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Raising the bar on flip phones

I don’t like flip phones. But I love the Motorola Razr+ (2024).

You probably have a puzzled look on your face after those first two sentences, but it’s true. I’ve used various flip phones over the years, mostly from Samsung. And I just don’t like them. I find that I need to open it several times a day to mindlessly scroll through social media or just play on my phone. Battery life is generally not all that great, and neither are the cameras. But somehow, Motorola has changed all of that for me with the Razr+ (2024).

Last year, with the Razr+ (2023), I absolutely loved using the external display. But this year, Motorola was able to make it even larger, somehow. Which makes it easier to mindlessly scroll through Twitter (sorry, X) while walking down the streets of Brooklyn. I can still play some of Google’s Game Snacks on the front screen, too, making it quicker to pass the time on the subway, and I can even use the rear cameras for a selfie or two.

I didn’t expect to like having an external display this large this much. I’ve used it before on other flip phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 but it’s limited to only a few apps. While Motorola is allowing all apps to work on the external display. OPPO also has a pretty large external display on its Find N3 Flip which is more or less the same aspect ratio as a regular phone display. That’s cool and all, but is tough to really use.

But how does the rest of the phone stack up? Because that external display is cool and all, but it means nothing if battery life isn’t great, performance is poor, or the cameras suck. Let’s find out in our full review.

Motorola Razr+ (2024) Review: Design and Build Quality

The build quality of Motorola phones has never really been an issue. While not all of their phones look the prettiest, they do use an industrial design that helps them withstand basically anything. And that’s true here with the Razr+. It’s an industrial design that actually looks pretty. As mentioned in the disclaimer, I do have the Peach Fuzz variant, which has a faux leather back that is peach fuzz colored, while the frame is more of a bronze-gold color. Honestly, it’s a really cool look.

This year, Motorola says that the hinge on the Razr+ is about 30% smaller compared to last year’s model. Honestly, I didn’t really notice it until I put it side-by-side with the Razr+ (2023), and it sure is much smaller. It also feels and looks more sturdy than its predecessor. Though, we’ll find out in a year if that’s true.

Raising the bar on flip phones
Razr+ (2023) vs Razr+ (2024)

One design choice that always puzzles me with phone makers, is making the cheaper model have a matte finish on the sides, while the more expensive phone is glossy. Google has done it, Apple did it for years, and now Motorola is doing it with the Razr+. Luckily with this Peach Fuzz color, it does not get as nasty from fingerprints as others that have glossy side rails.

Another design choice that I love, however, is the choice of material for the back. Last year, Motorola did offer one Razr+ with a vegan leather backing which was the Viva Magenta color that was exclusive to T-Mobile. I asked for that as a review unit, but got the black one instead. This year, all Razr+ models have either a faux leather back or a faux suede back. And to be honest, that faux suede back is really nice, and I hope it holds up better than Apple’s FineWoven cases. The Peach Fuzz faux leather backing here is really nice and provides a good grip for the phone to keep it in your hand. It also feels much more comfortable to hold than a glass-backed phone.

The hardware looks and feels great on the Motorola Razr+ (2024); I’d even say it’s some of the best-looking and feeling hardware on any flip phone available today.

Motorola Razr+ (2024) Review: Display

Like a lot of foldables, the Razr+ does feature two displays. There’s the external display and then the folding internal display. Let’s talk about that external display first. Which is a 4-inch 1272×1080 resolution display that can get up to 2400 nits of peak brightness. Let me just tell you right now, it gets plenty bright in direct sunlight. I’ve used this external display so often outside in direct sunlight without a single problem with visibility. It’s also crisp and clear, with a crazy fast 165Hz refresh rate.

I’ve quite enjoyed using this external display, as the colors are very vibrant, and the display is bright. Not to mention Motorola lets all Android apps run on this external display.

Now for the folding display, that’s a 6.9-inch 2640×1080 resolution display, which also goes up to 165Hz and is dynamic. It also has an incredible peak brightness of 3,000 nits. Much like the external display, I also had no trouble at all seeing this display outside in direct sunlight. With foldable displays, peak brightness is even more important because the display is plastic, and naturally, it is very reflective. So that extra brightness really helps with being able to see it under bright light.

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Something that Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, and others have been able to do, but Samsung can’t yet, is to ship a foldable phone without a crease in the display. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves with foldable phones, but Motorola has once again shipped a display that doesn’t have a crease. You can see a little bit of a dip in the middle, but it’s far less noticeable than what Samsung is doing. If you think that will increase over time, let me stop you right there because the 2023 model looks almost identical to the new 2024 model in terms of display crease.

Now it’s time for some testing. As we do with each phone, we take a lux light meter and measure the brightness of the display. To do this, we get a plain white picture to fill the entire screen, shine a flashlight at the light sensor, and turn out all the lights in the room. This provides us with the brightest environment possible without having an actual lab. So, of course, the results aren’t going to be spot on for what Motorola touts as the peak brightness – as that is only for the very extreme cases. But for the front display, we got 1,100 nits, and the internal display peaked at about 1,654 nits. Still plenty bright for a not-extreme situation.

Motorola Razr+ (2024) Review: Performance

The Razr+ actually received a pretty big upgrade this year, in the performance department. The previous Razr+ had the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 inside, which was over a year old at the time of release. Now, Motorola has moved to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 with the Razr+ (2024). This has resulted in much better performance compared to last year’s model, and it is immediately noticeable.

In day-to-day tasks, the performance of the Razr+ is pretty impressive, for a flip phone. Oftentimes, flip phones will underclock the processor to keep things cooler and conserve battery life. But not with the Razr+. Here, we’re getting speedy and snappy performance in just about everything from playing games, to doomscrolling on Twitter, and even running benchmarks.

Of course, having 12GB of RAM inside also helps with performance. This particular model has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which is quite good for this price point. I’ve had no complaints at all when it comes to performance, in fact the phone doesn’t really even get hot, other than playing games for a long period of time, or running some demanding benchmarks.

The Benchmarks

Speaking of benchmarks, let’s check those out now. As usual, we ran a slew of benchmarks on the Razr+ that will test all sorts of aspects of the phone. The first one here is Geekbench 6.

Geekbench 6Geekbench 6

With Geekbench 6, it is testing the CPU speed of the single-core and the multi-core, as well as the GPU. On the CPU test, it scored 1977 in single-core and 5031 in multi-core. Now we are comparing this with the OnePlus 12 (also a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 device) and the Pixel 8 Pro with the Tensor G3. The Razr beat both pretty handily, especially in the single-core.

Moving onto the GPU test, the Razr+ scored 9,151. That’s more than double that of the Pixel 8 Pro, but quite a bit lower than the OnePlus 12. The only thing I can think of as to why it’s so much lower than the OnePlus 12 is because of its incredible cooling OnePlus has added. And we’ll see more evidence of that in the next benchmark.

Now let’s talk about 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme Stress Test. This is a pretty extreme benchmark that will drive the temperature of the Razr+ to about the hottest it’ll ever be. This runs a 60-second loop 20 times. Giving us a Best Loop score, a Lowest Loop Score and then a stability percentage from those scores. The Razr+ actually performed significantly lower than the OnePlus 12, but right in line with other Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 devices we’ve benchmarked lately.

The Razr+ earned a 3,046 score for its best loop, and it’s lowest loop was 1,626. That gives us a stability score of 50.8%. That’s not too shabby, but when compared to the OnePlus 12, it’s very low. As the OnePlus 12 had a best loop of 17,047 and a lowest loop of 8,669. However other Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 devices like the HONOR Magic6 Pro, scored a best loop of 5,054, and a lowest loop of 3,492. That’s much closer to the Razr+.

Capcut video test (seconds)Capcut video test (seconds)

The last benchmark we run here is a video test. Essentially, we load up the same 60-second video into Capcut and then export it at 1080p30. We time how long it takes to export, which tends to vary quite a bit among all of these devices. The Razr+ was able to export it in 18.25 seconds. That’s twice as long as the OnePlus 12 but less than half as long as the Pixel 8 Pro, which had a time of 40.05 (still the longest time for phones we’ve tested).

The Thermals

Now let’s move on to the thermals. We have three separate tests that we perform here to test out the thermals of the Razr+. Which includes taking the temperature of the phone after running the 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme Stress Test. As mentioned already, this is the most taxing thing on any phone, and we’ve never had any other thermal test beat this one, in terms of the temperature.

So, after running the 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme Stress Test, we checked the temperature, and it registered at 112.4 degrees Fahrenheit. That puts it right in striking distance of most other phones we’ve tested. Most were between 110 and 115 degrees, with the exception of book-style foldables like the HONOR Magic V2 RSR.

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The next thermal test we run is with Genshin Impact. With this test, we play Genshin Impact at the highest settings and with the screen brightness at the highest, for an hour. This is a pretty demanding title and it’s pretty representative of real world use. After an hour, the Razr+ registered a temperature of 98.6 degrees. Again, pretty similar to most other phones we’ve tested.

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Finally, we do a camera test. Basically, we are recording video in 4K30 (we’d do 4K60, but not every phone has that option), as that tends to heat up phones quite a bit. We take a temperature reading at 5 minutes in and again at 10 minutes. At 5 minutes, the Razr+ registered a temperature of 98.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and at 10 minutes, it rose to 104.3 degrees.

These thermals are pretty good, especially for a flip phone, where there’s not that much room for the processor to really breathe and dissipate heat.

Motorola Razr+ (2024) Review: Battery Life

When it comes to battery life on flip-style foldables, it’s generally not that great. It’s average at best. But last year, with the Razr+ (2023), Motorola did a good job of fitting in a larger battery and a more energy-efficient processor. Which resulted in pretty good battery life for a flip phone. This year, Motorola has somehow fit an even larger battery, 4,000mAh, which is enough to last you all day.

In the almost two weeks that I’ve been using this phone, I’ve been able to get through a full day and then some on a single charge. Now, a good bit of that is due to the fact that I can do so much on the outside screen. Obviously, that uses less power than the main folding display. But still, getting through a roughly 16-hour day and still having around 20-30% off is not bad. Sure, there are other phones that could do better, like the OnePlus 12 or Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, but neither of those are folding phones.

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Similar to our performance benchmarks, we also run benchmarks on the battery. Essentially, what we do is charge the phone to 100% overnight – to ensure it is at complete full charge. Then unplug it, turn the brightness all the way up, and play a 24-hour-long YouTube video until the phone dies. We tend to try to record the time at 1% before it actually shuts off, but that doesn’t always happen.

With the Razr+ (2024), it had a time of 15 hours and 45 minutes. That is, surprisingly, better than the Google Pixel 8 Pro. But about three hours shorter than the OnePlus 12. Which is not surprising given the much larger battery on that phone. This is the first flip-style phone we’ve done this test on, so there are no real apples-to-apples comparisons here yet.

When it comes to charging, Motorola quotes 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. Though, they do not include a charger in the box. So, using the same charger we use on every other phone, we charged from 0% up to 100%, and it took a little over an hour. That’s faster than the Pixel 8 Pro but much slower than the OnePlus 12. Don’t forget, OnePlus is doing 100W charging which is much, much faster.

Overall, the battery and charging did perform quite well on this phone. It definitely isn’t a problem for Motorola, at least with the Razr+.

Motorola Razr+ (2024) Review: Software

The Razr+ (2024) did launch with Android 14, and Motorola has promised three years of OS upgrades and four years of security updates for the Razr+ (2024). However, we do need to mention that it took Motorola until last week to start rolling out Android 14 to last year’s Razr models. That’s a solid 9 months after Android 14 actually launched. So, if you’re looking to grab the Razr+ (2024), keep in mind that you won’t be getting Android 15 anytime soon. This is an area where Google and Samsung still reign supreme.

Other than that, the software on the Razr+ (2024) is amazing. It’s still a mostly stock Android approach like Motorola has been doing for years. There are some aspects that are customized, like the control center. By default, you can opt to keep the same control center that Pixel devices have. You can also choose the “modern style” that Motorola has created. This is more in line with what a lot of Chinese OEMs offer. Where swiping down on the left side is your notifications, and swiping on the right is your control center, with a lot more controls available. I prefer this modern style, as you have access to a lot more controls, which makes it much easier. That’s always been one of my main critiques of the Android control center since its most recent redesign.

Motorola has kept a lot of the popular Stock Android features here including Material You icons, and even the ability to design your own wallpapers with Generative AI. The software is all around pretty good. I have very few complaints with the software, and with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 inside, it does a good job of keeping up too.

Moto AI brings some pretty useful features to Razr. Motorola is focusing on using AI to improve the user experience rather than just making features to make them. As expected, Moto AI is powered by Google Gemini, and other AI features also use Google Cloud. Motorola is using AI to improve your photos, providing unique ways to customize your device, and much more. Razr+ (2024) owners will get three months of Gemini Advanced through the 2TB Google One Storage plan for free.

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Motorola’s External Display Software is top-notch

Last year, Motorola debuted the largest external display on a flip phone. And it allowed users to run virtually any app on that screen. This included also making full-screen widgets. This was pretty cool, and some tried to copy it (namely Samsung), but pretty much failed. Motorola opening up the external display to all Android apps was a big deal, and you really don’t realize how big of a deal until you use the phone.

When I tell you I use the external display more than the internal display, I’m not joking. Especially for wasting time on my phone. Being able to open up Twitter on the external screen, Instagram, or Threads, and just mindlessly scroll while going somewhere is really useful. Not only that, but Google’s Game Snacks are also available here, which provides some surprisingly addictive games that you can play on the front display.

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Motorola also has full-screen pages for things like the Dialer, Weather, Spotify and more. Making it insanely easy to find out the weather, or control your Spotify playback. Now if that didn’t sell you on this external display, here’s one more thing. Google Gemini is available on the external display. It is a bit tough to type to Gemini, but it is there. And to be honest, this has made me use Gemini a whole lot more than I expected.

Right now, I have to say that Motorola is killing the game in terms of the usability of an external display. Having used the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the OPPO Find N3 Flip, both are far inferior to what Motorola is offering right now.

Motorola Razr+ (2024) Review: Cameras

One of the weak spots for Motorola over the years has been its camera. In fact, as long as I can remember, Motorola smartphones have had pretty bad or decent cameras. While they have improved over the years, so has everyone else, leaving Motorola at just “decent” or “good” cameras and not at “great”. But I think that might change this year.

Motorola decided to ditch the ultrawide camera on the Razr+ (2024) this year and instead opted for a telephoto 2x camera. So we have two 50-megapixel cameras on the outside of the Razr+ (2024), which are also big upgrades over last year. So now we’re seeing more detail thanks to the higher mexapixel sensors, and now we have a proper zoom lens, even if it is only 2x. On top of that, we also have AI included to process these photos. And let me say, you can see the difference.

Just about every time I snapped a photo with the Razr+ (2024), I was impressed with it. After having used the Razr+ (2023) for a couple weeks before the new one launched, I kinda knew what to expect from Motorola. But it’s still blowing me away. I will say, it’s not the best cameras on a phone, but perhaps the best on a flip phone.

After the briefing in New York City, Motorola gave me my review units of both Razr models, and from there I immediately started using it and taking pictures with the Razr+ (2024). So in the gallery below, you will see camera shots from all over New York City, as well as the Airport and some from Ann Arbor.

The pictures taken in Grand Central Station are some of my favorite. Typically, those lights would be pretty blown out, but the detail on them are incredible. This comes down to the processing. After I took each photo, I tapped on it to see what it looked like. It was okay, but once the processing was done, it was 100x better. In fact, there’s a picture a lamp from my hotel, where you can actually see the lightbulb and it’s pretty sharp. That’s not something you see often with phone cameras.

Motorola is using AI here, but it’s not overdoing it, which is important. Some photos at night, or at golden hour you can see the processing a bit more with some added noise. But I have to say even these photos look really good. Including the 2x zoom photos.

The bottom line is Motorola’s cameras no longer suck. They aren’t going to replace your DSLR, and likely won’t replace the camera I use at events (the OnePlus Open or iPhone 15 Pro), but I’m not afraid to use this camera to get some good pictures.

Should you buy the Motorola Razr+ (2024)?

The Motorola Razr+ (2024) is a great flip phone, and it’s coming out at a time when we are expecting some other great flip-style folding phones to launch, like the Galaxy Z Flip 6 (and Fold 6), as well as a flip phone from HONOR and OPPO in the next few months. So we’ll have to revisit this review in a few weeks or months and see if it still stands up as well to the competition. But as of right now, this is the best flip phone available.

You should buy the Motorola Razr+ (2024) if:

  • You want a flip phone with good cameras and battery life.
  • You have small pockets and want a phone that can fit in them.
  • You have nostalgia for the Razr from 20 years ago.
  • You want a folding phone that’s not from Samsung.

You should not buy the Motorola Razr+ (2024) if:

  • You want the best cameras on a phone, period.
  • You want fast software updates.

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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