Flip Phones Are a Better Idea Than Ever • Gear Patrol

With its 6.2-inch folding plastic OLED screen, the new Motorola Razr is an unabashed nostalgia gimmick, but it might be the phone of my dreams despite that.


Motorola has just announced a new Razr phone. Yes, here in 2019. It’s decked out simultaneously in retro style with its old-school flip phone format and characteristic “chin” when opened into full form, but also with bleeding-edge tech like its main attraction: a 6.2-inch folding plastic OLED screen. It’s an unabashed nostalgia gimmick, but it might be the phone of my dreams despite that.

I have no fond memories of or connection to the original Razr, which Motorola is going extremely far to recall. It’s not just the name and the shape; there’s even a retro Easter egg that acts as a throwback to the original handset’s number pad. But you don’t need to be a Razr fanatic to see the clear functional appeal of the flip phone format here in 2019. In fact, I might even argue it’s a better idea than ever.

Granted, some of these same advantages are afforded by the Galaxy Fold, to a certain extent, though its frame is so thick when folded and expansive when open that it’s an entirely different device. It’s also $1,980 to the Razr’s (still very expensive!) $1,500 price tag. And Microsoft’s upcoming Duo phone, with its non-folding screen, old-school hinge, and complete lack of an external display, may prove to be the most durable and practical gadget of this basic design.

Despite its potential flaws — a premium price tag, a camera with mid-grade specs, and unknown durability — Motorola’s throwback gimmick is a great illustration of how the smartphone’s best way forward might be a few steps back.