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Motorola takes second shot in foldable phone war

The next big contender for foldable phone leadership went on sale in the USA on Friday, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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There is now a third serious contender in the foldable phone wars, as Motorola demonstrated on Friday that its initial foray in January was not a once-off.

The Motorola Razr 5G went on sale with a far more convincing offering than its first outing, much as Samsung raised its game with the Galaxy Fold 2 launched recently.

Naturally, the new Razr is an improvement over the first  in almost every department, so it sounds a little absurd when this in itself is trumpeted as a triumph. It’s a little like Apple always boasting that its latest iPhone is its most powerful yet. Well. It had better be.

In Motorola’s case, the first edition was a little underwhelming. Aside from numerous delays of its promised launch date, it ran on a processor that was a year behind most flagship phones, and its camera array was what one would expect in mid-range phones.

The one thing it had going for it – astonishingly for the newest form factor in handsets – was nostalgia. It drew on Motorola’s legacy of iconic designs that gave the world the first flip phone back in the 1990s. Even its name was  clarion call to nostalgia – it was positioned as a successor to the Razr of the early 2000s, which gave the world absurdly thin devices, still in a flip design. It was a massive best-seller, and still fondly remembered.

This is probably the main reason Motorola chose to retain the flip feel, in the sense that the folded phone is really just a compact unit best suited to notifications, while the unfolded device is a regular smartphone, similar in concept to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

It has a tiny 2.7-inch front display, filled with shortcuts, and a 6.2-inch screen unfolded. It has an OLED panel with an 876×1242 resolution, well below that of its rivals. It has a single rear camera, although  with a cool 48 Megapixel wide-angle lens and numerous shooting modes, while the front offers a 20MP wide-angle lens. Not bad, but not the Android you’ve been looking for.

Here are the full specs of the Motorola Razr 5G, as provided by GSMArena:

  • Body:
    • Unfolded: 169.2×72.6×7.9mm;
    • Folded: 91.7×72.6×16 mm; 192g;
    • Plastic front (opened), glass front (closed, Gorilla Glass 5), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame (7000 series), hinge (stainless steel); Water-repellent coating; Colors: Polished Graphite, Blush Gold, Liquid Mercury.
  • Display: 6.20″ Foldable P-OLED, 876x2142px resolution, 22:9 aspect ratio, 373ppi; Second external G-OLED display, 2.7″, 600x800px.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G (7 nm): Octa-core (1×2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Prime & 1×2.2 GHz Kryo 475 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver); Adreno 620.
  • Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM.
  • OS/Software: Android 10.
  • Rear camera: 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS; Dual-LED dual-tone flash, auto HDR, panorama.
  • Front camera: 20 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 0.8µm; Auto HDR.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30/60fps.
  • Battery: 2800mAh; Fast charging 15W.
  • Misc: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC.

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