Motorola says it has “full confidence” in the durability of the Razr’s foldable display
The Motorola Razr’s launch has been a difficult one. It was announced in November, attracting a lot of hype because of its vertically folding flip phone nature. Motorola even had to delay the phone’s release for a month because of increased demand. As soon as it went in the hands of reviewers, however, harsh realities began to emerge. The Razr’s foldable display lasted 27,000 folds in CNET’s FoldBot test, below the officially rated 100,000 figure. Motorola had to clarify that bumps and lumps on the foldable display were “normal” as it used a special hinge mechanism to avoid the crease. As its foldable display was plastic, scratching it was much easier than scratching a traditional glass display. The hinge mechanism also made a creaky sound. Most reviewers were critical of the overall experience that the Razr provided. Durability concerns went up a notch when InputMag’s Razr unit’s display spontaneously started breaking after a week of use, as its screen lamination was peeling off. The publication’s Raymond Wong speculated that this could have been due to the phone being quickly shifted from cold ambient outdoor weather to a heated room.
This kind of negative publicity isn’t what Motorola had in mind. The company did show innovation for being the first to market with a vertically folding flip foldable phone, but that’s not good enough. It still remains confident about the Razr’s display, though. In an official response to InputMag, Motorola said that it has “full confidence” in the Razr’s display, and it does not expect consumers to experience display peeling as a result of normal use. As part of its development process, the Razr underwent “extreme temperature testing”, but as with any mobile phone, the company recommends not storing the phone in temperatures below 4 degrees F and above 140 degrees F. Any device failure related to weather during normal use and not as a result of abuse or misuse will be covered under the company’s standard warranty.
InputMag notes that the problem doesn’t seem to be widespread at this point, but this is probably due to the very small quantity of devices being in market. Mashable’s tech reporter has reported that whenever cold air comes in, the display on her Razr unit is crunching every time when it is folded and unfolded. A Samsung Galaxy Z Flip user also speculated that his brand new foldable phone’s display broke out of the box after flipping it due to cold weather, as he heard it crack after opening it in cold ambient temperature. Samsung immediately replaced that unit, but the reason for the breakage is still unknown.
The Motorola Razr is not the first foldable phone on the market to face durability issues. The Samsung Galaxy Fold’s recall and redesign saga is well known. The Galaxy Z Flip’s Ultra Thin Glass behaves like regular plastic and not like glass when it comes to durability, as it can be scratched very easily, even with a fingernail. The Huawei Mate X never saw an international release after the US trade ban (it remains a unicorn), but its outer folding nature led to durability concerns from the beginning. It’s clear there is still quite a long way to go before foldable phones achieve maturity when it comes to how durable they are in comparison to regular slate phones.
The Motorola Razr is available exclusively from Verizon in the US for $1,499, making it more expensive than the Galaxy Z Flip. (Strangely, it uses only an eSIM and not a nano SIM slot.) A gold color variant may launch soon. Motorola is also planning to launch the device in India in the near future.