Happy unofficial foldables week! An increasingly rare bright spot in the broadly struggling smartphone space, manufacturers are looking toward the emerging form factor to help kickstart them out of the doldrums. Following announcements by Xiaomi and category-leader Samsung, Motorola returned this week with the latest version of the revived Razr brand.
The latest version of the product finally bumps it up to legitimately flagship specs with the inclusion of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip — much like the new Galaxy Fold and Flip and Xiaomi’s Mix Fold 2. And also, much like the new Xiaomi, the 2022 Motorola Razr comes with a major catch: it’s China-only. For now, at least.
The device was announced at an event in parent company Lenovo’s home country, alongside the new Moto X30 Pro and S30 Pro. Given the brand’s strength in other markets like Brazil and, surprisingly, the U.S., it would be a strange move to keep this thing China-only. For the moment, however, wider availability is very much TBD.
Here’s what we do know: The Razr sports a foldable 6.7-inch Full HD+ plus display, with an impressive 144Hz refresh rate. In addition to the new Qualcomm chip, it’s got 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage by default, paired with a 3,500mAh (because, foldables). There are a pair of rear-facing cameras, with a main 50-megapixel sensor and a secondary 13-megapixel ultrawide with macro functionality (a longtime Motorola favorite). The front-facing 32-megapixel camera, meanwhile, is located behind a hole punch in the main display.
Really solid specs all around. Seemingly gone are the days when the Razr was a mid-tier device trapped in a foldable’s body. Some of those earlier sacrifices were made in the name of keeping prices down, but in China, at least, this thing is quite reasonably priced by inflated foldable standards, starting at 5,999 RMB (~$890). We’ll see how much of that holds up if/when this thing comes to the U.S. If you’re in China, you can pick it up as soon as August 15.
It’s suddenly a good time to be excited about foldables. Motorola followed Samsung with its own rough start in the category. The original foldable Razr was a promising idea that failed to live up to expectations in most meaningful ways. Foldables are a long ways off from rocketing to the top of the Smartphone charts, but Samsung’s proven there are lots of consumers who are interested in these things by shipping ~10 million last year.
It also inadvertently demonstrated that the Flip form factor is the favorite, with around 70% of surveyed consumers noting that they prefer it to the Fold. That’s certainly good news for Motorola’s foldable ambitions.