The Motorola Razr (2022) is good for a foldable, but not good enough

Better, but still not good enough.

motorola razr 2022
Motorola Razr (2022)
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Processor
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform
Display
6.7"" FHD+ AMOLED display
Storage
256GB
Anula Wiwatowska
Social Media Editor
Read More
December 20, 2022
5 min read

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Quick verdict: Motorola Razr (2022)

At this point in foldable’s lifespan, the Razr is still asking too much and not delivering enough.

pro
Pros
pro Surprisingly good battery life
pro Near creaseless display
pro Practical external display
con
Cons
con Cameras performance is well below the price point
con Limited security updates
con Some performance issues

Foldable phones have been somewhat of a novelty for the past three years. Reviewers and consumers gawked at the glass screens disappearing in on themselves, all the while justifying subpar batteries and cameras, and soaring prices as the compromise required for this mind and glass-bending tech.

Now that we’re at the fourth generation of consumer foldables they can’t rest on their novelty alone. It isn’t enough for a foldable phone to just be able to fold, it needs to live up to its asking price. It needs to be a good phone, not just a good enough foldable phone.

moto Razr folding

How much does the Motorola Razr (2022) cost in Australia?

The Motorola Razr (2022) retails for $1,599 in Australia, pitting it against devices like the iPhone 14 Plus, and the Galaxy S22 Plus before the Samsung discounts started rolling in. Unlike other flagships, the Razr isn’t available on a plan through any major telcos - you’ll need to buy it outright and purchase a SIM elsewhere.

With an asking price up there with the flagships you’d expect quality parity along with it, but the latest gen Razr still needs improvements before it can run with the big boys.

Motorola Razr (2022) camera

Its camera has consistently been the foldable’s downfall, and unfortunately the 2022 Razr isn’t the one to buck this trend. Equipped with a 50MP primary, and 13MP wide angle lens the phone has the highest megapixel count of any foldable on the market but it's not the number of megapixels that matters, it's how you use them.

Snaps from the Razr’s main and wide angle lenses are simply disappointing. Despite the high MP count, they lack detail, and colour depth, making the shots look flat. You’ll also notice blowout around lights and lighter colours like white, which can somewhat be counteracted by shifting the exposure down before shooting. In saying that, with nice natural lighting you can still get a good snap but these are harder to achieve than the alternative.

Low light shots have the same issues, but come out with even less detail and scattered focus. In the shot below the camera focused only on the red drink inside the mug, blurring out the foreground and the background. Even the pattern on the tea cup itself is blurred out despite being a key focal point.

low light
lowlight
lowlight
lowlight

In these shots, the camera had difficulty focusing on the subject. None of the meals above have crisp lines, but instead look to almost sink into the white plates. 

The rear camera also struggled to capture movement, with almost every picture I took of a moving subject coming out blurred. You’ll notice some blur around the squeezy bottle as well as the vendor’s face in the street food shot below, and more on the bubbles in the beer.

movement
movement

Portrait mode from the rear camera and the front-facing camera alike were better than anticipated considering the rest of the lens performance. It is a bit aggressive when it comes to cutting out hair, but otherwise the bokeh defines the subject with crisp lines regardless which camera is in use.

portrait mode off

Out of all the lenses, the 32MP selfie camera performs the best. While colours still look a little washed out, the focus responds faster and the shots look to capture more detail. You can even make out the sheer exhaustion in my eyes (is it Christmas yet?). Low light is, again, a different story however. Capturing a clear selfie in low light was near impossible. I guess it ties into the Gen Z film camera aesthetic though.

selfie lowlight
selfielowlight

Since their inception we’ve been patiently waiting for foldable phone cameras to live up to their price point, and we’ll have to keep waiting. The 2022 Razr’s cameras profoundly under deliver for its asking price. For around the same price you can pick up an iPhone 14, or for significantly less you could opt for a Google Pixel 7 - both exceptional phones with photography capabilities to match.

Motorola Razr (2022) battery, performance and updates

While the Razr’s battery outlasted my expectations with 4 hours of screen time per charge, it falls behind again in performance and security updates.

While four hours isn’t going to let you miss an overnight charge, it should be enough for most users to get through a full day. You can eek this out further by opting for a dark mode display, and turning on battery saving features but I didn’t find it necessary. Considering the relatively low 3,500mAh capacity, I anticipated a much shorter run but it is worth noting that where you are can make a big difference in battery performance.

For the first few days of testing the Razr I was in South Korea, a country with a very different mobile set up to Australia. While abroad using a local eSIM I was only seeing two hours of screen time per charge, which doubled once coming back to Australian networks and an Aussie SIM card. If you plan on travelling with the Razr it may be worth investing in a battery pack that supports fast charging.

Performance has however had some hiccups. Response times between commands and the action can be slow at times, and at others downright clunky. Occasionally opening the phone didn’t trigger the screen and at others the screen would go black while waiting for an app to load. These quirks were few and far between, but were there nonetheless.

More concerning than any small glitches, the device comes with two major operating system updates and three years of security updates. Security updates for Android are still lagging behind iOS devices but Google and Samsung have started to make headway offering up to five years of updates as of late. While that is still a couple of years behind Apple’s historical support, it is a massive jump which only makes the Razr support look worse. Moreso, the Razr ships with Android 12 and the first said update is to Android 13 which is already out on most flagship Androids.

Motorola Razr (2022) design and practability

Holding the third generation Razr it is hard to believe this is the same company that released the ostentatious, hot pink Razr back in 2005. Where many phones, iPhone and Samsung included, are getting back in touch with their technicolour roots, the Razr’s monochromatic choice is kind of boring. Named Satin Black, the top half of the device is a shiny black glass and the bottom has a black matte finish. Despite the lacklustre aesthetic choice, there are more sophisticated and well thought out practical design elements.

Once folded the device has a large 2.7-inch AMOLED display which has almost the same functionality of the internal display. Samsung’s Z Flip series have a similar display screen at about half the size, which is just big enough to read part of a message and see a couple of notifications. With the Razr’s large display you can navigate on Google Maps, read and reply to messages, and even scroll through Instagram if you really want to. The functionality allows you to actually keep your phone folded more, saving battery in turn but it’s a double edged sword.

I have never taken so many pocket photos in my life. Half of my camera roll is just black pictures of the inside of my pocket from when I forgot to exit the camera app before closing the device. With all the functionality on the external display, I even managed to pocket-dial someone in my Instagram DMs. It was a true throwback to the early 2010s.

Unfolded the phone is large, about the size of the iPhone 14 Pro Max albeit a touch thinner. I’m not a fan of big phones - small hands - but the foldable form factor does make it easier to handle. The internal display is beautiful and bright, and has the smoothest crease I've seen yet in a foldable. You can still see the fold at certain angles but it is less prominent than the Z Flip series visually, and tactilely. 

Is the Motorola Razr (2022) worth buying?

Despite a surprisingly solid battery, the Razr continues to dawdle behind comparable flagship devices on camera, performance and ongoing support. The phone’s major features are more that of a $1000 phone rather than a $1,600 one, so you’ll still need to make big compromises for the pleasure of a folding phone.

And the foldable nature of the Razr is a pleasure. Its minimal crease and the large external display give it a better practical design, and more impressive engineering than the Samsung Z Flip range, even if it isn't as colourful. But I still think it is asking too much without offering enough in return.

Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe, writing across Reviews.org/au and WhistleOut. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and lifestyle. After a year in the sector, Anula was shortlisted for Best New Journalist at the IT Journalism Awards in 2021. Apart from putting serious words on the internet, Anula strategises and creates social-first content, and researches by getting lost in TikTok for hours on end. If she isn’t in front of her computer, you’ll find Anula drawing somewhere cozy, pretending that she knows how to use power tools in the yard, or playing with her dog with a strong martini in one hand.

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