The new RAZR is a bad idea

While I’m pleased the all but moribund Motorola is trying something new, this Razr seems like a bit of a stretch. The $1,500 folding phone will ship in a few months and essentially looks like the old, foldable RAZR but with a trick – the screen folds down over itself, revealing a cellphone that is about as tall as a paperback book.

The RAZR seems like something Motorola would have trouble manufacturing. The phone company, once a giant in the space, is now a shadow of itself. It’s clear that a smash hit like the original RAZR could do much to buoy its spirits but who wants a throw-back device that looks like a classic but as all the fiddly messiness of the Samsung Fold?

Ultimately it will take a while for anyone to trust a folding phone. While it’s fun to imagine a world in which we fold our phones into ever-decreasing thirds and stick them in our pockets, the feature is more a gimmick than anything else. That Motorola would make this their first major phone in a few years is telling – they want to do something big and they want to do it in step with other big players in the space.

I’m more than happy that the RAZR is coming back. It was a great little phone from a wonderful golden era of pre-smartphones. But this ain’t it, chief.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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