|Developer||Motorola (2004–2011), Motorola Mobility (2011–present)|
|Release date||Motorola Razr V3: 2004|
Motorola Razr2: 2007
Motorola Droid Razr: 2011
Motorola Razr: 2020
|Lifespan||2004–2009, 2011–2014, 2019–present|
|Related||Motorola KRZR, Motorola PEBL, Motorola Moto|
The Motorola Razr (pronounced // like "razor") is a brand of design-oriented mobile phones manufactured by Motorola Mobility (previously Motorola), a division of Lenovo. Its current iteration since 2019, styled motorola razr, consist of foldable smartphones reminiscent of the original Razr line of flip phones.
The original Razr model (then styled RAZR), the Razr V3, was a flip phone released in 2004 with a remarkably thin and fashionable look. It became extremely popular, leading to the release of a variety of different Razr models. The line was succeeded by the Motorola Razr2 flip phones in 2007. The Razr later evolved into a line of non-flip devices in 2011, Droid Razr (known simply as the "Motorola RAZR" on non-Verizon networks), bearing design similarities to the originals. Razr was revived again in 2019, this time evolving into all-screen clamshell and foldables.
V3 – the original Razr
The Razr V3 was introduced in 2004.
Razr2 – second-generation Razr flip phones
The Razr2 was the successor to the Razr series. The Razr2 was 2 mm thinner than its predecessor but slightly wider. Some versions featured Motorola's MotoMagx operational platform, based on the MontaVista Linux OS. The Razr2 was made available on every US carrier, and EVDO, GSM and HSDPA versions of it were released by late 2007. The Razr2 line consisted of 4 models: V8, V9, V9m, and V9x.
The phone improved picture quality, speed, and multimedia capabilities over the original Razr. It also featured an external screen with touch-sensitive buttons which allowed users to use some of the phone features without opening it, and Motorola's CrystalTalk technology to improve call quality and help reduce background noise. Different color variants were released, including a Luxury Edition and a Ferrari Edition.
However, Razr2 sales were not as good as the original V3 series, with consumers moving to competing products. Because Motorola relied so long upon the Razr and its derivatives and was slow to develop new products in the growing market for feature-rich touchscreen and 3G phones, the Razr appeal declined, leading Motorola to eventually drop behind Samsung and LG in market share for mobile phones. Motorola's strategy of grabbing market share by selling tens of millions of low-cost Razrs cut into margins and resulted in heavy losses in the cellular division. The cell phone division became part of Motorola Mobility in 2011 as a result of the Motorola split.
Droid Razr – candybar smartphones
The Razr brand returned in 2011 with the introduction of the Motorola Droid Razr smartphone (the "Droid" name only used by Verizon in the USA). The line shared its trademark thinness and stylized tapered corners with the original. The line included:
- Droid Razr, flagship successor of the Droid Bionic
- Droid Razr Maxx, variant with larger battery
- Motorola Razr V, a cheaper Droid Razr released in Canada
- Droid Razr HD, new flagship introduced in 2012
- Droid Razr Maxx HD, variant with larger battery
- Droid Razr M, same internals as Droid Razr HD but in a smaller body
- Motorola Razr D1 and D3, entry-level products released in Brazil in 2013
Razr – foldable smartphones (2020–present)
In November 2019, Motorola Mobility revived the Razr again as a foldable smartphone, which is styled after the clamshell form factor of the original models. The Motorola Razr (2020), also called the Razr 2019, depending on the source, has a design reminiscent of the classic Razr V3. It was designed with nostalgia in mind – its design was supposed to remind people of the early 21st century, a time many look back at with fondness and sentiment. It was supposed to be a capable, modern, Android-running smartphone with a "high-tech" folding display and advanced modern features such as a fingerprint sensor, inside of a body that already felt familiar to many. It features a display that folds vertically, like the familiar V3 and other Razr models from the 2000s.
Motorola Mobility presented the phone on November 14, 2019. It was priced at $1,499 and initially only available on Verizon Wireless. The phone was originally expected to launch in January 2020, but was subsequently delayed until February 6, 2020. When it launched, it was received with mixed reviews. Many reviewers felt it was too expensive for its specifications. Its camera, battery life, weak build quality, and price were criticized, while the design and software were praised. PC Magazine summed it up: "Motorola [Mobility]'s gorgeous folding Razr doesn't deliver the performance you expect from a $1,500 phone". The Verge wrote harshly: "I wish I could tell you exactly where I think the Motorola Razr went wrong, but there are too many options to choose from".
On September 9, 2020, Motorola Mobility announced the second generation of Motorola Razr (2020), called the Razr 5G. The second generation included many improvements over the first generation and was initially priced at $1399.99 in the US. It was, however, also criticized for reasons similar to the first phone. The Verge wrote: "It’s better than the original in every way but still costs too much". More successors have been released: this line consists of:
- Motorola Razr (2020), ann. November 2019
- Motorola Razr 5G, ann. September 2020
- Motorola Razr (2022), ann. August 2022
- Motorola Razr 40 (known as Motorola Razr in the U.S.), ann. June 2023
- Motorola Razr 40 Ultra (known as Motorola Razr Plus in the U.S.), ann. June 2023
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