Motorola Razr 5G
So Close... But So Far
There wasn’t much money when I was younger. But one year my mum had told us (repeatedly) that she wanted one particular phone.
This phone was so expensive that my brother’s and I had to put our money together to buy it.
My mum loved this phone. The Motorola Razr - in pink.
While she loved this phone, when I picked it up to see what the phone that demanded crazy money could actually do, I was very disappointed.
It looked great- I won’t argue that point at all. But in terms of what a phone could do then- it simply wasn’t a good phone.
Skip forward to 2019 and I hear that, ‘The Razr’ is coming back.
This time it’s a smart phone. It’s a foldable smart phone.
Yes this was the phone that started my love of foldable.
At the time I could get my hands on one of these phone.
A very simple reason to a very annoying problem. They had it locked to a courier that gives little to no service in the area I live.
But then, I saw Samsung’s version of the ‘Clam Shell’ Smart-phone. The Galaxy Z Flip.
Yes I got that phone and even changed my network provided of 10 years to get my hands on this phone.
That was March of 2020. It has been my only phone since then.
Recently I was encouraged to buy a back-up phone, just in case.
As I would struggle with a normal slab phone, I got my hands on, The Motorola Razr 5G.
Folks, don’t meet your heroes.
Let me be clear, I adore the look and style of the Razr. It is a beautiful phone. It’s striking, fits perfectly in the hand and around your face when you are taking calls and that front screen!? Samsung need to copy that front screen as it makes a foldable phone something truly special.
Often when I watch YouTube on my phone, I almost never have my phone in Landscape. Watching a video on that external screen is just a better experience.
Navigating through music and other apps is also so much more convenient on the external screen and that is a feature that needs to be celebrated all day long.
Sadly, this is where my praise for the Motorola Razr ends.
While the Samsung Z Flip and Motorola Razr are about the same length, the screen real-estate on the Razr is significantly less.
This has a noticeable negative effect in many areas.
The keyboard is small with keys that double up. Underneath where you would expect to find Soft keys, Motorola have ignored- or maybe forgotten to put them on and instead you will rely on ‘Gestures’ more than anything else.
This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but more often than not, I would respond to a message I had already sent in Chat, rather than exiting the app.
The cramped keyboard also lead to me (somehow) going back to the Home Screen rather than pressing send on my message.
The lack of customization for this phone makes it feel very ‘Business’ rather than something to enjoy. Sure you can change the wallpapers of both screens and even put your own on the keyboard- but it somehow feels incredibly limited.
When people ask me what it’s like to use the Samsung Z Flip, I often say, “Like using the Galaxy S9.”
When people have asked me what the Motorola is like… well it’s like and old school Blackberry.
The Samsung gives you the framework and practically says, ‘make this your own.”
Motorola feels like they are lending you a phone saying, ‘sure it’s yours, but this is how you can use it.’
Even downloading third-party launchers didn’t make this an easy phone to like.
While the Samsung Z Flip has shown me every day that I made the right choice in buying it, the Motorola feels like it’s relying on gimmicks - and they wear off fast.
Again, the presentation of the Motorola is nice. Even the box it comes it is a really nice display box. But a phone in this day-in-age needs more than that.
It is beaten in almost every way by the Samsung.
Honestly, it is a real shame. There was an attempt to catch lightning in a bottle here. And they very nearly did it. Unfortunately, when you pick that bottle up… it explodes.
I am sure that if I had got the Motorola Razr first, I would have warmed up to it. I would have used it every day for a year and not noticed any of these issues.
But I’ve had the Samsung since March of 2020 - currently, it is May of 2021. I still love my Samsung flip phone and I do recommend it to most people.
It truly is a great phone- that flips down to something very pocket-friendly.
The Motorola isn’t. Much like its previous namesake, the Motorola isn’t a great phone. It’s alright.
The front screen it truly something great. But the rest of the phone… it’s just alright.
With the price tag that comes with tech like this, Alright just isn’t good enough.
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