Friday, May 24, 2024
Smart Phones

Motorola Razr Plus (2023) Review: Solid Galaxy Flip alternative


Motorola Razr Plus Intro

Name the two most annoying things about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 right now!

Yes, it’s absolutely that tiny display in the front and that annoying crease right smack in the middle!

Well, at least that’s what we would pick, and we think we are not the only ones because Motorola’s latest flagship flippy phone fixes these two exact problems while adding a splash of style and color. It goes by the name Motorola Razr Plus (styled as Razr+) and it launches in the United States on June 23rd, while an international model with basically identical specs launches even earlier under the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra name.

The front screen in particular is a game-changer, flip phones are cool, but having to unfold the phone for every little thing can be a bit of a chore and it’s nice that with the this new Razr you can do it all on the small screen, TikTok and Maps included, and it even comes with a full-sized keyboard that is actually quite comfy to use.

So… is this the ultimate Galaxy Flip killer? Let’s find out.

What’s new about the Motorola Razr Plus 2023

  • Made to be a Galaxy Flip killer
  • Impressive 3.6-inch all-screen front
  • Crease-less 6.9-inch main screen
  • Stylish, slim design
  • No gap when closed
  • 8/256GB
  • 3800mAh battery

Table of Contents:

Motorola Razr Plus Unboxing

The Razr Plus comes in a large box and you already knows that this means you are getting some goodies on the inside!

Indeed, we have quite the assortment of accessories:

  • Phone itself (duh!)
  • 67W Fast Charger
  • USB cable
  • Transparent case
  • SIM tool
  • User manuals

Yes, a charger and a free case in the box in 2023! It’s possible guys! Honestly, what more could you ask for?

Motorola Razr Plus (2023) Specs

One elegant design with a powerful, but not the latest chip

The Razr Plus comes with a slightly bigger battery size than the Galaxy Flip 4, and much faster charging, which are two welcome improvements.

Motorola Razr Plus Ultra Design, Hinge & Colors

Slim and elegant

The Razr Plus feels very slim and attractive as far as folding phones go.

Compared to the Galaxy Flip 4, it’s obvious how Motorola goes for a more sleek esthetic, and when you fold it closed, there is practically no gap between the two halves! Really impressive compared to the visible gap on the Galaxy. And this is not just about looks: this gap is where a lot of dust and debris enters, which could lead to some damage and it’s one of the reasons why foldable phones are still perceived as less durable than traditional ones.

Speaking of dust, probably the one more significant omission on this flippy phone is strong water protection. The Razr Plus has IP52 certification, meaning that it is  protected from limited dust ingress and water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical. In contrast, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4 has an IP X8 rating, which ensures it can survive in fresh water for up to 1.5 meters for a duration of up to 30 minutes.

As far as design goes, the Razr Plus definitely packs some style. The curved sides make for a very comfortable in-hand feel, but more importantly they make it easier to slide your finger to unfold the phone, which you will do very often. That’s one advantage over the nearly flat sides on the Galaxy Flip.

The Razr Plus comes in a choice of an Infinity Black and Glacier Blue that come with shiny glossy finish with Gorilla Glass Victus, and you have the Viva Magenta color for those who want to be fancy with color and that one also has a vegan leather finish that is stain resistant and with a nice texture and soft feel to it.

Motorola Razr Plus Display and Hinge

There are two things that make a perfect clamshell foldable phone screen: first is that this screen does not have a massive crease in the middle, and second is that it can stay securely at various positions half folded, at 30 degrees, 60 degrees or whatever it might be.

Unfortunately, it seems that we can only have one of these two at a time.

The Razr Plus goes for a nearly crease-less display and compared to the Galaxy Flip 4, you definitely notice that, and we really appreciate that.

Speaking of the hinge, however, it’s a friction hinge that can hold an angle, but it does not quite have the solid firm feel of the one on the Galaxy. Hold it at a 90 degree angle and wiggle the phone a bit, and the top part of the phone also moves noticeably.

We have seen other phones that prioritize a crease-less experience also have that issue, so we are not surprised. In fact, the Oppo Find N2 Flip is another clamshell foldable that wants to do away with the crease and on that phone, the hinge flaps and flops all over the place, so actually the Motorola feels better made, but it’s still not nearly as sturdy as the Galaxy.

Now if you ask us, we would actually take the Motorola approach, as that slight wobble is not quite as noticeable as the crease, but just be warned that there is still room for improvement for flip phones in that regard.

The main star of the show here, however, is that all-screen front, which looks super cool and instantly makes the tiny cover screen on the Galaxy look like something of the distant past. It’s the largest front screen ever on a flip phone, extending even over the cameras, at a 3.6-inch diagonal.

It’s great having such a larger screen and it has practically all the functions of your main screen, and it even fits a full-sized keyboard so you can easily type on it. We found this to be important as you don’t always want to unfold the phone for every single task.

Here are just a few of the various uses of the front screen: it’s a clock with some cool looking type faces, it turns on when you take a picture of a person so they can see how they pose. And of course, you can easily see your notifications, call someone, look at maps, your calendar app, look up the weather, browse, watch videos and you can even play mini games on it.

Unfold the Razr Plus and you get an extra tall, 22 by 9 main display, which as we said… no crease! It’s a tiny bit bigger than the Galaxy Flip 4, but not by much.

In terms of colors, it’s a fine OLED screen with a perfectly good resolution, it’s sharp and has nice colors.

Display Measurements:

It comes with a pre-applied screen protector that you should absolutely never try to peel off as this could damage the screen on any foldable, this Razr Plus included.

Be warned, you should absolutely not try to replace this screen protector on your own, if you get any issues with it, you have to bring the phone to a Motorola service center for a replacement.

In terms of biometrics, you have a very snappy fingerprint scanner in the power button on the side of the phone, and we had zero issues with it.

Motorola Razr Plus Camera

Camera with a twist

The Motorola Razr Plus comes with two cameras on the cover screen that will be doing most of the heavy lifting, and there is also a selfie shooter on the main display that you will probably use less often.

The main camera is a 12-megapixel shooter with a 25mm focal distance, which is not far from what most other phones use, but the ultra-wide camera is slightly different than on most other phones as it is not really super wide. Phones like Galaxies or iPhones go with an extremely wide 13mm field of view, but the Motorola instead uses a tighter, 19mm field of view. This actually has its advantages as the look is not as extreme and you have less distortion.

Main Camera – Day

On a perfect sunny day, the Motorola captures a great looking shot and compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the detail is similar, with the only difference being in the colors, which are more realistic on the Moto.

In this second photo, you can clearly see how Motorola sticks with more realistic color, cooler shade of green for the grass, and while some people might find the image from the Galaxy a bit more popping, it’s definitely not quite realistic.

Zoom Quality

Like most clamshell foldables, the Motorola does not have a dedicated telephoto zoom lens. You have an 8X maximum digital zoom, and at that level the quality really falls apart. But the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is not much different, it also lacks in detail sorely at this level of digital zoom.

Ultra-wide Camera

You can immediately see how the ultra-wide camera on the Razr does not have the extreme field of view we commonly see on other phones, like the Galaxy Z Flip 4. We don’t think that’s bad, though, as you get less distraction, better sharpness across the image and a lovely, still plenty wide field of view.

Colors from the ultra-wide camera follow the lead from the main camera with cooler tones and a more realistic approach to imagery than the Galaxy.

Selfies

Just like most other vertical foldable phones, you will probably use the main cameras to take selfies, and this is particularly easy here as you have a giant screen on the front to find the perfect framing.

You can see that the tiny screen on the Galaxy Flip 4 made it hard for me to compose this shot and I am way off center on the Galaxy, while I could shoot a nice composition on the Motorola.

The colors, however, especially the skin tones have boosted saturation and contrast, which I don’t really like on this particular shot.

Video Quality

You can shoot 4K video with the Motorola and the quality is actually quite good, but there are a few slight issues, so it gets a B grade from us.

First one is the very saturated colors, which we think need some tune-ups, but the real big one is the video stabilization. We think it’s because of that more loose hinge on the Motorola that we see the stabilization underperforming when you hold the phone with just one hand as we did here. Now, most of the time, you would probably hold your phone with two hands, so we don’t think this will be that much of a problem, but it’s still something worth noting.

Motorola Razr Plus Performance & Benchmarks

Almost the best Snapdragon chip 

Under the hood, we have the well-proven — but not quite latest — Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip on the Razr Plus.

This is a powerful, flagship-grade chip, but we have to wonder why Motorola chose it over the newer and more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that is expected to propel its main competitor, the Galaxy Flip 5. After all, you do expect to have the latest on a premium priced device like this one.

But in either case, those not obsessing over every single hertz, probably should not worry about that as you still get plenty of power.

Motorola is also pairing this chip with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and having that kind of storage is great, it really seems to be the sweet spot for most people.

Take a look at how this new Razr Plus scored on the benchmarks compared to the competition.

Performance Benchmarks:

The phone achieves quite remarkable results compared to other flip phones with the same Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip. It scores high in both the processor-centric Geekbench 6 test, as well as the gaming-oriented 3D Mark Wildlife stress test.

Motorola Razr Plus Android version & Software support

We are used to seeing clean versions of Android on Motorola phones and that is exactly what we are getting with the Razr Plus.

Clean and pure Android 13, with just a few neat additions in the form of the familiar Motorola gestures: chop-chop to start the flash light, twist the phone to start the camera, three fingers to take a screenshot, and so on.

Motorola has recently taken up a three year software update commitment for its devices, which is nice, but falls short of the four year of updates you get with main rival Samsung.

Since the Razr Plus launches with Android 13, this means you should get the following updates:

  • Android 14 
  • Android 15
  • Android 16

Expect to also get security updates for one year on top of that.

Motorola Razr Plus Battery

All-day as in one day

With a 3,800mAh battery inside, the Motorola Razr Plus actually has a larger capacity than main rival Galaxy Flip 4.

And all of that without looking bulky in any way. Good job, Motorola!

In our testing, the Razr Plus lasted us comfortably one day, and not much more, so it’s a good average performer.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Motorola Razr Plus Charging Speeds

We are happy to see a charger included in the box, and not just any charger but a pretty fast one for flip phone standards.

30W charging speeds, ensuring you get a full battery top-up in less than an hour, and in 15 minutes you get from zero to 32%, while in 30 minutes, you can expect to hit 65% battery charge.

That is much faster than what Samsung offers, and it definitely helps ease that battery anxiety.

The Razr Plus also supports wireless charging, but at very slow rates of just 5 watts, so you’d better not use that if you want speed.

Motorola Razr Plus Audio Quality and Haptics

Another good thing this new Razr has going for it is the loudspeaker quality.

You get dual speakers and in a direct comparison with the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Razr Plus is not quite as loud and boomy, but it gets less distortion, especially for the lower frequencies and overall sounds very nice.

There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, of course, and as for haptic feedback, it feels nice and tight.

Motorola Razr Plus Competitors

All of this goodness that Motorola has built comes at a price. The Razr Plus MSRP comes in at $1,000 in the United States, while the global Razr 40 Ultra version costs a harder to swallow 1,200 euro in Europe.

That’s not a crazy amount of money, but it’s definitely not a small sum either. In comparison, Samsung sells its own Galaxy Z Flip 4 for around $1,050, and we expect a brand new Flip 5 to pick up the baton and finally offer the all-screen front that this new Razr has.
Another alternative is the Oppo Find N2 Flip, which has very fast charging and some other nice benefits, and all of that at a much lower price. However, good luck finding that phone and be warned that it comes with a very wobbly hinge. 

Motorola Razr Plus Summary and Final Verdict

At the end of the day, the Motorola Razr Plus, or the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra as it is known internationally, is excellent competition to Samsung in the flip phone space.

Motorola is gunning for the top spot in the flip phone space, and its main advantages are the very sleek and very attractive design, the cool all-screen front, the crease-less main screen, the clean software, the capable camera system and extras like fast charging that market leader Samsung is lagging on.

But it’s not all roses: Samsung offers 4 years of software updates, it has a sturdier hinge, it has proper water resistance, and it also has a wider service network which might be an important factor for something like a foldable phone.

Ultimately, what matters is that we enjoyed our time with Razr Plus and we did not find a major downside, so it gets our recommendation, especially if you can find some deals to soften the steep price.



READ SOURCE

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.