Hinges on Motorola’s new Razr fail after 27,000 folds in durability test

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Motorola’s resurrected Razr was poised to take on Samsung’s Galaxy Fold in the battle of the foldable smartphones – but a durability test may suggest otherwise.

Samsung’s handset proved to withstand 200,000 folds before showing any damage, but a new test showed the Razr’s lifespan ends at 27,000.

CNET conducted the experiment with its ‘FoldBot and after thousands of rapid folds and just three hours, the Razr’s hinge was failing and not fully closing the foldable device.

However, despite the folding issues, the smartphone’s display was still fully functional.

Motorola has not provided an exact number of how many folds the Razr can withstand, unlike Samsung that claims its Fold can survive 200,000, but noted the handset should be functional for two years.

The firm also offers a one-year warranty for ‘defects incurred during normal use.’

Motorola unveiled the redesigned flip phone in November 2019.

The phone has a 6.2-inch foldable screen, which bends in half to shut in the same way as older ‘clamshell’ handsets.

The updated Motorola device has replaced the physical keyboard with a foldable screen which fills the entire inside of the phone.

When closed, Motorola said the new Razr also has a 2.7-inch Quick View Display on which users can view and respond to notifications.

CNET’s Chris Parker hosted the live experiment on Friday, which placed a new Razr in a machine that continuously opened and closed it.

However, as The Verge notes, there appears to be some skepticism surrounding the test.

The robot appeared to only be closing the phone partially at times, which could suggest the hinge gave out sooner than believed.

Parker also noted that the machine may have not been properly calibrated to fold the Razr, as the company setting it up didn’t have a phone to test it with.

This is the second folding torture test that CNET has performed on a foldable, after it put the Galaxy Fold through its paces in October last year. 

That time, Samsung’s phone survived around 120,000 folds before its screen broke.

That’s a lot longer than the Razr, although it still fell short of the 200,000 folds promised by Samsung.

Other than folding issues, other reviewers have shared videos revealing how the Razr ‘creaks and groans as it fold’.

And a video from BBC News showed just how easy it is to life the plastic screen off the smartphone, which is an easy way for dust and dirt to sneak into the hardware.

Motorola said the design is the first of its kind, but follows other foldable devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold – which opens vertically like a book to reveal a large tablet-like screen inside the phone.

Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the Razr claims to be splash-proof, with a stronger screen.

Users can expect the device to run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, have a 2,730mAh battery, 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GM or 128GB of storage.

After the unveiling in November, Industry expert Ru Bhikha, from uSwitch.com, said the Razr has nostalgic value, but warned it may not have the high-end features to compete with the flagship phones in the mobile market.

Bhikha said: ‘Some brands dominate their markets so completely that their names become bywords for the whole industry. Vacuum cleaners are ‘Hoovers’ and to perform an internet search is to ‘Google’

‘The original Motorola Razr was such an iconic design that, even now, when you think of a foldable phone, you are automatically reminded of the classic flip-phone of the mid-Noughties.

‘The Razr can’t compete with the performance of similarly priced rivals, boasting only a single 16 mega pixel rear camera compared to the iPhone 11’s three-lens set-up that includes a telephoto and two wide lenses.

‘The device is also less powerful in the CPU and battery departments due to the restrictions of the design, so we’re skeptical that users will get through the day on a single charge.’

 

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