Motorola is giving foldables another try, and at first glance, it looks like the company is headed in the right direction. This year, Motorola will release the Razr 40 and the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, both of which can be folded like clamshells. In North America, these smartphones will be called the Razr+. This review is about the more expensive Ultra, which is different from the 2022 Razr in a few important ways. Most of changes have been made to the design, which is important because most people who buy foldable phones today do so because they like how they look.
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra: Description
Even if you’re not a geek, you should pay attention to the changes in the hardware. Motorola has changed the hinge so that when the phone is closed, the gap between the two parts of the chassis is smaller. They have also trimmed the bezels around the main display and made the crease less obvious. Finally, they have added an outer display that can actually be used.
The 3.6-inch screen on the outside is not just for quick glances at notifications or other information about the current situation. Motorola has worked closely with app developers, so some apps, like Netflix, Disney+, and Spotify, are made to work best on the cover screen. It works well as a viewfinder for the main cameras as well. But there is also a selfie camera on the inside.
The Razr 40 Ultra has a mix of old and new hardware on the inside. It still has the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC, but its old screen has been replaced with a faster and bigger one. The main display, which is 6.9 inches, can now run at 165Hz, and the secondary display can run at 144Hz. The battery capacity has also gone up, to 3,800 mAh, but there has been no change to how fast it charges. This year, the 40 Ultra does get wireless charging, which is a must-have in the high-end market.
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra: Pros and Cons
- Almost crease-less screen
- Motorola has some cool gestures
- Fast charging!
- A bit pricey
- At certain angles, phone feels a bit wobbly
- Software support not as long as competition
- Lacks strong water protection
|Snapdragon||8+ Gen 1 (4 nm)|
|Official link||Visit Website|
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra: Design
The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra has the same Razr feel as the model from 2022, but it feels much more refined, high-end, and light this time around, and not just because it has a big screen on the outside. Motorola says that the new hinge system lets the phone fold without a gap, makes the crease look much less noticeable, and gets rid of the feeling you get when you run your finger over it. Those are some pretty big claims, but we have to say that the company has done something pretty cool. Even though it’s almost completely gapless, you can still see a sliver of light shine through when you hold it up to bright light.
However, this is a huge improvement from the 2022 Razr, which had a rather large gap, and should make it much harder for dust and other things to get on the inner foldable display. On the other hand, the crease is a work of art. It’s almost there if you look at it at an angle and try to catch it in the light, but if you look at it straight on, you wouldn’t be able to tell that the display could fold in half. The hinge is the same way. If you run your finger along the crease, you can feel something, but it doesn’t feel obvious or in your way.
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra: Display
Motorola says that this also makes the Razr 40 Ultra the thinnest clamshell smartphone when it is fully folded. Even though it has a huge 6.9-inch screen, it feels nice and fits in your pocket. Of course, it’s all about the displays, so let’s start with that outer panel. It has the biggest screen of any clamshell foldable at 3.6 inches, but it’s more than just a big screen. The outside display is in a league of its own. It uses pOLED technology and has a 144Hz refresh rate that no other clamshell has.
It has a cutout for the two cameras in the bottom right or top left, depending on how you hold it. This can sometimes get in the way, but I think most people will be fine with it. The external display also has a new layout with new widgets and the ability to run any Android app you want. This makes it much easier to respond to WhatsApp messages or like a tweet without having to open the phone.
The same thing goes for the screen on the inside; it’s not just big for the sake of being big. It has a high-end 6.9-inch pOLED display with flagship features like a 165Hz refresh rate with LTPO support and HDR10+. So far, apps like WhatsApp, Slack, Instagram, and TikTok have given me a bright, clear visual experience, but I’ll be indulge-watching Netflix for the full review, so check back soon to hear my final thoughts on the impressive display combo.
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra: Camera and Video Quality
The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra has two cameras on the cover screen that will do most of the work. There is also a selfie camera on the main screen, which you probably won’t use as often. The main camera has 12 megapixels and a 25mm focal length, which is similar to what most other phones have. However, the ultra-wide camera is a little different from what most other phones have because it isn’t really super wide. Galaxy and iPhone have a very wide field of view of 13mm, but the Motorola has a more narrow field of view of 19mm. This is good because the look isn’t as extreme and there is less distortion.
The Motorola can shoot 4K video, and the quality is pretty good. However, there are a few small problems, so we give it a B. First, the colors are very bright, which we think needs some work. But the big problem is that the video isn’t steady. We think the Motorola’s stabilization isn’t as good when you hold it with one hand, like we did here, because the hinge isn’t as tight. Now, you probably hold your phone with both hands most of the time, so we don’t think this will be a big deal, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra: Performance
Even though the name “Ultra” usually means the best, the chipset inside the Razr 40 Ultra isn’t the most powerful you can buy. No, instead, the phone has the (almost a year-old) Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. This is the same chipset that was in the Razr (2022) before it and in other foldable phones like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4. Now, that’s not to say that performance isn’t good—the phone hasn’t shown even a hint of stuttering or lagging during normal use but it does feel like an easy win for Motorola, especially since we expect Samsung’s upcoming Z Flip 5 to use the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset as the flagship S23 range.
So, for now, it’s a very high-end experience, but I expect the competition to beat Motorola’s top-of-the-line foldable phone in the coming months. Not very good for one of the most expensive flip phones on the market right now Even so, that Snapdragon chipset is paired with a pretty good (but not the best) 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for those who need it. Probably a good thing, too, since the phone doesn’t have a microSD card slot to add more storage in the future.
The audio seems to be pretty good, too. The clamshell gives off a pretty good amount of volume, and the fact that Dolby Atmos is supported when listening to music with headphones makes the experience even better. Motorola is known for its close-to-stock Android approach, which is only matched by Nokia and Google. The Razr 40 Ultra and other Android 13 devices like the Motorola Edge 40 are no different. Everything we said there is also true here.
The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra took what we liked about the Razr and made it even better, especially with that outer display. It’s the biggest and fastest clamshell phone on the market, and you can use full Android apps, reply to texts, and do other things without having to open it up. The overall design, the new hinge, and the improved screen all tell the same story. They all point to a very capable flagship clamshell foldable, but I’ll save my final thoughts for the full review, which will be out very soon.
Because of the high current drain, the battery gets warmer, which is normal but not at all what you want.
The device is resistant to dust and water. Devices that are water-resistant can stop strong water jets from getting in, but they can’t be submerged in water.