A classic design is being reinvented right before our eyes. The new Motorola Razr and Galaxy Z Flip — both of which are now available — are the first two foldable phones ever with clamshell designs that combine a retro look with cutting-edge technology. But which one of these new age flip phones will win?
The Motorola Razr has the name recognition of the 2000s icon and a handy Quick View display up front, while Samsung could overshadow its competitor with a lower price, bigger display beefier specs. So at least one of these devices definitely has a shot of making our best phones list.
Here’s how these two foldable phones stack up so far.
Motorola Razr vs Galaxy Z Flip: Price and release date
The Motorola Razr costs $1,500 and hit stores February 6. You can order the phone online now from Walmart and Verizon, and it is an exclusive to that wireless carrier in the U.S.
On Feb. 14, the Galaxy Z Flip went on sale, too, for $1,380. It will be available through AT&T and Sprint though in limited quantities. (Samsung's not kidding about the limited part — the phone is very difficult to find. Here's where to find and buy the Galaxy Z Flip.)
Motorola Razr vs Galaxy Z Flip: Specs compared
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
|6.2 inches OLED (2142 x 876)
|6.7 inches OLED (2636 x 1080)
|2.7 inches OLED (800x 600)
|1.1 inches (300 x 116)
|12MP (f1/.8), 12MP (f/2.2) ultra wide
|3.7 x 2.83 x 0.55 inches
|3.4 x 2.9 x 0.61-0.68 inches
|6.77 x 2.83 x 0.27 inches
|6.6 x 2.9 x 0.28 inches
Galaxy Z Flip vs Motorola Razr: Design
The Motorola Razr's design is inspired by one of the most popular clamshell phones of all time, featuring a compact design when closed. Just like the original, there's a chin on the bottom but it houses a fingerprint sensor for quickly unlocking the foldable phone.
The textured back makes the Razr easy to grip. The whole phone measures just 3.7 x 2.83 x 0.55 inches when closed, which is a bit bigger but thinner than the Galaxy Z Flip's measurements of 3.4 x 2.9 x 0.68 inches.
When open, the Razr and Galaxy Z Flip are evenly matched in terms of size but the Razr's heftier at 7.2 ounces; the Z Flip weighs 6.5 ounces.
Only the Galaxy Z Flip has a Hideaway Hinge that enables you to open the phone half -way like a laptop, which is optimized for capturing video content or taking selfies. And there's a Flex mode that splits the display into two 4-inch screens so you can view content on the top and see controls on the bottom.
The Galaxy Z Flip comes in Mirror Purple and Mirror Black, both of which change color based on the ambient light. The Razr comes in just Smoky Black, though a Gold model is coming later. Right now Samsung seems to have the edge in the style department.
Motorola Razr vs Galaxy Z Flip: Displays
There are very big differences between the Motorola Razr and Galaxy Z Flip when it comes to their screens. When open, the Z Flip features a large 6.7-inch OLED display, compared to just 6.2 inches for the Motorola Razr.
In addition, the Razr has a plastic interior display, while the Z Flip has a foldable ultra-thin glass display. Based on our testing so far, that really makes a difference in the feel of the phones.
On the outside, the Razr takes the lead with a 2.7-inch Quick View display that's designed to deliver notifications. You can quickly respond to messages via voice commands, as well as interact with Google Assistant and control music playback.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Flip's exterior panel measures just 1.1 inches, so you likely won't be able to see much information outside of the time and notifications. But at least you can use it as a mini viewfinder for taking selfies.
Motorola worked with Lenovo for four years and developed 26 prototypes before finalizing the Razr's foldable display. There's no gap when the phone is closed, thanks to two stainless steel hinges connected via sliding support plates.
However, Motorola has warned that "bumps and lumps" are normal, and we noticed a small dent on the screen during our testing. Motorola also doesn't provide any sort of estimate for the number of opens and closes you can do with the Razr, which is worrisome.
Meanwhile, Samsung says that the Galaxy Z Flip is rated for more than 200,000 opens, which gives us a little more confidence in its hinge. Samsung says that the hinge system uses nylon fibers crafted by micro-height-cutting technology to repel dirt and dust.
Motorola Razr vs Galaxy Z Flip: Specs
The Galaxy Z Flip is the more powerful foldable flip phone based on its specs. It packs a Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, while the Razr has less powerful components. It features a mid-range Snapdragon 710 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Now, the target audience for these foldable phones probably doesn't care that much about tech specs compared to the design, but it still looks like Samsung will have the edge.
It's worth noting that neither the Razr or Galaxy Z Flip offer 5G connectivity, which is a bummer at this price.
Motorola Razr vs Galaxy Z Flip: Cameras
The Razr is keeping it simple when it comes to cameras, with just a single 16MP rear camera with a f/1.7 aperture. The Galaxy Z Flip is more advanced on the photography front, with two rear cameras — a 12MP main camera and another 12MP ultra-wide shooter.
Up front, the Razr has a 5MP camera for quick selfies, while the Galaxy Z Flip has a sharper 10MP camera.
Motorola Razr vs Galaxy Z Flip: Battery
The Motorola Razr has a pretty small battery for a flagship phone, coming in at 2,510 mAh. And the Razr lasted just a little over 6 hours on the Tom's Guide battery test, which is several hours behind the phones with the best battery life.
The Galaxy Z Flip has a 3,300 mAh battery, which is more capacity than Motorola's phone. We tend to expect 4,000 mAh batteries or larger on premium Android phones, so we'll have to see how well these handsets hold up on our web surfing battery test.
It's also worth noting that only the Galaxy Z Flip supports both wireless charging and Wireless PowerShare, while the Razr doesn't support wireless charging at all.
Outlook: Galaxy Z Flip has the edge
The first wave of foldable phones basically flopped, and the Motorola Razr did not impress in our review. Right now, the Galazy Z Flip enjoys a major advantage because it offers a bigger display than the Razr, better specs and a larger battery along with more advanced cameras. We've got more testing to do, so stay tuned to our full Z Flip review before we render a final verdict.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.