11 ways the original Motorola Razr is better than the new Razr

When the new Motorola Razr was first announced, it sounded good: It looked like the original Razr, but had a full-size display on the inside, so you could get the benefit of a pocketable smartphone and still have the advantage of a big screen.

After conducting our new Motorola Razr review, though, we started to question if this foldable phone is actually better than the 16-year-old original. The shortcomings of the 2020 Razr (namely, its dismal battery life, creaky hinge and $1,500 price tag) made us nostalgic for the days when the first Razr was truly the coolest tech to own.

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Here are all the ways the original Razr is better than the new one — not that it was ever a competition.

1. It sounds better

We're not talking about the speakers, but rather the sound that the Razr makes when it opens and closes. The original had a satisfying snap, which was great when you wanted to end a call with authority. The new Razr sounds like you're crinkling cellophane. — Michael Prospero

2. Longer battery life

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How long was the battery life on the original Motorola Razr? Who knows, it doesn't matter. What I can tell you is it probably lasted a hell of a lot longer than 6 hours and 8 minutes with the screen on, which turns out to be the duration of the new foldable model based on our in-house web-surfing battery test. That's about half what the phones with the best battery life turn in. And because you didn't use those old cellphones for literally everything, they survived days — weeks, even — on a charge. Technology might have given us so much in the last 15 years, but it robbed us of battery life on our phones. — Adam Ismail

3. You can easily open and close it with one hand

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The genius of the Razr was its design. A simple flip of your thumb is all that's needed to open the original Razr. The new Razr is a bit too short, and the hinge a bit too strong, to perform this action reliably. It's as if Motorola forgot how to design a clamshell. — Michael Prospero

4. It costs a lot less than $1,500

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Although Motorola no longer makes the Razr V3, you can still get refurbished models for as little as $78. So, you could buy nearly 20 of them for the same price as the new Razr. — Michael Prospero

5. No under-display lumps to ignore

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When Motorola published a handful of videos instructing users on how to care for their new Razr, we were a little surprised to see it warn people that they may notice harmless lumps under the screen. It's nice that Motorola gave us a warning, but these kinds of imperfections were nowhere to be seen in the original. Granted, they use very different kinds of displays, but you deserve better for the price you're paying for the 2020 Razr. — Richard Priday

6. More durable

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The new Razr is a foldable phone with a plastic display and a complicated hinge. And, as the Galaxy Fold proved months ago, those features don't necessarily jibe with durability. Even if the Razr is the sturdiest foldable we've seen yet, the fact of the matter is that its plastic display is more prone to dings and panel-breaking scratches than a conventional one, and theoretically, a rather sharp piece of debris could make its way inside the device's hinge and wreak havoc on the screen from the inside. If we had to drop one onto a concrete sidewalk, we'd choose the old one every time. — Adam Ismail

7. It's tiny

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The original Razr came from a time when technology was celebrated for being compact, sleek and out of the way, contrary to the high-end handsets today packing 7-inch displays that will never see the inside of a typical jeans pocket. That made the Razr easy to live with, and it also made it cute. The new Razr incorporates a 6.2-inch screen but folds down to half the height, which is certainly useful. However, the new model is heavy and decidedly not cute in its drab all-gray guise, and that's a real shame. — Adam Ismail

8. No social media access

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Take an overdue digital detox from Twitter, Instagram and all other social media apps with the original Razr. While the new Razr comfortably feeds our scrolling addiction with access to the Play Store's massive app library, the original Razr will emancipate you from likes, comments and incessant posting for as long as you can last without a smartphone. — Kate Kozuch

9. Its 2MP camera means it has a good reason for taking bad pictures

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With a camera that's smaller than most modern phones' tertiary sensors, you can forgive the original Razr for taking poor-quality pictures. The new Razr has a 16MP main camera, but it's far behind anything an iPhone 11 or the best camera phones can take. At least with the old Razr, you can understand why its tiny sensor can't compete. The new Razr ought to be far more competent. — Richard Priday

10. Impossible to take selfies

In the days before you could search "selfie" in the dictionary, the original 2004 Razr lacked a front-facing camera. If you wanted to be in your own picture, you had to flip the display away from you and hope you made the shot. You usually didn't, and that was OK. Selfies are fun and all, but we can't help wondering if the world would be a better place without them. — Kate Kozuch

11. You're not bound to Verizon

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We might think Verizon is the best phone carrier overall, but that definitely doesn't mean it's the best phone carrier for everyone. The new Razr is a Verizon exclusive, meaning you can't get it through other providers. The original Razr offers the freedom of choice, which I'd take over any foldable any day. — Kate Kozuch

Tom's Guide Staff

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