Motorola Razr 2023: everything you need to know about Moto’s new flip phone

The new Motorola Razr (2023) and the premium Motorola Razr Plus (2023) have been announced and are going on sale soon. The Razr Plus will hit stores first, with the less expensive Moto Razr following up later in the year, though hopefully it won’t wait long.

The new Motorola Razr (front) and Razr Plus (back) (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Motorola has taken aim directly at the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 with its new Razr lineup, and the phones leave behind the chin and distinct Razr look we saw on previous models. Of course, we haven’t seen all the previous models, as Motorola didn’t bother to sell its last Motorola Razr 2022 here in the US, but our UK editors liked that phone nonetheless. 

The premium new Motorola Razr Plus is all about the big cover screen, the biggest you’ll find on a flip phone today, as well as a new thinner design that loses the gap and reduces the crease just a bit.

Motorola Razr (2023)

The vegan leather Motorola Razr in sage green (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The less expensive Motorola Razr is about style and design, with vegan leather on the front and back and cool new color options chosen in tandem with Pantone’s massive color library. 

We had a chance to spend time with the new phones for a hands-on look, and we’ll have an in-depth review of the Motorola Razr Plus soon. Once we learn more about the base model Moto Razr, including pricing, we’ll keep you posted on availability and get our review ready for the best buying advice.

Cut to the chase

What is it? Motorola’s new foldable flip phoneWhen is it out? Pre-orders start June 16, on shelves June 23How much will cost? $999.99 / £1,049.99 (approximately AU$2,010)

Motorola Razr (2023)

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Motorola Razr 2023: release date and price

The new Motorola Razr (2023) has been officially announced, but we don’t have pricing or a specific sale date for that phone. The premium Motorola Razr Plus (2023) will go on sale first for $999.99 / £1,049.99 (approximately AU$2,010). You can start placing orders on June 16, and the phone should be on store shelves by June 23. 

Unlike the last Motorola Razr (2022), this year’s model will not only be available to buy in the US, it will even be sold by some of the mobile carriers. That means you might be able to find a good deal if you’re willing to sign a contract agreement. We know that AT&T and T-Mobile will sell the phone in the States, among numerous smaller MVNOs and carriers.

In fact, T-Mobile will be the only carrier to sell the new Viva Magenta color in stores, to match the carrier’s signature color, of course. That may be the most desirable model, since it uses vegan leather instead of glass to create a unique feel and finish. Otherwise, the new phone will be available in Infinite Black and Glacier Blue, both Pantone-branded color names. 

The less expensive Motorola Razr will come in Summer Lilac (purple), Vanilla Cream, and Sage Green, also Pantone colors, when it eventually launches later this year. 

There won’t be multiple configurations of memory and storage, just a single option with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for the Motorola Razr Plus or 8GB of Ram with 128GB of storage for the Motorola Razr.

Motorola Razr 2023: design

The biggest changes between last year’s Motorola Razr (2022) and this year’s new models is the new design. Both the less expensive Razr and the premium Razr Plus are based on the same chassis and use the same display. 

The hinge and crease are identical in both, so both phones close shut with no visible screen gap. Both phones are equally the thinnest flip phone you can buy when closed.

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

The cover display takes up almost half the phone’s face (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The biggest design improvement is the huge new cover display on the Motorola Razr Plus, a 3.6-inch square that dominates the face and wraps around the camera lenses. It’s not just a simple notification space, this is practically half a smartphone that you can use for apps, maps, games, and plenty of other widget options.

Motorola Razr (2023)

The smaller display leaves more room for a big battery (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The more affordable Motorola Razr still uses a smaller external bar window, but makes up for this in a few ways. First, it uses the vegan leather finish that feels great and is otherwise only available on the Viva Magenta version of the premium Razr Plus. Every cool color option on the Motorola Razr is finished in the fake leather, and it feels great. 

Second, skipping that big display gives Motorola more room for a larger battery inside, which we’ll discuss below. Needless to say, the Moto Razr is certainly a downgrade, but those changes may be worthwhile if the price is low.

Motorola Razr 2023: displays

Both the Motorola Razr (2023) and the Motorola Razr Plus (2023) use the same display, but because the Razr Plus uses a more powerful chipset inside, it’s screen is a bit more capable. 

The internal display is a huge, 6.9-inch screen that is bigger than any current flip phone rivals. It has a 22:9 aspect ratio and 2640 x 1080 pixels. On the Razr Plus, the display can refresh up to 165Hz, while the base model Razr display can refresh up to 144Hz.

The new screen also uses LTPO technology so it can step down that refresh rate to save power as needed. It can handle HDR10+ content for inky black contrast and reaches a peak brightness of 1400 nits.

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

The hinge on the Motorola Razr Plus (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The screen is bright and clear and the crease is minimal, though it’s still present. You can feel it easier than you can see it. Both new phones get the same teardrop hinge that manages to fold the screen almost flat with no gap in between the halves if you look at the phone sideways. 

The Motorola Razr Plus gets a big new cover display, the biggest design improvement across the family. The new screen is a 3.6-inch OLED panel with 1-66 x 1056 pixels, a massive upgrade over last year’s model and most rival flip phones. That screen can also refresh up to 144Hz, and it even supports HDR10+, so it’s no slouch.

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

The crease is barely visible, though you can feel it (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The smaller Motorola Razr cover display is a 1.5-inch OLED panel with 194 x 368 pixels. It can refresh up to 60Hz. Both the larger and smaller OLED screens can emit 1000 nits at peak brightness.

Motorola Razr 2023: camera

The premium Motorola Razr Plus gets a better camera setup than the less expensive Motorola Razr, though it may not be easy to understand on paper. That’s because the cheaper phones uses more megapixels on the sensor, but megapixels don’t tell us the whole story. 

The Motorola Razr Plus is the first flip phone with a camera that uses a wide f/1.5 aperture lens. Motorola says this lets in up to 44% more light than the narrower f/1.8  aperture lens on competing phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 4. This could make a huge difference in low light photography as well as capturing a nice depth of field in photos.

Motorola Razr Plus camera app

Use the cover display as a viewfinder for the main camera (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

In addition, the 12MP sensor on the Razr Plus (2023) uses much larger sensor pixels than the 64MP camera on the Motorola Razr (2023): four times larger, in fact. That means each pixel has a better chance of catching photons in a dark environment, which should equate to better low light photos. 

Both the Razr Plus and the Razr use a second, 13MP camera for ultrawide photos and what Motorola calls ‘macro’ photography, though we’ll have to judge for ourselves after we’ve reviewed these phones whether the macro mode is really viable.

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

There’s a 32MP selfie camera but you won’t need to use it (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The front-facing camera on both phones uses a 32MP sensor that combines pixels for an overall 8MP image, a technique called pixel binning. You won’t need to use this camera for selfies, though, at least on the Moto Razr Plus, since the cover display can act as a viewfinder for the higher-quality main camera array. 

Motorola has taken great advantage of the folding design when it comes to using the camera. There are tons of shooting modes that let you use the folded state as a tripod or a photo booth, complete with a countdown timer and consecutive shots. You can also hold the phone sideways and use half the screen for video controls while the other half is a viewfinder, old school camcorder style.

Motorola Razr 2023: battery

The Motorola Razr Plus gets a minor battery upgrade over last year’s model, but the base model Motorola Razr gets even more. By removing the larger cover display, the Razr has more room for a larger battery cell, and this equates to longer battery life. 

The Motorola Razr Plus uses a 3,800 mAh battery, just a bit larger than the 3,700 mAh cell on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. The basic Razr uses a larger 4,200 mAh battery, which comes close to the best flat smartphones. 

Motorola Razr (2023)

The base model Razr has a larger battery than the Razr Plus (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Motorola says the Razr should get all-day battery. You may need to be a bit more conservative with the Razr Plus, especially when it comes to using that external display every time you close the phone. 

Charging speed hasn’t been improved, and the new phones charge at 30W, the same as last year’s model. That’s a bit faster than Samsung’s flip phone can charge, but it can’t match much charging from OnePlus and other rivals. 

This year’s Moto Razr gets wireless charging, though it’s quite slow. At only 5W, the Razr will barely keep its head above water compared to the faster 15W charging we’d expect on a modern smartphone.

Motorola Razr 2023: specs and features

While the exterior has been completely redesigned, the internal components of the new Motorola Razr Plus and Motorola Razr will be familiar to anyone following the smartphone world this past year. That’s because both phones use mobile platforms launched by Qualcomm in 2022. 

The Razr Plus features a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, just like the Galaxy Z Flip 4. The newest flagship smartphones use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform, but presumably using last year’s best platform helps Motorola cut costs.

Motorola Razr (2023)

The Motorola Razr uses a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The base model Motorola Razr uses the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset, a platform found on mid-range phones like the Samsung Galaxy A74 or the OnePlus Nord lineup. 

Performance should be adequate, though the platform isn’t fast enough to run the display at the same refresh rate as the Snap 8 Gen 2 platform. The Razr can only refresh at 144Hz while the Razr Plus can manage display rates up to 165Hz. 

We don’t have pricing for the base model Razr, but using a mid-range chipset should equate to a significant price reduction compared to the expensive Razr Plus model. 

While both phones offer 8GB of RAM for memory, the premium Moto Razr Plus uses LPDDR5 memory, while the Razr uses LPDDR4X. For storage, the Razr Plus offer 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, while the Razr only gives you 128GB of storage on a UFS 2.2 standard.

Motorola Razr Plus (2023)

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The Motorola Razr Plus features the most modern Wi-Fi stack we’ve seen on a smartphone, and it’s capable of communicating across bands and standards including 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/k/v/r/ax as well as Wi-Fi 6e. The Razr has fewer specialized Wi-Fi modes and supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax and Wi-Fi 6e. Both phones use a USB Type-C port running at USB 2.0 speeds. 

For connectivity, you can use an eSIM or a physical SIM card, depending on your carrier.

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