iFixit Rate Motorola Razr as One of the Most Complicated Phones They've Ever Seen

The smooth and delicious exterior of the new Motorola Razr could be hiding a myriad of issues.
Christopher McFadden

Are you considering parting with your hard-earned cash to grab one of those new-fangled Motorola Razrs? It turns out that behind its exquisitely designed shell is a potential minefield of problems.


What's this all about?

There is some recent bad news for Motorola regarding their new flagship cellphone; the rebirth of the Razr. Since its release, it has been subject to some crippling reviews with regards to the phone's repairability and durability.

Foremost among them is that from the guys over at iFixit. They recently managed to tool open one of the new foldable phones to check out its insides.

They came to the conclusion that the phone is a bit too complicated to repair, to say the least. This may make some potential consumers a little wary to buy the new Razr.

On a scale of 1 to 10, iFixit gave the new Razr a paltry 1. This is one of the lowest scores ever given by the site to any smartphone, let alone one released in 2019.

Compared to other foldable phones released last year, the Razr scored "just" one point less than the Galaxy Fold at 2 out of 10. Not exactly something to write home about.

iFixit took particular objection to the Razr's outer cover that is glued on pretty stubbornly. They also found that replacing the phone's internal batteries required a near-total disassembly of the phone.

The phone's charging port was also found to be directly soldered to the mainboard. This and multiple other flex cable "booby traps" also help contribute to making Razr repairs a potential nightmare. 

iFixit question the phone's build quality too

Not only is it a bit tricky to repair, but the Razr comes with a small gap between the hinge and display. This, according to iFixit, throws into question the overall build quality of the phone.

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razr ifixit repair poor
Source: ifixit

The phone also uses the same flexible OLED display as the Galaxy Fold. iFixit found similar gaps in the Galaxy Fold as the Razr.

Such gaps have been found to be responsible for some serious issues with early units of the phone. While Samsung did make some urgent fixes to the issue prior to release, Motorola does not have the luxury as the Razr is already out for general release.

According to iFixit's disassembly video, the Razr also appears to have a lot of screws that hold the unit's complex inside in one piece. Because of this, normally simple procedures, like getting to the main display, is an overly complex procedure.

"Another worrying issue about the Razr is that its charging port is soldered directly to the mainboard. So if it ever goes bust, repairing it could cause physical damage to the mainboard, which you definitely don’t want happening." - androidauthority.com

But they did have some nice things to say

Despite the phone's difficulty to disassemble and potentially repair, iFixit did have some nice things to say. 

razr ifixit break down
Source: Motorola US

"Motorola’s nostalgia-stoking Razr officially wins the award for most complicated phone-based contraption we’ve ever taken apart. We’re impressed with the numerous feats of engineering that Moto pulled off to resurrect their iconic clamshell." - iFixit.

They were also quick to point out that this is a first-gen design for the new Razr.

"We're going to score it all the same (just like we did the Galaxy Fold), but we know this is a first-gen design and we shouldn't expect functionality and repairability to come all at once." - iFixit.

This news from iFixit is in stark contrast to the phone's undoubted beautifully designed exterior. Its repair difficulty aside, the phone also lacks great specs to really justify the price tag too.

Other phones, like the Galaxy Z Flip, for example, have much higher specs and a lower price tag than the Razr. This might put potential customers off forking out close to 1.5 grand for the privilege of buying a piece of nostalgia.

Could this news be a bad omen for the re-release of the Razr? Only time and tide will tell! 

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