The $999 motorola razr 40 is the cheapest new model foldable phone available in Australia, priced at least $500 less than other new foldables.
It is available in Sage Green, Vanilla Cream or Summer Lilac (the version I had on loan for a few weeks).
inside the box you’ll find the phone, a 33 watt charger (the phone only supports up to 30 watts), USB Type-C cable, paper guides and two snap on case pieces.
Motorola phones run mostly unmodified Android, version 13 in this case.
The main, ultrawide and macro cameras are good but not great, which is usual for a foldable as traditional flat phones have the best camera specs. There is no optical zoom.
First the obvious point, if your pockets are small or you have no pockets and need to store your phone in a small handbag then a folding flip phone could be just right for you.
The ability to use a phone unfolded, half folded, upside down in tent mode or even fully closed opens up lots of use cases you can’t achieve with a traditional flat phone.
The razr 40 has a 4200 mAh battery which is 10% more than the razr 40 ultra which has 3800 mAh.
The main internal screen has a peak brightness of 1400 nits, 10bit colour and up to 144Hz refresh rate, which is almost the same as the more expensive razr 40 ultra.
Audio quality is always a strength for moto phones with crisp clear voice call quality, stereo speakers (Dolby Atmos and Spatial Sound) and 3 Microphones.t
Then there’s the exterior, the new razr 40 comes with a very different look, combining Gorilla Glass on the inside and a grippy vegan leather (soft touch plastic) on the outside which won’t get scratched like glass.
On paper you’d say the razr 40’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is worse than the Qualcomm razr 40 ultra’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 however this and the small 1.5″ secondary cover display should both boost battery life.
There is plenty of storage space with 256GB onboard and wireless charging is supported, albeit slowly at 5 watt rate.
Protection isn’t high level but is partially there with a IP52 rating (protected from limited dust ingress and water spray less than 15 degrees from vertical).
Like all foldables the mid screen fold crease is quite obvious to your finger when scrolling up and down the screen. You might get used to it easily or might hate it so try some folding phones out in a shop before buying.
Something else to be aware of with all folding flip phones is you cannot remove the screen protector, it is key to protecting the screen and fold crease from damage.
So what happens if you peel if off? You’ll have no warranty.
This is not a phone for gamers or anyone who needs wired video out as the older CPU is not up to speed for high graphics games and the phone doesn’t support wired Motorola Ready For output to a big screen.
At 1.5″ the external screen is not very big but it is customisable to show different kinds of information, toggle phone settings or take portrait selfies.
It may seem like a Captain Obvious statement but as you can see in my photos the trade off for being half the length when folded is that a folding flip phone is twice as thick as a regular phone.
Compared to similarly priced traditional flat phones like the Moto Thinkphone which is capable of charging speeds of over 60 watts, the moto razr 40 only charges at up to 30 watts. This is an issue because you’ll have to charge a folding flip phone more often.
The moto razr 40 only has a 4200mAh battery which is 80% of the battery size of the similarly priced Moto Thinkphone traditional flat phone.
The target market is women and people half my age who take lots of social photos and videos.
For those people folding Android flip phones have several unique strengths compared to a standard flat phone, just be aware of the pros and cons I’ve outlined.
Well done Motorola for offering a folding option that is mid-range with decent features and a price far below other folding options.
I wonder in the current economic environment of sky rocketing rents, food prices and stagnant wages … how many Australian 20 something year olds can afford a $999 folding phone let alone the more fancy and vastly more expensive folding models that cost $1499 to $3149.
Personally I wouldn’t buy one because I want a bigger battery and better camera with optical zoom.