Today Motorola is bringing the Razr series back to the U.S. with two new models: the Moto Razr+ and a more affordable Razr. Both flip phones offer a nearly identical form factor with pretty similar internal specs, but the Razr+ is the more premium of the duo, sporting the largest external display on any flip phone to date.
It has been twenty years since the original Razr was first released. Motorola revealed to us that all of this time they haven’t stopped studying consumer behavior around flip phones. This latest incarnation of the Motorola Razr series certainly demonstrates that.
For a time, the Motorola Razr wasn’t just a phone – it was a fashion statement. But eventually, flip phones faded out in popularity as smartphones took over.
Fast forward to 2019, and Motorola reintroduced the Razr series as a foldable smartphone. At the time of its release, a foldable smartphone with a flip form factor was about as cutting edge as it got.
Unfortunately for Motorola, their first flip smartphone wasn’t well received, with reviewers lamenting that it was riddled with usability issues and that it was too expensive – pricing out at $1499.
The following year, Motorola introduced a second-generation Razr 5G model to much less fanfare. Then in 2022, a third-generation model was launched but was only released overseas.
We’d been wondering for a while now if Motorola would bring back the Razr to the U.S. – and if they did, could they make it a true comeback? Fortunately, the 2023 Moto Razr series, and the Razr+ especially, looks like it’s turning out to be the most promising device launch from Motorola in a while.
Let’s start with the more premium Motorola Razr+. Everything about the 2023 Razr Plus screams high-end. With it, Motorola is targeting not only early adopters but trendsetters too. That makes a lot of sense when you take a look at this phone – because like the original Razr, the Motorola Razr+ is a true statement piece.
That said, Motorola has scrapped the nostalgic Razr “chin” from these new models so that their displays are borderless and not distracting. Fortunately, we’re not missing that chin at all, and the 2023 Razr family still manages to be a head-turner in its own right.
But perhaps what’s more promising is that this time around it really seems like Motorola has focused on usability when designing the new Razr+ and Razr.
Measuring 3.6 inches, the external display on the Moto Razr+ is the largest of any flip smartphone on the market. Consequently, this external display is not just for viewing notifications, but it’s a truly functional second smartphone display.
The external display is made of a pOLED screen with HDR10+ support, a peak brightness of 1100 nits, and it offers a refresh rate of up to 144hz. To get to the point – this display is just as good as a typical smartphone display and is suitable for most kinds of tasks – even playing games. Motorola expects people to use this external display a lot, so much so, that they may not find themselves flipping open the Razr+ all that often.
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You can easily swipe through the panels on the external display to view calendar entries, check the weather, control Spotify, make calls, send texts, or access google maps. You can even bring up an onscreen keyboard to operate it.
Essentially the external display is a true extension of the phone. And thanks to what Motorola is dubbing ‘continuity at will’ – apps being used on the external display can be continued on the inside when you flip open up the phone.
But enough about the external display. The internal display on the Razr+ is also impressive with its barely visible crease. It’s a beautiful 6.9 FHD+ pOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio, HDR10+ support, and a refresh rate of up to 165hz.
The Razr+ itself is just 15.1mm thick, making it the thinnest flip phone on the market. When closed, it’s practically gapless.
Both of the displays are made of guerrilla glass victus and the Razr Plus’ body is made of a 7 series frame aluminum which makes it quite tough and hardy. When it comes to water resistance, the Razr offers IP52 protection which means you can’t submerge the device, but it’s splash-proof.
One thing we especially appreciate about the new Razrs’ design is that most of the models (with the exception of the black Razr+) come with a vegan leather finish.
Other notable specs include stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos immersive sound and a triple array mic system for calls.
When it comes to performance, the Razr+ is no slouch either. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 8+ gen 1 chipset alongside 8GB of lLPDDR5 ram and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
Motorola says that the Razr+ will last a full day and night on its 3800mAh battery. It also supports 30W charging and 5W wireless charging. The Razr on the other hand, offers a slightly larger 4300mah battery.
Motorola Razr 2023
Pricing for the Moto Razr has not been announced yet, but Motorola indicated to us that it’s going to be priced very aggressively for a flip.
The more affordable Moto Razr is powered by a Snapdragon 7 gen 1 chipset alongside 128GB of storage. Its internal display maxes out at a lower 144Hz refresh rate in comparison to the Razr+.
Also, its camera system is different in that offers a 64MP OIS which is a larger main sensor than the camera inside the Razr+.
But the most significant difference between the two devices is that the Razr houses a much smaller 1.5-inch external display which is really only suitable for glancing at the time and notifications. This small external display is similar in functionality to the external display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Motorola is betting that Gen Z will be attracted to the more inexpensive Razr model, not only because it’s cheaper, but because its external display is less distracting and supports the Gen Z attitude to stay disconnected as much as possible.
2023 Motorola Razr family first impressions
After spending some brief hands-on time with the Razr+ and Razr, I believe that the 2023 Razr series has the chops to get the Razr – and flip phones – back into the limelight.
Personally, the Razr+ looks like it could be the flip phone I’ve been waiting for. For some reference, I’ve used all four generations of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, and currently, I’m using the Oppo Find N2 Flip, which I’m absolutely crazy about.
However, with its 3.6-inch external display, super slim form factor, and inclusion of wireless charging, the Razr+ looks like it outshines the Oppo Find N2 Flip in many ways. Also, the Oppo Find N2 Flip is sold only overseas, so it’s almost not fair to compare the two devices.
Either way, the flip phone wars are heating up and I couldn’t be happier.
My biggest concern with the 2023 Moto Razr family is its cameras. With the exception of the Oppo Find N2 Flip and Find N2, most foldable smartphones have been released with middling camera arrays. And as it stands, Motorola hasn’t been able to compete well with most other brands when it comes to photography.
Either way, we’re about to find out. We’ll be publishing an in-depth review of the Razr+ and we’ll make sure to delve into its camera chops.
Motorola Razr 2023 family pricing
The Motorola Razr+ presale begins June 16th and the device will go on sale on June 23rd.
The Razr+ will retail for $999 unlocked. It will be available across from AT&T, T-Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Google Fi, Optimum Mobile, as well as Amazon, Best Buy, and Motorola. AT&T is offering a promo where customers can pre-order the razr+ online for $5 per month over a 36-month period.
The haute viva magenta model will only be available from T-Mobile and Motorola directly.
There’s no release date or pricing available yet for the more affordable Razr model.