Motorola Razr 2022

Motorola razr 2022 – foldable power in your pocket (review)


Motorola’s fresh new razr foldable phone has just dropped in Australia, and we’ve had a chance to spend some time with it. We also had Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip4, which is the only other foldable flip phone available, to compare it with. So what’s new since the second generation model, and are foldable flip phones still the way of things to come?

What’s new?

New in the 2022 model include a some packaging and design tweaks, a powerful new processor and revamped camera system. We’re also seeing the debut of the Flex View hinge, which opens up new possibilities for taking photos, watching videos and more.

First impressions

When setting up the Moto razr 2022 for the first time, we noticed that a specialized screen protector comes pre-applied. This shouldn’t be removed, or any other screen protector used instead. In the box is also a back cover that comes in two pieces – one each for protecting the top and bottom halves.

Also, during setup, you can set a PIN code or there’s a fingerprint reader that’s not beneath the screen like some other flagship phones. This one is located on the power button. During our tests, it did seem seem logical to unlock the phone with the same button press action as waking it up, rather than using under-screen fingerprint scanner.

Unlike many phones today including Samsung’s S and Z series and Apple’s iPhone, you do actually get a charger and cable in the box. This is a 30-Watt TurboPower charger along with a USB-C cable, and saves you from buying it separately.

Design and ergonomics

The new 2022 model razr looks fairly similar to the previous model, which in itself was modeled after the original razr’s design. This year, the main difference is a new friction hinge mechanism, along with less of a ‘chin’ beneath the main display. It also closes fairly tightly with less of a gap left between the halves as the Galaxy Z Flip4. Overall, the Satin Black metallic finish and glass design feels solid and well put together, however, there is one rear panel that’s plastic, which feels less premium than the Flip4’s case. Still, it’s an attractive handset, and has a more distinct and satisfying click when opened and closed compared to the Flip4. 

When flipped closed, the razr is compact, and perhaps not quite as chunky feeling as the Samsung Flip4, although it is wider by about 4mm. The hinge seems a bit more exposed to dust vs the Flip 4 too but the razr has a higher IP dust-proof rating of 5 versus no official rating (x) for Samsung’s foldable. For water resistance, the Flip 4’s IPX8 rating means it has some protection vs the razr’s IP52 rating (2 vs 8), with level 2 being defined as “dripping water when tilted at 15 degrees” – so really, don’t get either phone wet and always avoid dust, grit and sand.

New Flex View hinge

Flex View starts with a redesigned hinge mechanism. This provides extra friction so the phone stays in the position you bend it, rather than just an opened or closed position. It can now be positioned so you can view the main screen in two halves enabling you to run two apps in split-screen view or tilt the camera towards your subject (tripod view) while the phone rests on a table. This is also handy if you want to watch, say, an instructional cooking video while preparing dinner as you can set the phone down and tilt the screen in your direction. Another option is Ambient View, where you tilt the razr so it’s easy to see the outer display for keeping an eye on notifications.

Outer display

The razr has two separate screens – an inner (main) and outer. The outer is called the Quick View display and helps you do things when the phone is folded closed. This includes viewing the time, notifications, making calls, taking selfies, replying to messages, playing songs and viewing map directions. It also supports some apps such as YouTube and Spotify.

You can browse through the different options by swiping right, or change settings by swiping up. If you swipe left, this opens the selfie camera, but more on this later. If you decide you want to open the phone to get a better view, most of the time you can seamlessly resume what you’re doing on the large main screen.

Quick View’s screen is 2.7 inches, with a 60Hz refresh rate, 800 x 573 resolution and 372ppi. What this all means is that it’s just large and clear enough to be useful things other than checking the time. When taking selfies, for example, the controls were easy to operate, and watching videos is do-able.

Main display

The new pOLED display is 6.7 inches, and wider than that of the 6.7 inch screen found on the Samsung Z Flip4. It measures 70mm wide and 155mm high, while the Flip4 is thinner at 64mm while taller at 158mm. The extra width makes the screen feel roomier than the Flip4’s taller screen, plus the new pOLED display can produce over a billion colours, and includes HDR10+ support. The latter provides control over colour and light so movies can be shown as the director intended, however, it would be good if the screen also supported Dolby Vision, another popular HDR standard.

An uncommon trait is the screen’s silky smooth 144Hz refresh rate. Many screens can only manage 120Hz, and the extra smoothness will come in handy for playing games. Fortunately, the adaptive refresh will slow down depending on what you’re doing to reduce battery consumption. For web browsing it might be 120Hz, and when in power-save mode, it will clock down to 60Hz.

Otherwise, the screen is clear and sharp, with a 2400 x 1800 resolution and 394ppi. It’s also comparatively brighter than the Flip4, and the ‘crease’ where the fold happens is hardly noticeable.

Amping up the power

At the heart of the Razr 2022 beats a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile processor. This is the top of the range and found in many flagship smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra. It also has 8GB of RAM onboard, which can be extended to 10GB by using some of the razr’s storage.

When comparing GeekBench scores to the Galaxy Z Flip4, we found that the razr was slightly faster in Single core as well as Multi-core performance. For reference, the iPhone 14 Pro Max eclipsed them both. Still, the performance should be more than enough for just about anything you can reasonably throw at the razr 2022.

Check out our Geekbench results below:

iPhone 14 Pro Max18544814
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip413104020
Motorola razr 202213124171
Geekbench 5.0

New camera views

The razr 2022 sees some new photo snapping tech. Staring with the rear cameras, this now includes a 50 megapixel main camera with an f1.8 aperture lens and Optical Image Stabilisaion (OIS). Then, there’s an ultra-wide second camera with f2.2 lens and 120 degree field of view. This camera supports auto-focus for both Wide and Macro modes. On the front camera, there’s a 32MP sensor with f2.4 lens and is the highest megapixel selfie camera found in any flip phone. It should also be noted that the selfie camera his hidden beneath the screen with a punch-hole design instead of the camera notch of the previous model.

In terms of capabilities, the 50MP camera has near-instant focus and can even record 8K videos or shoot in HDR10+ mode. This captures around a billion colours, which will be visible when played back on the main screen or an HDR10+ compatible TV. The ultra-wide lens does a decent job of capturing wide settings and landscapes, and can get to about 2.5cm away from subjects for detailed Macro Vision shots.

You also have the option of setting the 50MP camera up in Quick View or ‘tripod mode’ by folding the phone half way and setting it down. This makes for even higher resolution selfies or you can switch to the ultra-wide camera for a group shot. When you set it in this configuration, the main display spits into 2 pane view with the image preview on top and the settings and shutter button on the bottom. And on the front of the phone, you can see a preview of what the camera sees too. It all works quite well and should be handy for many hands-free photos. You can even set the phone to sense when everyone in the frame is smiling and it will automatically take the shot!

flower shot on razr
Flower shot on iPhone 14 Pro Max (left) and Moto razr 2022 (right)

Another claim to fame for the 50MP camera is that the sensor is actually quite large, which makes for better low light shots with 4 x improved sensitivity, according to Moto. This ‘Ultra Pixel’ technology does work quite well, and we were impressed at how quickly it could snap shots in low light. The results looked good too, with a surprising amount of detail revealed in dark areas. However, the 13MP wide camera’s night shots had much more noise and less detail overall.

Portrait mode is also an option, where AI is used to create a depth effect by recognising a person in the foreground blurring the background behind them. Performance here was mixed, with some photos looking great and a few other portraits missing a bit of the edge around my head. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, however, was flawless when taking the same shots.

Val selfie on iPhoneVal selfie on razr
Portrait mode on iPhone 14 Pro Max (left) and Portrait mode on Moto razr 2022 (right) showing glitch around my head

The front facing 32MP Selfie camera also gets the 4 x light sensitivity improvements with Ultra Pixel technology, however, this reduces the resolution to 8MP. There’s also a handy Mirror Mode for those that want to use the camera more like a mirror to check how they look. We also liked that you can enable the camera by rotating the phone back to front twice.

In general, we were impressed with the quality of photos that we took during our tests, however, there is a noticeable colour inconsistency between the main and wide cameras, and odd artifacts appeared during a 4K video recording in high brightness areas. Hopefully these minor issues can be ironed out with a software update.

Battery life and charging

One of the issues with the previous razr, and Galaxy Z Flip3 for that matter, was short battery life. The razr 2022 gets a 1.25 x larger battery, which is now 3500mAh, and this can charge 2x faster with the included 30-Watt TurboPower USB-C charger. In use, and with the screen brightness maxed, we could get a day’s charge out of it with a bit to spare, and this was from a combination of web browsing, email checking, YouTube video watching and about 20 minutes of gaming. Your experience may vary depending on how heavily you use the phone and what you do with it. Still, it should last a day, possibly more, when used for common tasks.

Sound and connections

There’s a surprisingly loud set of speakers on the razr 2022, along with support for Dolby Atomos surround sound. While no phone is really adept at creating true surround sound, the razr’s system does a surprisingly good job of producing loud, clear audio and with some sense of directional separation. You also get an industry first triple array microphone system, meaning improved voice pickup and ambient noise management, however, we didn’t get to test this out in a lot of detail other than to say that call quality sounded good, howver, there are a number of factors that can influence this including network connection quality, etc.

Otherwise, we’re seeing a modern selection of connectivity in the razr including Wi-Fi 6e support, 5G, nano and eSIM options, and Bluetooth 5.2.

GadgetGuy’s take

If you’re considering a foldable phone as your next device, the Motorola razr puts a lot of technology into your hands. It has the latest top-tier hardware including Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, an advanced camera system with decent low light performance and 8K video recording. The Main and Quick Display screens are excellent, and the Flex View hinge really does add a new dimension in terms of how you use your phone for taking photos, watching videos and using apps. And with a price of $1,599, it’s great to see that Moto wants to put this phone into people’s pockets at a reasonable price given all the technology and features it delivers.

Check out our Moto razr 2022 unboxing video:

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Motorola razr 2022
An impressive but incremental upgrade for moto's iconic razr foldable flip phone.
Value for money
Ease of use
Foldable form-factor is coming into its own now giving you a big screen in a compact package
Sleek and solid design with a firm hinge action
Lots of creative shooting options with new cameras including 50 megapixel rear, wide angle and 32MP selfie.
Flex View adds some additional ways to use your phone
Excellent 6.7in pOLED display and the 2.7in Quick View screen is roomy enough to be practical
High end performance with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile processor
You get a 30 Watt fast charger in the box
Some colour inconsistencies between main camera and wide-angle camera
Plastic back cover not as premium as Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Portrait mode still needs some fine tuning
Barely water resistant and dust proof