Review: Motorola Razr 50 – Virtually wrinkle-free

Review: Motorola Razr 50 – Virtually wrinkle-free
Review: Motorola Razr 50 – Virtually wrinkle-free

It’s been exactly 20 years since Motorola released its first razr phone, which could be opened and closed with a simple movement of the hand. The company is celebrating the milestone in style by launching two new foldable phones, the razr 50 and the slightly more luxurious razr 50 ultra. It’s the latter model that Data News received for several weeks to test, and we have to say that we immediately fell in love.

Unlike the original RAZR V3, the new models are of course equipped with a real foldable display. The pOLED display has a diagonal of 6.9 inches and an FHD+ resolution of 2,640 x 1,080 pixels. The device is a little narrower than the average ‘classic’ smartphone with such a large display (the aspect ratio is 22:9), which offers a perfect grip.

© Motorola

External screen

In our opinion, the ‘fold’ is a bit too visible, however: some competitors have done better than Motorola in this regard. But this is especially noticeable when the display is black, which does not happen very often with a foldable display: when you are not using it, you close it. What’s more, the Razr 50 Ultra of course still has an external display. This 4-inch pOLED display takes up almost the entire front – when closed – and also houses the device’s two cameras and LED flash.

During our test, we found ourselves using the external display more often than we would have expected. It’s more than enough to scroll through your notifications, read a text message, or display your latest photos. You can also add ‘panels’ as you wish, such as a window with useful widgets, a full weather report, or an interface for Spotify.

When closed, the Razr 50 Ultra is also perfect for taking selfies: it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, and you just have to tap the screen to take the photo. And then there are also a whole series of applications to use the mini-screen in a very practical way, including a (compact) calculator, the audio recorder and a game like Marble Mayhem, a digital version of the wooden maze.

The additional screen lends itself to a wide variety of applications.

Moto AI

The new Razr are among the first devices to come standard with Gemini, Google’s AI assistant. When closed, it’s also accessible as an arrow, with a simple press and hold of the power button. Handy for quickly finding popular tourist spots nearby or for creating a recipe from the contents of your fridge, to name a few random examples.

Moreover, later this year, the artificial intelligence of smartphones will be enhanced by Moto AI developed by Motorola, with gadgets such as Catch me up (a sort of summary of all your notifications) and Pay attention (capable of automatically creating transcripts and summaries).

Google Gemini.

A foldable smartphone is certainly always a good idea. But does this concept have any real advantages, other than, as we said, that it is perfect for taking selfies? Yes, all the same. In particular, we find that this format is more comfortable to store in a pocket than a classic phone, which you still have to be careful not to bend during certain movements. And in the so-called tent position, the razr is perfect for hands-free video calls.

Camcorder

Motorola also had a brilliant idea in allowing this foldable device to be used and held like a good old camcorder. To do this, simply activate the video mode, fold the razr to a 90-degree angle and tilt it a quarter turn. The viewfinder then appears in front of you, while you can intuitively zoom in and out with your thumb (on the other half of the screen). In addition, when you film one or more people, they can watch the result live on the external screen. This advantage of the foldable device of course also applies to photographing subjects, who then see themselves as if in a mirror. In short, the concept has many advantages.

This feature brings us seamlessly to the razr 50 ultra camera island. It includes a 50-megapixel main camera (f/1.7) as well as a 50-megapixel telephoto lens that allows 2x optical zoom, without loss of image quality. This zoom function is new compared to the razr 40, however at the expense of the ultra-wide wide-angle lens. Both cameras also allow you to take photos in 12.6 MP quality, thanks to Quad Pixel technology that combines four pixels. For Motorola, this allows for increased brightness in low light conditions. At the front, the device of course also has a selfie camera, integrated into a so-called ‘punch hole’ notch, with a capacity of 32 megapixels.

There’s not much to complain about in terms of image quality: whether you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, or macros, the photos always come out sharp and the colors are accurate. It’s worth noting, however, that some high-end (non-foldable) smartphones in this price range score slightly higher, because these devices simply offer more space for larger sensors, additional lenses (for a wider zoom range), and sometimes even a third camera on the back. Still, the Razr 50 Ultra’s optics are some of the best in the foldable genre, and it’s a definite improvement over the previous model.

A macro shot of the Motorola razr 50 ultra.

Definitely trendy

As with most new smartphones, the camera island protrudes slightly, in this case by about one and a half millimeters. The supplied protective case – also soft – does not manage to cover this ‘protrusion’, so you should exercise a certain amount of caution with regard to the lenses. It must be said that this case did not convince us. It offers almost no protection for the external display, and the hooks for carrying the device around the neck using the chain (also supplied) are sometimes annoying when unfolded. But it must be said that wearing such a foldable object around the neck can be decidedly trendy.

Three-quarters of this phone is screen; for the rest, Motorola has opted for a faux leather finish, or vegan leather, if you prefer. The device we tested came in Spring Green, but you can also opt for Midnight Blue, Peach Fuzz, and the very extravagant Pink Peacock. The case and chain are both in the same shade.

What you might not expect from a foldable device made of vegan leather is that it’s waterproof. Motorola has risen to the challenge. The 50 Ultra is IPX8 rated, meaning it can be submerged in fresh water for up to half an hour, at a depth of one and a half meters.

Computing and Battery Power

The Razr 50 Ultra is one of the first foldable phones to feature the powerful Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 Mobile Platform. The device also packs 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. As a result, the device feels very smooth no matter which screen you’re interacting with.

The device is equipped with a 4,000 mAh battery with support for 45 W fast charging, 15 W wireless charging and 5 W reverse charging. The latter function allows you to use the phone to, for example, charge compatible wireless headphones or even another smartphone. It is certainly not very fast, but in an emergency, it is rather welcome. It must be admitted that a 4,000 mAh battery is quite large for a flexible smartphone, and that classic high-end mobiles today easily reach 5,400 mAh or more, which of course means that their autonomy is extended by a few hours. In case of more intensive use of this razr, the risk that it will not allow you to last until the end of the day is very real.

To activate the torch, simply shake the gadget briefly.

Foldable phones are still quite expensive, and the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra is no exception. The gadget costs €1,200, but it comes with a charger and a protective case. The fastest customers will receive a set of Moto Buds+ earbuds worth €150 for free with their purchase.

Conclusion

As we said from the outset, the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra has virtually no false ‘creases’. The folding concept is very quick to use and has advantages, especially for creative minds who take a lot of photos and videos. Under its foldable cover, it hides a lot of power, working memory and storage memory, and its cameras are also of good quality. In our opinion, the Razr 50 Ultra is a very beautiful device, suitable for both women and men (admittedly perhaps without the neck cord and in a different color than Pink Peacock). Some things could also be improved. In our opinion, the crease is a little too visible and the battery is not very powerful, although this is inseparable from the design.

The price of 1,200 euros is not negligible either. But there is also a way not to spend so much: know that the classic razr 50 (understand not ultra) is at the indicated price of 900 euros, and that the previous models, namely the razr 40 and 40 ultra, sell for 500 and 800 euros respectively. The competition comes mainly from the Galaxy Z Flip, whose new version (number 6) will probably be launched during the first half of July.

Motorola razr 50 ultra. © The new Razr 50 Ultra, in the Spring Green version.
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