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After inexplicably making last year's Razr a China-exclusive device, Motorola is bringing the Razr line back to the U.S. and other international markets. And there's good news: The Razr+ (2023) is a polished and eye-catching clamshell foldable that makes the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 look outdated. Of course, the Flip 4 is almost a year old, so it's not the most direct comparison, but the Razr+ is the biggest challenge yet to Samsung's dominant grip on the foldable market in the U.S., all thanks to its much larger cover screen. If you've ever been unsure about this kind of phone, the Razr+ is a great place to start.

About this review: Motorola sent us the Razr+ (2023) for review. It did not have input into the contents of this article.

A render of the front and back of the Moto Razr+ in Viva magenta colorway.
Motorola Razr+ (2023)
Best clamshell foldable right now

The larger outside screen makes a huge difference

8.5 / 10

Motorola Razr+ (2023) is a clamshell foldable phone with a large 1:1 3.6-inch outside screen that allows the user to get a lot done without unfolding the phone.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
6.9-inch 165Hz OLED (inner); 3.6-inch 144Hz OLED (outer)
256GB UFS 3.1
3,800 mAh
Operating System
Android 13
Front camera
Rear cameras
12MP, f/1.5 wide; 13MP f2/2 ultra-wide
Black, red, blue
30W wired; 5W wireless
IP Rating
  • Large outside screen lets you do a lot without unfolding
  • Bright, vivid main display with 165Hz refresh rate
  • Sleek and compact
  • Cameras resort to night mode too often
  • Battery life just good, not great

Motorola Razr+ (2023): Pricing and Availability

The Motorola Razr+ (2023) is available for preorder now at Motorola's online store, as well as Amazon, Best Buy, and major U.S. carriers. The phone will go on sale and be shipped starting on June 29. The phone has three color options — black, red, and blue — but has only one configuration: 8GB RAM with 256GB of storage. It'll cost you $1,000, but at the time of this writing, there are a few deals that can help you score a discount.

Design and hardware

Clamshell foldables done right

the Motorola Razr 2023
the Motorola Razr 2023

The Razr+ is a 6.9-inch slab phone that can fold in half. That 6.9-inch number makes the screen sound gigantic, but its elongated 22:9 aspect ratio keeps the phone's width manageable. And with a weight of 188g and 7.1mm thickness unfolded, it's still quite easy to hold. The screen is taller than usual but Motorola's software doesn't require you to reach all the way to the top (something Apple should take note of).

The main screen is brilliant: You get FHD+ resolution, 165Hz refresh rate, and 1,400 nits of maximum brightness. The 165Hz refresh rate is actually a bit overkill since 120Hz is more than smooth enough, but the brightness certainly helps the screen remain visible outside. It's worth noting that the crease at the folding point still exists — which should be old news by now for non-Samsung foldables — but it's thankfully faint and hard to see. This is due to the display using a waterdrop folding mechanism compared to Samsung's harsh fold. In fact, Motorola was the first brand to use this folding mechanism with the original Razr in 2020, and it continues to work well here.

The Motorola Razr 2023

The hinge feels sturdy, but it's not quite as stiff and reassuring as Samsung's. Still, it can keep the display semi-opened at various angles. This allows the phone to sit on a flat surface in an L shape, propping half the screen in an upright position. The benefits of this should be well documented for most readers.

With the phone folded, the Razr+ is a compact square that can fit easily into most shirt or jacket pockets. And it's as brilliant as the main screen, with a 3.6-inch 1066x1056 display, up to 144Hz refresh rate, and 1,100-nit peak brightness. The screen is about as big as it can physically get, even wrapping around the dual-camera system.

The bottom half of the phone, which is the back side when folded, has a frosted glass finish, which feels a bit slippery but is fingerprint resistant. The other half of the phone is the outside cover screen, which spans almost the entire front side of the phone when folded.

Unlike similar foldables from Samsung and Oppo, Motorola's outside screen doesn't try to limit what you can do on the outside screen. You can open any app you want on it, even if some apps look silly in a small square. Motorola let us do this on all its previous foldables, but this time, the outside screen being relatively large does allow for more usability. For example, I often navigate on Google Maps, read emails, or respond to WhatsApp messages on the Razr+'s outside screen. This saves me from needing to unfold the phone for every little action. I'll talk more about what the outside screen can do in the performance section below, but needless to say, it's a big improvement over other clamshell foldable screens.

Motorola Razr+ 2023

However, while the display tech and outer hardware feel top-notch, the inner components take a slight step back. The processor is a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which is a year-old chip. This doesn't matter much as the chip is still more than powerful enough. What does matter is that the storage uses UFS 3.1 instead of the latest 4.0. The latest standard is twice as fast and more efficient, which drains less battery. But on the other hand, the Razr+'s 3,800mAh battery supports 30W fast charging and 5W wireless charging, stereo speakers, and an IP52 water and dust resistance rating, and these are all rarely found in non-Samsung foldables. So you win some, you lose some.


Nothing special

The Razr+'s cameras are, in a word, fine. I can't complain too much, particularly with clamshell foldables, other than the 12MP main camera resorting to night mode a bit too often. I don't think Motorola needs to do this, as the camera's f/1.5 aperture is wide open to take in light, and night photos don't always have to be artificially brightened. But alas, this phone uses night mode very easily, even if it's just slightly dim. This has resulted in a lot of blurry photos since I wasn't holding still long enough to account for the slower photo-taking process. If you look at the night shots in the samples below, they're a bit too bright anyway. Just turn off night mode and give us a darker shot. (You can turn off night mode, by the way, but it's turned on by default.)

Daytime photo performance is satisfactory: dynamic range is strong, colors and white balance are accurate, and there's a fine level of details. Despite the small image sensor, there's some pleasing subtle bokeh when snapping photos of a subject that's a bit further away from the background. I suspect some of it is artificial bokeh produced by the software, but it looks natural enough.

The 13MP ultrawide suffers from two problems: the field of view is way too narrow, and it is very bad at night. During the day, photos are fine (if a bit tight), but at night, photos are soft and blurry.

The foldable nature of the phone allows you to use the main camera for selfies, and this does usually result in more detailed photos. The actual 32MP selfie camera on the inner screen is no slouch, and in some instances, produces a better-looking selfie than the main camera.

The ultrawide camera also doubles as a macro sensor and can produce some decent macro shots. You can forget about zoom photography, however, as there is no zoom lens, and the main camera isn't pixel-dense enough to do good digital zoom.

The Razr+'s foldable nature makes it a versatile video recording machine. You can fold it up and use the normally rear-facing camera system to film selfie videos, or you can place the phone on a flat surface and let it serve as its own tripod. Video performance is perfectly fine during the day, but the electronic image stabilization falls apart at night with noticeable shakes when moving. There's a fun "spot color" mode where you can film black-and-white videos with some parts/objects in color. The front-facing camera can also shoot in 4K/30FPS resolution, which many Chinese phones cannot do. I've compiled a series of video clips using all the cameras in the footage below.

Software and performance

Solid all around

The Razr+ runs Android 13 with Motorola's software skin on top, and it's enjoyable to use. It doesn't stray too far from how stock Android looks and behaves, but it's jam-packed with customization options and shortcut gestures. I find some of the gestures quite goofy — for example, you can make "chopping motions" with the phone twice to turn on the flashlight. But other gestures, like the best-in-class always-on display that lets you control music and read notifications in full, are much welcomed.

Razr+ outside screen running google Maps

The software is also well-optimized for the foldable form factor. YouTube and Netflix will automatically push the video up to the top half of the screen when it's in folded halfway. You can launch apps in a floating window or in split-screen mode. And while I love that the outside cover screen can run any app in full, Motorola also built a series of widgets that fit into that smaller size a bit better. For example, there's an intuitive, dedicated Spotify widget for the cover screen that's easy to use. The outside screen being so usable really improves the overall experience. One of my main gripes with clamshell foldables is that I have to unfold the device to get anything done, which means I could unfold up to 150 times a day. The Razr+ cut that number down by at least half.

Overall performance is fine, as long as you can accept that the cameras aren't quite as good as typical non-folding phones at its price point, or that battery life also won't last a full 12-hour day out for heavy users. The stereo speakers and haptics are fine for a small foldable phone. I've been using the Razr+ as my main phone for a week around the San Francisco area without issues.

Should you buy the Motorola Razr+ (2023)?

You should buy the Motorola Razr+ if:

  • You want the best-looking and performing clamshell foldable
  • You want a phone that can fit into tiny pockets or purses
  • You want a large cover screen

You should not buy the Motorola Razr+ if:

  • You are picky about camera performance
  • You don't really see the benefit of a slab phone that folds in half

The Motorola Razr+ is Motorola's best phone in a long while, and the best clamshell foldable phone right now. Yes, Samsung's Z Flip 5 is just around the corner, but reliable leaks already show that its outside screen won't be as large as Motorola's. I do believe Samsung's camera performance and hinge should be slightly better, and the phone will likely ship with a newer SoC, but Motorola's outside cover screen makes all the difference.

However, I am not the target audience of this phone. I have always said I prefer large book-like foldables over clamshell ones. If I'm going with a foldable and compromising on camera performance, I want it to give me more screen when I unfold. But that's totally just my preference. If you have always liked the idea of clamshell foldables, the Razr+ sets a very high bar.

A render of the front and back of the Moto Razr+ in Viva magenta colorway.
Motorola Razr+ (2023)
The best clamshell foldable right now

Large outside screen FTW

Motorola Razr+ (2023) is a clamshell foldable phone with a large 1:1 3.6-inch outside screen that allows the user to get a lot done without unfolding the phone.