The Galaxy Fold, left, and Motorola Razr are foldable phones with little in common.
Earlier this week I suggested that the Motorola Razr could be a fold able phone for the rest of us. At $1,500 it certainly isn’t cheap, and I’m not suggesting everyone run out and buy one on Dec. 26 when recorders start. But compared to the $1,980 Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Razr is a much easier device to wield, and it looks sharper and more phone-like to boot. So while I find the Razr’s design compelling and more natural to use, in many ways, the Galaxy Fold is the better upgrade.
For $500 more (and remember, this is still an eye-watering $2,000 we’re talking about here for the Galaxy Fold) you get more of everything — six cameras compared to two*, 75% more battery capacity and useful extras like wireless charging.
The Razr and Fold are stacked with trade-offs when it comes to features and design, and we’re here to compare the early highs and lows. I say “early” because Razr review units are still to come, and along with it our usual array of lab tests and observations from living with the device daily.
Until then, here’s how the Fold’s and Razr’s foldable screens and specs compare.
*Not including the time of flight (ToF) sensor, which is used to assist with low-light shots and can’t be used alone to take photos.Motorola Razr design feels more practical and thought out
If you want your phone to look like a phone, then the Razr’s vertical flip design will be more for you, compared to the Fold, which opens like a book.
The Razr’s smaller, narrower screen (6.2-inch versus the Fold’s 7.3-inch display) isn’t about giving you a tablet and phone in one. It’s about bringing a truly portable device to people who want something smaller to shove into their pockets. That said, the Fold is pocketable in its own way, stacking into a slim, tall phone sandwich.
Impression Of Motrola Razar Phone
What impresses me most about the Razr is how all its elements make sense. Its cameras, bezels and buttons fall exactly where they should, unlike the Galaxy Fold, which has a thick plastic bezel and a bulbous notch that takes up a large portion of the screen
Samsung Glaxy Fold
Angela Lang/CNET Motorola already wins the screen crease front
If the thing of a creased plastic screen makes you cringe, you’re out of luck. It’s what soft plastic does, and there’s no way around that for now. But you’ll be gratified to know that in choosing to bend the Razr vertically, Motorola has a short horizontal crease. It’s only as wide as the Razr itself — 2.8 inches compared to the Fold’s vertical crease of 6.3 inches.
Yes, you can still see it and feel it if you try hard enough, but it’s much less noticeable on the Razr than on the Fold, which has a wider crease where the two halves bend closed.
Motorola and Samsung have both built steel plates behind their fragile displays for structure and support. Motorola also claims that its hard coat of plastic on top of the electronic elements is stronger than the Fold’s.
Compared to the Galaxy Fold’s tall central crease, the Razr’s screen seam is itty bitty.
James Martin/CNET You can do more on the Galaxy Fold’s smallest screen
I never thought I’d appreciate the Fold’s cramped 4.6-inch outer screen until I met the Razr’s 2.7-inch exterior display.
The Razr’s tiny screen actually does make sense, since its purpose is mainly to display notifications, along with signal and battery status. But you can open any Android app on the Fold’s outer screen and then launch it on the inside, which makes it more useful if you’re using the Fold closed while on the go. I only wish typing weren’t such a nightmare.
On the other hand, Motorola has limited the Razr’s external screen capabilities to a tidy number of functions, including taking a self-portrait; carrying on a video call or a phone call over speakerphone or Bluetooth connection; and finally, listening to music that you’ve started on the larger screen first.