Motorola Razr+ 2023 — 5 reasons to buy and 3 reasons to skip

Motorola Razr+ folded and open
(Image credit: Future)

The Motorola Razr+ could be the phone that convinces you to finally buy a foldable. Seriously, I spent some hands-on time with this reimagining of the iconic Razr and it impresses in several ways. The Razr+ gives you a compact design for your pocket and a huge 6.9-inch display when you need it. Even better, the front display is the biggest yet on a foldable flip phone.

Motorola has also upped the ante when it comes design, specs and especially the software. But at $999, the new Razr+ isn't for everyone. If you're curious about this new-age clamshell and whether it's the best foldable phone for you, here's 5 reasons to buy and 3 reasons to skip the Motorola Razr+. 

Reasons to buy Motorola Razr+

Biggest cover display on a flip foldable

Motorola Razr+ keyboard on external display

(Image credit: Future)

At 3.6 inches, the Motorola Razr+'s cover display is the biggest on any flip-style foldable phone. For context, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 tops out at 1.9 inches, though the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is supposed to feature a larger panel when it arrives later this year.

Yes, you can access things quickly like your notifications, the weather and Spotify music playback on the Razr+'s outer screen, but you can also run entire apps like Google Maps and get turn-by-turn directions. And you can scroll through TikTok and play videos without opening the main display. 

Motorola Razr+ game on front display

(Image credit: Future)

The Razr+ also lets you take up the full front panel (including the area around the cameras) with a long press for a truly immersive experience, though some apps look better than others when you do this. Motorola also deserves credits for curating and optimizing several games that work well on the cover panel. 

Very compact design (and the chin is gone)

Motorola Razr+ closed side view

(Image credit: Future)

Raise your hand if you're sick of carrying around a brick in your pocket just to have a big screen. With the Razr+, you get a mammoth 6.9-inch 165Hz display when fully open, but a very compact device that slips in your pocket when closed. We're talking just 3.48 x 2.9 x 0.59 inches when it's all folded up, and the Razr+ weighs a very manageable 6.6 ounces. 

Another plus for the Razr+ is that there's no gaps when the clamshell is closed, so there's less of a chance of debris or lint getting stuck on the inside. Motorola also did away with the chin on the bottom of the design so the top and bottom halves of the device are aligned.

Motorola Razr+ color options include Infinite black, Viva Magenta and Glacier Blue

(Image credit: Future)

If you're looking to stand out in a crowd, go for the Viva Magenta color that's exclusive to T-Mobile, which also sports a vegan leather back. But the Infinite Black and Glacier Blue options with Gorilla Glass Victus backs are pretty fetching, too. 

Awesome camera flexibility 

Motorola Razr+ front display showing camera view

(Image credit: Future)

One of the main benefits of the Razr+'s design is that you can take advantage of its flexibility when taking photos. For example, you can place the phone down on a table or shelf and take a shot from across the room — no tripod required. Have trouble getting certain friends or family to smile? You're almost guaranteed to have better luck if you let your subjects see themselves through the front display as you shoot.

Motorola Razr+ camcorder mode

(Image credit: Future)

Other cool photo features include Photo Booth, which snaps a series of four shots three seconds apart, which is good for spontaneous fun. And if you remember what camcorders are you'll get a kick out of using the Razr+ for recording video with the front half folded as a viewfinder and the controls on the other half of the display. 

The overall camera quality should be pretty solid, too, as you get a main 12MP sensor, a 13MP ultra wide camera that doubles as a macro camera and a 32MP front shooter. 

App continuity done right 

Motorola Razr+ Google Maps on front display

(Image credit: Future)

You might be wondering what happens when you're using an app on the Razr+'s main display and you then close the phone. Does it continue on the front display or does it shut down? Actually, you decide.

By default, the Razr+ will pop up a small dialog box on the front screen asking if you want to continue using the app, but you can also dive into the settings and set up your personalized preferences by app. So maybe you want the phone app to close when you hang up a call and fold the phone shut, but you want Google Maps to keep going. 

Huge main display with high refresh rate

Motorola Razr+ Google Maps main display

(Image credit: Future)

The Razr+ packs one of the biggest displays on any phone at 6.9 inches, which is even bigger than the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max and 6.8-inch panel on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. So you'll have plenty of room to surf the web, watch videos, play games and more. And because this screen has a 165Hz dynamic refresh rate, you'll be able to enjoy smooth scrolling and overall performance. 

Reasons to skip Motorola Razr+

Last-gen processor

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

The Razr+ is powered by an older Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, which started appearing on phones in December 2021 and was the brains behind the Samsung Galaxy S22 series in 2022. Here we are in 2023 and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the speediest chip for the best Android phones.

With 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, the rest of the Razr+'s key specs should make for a fairly responsive phone. But I worry about demanding games as well as how efficient this chip is in terms of power savings. 

Battery capacity still low

Motorola Razr+ Spotify on front display

(Image credit: Future)

Motorola's Razr+ doesn't exactly have a plus-sized battery. It has 3,800 mAh of capacity, which improves upon the 3,500 mAh on the previous Razr but trails the 3,900 mAh pack on the regular Galaxy S23. And the bigger Galaxy S23 Plus (4,700 mAh) is in its own league. Those two Samsung phones did well on our battery test, but of course, they had the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 to help with power management.

We'll have to see if the Razr+ can hang with the devices that earned a spot on our best phone battery life list, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Still, if the Razr+'s more versatile external display lives up to the hype, you may not need to use the more power-hungry main display as often. 

Not fully water resistant 

motorola razr+ and motorola razr (2023)

(Image credit: Future)

If you haven't heard of the IP52 protection rating that the Razr+ is certified for, you're probably not alone. This means that the foldable can withstand just sprays of water and cannot be submerged. IP68 protection is typical for the best phones, especially in the $999 range, so this is definitely a trade-off. 

Motorola Razr+ outlook

Motorola Razr+ tent mode

(Image credit: Future)

We still need to test the Motorola Razr+ — especially the cameras — to see if it's worth $999, but based on what I've seen so far, this foldable phone should be a formidable competitor to the likes of upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. And frankly it's great to see Samsung get some real foldable phone competition in the U.S.

Stay tuned our final Razr+ rating, but in the meantime check out my Razr Plus hands-on review to get even more details on this upstart foldable phone. 

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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.