Motorola Razr 40 review

Motorola Razr 40 review: makes the foldable flip mainstream

When Motorola announced its 2023 range of foldable flip phones, the brand adopted a bold strategy. For the first time in Australia, there are now two different-specced models you can choose from in the same range: the more affordable $999 Motorola Razr 40, and the aptly-named Ultra model, retailing for $1,499.

With a smaller cover display and reduced processing power, it’s easy to question who the target market for the Razr 40 is. Conversely, it’s a nifty little foldable that still impresses with a gorgeous main display, an above-average battery, and a convenient form factor. One can’t help but get a little envious of the larger cover displays, and therefore enhanced utility, seen with the 40 Ultra, Oppo Find N2 Flip, and the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. Which, mind you, all cost at least $500 more.

Arguably the biggest selling point of the Motorola Razr 40 is that it’s the most affordable flip phone in Australia out of the gate. We all want big, detailed screens to enjoy media on, but our pockets aren’t getting any bigger. Here’s where the Razr 40 does a great job of selling the foldable phone concept: you can still enjoy the benefits of having a big device that actually fits into your pocket.

Motorola Razr 40 first impressions

Both the Motorola Razr 40 and its Ultra sibling share a reasonable amount in common, highlighted by a large 6.9-inch foldable AMOLED screen. Of course, the biggest difference at a glance is seen on the cover display, the screen accessible when the phone is folded shut. Here, the Ultra boasts a big 3.6-inch cover display, compared to the base 40’s 1.5-inch screen. Interestingly, this puts the newer, cheaper model’s outer-facing screen at even smaller than the 2022 Razr’s 2.7-inch cover display.

Another significant sacrifice comes in the form of processing power. Both the 2022 Razr and this year’s Ultra benefit from the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform, while the base Razr 40 adopts the older Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Mobile Platform. As you’ll see later on with some benchmarks and real-world applications, this does make a tangible difference. However, like with any phone, you need to weigh up the importance of spending more for extra performance. One advantage the cheaper model does wield is a 4200mAh, while the Ultra only packs a 3800mAh battery.

I was immediately impressed by the Razr 40’s vegan leather finish. It looks and feels great, with the texture adding a welcome layer of grip when the phone’s open and closed. Plus, the metallic accents and hinge feel good quality. Folding and unfolding the phone is a fun novelty, aided by the sense of durability the hinge imbues.

You can’t discuss a foldable phone without mentioning the “C” word. Before your minds venture too far into the gutter, I’m referring to “crease”, of course. Folding display technology has progressed rapidly, reducing crease visibility to the point you barely notice it’s there. With the Motorola Razr 40, reading articles on the main screen yields an experience the exact same as any conventional phone. Unless you look at the phone from an angle or a bright light source hits the screen, the crease is imperceptible. Not to mention that the display is a real looker, too. Bright and vibrant, it’s super easy to read and watch content on.

How about the cover display?

Although I like the concept of an outer display, the small size of the Motorola Razr 40’s means it’s limited in scope. You can use it to quickly check notifications, check calendar entries, access contacts, and so on, but it’s a fairly shallow experience. Especially if, like me, you wear a smartwatch most days and already have access to these things without needing to check your phone.

Photography is another story, though. I’ve long thought that foldable phones offer more utility to content creators and avid selfie-takers than other types of users. This is because the cover display shows a preview of the camera, letting you use the more powerful outer camera array instead of relying on the selfie lens. With a quick double-flick of the wrist, you can open the camera app while the phone’s folded, and take a photo by raising a palm, setting a three-second timer to strike a pose. These gestures work seamlessly, making the act of taking photos super easy.

Motorola Razr 40 cover

Unfortunately, the 1.5-inch cover screen makes it tricky to compose the best shots, as you can’t see the full frame of what the camera sees. Although I don’t film TikToks every other day, the limited preview is even more prominent if you want to take photos and videos in vertical orientation. At the very least, you can unfold the phone halfway and sit it on a surface to shoot using the selfie camera and see a full preview on the main screen. But this then defeats the purpose of having an outer display and using the main camera. Again, it comes back to budget: if having a big, feature-rich outer display is important to your workflow and daily use, then $500 more for the Ultra model is a reasonable ask.

Motorola Razr 40 specifications

Operating SystemAndroid 13
Storage256GB built-in
ProcessorSnapdragon 7 Gen 1 Mobile Platform
Memory (RAM)8GB
Battery and charging4200mAh

30W TurboPower charging support (33W charger included)
5W wireless charging support
DisplayMain display: 6.9-inch pOLED 2640 x 1080, up to 144Hz

External display: 1.5-inch OLED 194 x 368, up to 60Hz
Dimensions188.6g
73.95 x 170.82 x 7.35mm (open)
73.95 x 88.24 x 15.8mm (closed)
Connectivity802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax/Wi-Fi 6e
2.4GHz & 5GHz & 6GHz
Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth 5.3
USB-C

Network bands:
3G: GSM QB; W1/2/4/5/8
4G: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/32/38/39/40/41/42/43/48/66
5G sub-6: N1/2/3/5/7/8/20/26/28/38/40/41/66/77/78
DurabilityIP52 Water-repellent design
ColoursSage Green; Vanilla Cream; Summer Lilac
Rear CameraMain: 64MP (f/1.7, 1/2″, 0.7 or 1.4μm@16MP Quad Pixel) | AF | OIS | Laser Autofocus + Ambient Light Sensor

Wide: 13MP (f/2.2, 1/3″, 1.12μm) | AF | Ultra wide | FOV 120°32MP selfie camera
Front Camera32MP (f/2.4, 0.7 μm) | 8MP (f/2.4, 1.4um) Quad Pixel
Official websiteMotorola Australia
Price (RRP)$999
WarrantyTwo years manufacturer’s warranty

Performance

General use

General doomscrolling, my preferred phone activity of choice, is nice and smooth when using the Motorola Razr 40. Its peak refresh rate of 144Hz ensures that navigating browser tabs and the like looks sharp. However, once you start putting the phone under load, it does noticeably slow down. I like having lots of tabs open at once, which is where I first observed a bit of lag, particularly when switching between multiple Chrome tabs.

Motorola Razr 40 8/256GB Vanilla Cream
  • Iconic foldable design. Flip the script with a pocketable flip design in a range of fun, trendsetting colors and a leather-like finish.
  • Capture like never before. With Flex View, stand your phone on its own at multiple angles, giving you entirely new ways to interact, capture, and create.
  • Everyday essentials at a glance. View notifications, check the weather, snap a selfie, and more, all without having to flip open your phone.
  • Immersive entertainment. Flip open the phone to reveal a massive 6.9″ pOLED screen, combined with multidimensional Dolby Atmos and Spatial Sound.
  • Versatile high-res cameras. Capture crystal-clear photos and selfies in any light with a 64MP main camera and OIS—or a 32MP camera with Quad Pixel technology.

Even when using the helpful Moto app that goes through several onboarding tutorials, including how to best use the flip form factor, the phone chugged at times. There would sometimes be slight delays between pressing a prompt and the next screen loading. It wasn’t much, and it’s worth noting that I’m coming from an iPhone 14 Plus, but you definitely notice slightly slower performance when compared to a more powerful handset.

To put my observations to the test, I ran a couple of benchmarks to see how the Motorola Razr 40 stood up alongside other phones using data we’ve previously collected.

PhoneGeekbench CPU
(single-core)
Geekbench CPU
(multi-core)
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra18014658
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 418254494
Motorola Razr 202213124171
Oppo Find N2 Flip11913389
Motorola Razr 4010192808

With Geekbench, a synthetic benchmarking tool, the Motorola Razr 40 returned lower CPU performance than the other main flip phones on the market. It’s worth mentioning that its performance isn’t that far behind the Oppo Find N2 Flip, which currently retails for $1,499.

I also ran the Razr 40 through some graphics and gaming tests using 3DMark, comparing it with publically available data. Graphics performance is where the gap widens further between flip phone models.

Phone3DMark Wild Life
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 48746
Motorola Razr 20227995
Oppo Find N2 Flip7689
Motorola Razr 403153

As you can see, there’s a big difference between the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chips in terms of graphical performance. Essentially, this means that the Razr 40 isn’t a gaming powerhouse, nor does Motorola claim that it is, for that matter. You can still play the odd game here and there, just don’t expect flawless performance from graphically demanding games like Call of Duty Mobile or Diablo Immortal.

Photography

Overall, the Motorola Razr 40 gives a pretty decent performance in the camera department. It captures colours well and produces a nice depth-of-field before turning to software adjustments. I found that even with AI optimisation switched off, the Razr 40 overprocessed images a touch, smoothing over facial features like freckles and pores to create a slightly unnatural result. It’s definitely a preference thing, but I prefer to make any adjustments after the fact and not have it done automatically when taking a photo.

I took photos across various scenarios to compare with the iPhone 14 Plus I use daily, finding that the Razr 40 compared reasonably well in good conditions. It struggled in low-light settings but not enough when compared to a phone costing roughly $600 more. Be warned, you’re about to see a bunch of my face.

Taking selfies, the Motorola Razr 40 took some nice snaps (as nice photos of me can be). Using natural light filtering through the back door, the Razr captured a good amount of light, and did a better job of representing colour than the iPhone 14 Plus’ selfie camera, although Apple’s device did capture more light overall. As you can see, the Razr 40’s main camera does smooth over my freckles and forehead lines a bit, as if I used a soft Instagram filter. I’d prefer it captured my details, imperfections and all, but the result ain’t shabby.

My reluctant cat model, Billie looks sharper in a dim-light photo taken by the iPhone, although the Razr 40 did well to capture a decent amount of light. If you zoom in, you’ll notice that the pic taken by the Moto is a bit blurry. It’s possible that it doesn’t have the same level of image stabilisation, so any movement with lower shutter speed snaps will show in the final image. It’s a similar story with the food snaps taken in a dimly lit restaurant. The Moto resulted in a bit of blur and quality loss, while the iPhone photo is less impacted by the colour of the ambient light, resulting in a truer white balance.

Again, the Motorola Razr 40 does reasonably well in low-light situations, although the colour from ambient lighting bleeds into the rest of the restaurant image using the wide-angle sensor, unlike the iPhone 14 Plus. At a FIFA Women’s World Cup game, you can see that the iPhone takes better and more vibrant photos as its strong HDR capabilities better isolate the highlights and lowlights. Meanwhile, the Motorola Razr 40 photo shows more of a blown-out sky by the stadium lights, impacting the rest of the image. It’s not bad by any stretch, but shows the difference between a $999 phone and a nearly $1,600 one.

Who is the Motorola Razr 40 for?

Having a phone with a big screen is great for the most part, until you need to fit it into a pocket alongside your keys, wireless earbuds case, and anything else you carry regularly. Where the Motorola Razr 40 shines is as an example of having your cake and eating it too. With its sleek foldable design, you get a large, vibrant display in the form of something that actually fits comfortably in your pair of jeans, chinos, etc.

It’s not as powerful as other flip devices, like its premium Razr 40 Ultra sibling, and its cover display isn’t as useful as larger iterations. However, $999 at launch is a sweet spot for the features and convenience the base Razr 40 offers in an emerging form factor.

For power users who need extra performance and a larger cover display, the Ultra is for you. Otherwise, the Motorola Razr 40 is a sleek foldable flip phone that fits into your life for less than $1,000.

GadgetGuy occasionally uses affiliate links and may receive a small commission from purchased products.

Motorola Razr 40
At $999, the Motorola Razr 40 is Australia's most affordable foldable flip phone. It makes some sacrifices along the way but makes up for it with a great display and convenient form factor.
Features
8
Value for money
8
Performance
7
Ease of use
8.5
Design
8.5
Positives
Attractive and portable design
33W charger included
Beautifully vibrant main display
Negatives
The cover screen's small size diminishes its usefulness
Cameras that slightly over-process images
Not as powerful as other flip phones
8