surprised that the Galaxy Z Flip sold much better than the bulky Galaxy Z Fold. It could be due to the square, practical design of the device. When opened, the new Razr measures 16.7 x 8.0 x 0.76 centimeters. When folded, it is only 8.7 x 8.0 x 1.7 centimeters. In both cases, it weighs 200 grams—crazy!

Motorola Razr 2022
The Motorola Razr 2022 only offers 144 Hertz when gaming. / © NextPit

Inside, the foldable offers a full 6.7-inch pOLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels (FHD+). What is unusual for a foldable is the high refresh rate of 144 hertz, which we already know from the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra review. However, this is only used when gaming, otherwise you will hit a limit of 120 frames per second. When the Razr 2022 is completely opened, you can neither feel nor see the folded edge.

The reason could be the frequently advertised “revised hinge”. However, if you use the panel in “Flex View” mode and wiggle the top and bottom at the same time, the hinge somehow does not like it is the finished product just yet. I also miss the under-display fingerprint sensor. Instead, it is located beneath the two volume buttons on the right side in the power and standby button. Unfortunately, it is not accessible in an intuitive manner, so I will have to look around every time to find the exact unlock position. Placing the buttons a bit lower (towards the hinge) and making the power button haptically recognizable with a fingerprint scanner would have solved the problem.

Motorola Razr 2022
The hinge is a bit unstable in 90 degree flex mode. / © NextPit

On the outside, there is a second display that measures 2.7-inches diagonally with a resolution of 800 x 573 pixels (HD+). Motorola affectionately calls it the “Quick View Display”—but it is so much more. It can also be unlocked, offers the typical Always-on Display view, the familiar pull-down quick settings from the home screen, and up to five panels that can be slid sideways. Installed apps can also be launched here and even executed on the mini-screen according to the user’s wishes—a real value-added proposition!

In general, the build quality of the Razr 2022 is very good, although the outer panel is a real fingerprint magnet. I also feel an unpleasant pressure on the underside when holding it for a longer period of time, which results from the “sharp” edges at the top and bottom. The bevels are probably supposed to be a homage to the old RAZR shape. Also somewhat unfortunate are the two protruding “humps” of the hinge, which clearly go over the general edge (see photo).

Motorola Razr 2022
The Motorola Razr 2022 exterior display is a real fingerprint magnet. / © NextPit

The installed “Dolby Atmos”-capable stereo speakers really surprised with their sound volume, especially in landscape mode. Motorola has omitted an analog jack on the IP52-certified Razr 2022, as well as wireless charging. For reasons of space, they said from Chicago.

Motorola Razr 2022
The side buttons could have been positioned closer to the center. / © NextPit

Motorola Razr (2022) software

The
Motorola Razr 2022 will arrive with the custom My UX skin that is based on Android 12
. The last Google security patch is August 1, 2022, and the internal protection “ThinkShield for mobile” runs at version 12.03.000. During our preliminary talk with a Motorola representative from Chicago, it came to light that the Lenovo subsidiary grants an update guarantee for two system updates and three years of security updates. That is simply unworthy for a former Google subsidiary, taking into light the strides other smartphone manufacturers have made in this department.

Considering that the smartphone is still shipped with Android 12 instead of Android 13 at the end of October/beginning of November, this means your Razr 2022 will tap out at Android 14 for the 1,200 euro Android smartphone. Guys, it is 2022 already. I think the final say has not been carved in stone just yet (fingers crossed!).

Apart from that, there is hardly any bloatware on the smartphone at first glance. It is still very Google-oriented. Basically, you will find more Google applications on the Razr 2022 than on a Pixel 7 smartphone. Whether the preinstalled “Astro Odyssey” game and TikTok can be considered bloatware, I leave that up to you. At least they can both be uninstalled without any problems.

Motorola Razr (2022) performance

The Motorola Razr 2022 is powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC.
That is currently the fastest offering from Qualcomm—at least for now. This is until the Californian chip manufacturer presents the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 at the Snapdragon Summit that is happening in Hawaii from November 15 to 17.

Until then, the installed octa-core processor is still the top benchmark that all Android-powered smartphones should aspire to. Four Cortex-A55 cores with a maximum clock of 1.8 GHz are set for particularly energy-efficient work. If a lot more power is required, the performance core ARM Cortex-X2 with a maximum of 3.2 GHz and the three Cortex-A78 cores with a maximum of 2.5 GHz will be called upon. Graphics tasks are handled by the Adreno-730 GPU. In terms of storage, we already mentioned the installed 8 GB LPDDR5 RAM together with 256 GB UFS-3.1 NAND flash.

Motorola Razr 2022
The Game menu is extremely useful. / © NextPit

It should not come across as a big surprise: There was no scenario in our short hands-on where the SoC did not deliver. Of course, I have already played a game or two. In this context, I should also briefly mention the dedicated game menu, which offers some useful settings. Nevertheless, I am already curious about what happens in terms of heat development in the extreme stress test, but more about that in the final review.

Motorola Razr (2022) camera

Does a small smartphone equal a small camera? Not necessarily
: It did not become the 200 MP monster that is found in the Edge 30 Ultra, but judging from the first test photos, it seems that the Motorola Razr 2022 does not need to shy away from the competition. Inside, there is a 32 MP punch-hole camera that is located at the top center with an aperture of F2.45. It offers quad-pixel binning, which reduces the resolution to 8 MP, but optimizes the pixel size to 1.4 microns in return.

Motorola Razr 2022
The Motorola Razr 2022 offers a quite competitive dual main camera. / © NextPit

Just right below the outer display is a dual camera with a 1/1.55-inch 50 MP and a 13 MP image sensor. The primary camera has optical image stabilization, an F1.8 aperture, and a pixel size of 1.0 microns. Quad-pixel binning is also at work here by default, which pumps up the pixel size to 2.0 microns. The 13 MP resolution camera is used optionally as a 121-degree ultra-wide-angle camera or as a macro shooting tool from a distance of 2.8 centimeters. Now some will probably be sad that there is no dedicated 2 MP shooter as a third lens here…not!

The initial daytime shots yield rather pleasing results, although the wide-angle shots sometimes differ in color from the result of the primary camera. A filter—in this case, “Dreamy”, which I have also included into the gallery for you to compare with regular shots. In my opinion, portraits only make sense if the subject is large enough. In the example of the statue, the depth of field went completely astray and I had no idea what was going on there. Furthermore, I took some cheeky photos by pointing directly at the sun at 12 MP and 50 MP glory. Which photo do you like better?

Selfie shots couldn’t be more different: I looked completely anemic when peering through the punch-hole camera. In contrast, the pictures taken with the outer camera are a real blessing thanks to the external display. It also works great for people like me who don’t have anyone around to take pictures as the hand gesture feature will automatically take photos on its own after a countdown. By the way, it works for both the front and main cameras.

Motorola Razr 2022
The punch-hole camera is powerful at 32 MP, but we use the main camera on the Razr 2022 for selfies. / © NextPit

Motorola Razr (2022) battery

The Razr 2022 from Lenovo’s subsidiary Motorola has a battery with a charging capacity of 3,500 mAh.
Unfortunately, they were left behind by Samsung, which eliminated the faux pas of its predecessor by including a 3,700 mAh battery in the Flip 4 this year. I do not want to deceive you at this point. A final verdict on the battery would be a bit unfair to you and Motorola after one week of use.

Although I can currently get through the obligatory day with a full charge, the foldable is neither completely set up, nor do I use it to the same extent as my daily driver. Furthermore, no “PC Mark Work 3.0” battery test has been done yet, which you are entitled to and will follow. What I have tested, however, is the charging speed.

Motorola Razr 2022
Despite Motorola’s “TurboCharge”, charging takes 82 minutes, which is far too long. / © NextPit

Motorola includes a 30-watt “TurboCharge” power supply in the box, and that alone already makes it a plus point. However, the charging speed was anything but turbo. After 5 minutes, I got a measly 8 percent and after 20 minutes, it was 28 percent. Half an hour of charging yielded 39 percent of battery capacity. If you want the battery to be fully charged, you’ll have to make an allowance of approximately 82 minutes. I would be interested to know where the problem lies. My guess? The battery was divided and a faster technology couldn’t be installed due to a lack of space, but that is just a wild guess on my side.

Conclusion: My first impressions

What is my first impression of the Motorola Razr 2022? It is considerably wider than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, which does not necessarily speak for the foldable at first. However, just this degree of width also brings the advantages of the inboard display, which no longer cuts YouTube videos in landscape mode. In general, the 6.7-inch pOLED display with a maximum of 144 frames per second is a hit when gaming. So, it is better to have it a bit wider, because it generally does not take up much space in the pocket when folded.

Motorola Razr 2022
A real full-fledged interior display that doesn’t need to shy away from landscape mode. / © NextPit

The 2.7-inch external display is also convincing, once you get to know it a bit. It is actually fully usable in principle. Questions about the performance are unnecessary in view of the installed Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC. I am unsure about the 3,500 mAh battery capacity though: Although a full day of use is currently possible, a complete recharge takes 82 minutes despite the included 30-watt “TurboCharger”.

The IP52-certified flip phone cannot be charged wirelessly, either. I am still a bit undecided about the camera and would refer to my detailed review for a fairer conclusion. At least in terms of the specifications, everything seems to work well together. Do take a look at the picture gallery and let me know what you think.

The price has increased by almost 300 euros compared to the Chinese model. At 1,199 euros, it is definitely not a bargain, but also not a notable exception in the foldable segment. The Samsung Galaxy Flip 4 costs 40 euros less, but offers a far superior update policy. As already mentioned in my headline, I am torn.

Motorola Razr 2022
The external display is a real weapon and much more than a “quick menu”. / © NextPit

I want my next smartphone to be a foldable, so the Razr 2022 offers me a lot more advantages than some other foldable smartphones due to its better form factor. However, I also have to make a lot of compromises. Give me some time until the final review for my final decision. Once again, do take note that this is not yet available Stateside, so in the event that it does drop across the Atlantic, be prepared to pay less in order to compete with the Z Flip 4.

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