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Motorola RAZR 2022 Review: Almost there

One of Motorola's most popular phones ever is the iconic RAZR V3 from 2004. Considering this, it wasn't surprising when the company's foldable Motorola RAZR 2019 was heavily inspired by Moto's iconic flip phone.

Now it is time for the third-generation foldable, modern-day RAZR phone. The Motorola RAZR 2022 was first introduced to the Chinese market, but now it is set to be released in Europe as well. I spent a week with this impressive-looking phone, trying to find out whether it is now polished enough to recommend to more than just hardcore fans of the brand.

The RAZR 2022 has a large foldable display that’s almost completely creaseless. The outer display is very functional, and the overall design of the device is pretty stylish. However, the RAZR 2022 does cost €1,199, which is €100 more than its main competitor, the Galaxy Z Flip 4. It does pack the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, but so does Samsung’s offering and the also recently released Motorola Edge 30 Ultra.

Motorola RAZR 2022 Unboxing

I have to say, this is one of the best-looking phone packages I’ve ever seen. The presentation of the contents in the box is also very well thought out and elegant.

In this beautiful box, you will find a 30W fast-charging brick, a USB-C charging cable, a SIM ejection tool, and a plastic case. The latter is very important, as I struggled to find any cases for this phone in Europe. Also, like with any foldable phone, you get the feeling that this one is fragile as well, so better stay on the safe side.

Motorola RAZR 2022 Design

The new RAZR 2022 has slimmer screen bezels than its predecessors and it finally ditched the big chin. However, the bezels are still relatively thick compared to a regular smartphone of this price. They are also thicker than the ones of the Galaxy Z Flip 4. The bezel itself is plastic, surrounding the foldable screen. I must admit that it feels a bit cheap to the touch, unlike the screen which feels amazing for this type of device.

The bottom half of the phone has a matte back, with the Motorola and RAZR logos imprinted on it with a different, glossy coating. The back reflects light, making for a distinguishing look found on the Interstellar Black Edge 30 Ultra’s back. The top half houses the outer screen in the rear, shielded by a single piece of Gorilla Glass 5. Only the camera module and LED flash aren’t covered. This glass has a grayish tint, and is very reflective.

There’s only one color option for the Motorola RAZR 2022 called Satin Black. We wish this device was available in lighter tones too, but it is what it is. This phone has an IP52 water-repellent design.

The side rails of the RAZR 2022 are matte black metal. All of the buttons are on the left side and are metal as well. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner. This functionality worked fast and accurately for me. The volume buttons are pretty tiny and hard to reach when the phone is unfolded. Still, I have to note that they are very clicky.

The overall feel of the RAZR 2022 when unfolded is for a pretty large but light device. It also feels surprisingly comfortable in the hand and not easy to drop. However, it does not feel as premium as the Galaxy Z Flip 4, which is a shame. It is also almost impossible to open it with one hand.

The Motorola RAZR 2022 measures 79.79 x 166.99 x 7.62mm when unfolded. This makes it noticeably larger compared to Samsung’s Z Flip 4. Folded, the new RAZR measures 79.79 x 86.45 x 16.99mm. The new RAZR weighs 200g. The great pocketability is one of the main selling points of flip-style foldable phones, so I am happy to say that the RAZR 2022 also has it.

When opening and closing the RAZR 2022, the hinge feels sturdy and quality-made. The only time you can hear a squeak or two is when there is dirt on top of the hinge. I did figure that was the problem pretty fast and solved it by simply blowing all the dirt particles off it. There’s also a bit of a squeak when you touch the middle of the display harder. That should be due to the gap between the hinge and the folding part of the screen.

Motorola RAZR 2022 Display

For sure the RAZR 2022’s foldable display is its most impressive part. This 6.7-inch P-OLED screen is almost creaseless. The crease on Samsung’s foldable phones is significantly more pronounced, so this screen reminded me more of the one used in the Oppo Find N. The foldable display can stay half-opened, creating a laptop-like look that is perfect when capturing selfies or video calling, as it acts as a stand.

The screen itself has a 144Hz refresh rate and a 2400 x 1800 resolution. It is very smooth, especially when navigating through the user interface or playing games. It also gets very bright, so using it in direct sunlight isn’t an issue. The minimum brightness isn’t the lowest out there, but it is okay.

Motorola’s RAZR 2022 also features a 2.7-inch OLED screen – large enough to be the most functional on a flip-style foldable phone, but what it can do you’ll learn in a bit. This screen isn’t as bright as the folding one, but it is still bright enough to use in most conditions during the day. It is also sharp enough to see the small text and icons it displays. The only thing this display is missing is an always-on functionality, which is a bummer.

Motorola RAZR 2022 Camera

When it comes to cameras, the RAZR 2022 has a dual camera system consisting of a 50MP f/1.8 main sensor with OIS (optical image stabilization) and a 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide shooter with a 120° field of view.

You might be wondering why I call this the one-and-a-half camera system. Well, it is because of how outdated the ultra-wide sensor feels. Even during the day, this camera produces average results at best. Details are simply not there, and the colors and exposures aren’t accurate.

This sensor tends to almost always pick warmer colors than the correct ones. It reminded me of the ultra-wide shooter found on LG’s G6… which was released in 2017. The ultra-wide camera also acts as a macro shooter. Results are average, without much detail. When asked, Motorola shared with me that they chose this 13MP ultra-wide sensor mostly due to space issues, which makes sense, especially considering the main shooter has OIS.

As for the main 50MP shooter, I am happy to say that it does a fine job in capturing photos during the day. There’s enough detail, colors and exposures are accurate, and the Ultra Res mode allows you to capture even more detail than you normally would.

The front camera is a 32MP punch-hole shooter. It has a nice sensor that can produce some sharp results with the right lighting. Thanks to the outer display of the RAZR 2022, you can also take selfies with the main and ultra-wide shooters. The ones taken with the 50MP look great, having some natural-looking bokeh and vivid colors. During the night, the 32MP selfie shooter produces average results, while selfies with the main sensor still look amazing.

During the night, the main 50MP shooter does a good job of capturing enough light and detail, especially with Night Vision on. Surprisingly, the 13MP ultra-wide shooter does fine with Night Vision on too. This is probably due to the extensive processing and oversharpening that happens in this shooting mode.

The Motorola RAZR 2022 can shoot 8K videos at 30fps. Unfortunately, the result is very choppy and unstable footage. I have to note though that the detail is there, and as long as the phone isn’t handheld, things should be fine. The RAZR 2022 does a much better job in 4K 30fps and 1080p 30fps. With the latter setting, you can switch between the main and ultra-wide cameras too.

During the night, 8K 30 fps video is also unsatisfactory. The 4K 30fps footage is a bit better but still average in comparison to other similarly priced phones.

Motorola RAZR 2022 Performance and Benchmarks

The newest RAZR is a beast of a performer. This is thanks to its fast Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor. The opening of apps and games is fast, everything you touch is very responsive, and loading files and internet sites is very quick. The phone also stays pretty cool to the touch, which is very impressive considering how cramped up it probably is inside thanks to its foldable design.

Motorola’s RAZR 2022 comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This is more than enough for unproblematic multitasking and storing all your files. Now here are some benchmarks for you to look at:

Motorola RAZR 2022 Android version

This phone comes with Android 12 out of the box. However, Motorola has promised an update to Android 13 is coming soon. Still, the RAZR 2022 will get only two major OS updates, and that includes the Android 13 update. I think this is very unsatisfactory considering how expensive this device is. Three years of security updates are promised too.

The software experience on the foldable screen is a very traditional Motorola one. This means you get mostly clean Android, with the brand’s little software tweaks, like the double chop to turn the flashlight on.

The only place where I found features exclusive to this foldable form factor was the Camera app. When you open the screen at around 90 degrees, the camera controls and settings move to the bottom part, while the viewfinder moves to the top one. You can adjust the angle of the screen by a surprisingly large margin, which makes the bottom part a perfect camera stand.

As for the smaller outer screen, it does give you some nice features. You can run pretty much any app on it, and the apps run surprisingly well. It is also good for taking selfies with the main and ultra-wide cameras, and the viewfinder is big enough to see the pictures you took well.

Motorola RAZR 2022 Battery

Foldable phones are famous for having to make trade-offs when it comes to their battery capacity. The RAZR 2022 is no exception to this rule. This phone has a 3,500mAh battery which, according to Motorola, will last you at least a day.

The truth is that heavy users might struggle to make it through the day without charging. But if you’re someone who spends two hours tops on your phone, you should be fine. Still, this phone has 200mAh less than the Galaxy Z Flip 4, and that shows in our tests below:

Motorola RAZR 2022 Charging speeds

The Motorola RAZR 2022 supports 30W fast wired charging. That gets the 0 to 100% job done in about an hour or so, which is pretty good, but not the best there is. That’s important, as we mentioned earlier that the battery life of this device isn’t great.

Unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging on this phone. This probably is due to its foldable design’s space issue, but you have to keep in mind that Samsung has overcome that, as the Z Flip 4 does have both wireless and reverse wireless charging capabilities.

Motorola RAZR 2022 Audio Quality and Haptics

The audio output of the RAZR 2022 is surprisingly good. The dual stereo speakers produce sound with good depth and nice mids and highs. The vibration motor is in the bottom part of the device. It gives overall good feedback, but not the best we’ve tested.

But the call quality on the new RAZR isn’t the best. On speakerphone, people could hear themselves, which is very annoying. Also, the earpiece is a bit weak for my liking. The microphones do a fine job when using the earpiece, but on speaker, you have to be close to the phone so people can hear you clearly. There were no issues with 5G and LTE connections.

Motorola RAZR 2022 Summary and final verdict

The Motorola RAZR 2022 is a big improvement over its predecessor in every area. Its design is refined, it finally has top-notch processing power, and both screens are brighter and better. The display has one of the smallest creases I’ve ever seen on a foldable device, which for me is a great advantage.

Still, when compared to its only rival, the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the RAZR 2022 performs worse in almost every department. It is similar when it comes to raw performance, but the camera system is definitely worse. Battery life also isn’t as great, and Samsung’s phone is more compact and feels more premium. The RAZR is more expensive too, which puts the nail in its coffin.

A creaseless design just isn’t enough to justify the RAZR 2022’s shortcomings. And what about comparing it to regular similarly priced phones? I already mentioned the recently released Motorola Edge 30 Ultra. This phone is more affordable, has an amazing camera system, a stunning design, and blazing fast charging for its much larger battery.

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra and Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max are also similar in price to the Motorola RAZR 2022. When we compare it to these two, the RAZR simply looks like a phone with a much lower price tag.

But if you’re a RAZR enthusiast, love the nostalgic look, and want a clamshell foldable phone with almost no creasing of its display, then the RAZR 2022 is your best and only choice.

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