Revisiting The Motorola Razr – Now With Android 10! [Into The Fold Episode 2]

– When you're locked in a brutal battle with an intractableadversary, what do you do? You play to your advantages.

Well, the biggestadvantage Motorola's razor has over the Samsungcompetition, besides nostalgia is this large external display.

And with the update I'm about to show you, it just got a whole lot more useful.

I'm Mr.

Mobile and on thisepisode of “Into the Fold” an exclusive first look at Android 10 for the Motorola razor.

A found that's pushing theboundaries of what you can do with a foldable without even opening it.

(upbeat tech music) So naturally, Android10 coming to the razor is just a good thing in general.

It takes it to software paritywith Samsung's Galaxy Z flip.

It brings over the expectedupgrades like gesture navigation and dark mode and most importantly, it demonstrates that Motorola's standing behind its foldable.

For a company with franklyspottier reputation than most when it comes to updates, following through on this particular promise is reassuring.

This software also ports a few features from Motorola's Edge+flagship, but let's save those for last because the biggestchanges are out here.

Now, even with the softwarethat was loaded at launch, you could access a lot of functions while the razor was closed.

Thanks to the familiar mode hold display.

Thankfully, that's stillhere and Motorola tells me it has no plans to retire it, but there's now a deeper layer waiting when you unlock the phone.

Kind of miniature version of Android 10 that you control with gestures.

Swipe left to right andit's camera shortcut.

You can go back home withan up or a back swipe and then, check out the other side.

A shortcut's panel, where you can drop a fewfavorite contacts and with a tap, call them on speakerphone.

Reminds me of back in the Nextel days when I could make callswithout opening my flip because Motorola gave me the buttons on the outside to do it.

A rare feature then and now.

Oh and there's also a dialpad if you just wanna punch in the numbers yourself.

Of course, the primary function of the outer display is notifications.

In the new paradigm, you swipe up and you'll see them arrangedin a prioritized list of cards.

Now, personally, I preferthe older Moto display with its wire frame design language and that neat trick itdoes were it detects when you approach it.

It does this by usingthe speaker to blast out an ultrasonic wave that you can't hear, but the phone can hear and it also hears when those sound waves bounceoff your approaching hand.

It's really cool.

Anyway, Moto display isn't going anywhere and I'm thankful for that.

But the new cards formatmight ease the learning curve for those who haven't owneda Motorola phone before.

You know, instead of figuringout a whole new interface, it's just like the notification shade you're already used to.

And just like that mainnotification shade, your media apps share spacealongside your messages.

With cards to control playback.

And if you're taking an exercise walk, turn-by-turn directionscome up in their own card that sits on top of the stack.

What if you get a messagein the middle of all this? Well, just hit reply andyour keyboard pops up.

Complete with your own themecustomizations and everything to let you tap or swipe a response without even opening the phone.

Now, you might be askingwhy anyone would want to do all this stuff ona tiny 2.

7 inch display, when a big luxurious 6.

2 inch panel is just a wrist flickaway and the answer comes in three parts.

First is just plain efficiency.

Critics of folding phones point out that they're not alwayseasy to open with one hand.

And sure, they might have a point.

(phone slamming) So the more you can do onthe outside, the better.

The second reason is protection.

Folding displays ingeneral are very fragile and Motorola's particularimplementation here causes the panel to lift up slightly when you open or close it.

Now the razor has a waterrepellent nano-coating on its internal components, but I'm not eager to test it in a rainstorm.

So again, the more youcan get done out here on the exterior display, themore situations you'll be able to use the phone in.

And the third reason, battery life.

The razor's battery is quitesmall for a modern phone and in my case, it typicallydies after 12 hours of heavy use instead of the16 or 18 I've gotten used to.

The smaller and lowerresolution outer screen is more power efficient.

So using it instead ofthe big one can help.

Folks, you know, I alwaystalk downsides if they're here and yeah, some of thisis a little undercooked.

For one thing, the new cards view doesn't, yet show notifications from as many apps as Moto display does.

Reminders, weather, even therazor's own housekeeping tips just don't show up.

Other times, an app will createa card, but it doesn't give you as much text or informationas Moto display does in the same instance.

I was able to talk toMotorola's engineers about this.

I mentioned it would be nice, for example, to have calendar widgetson the outside display or be able to send a textfrom it and they told me, they're actively working onnew features just like those.

They're also broadeningthat notification support to include more apps.

Unfortunately, somethings like not being able to compose a reply froma Gmail notification.

Yeah, that's an Android restriction, which Google would have to lift.

On the whole, even in its current state, I think there's enoughgood here in the form of added capability tooffset those frustrations.

Now, if Moto display wasn'tstill here to fall back on, I'd be annoyed with howmuch is still missing and you can certainly make the point that having two competingUI approaches on the screen might confuse some users.

That's how I felt on day one, but now I'm actually glad to see this kind of experimentation.

I mean, this is why I made this video, an episode of “Into the Fold” instead of just a hands-On or whatever.

Foldables are stillthe wild west of design and it's great to seemanufacturers exploring how we interface with them.

Trying several approachesto see what works best.

If you're the type tosay, well for $1, 500, I should have a perfect experience.

Hey, I'm not gonna sayyou're wrong, necessarily.

But also, you probablyshouldn't buy a foldable phone for a few generations and that's fine.

Speaking of “Into theFold, ” let's zoom out for the rest of this andfulfill part of our mission, which is seeing howfoldables, like the razor, have evolved and aged since announcement.

Well first off, I knowyou're gonna ask so, no, don't expect anymiracles from the camera.

There have not been significantchanges to the tuning here, so while new features likeColor Spot and Cut Out might be fun on a better shooter, it continues to be just okay on the razor.

Kind of like my quarantine hair.

I know, I miss my barber too.

Then there's wear and tear.

With all foldables, there'sthe omnipresent apprehension of breakage and this phoneis hardly an exception.

While Motorola is adamantthat those durability issues on the first round of review devices were isolated instances, I'd be lying if I said these creases didn't concern me a little.

And that's why I've beenusing the Galaxy's E flip and Galaxy fold as much as Ican for the past few months and it's also why I postponethe long term review of the ladder to episodethree of “Into the Fold.

” Guys, I just need alittle more time with it to really get a completesense of how it's holding up.

For the same reason, I'm gonna mix the razor into my daily rotationand use it just as often as I can till Motorola takes it back.

So far, no.

.

.

Squeaky hinge, but keepasking me on social.

Subscribe on the Mr.

Mobile, ask me in the comments.

I will never not want totalk about foldable phones, so please, hit me up anytime.

Oh, this just in, Ipromised you more coverage at the beginning of this video, so back to you, other me.

Thanks slick.

Yeah, I promised I'd touchon the new interface.

Motorola so-called My UXis more customizable now and it's also plenty fast, despite the razor's older processor.

I had been worried about Android 10's edge swipe back gesture feeling a little funky onthe razor, but it doesn't.

The only speed bump iswith the home gesture, which the chin kind of interruptsuntil you figure it out.

Finally, let's talk aboutthis blush gold, huh? When I unboxed it, Ithought it was gaudy AF, but it's one of those colors that changes, depending on the lighting.

Sometimes it's hammered copper.

Other times it's weirdly pinkish.

Other times, it's like a big hearty bar of gold-pressed latinum.

Do I wish they'd justmake the classic silver from the 2004 razor? Oh God, yes.

What are they thinking not doing that? But this shade it does grow onyou and there's always black if you just wanna go stealthy about it.

Motorola tells me thisupdate will hit razors in the field by mid May.

In the US, the phone isstill available, exclusively, through Verizon andyeah, it's still $1, 499.

A recent buy one get one offermade it much more attractive for a limited time, but sadly, that limited time ended yesterday.

Deals like that, of courseseldom stick to singles, so I'll keep an eye on it and let you know on a future episode of “Into the Fold” if another one comes calling.

Time for you to sound off, friends.

Does the new interfacechange your perception of the razor or folding phones in general? Did you take advantage of that BOGO offer? If so, how's it going? Let me know down in the comments.

This video was produced following six days with a razor review sample, running a pre-release build of Android 10 provided by Motorola.

I conducted two interviews withcompany engineers NPR people for information and quotes, but the company did not provide any compensation for thiscoverage and as always, I never allow the subjectsof that coverage to preview or approve my content before I publish it.

That means they're seeingthis for the first time, right alongside you.

Please subscribe to theMr.

Mobile on YouTube if you'd like to seemore videos like this.

Until next time, thanks forwatching, stay safe at home for now, but in spirit, stay mobile my friends.

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