Motorola Razr's battery life is a disaster — but there's a silver lining

Motorola Razr open
(Image credit: Future)

A good smartphone lasts about 10 hours on the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over cellular networks. A great phone lasts over 11 hours, and a spectacular phone approaches or passes 12 hours. The Motorola Razr does not do any of those things.

In fact, Motorola's foldable phone turned in the shortest runtime — by far — of any smartphone in the last few years. Granted, we were not expecting a lot from this foldable phone's battery, which has a capacity of just 2,510 mAh.

The result? The Razr lasted a mere 5 hours and 54 minutes, about 6 hours behind phones with the best battery life. Yikes.

Motorola Razr battery life vs competition

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PhoneBattery sizeBattery life (hrs:mins)
Motorola Razr2,510 mAh6:08
Pixel 42,800 mAh8:03
OnePlus 7T3,800 mAh8:47
Galaxy Note 10 3,500 mAh9:10
Pixel 4 XL 3,700 mAh9:42
Galaxy S103,400 mAh10:19
iPhone 11 Pro 3,046 mAh10:24
Galaxy Note 10 Plus 4,300 mAh11:09
iPhone 113,046 mAh11:16
iPhone 11 Pro Max 3,969 mAh11:54
Galaxy S10 Plus4,100 mAh12:35

To put the Razr's endurance in perspective, the 2,800-mAh battery in the Pixel 4 lasted a fairly poor 8:03. And that's more than 2 hours better than the new Razr. Other Android phones that are mediocre in the battery life department include the OnePlus 7T, but its runtime of 8:47 looks epic in comparison to the Razr.

But what about the Quick View display?

Motorola Razr closed with charger

(Image credit: Future)

To be fair, the Razr isn't designed to be used open all the time. That's why it has a Quick View display up front that you can use when closed. This panel comes in handy for checking or responding to notifications, snapping selfies, making mobile payments, controlling music and interacting with Google Assistant.

It would seem that because of all the components necessary to make a foldable phone, Motorola simply didn't have room to stuff in a larger battery. It's simply one of the trade-offs for having such a sleek design.

If the rumors are true, Samsung's Galazy Z Flip foldable, which has a similar design to the Razr will pack a bigger 3,300 mAh battery. But it will also have to power a larger 6.7-inch display.

Overall, the Motorola Razr's battery life is one of the biggest reasons to avoid this $1,500 phone, unless you plan on using the Quick View display a lot.

Mark Spoonauer

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.