Motorola Razr 40 Ultra Lead

Motorola sparked an age of flip phone superiority with its iconic Razr V3 in 2004, and the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra is raring to reignite that spark. After a brief hiatus when smartphones hit their stride, folding phones are now making a big comeback, and Motorola makes a strong case in leading that charge with its latest foldable.

With a new, seamless external display with a variety of features, an attractive design that’s comfortable to hold and improved battery life, it’s clear the Razr 40 Ultra has all the qualities that make it one of the best foldables on the market today. There’s no doubt it has some serious competition with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, but Motorola has done its homework to close that gap.

Despite offering favourable improvements over the Motorola Razr 2022, it also shares a few qualities with its predecessor that hold it back. Its last-gen performance and increased price tag aren’t ideal, but that doesn’t take away from the Razr 40 Ultra being a shining success.

Pros

  • Charming, intuitive design
  • Minimal hinge crease
  • Fantastic battery life

Cons

  • High-end price tag
  • Falls behind in performance
  • Cameras could be better

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra Price

The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra with 8GB of RAM and 256GB for storage is the company’s priciest foldable flagship, set at £1,049 / $1,249. It will soon be available in New Zealand, but prices are yet to be official.

It’s £100 more than last year’s model, the Razr 2022, and now matches the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 price with 8GB of RAM and 256GB for storage (£1,049 / $1,249 / NZ$1,879). That puts them in direct competition, with both being the priciest clamshell-style folding phones on the market.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

In contrast, the Oppo Find N2 Flip with 8GB RAM and 256GB of space is £849 / $1,099 / NZ$1,679. Considerably less, but it doesn’t come with the bells and whistles.

As a more affordable alternative, there’s also the Motorola Razr 40 at £799 / $1,029 (NZ price coming soon) . This makes it the cheapest flip phone right now, but it comes with a less powerful Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chip, no full-sized front display and less battery life.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra: What’s new?

Being the company’s premium flagship foldable, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra delivers significant updates inside and out. Most notably, the external display.

The 3.6-inch pOLED panel seamlessly takes up most of the front, allowing you to use the Ultra in multiple ways without opening it. This includes taking photos and videos, accessing apps like Gmail, Google Maps and Spotify, responding to messages and making phone calls, and even playing exclusive games designed for the screen. Heck, you can even watch shows on streaming services.

The internal display is also bigger, with a 6.9-inch pOLED and 165Hz refresh rate.

Under the hood, you’ll find many similarities with the Razr 2022. The Razr 40 Ultra keeps the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB for storage. However, expect a larger 3,800mAh battery with 5W wireless charging and the usual 30W fast charging.

As for cameras, the new standout is the 12MP main lens. It’s joined by the previous model’s 13MP ultra-wide camera and the 32MP shooter under the internal display.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra Design

Motorola may have made its 2019 comeback by recreating the popular flip phone experience with a foldable display, but the Razr 40 Ultra pushes the brand beyond a simple “nostalgia kick”. Thanks to its sleek yet functional design, this foldable brings the appeal of jumping on the foldable bandwagon.

Its overall appeal is inviting to hold, with nicely rounded edges, a smooth aluminium finish on the sides and a frosted rear that’s comfortable to the touch. The top and bottom parts are evenly aligned, too, giving a satisfactory “clap” when closed and a symmetrical look.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

The Razr 40 Ultra comes in three colours: Infinite Black, Glacier Blue and Viva Magenta (a Pantone Colour of the Year 2023). We received the Glacier Blue, which has a subtle, gorgeous hue with hints of light blue throughout the flip phone. Glacier Blue and Infinite Black come with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and rear, while Viva Magenta has a vegan leather rear.

The real draw is the front display, which nearly takes up the entire front panel of the phone. While displaying the time, its bezels are virtually invisible, but there is a noticeable black bar at the top. Regardless, it still draws the eye and is customisable to give it a personal touch. Speaking of touch, do expect fingerprint smudges – it’s a touchscreen, after all.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

Its ergonomic form factor makes it easy to flip open and close, and opens up to a bright, near-bezel-less display. The bumpers around the display are seamless, along with the inevitable crease that comes with foldables. Sure, it’s there in certain lights, but for the most part, it goes unnoticed – which is exactly what you want in a flip phone.

Along the sides, there’s a power button that doubles as a handy fingerprint reader and volume control buttons. At the bottom, there’s the expected USB-C port and dual stereo speaker with Dolby Atmos and Spatial Sound. It’s also rated IP52, making it dust and splash-resistant.

Coming in at 170.8 x 73.9 x 6.9mm (6.7 x 2.9 x 0.27 inches) when open and 88.4 x 73.9 x 15.1mm (3.4 x 2.9 x 0.59 inches) when closed, the Razr 40 Ultra is thinner and taller than Motorola’s previous model, which makes it even better to hold in one hand. It’s also lighter, with Glacier Blue and Infinite Black weighing 188.5g (0.41 pounds) and Viva Magenta coming in at 184.5g (0.4 pounds).

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

We’re charmed by the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra’s premium aesthetic, making it one of the most stylish foldable on the market.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra Displays

Sporting a 6.9-inch FHD+ (2220 x 1080) pOLED display with a 165Hz refresh rate, 22:9 aspect ratio and 1,400 nits or peak brightness, the Razr 40 Ultra delivers a bright, vibrant display with buttery smooth motion. It’s what you’d want in premium flagship smartphones, and you’re also getting an equally impressive external display.

This 3.6-inch pOLED display with 1066 x 1056 resolution boasts a 144Hz refresh rate, 1,100 nits of max brightness, HDR10+ support and 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage. In Motorola’s words, it’s the “largest, most advanced external display of any flip phone,” and it certainly takes the cake.

Checking the weather, replying to messages and playing tunes on Spotify is surprisingly a practical experience. It offers the typical use of a standard smartphone, albeit in a smaller package. It doesn’t stop there, as you can watch shows on Netflix and Disney+ and even play simple but fun games that work in tandem with the display.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

Is watching Ashoka on Disney+ an ideal experience? Not exactly, but having the ability to do so on a display with crisp, colourful visuals is always a bonus. I’m a big fan of the games on show, which are mostly quick, arcade-style titles like Marble Mayhem (that uses haptics) and the weirdly hard-as-nails Scooter Xtreme. When I’m waiting for my train to arrive or passing the time, playing games on the external display is a blast.

I’ve never been one to opt for a smaller display when I can get a bigger visual experience by quickly opening the lid, but for quick access to apps and more, the front display panel goes above and beyond.

Back to the internal display, you can expect smooth navigation between apps and scrolling, and a great visual experience for streaming shows or playing games. Watching Ashoka on Disney+, the clarity of glowing white Lightsabers clashing with spears sparking with red electricity is wonderful, while the stark bright settings and bleeping lights onboard a ship shine on the display.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

That’s thanks to the Saturated Color mode, which enhances colour saturation that’s great for watching content. There’s also Natural mode, which optimises colour based on the app you’re using, which is suitable for representing colour accuracy.

As for foldable exclusive features, certain apps like YouTube can slip the screen in two, letting you watch videos on the top while the video controls, comments and related videos are at the bottom. It’s a nifty feature, but only a handful of apps support this.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra Performance

With a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor onboard, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra isn’t up to scratch in the performance department. That’s not to say the phone isn’t snappy, as it can handle demanding apps and whizz through opened apps.

However, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is out in the wild, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 has it. That makes it harder for the Razr 40 Ultra to compete, offering last-gen power for the same price.

Running Geekbench 6 and 3DMark WildLife Extreme benchmarks, we tested and compared the performance of the Razr 40 Ultra with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Oppo Find N2 Flip:

Geekbench 6 results
Single-core
Multi-core
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra (Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1)17754477
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2)
20865422
Oppo Find N2 Flip (MediaTek Dimensity 9000+)10683227
3DMark Wild Life Extreme resultsScoreFrames
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra (Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1)278416.6fps
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2)365221.87fps
Oppo Find N2 Flip (MediaTek Dimensity 9000+)264415.8fps

As expected, the Razr 40 Ultra falls behind the Galaxy Z Flip 5, but it’s still leagues ahead of the Find N2 Flip.

Regardless of score differences, the Ultra has strong flagship power, from handling demanding games like Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends without any frame rate dips to switching between apps smoothly. Even for power users, this foldable can handle the pressure, but a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip would do it better.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra Cameras

The Razr 40 Ultra has a dual camera array on the rear, equipped with an upgraded 12MP f/1.5 main lens and 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide shooter. Yes, coming down from a 50MP main camera sounds like a mistake, but this new lens has a wider aperture, so you can expect better-lit imagery and more accurate colours.

With minimal noise in dark settings and more natural colours, the new lens snaps attractive images. However, details aren’t the sharpest, especially in low light.

As you can see in the pictures below, colours are on point, showing of a dreary sky on after heavy rain on a wet high street. The greenery on the sides are a little smudged while subtle details like sign posts aren’t clear, but it captures environment as it is well. The ultra-wide lens is far darker, but still encapsulates a good amount of the whole street in solid detail.

With features like hands-free shots, auto smile capture, auto night vision, shot optimisation, HDR support and Pro mode, the Razr 40 Ultra has all the right tools to capture a high-quality photo. Using the external display to preview your shots is also incredibly helpful, as it acts as a handy stand or tripod.

In terms of video, it’s your standard fair. It can shoot 1080p and 4K video at 60fps, and slow-motion mode is always a nice touch. With HDR10+ support and video night vision, now made better with the updated 12MP main camera, you won’t win awards in cinematography, but you’ll get good video footage.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

There’s also the 32MP f.2.4 selfie camera under the internal display, which does an acceptable job of taking clear shots and being used as a stand during video calls. However, even Motorola states that you can get better selfies if you flip the phone closed to use the better-equipped rear cameras.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra Battery

Battery is a highlight in the Razr 40 Ultra, thanks to the updated 3,800mAh battery capacity, 30W TurboPower fast charging, and new 5W wireless charging.

From light to moderate usage, including replying to texts, scrolling through social media, watching YouTube videos and dabbling in a few arcade-style games, the Razr 40 Ultra lasted just over a day without needing to charge.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

With heavy usage, which involves taking pictures and videos, streaming shows, uploading documents and playing graphically intensive games, it lasted just under an entire workday, which is impressive for a battery this size.

Charging is also fast, with the provided 30W charger delivering 0% to 50% in just over 29 minutes and then 100% in 56 minutes. Charging wirelessly is far slower, but having the option is a good perk.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra UI

Running Motorola’s simple UI over Android 13, the Razr 40 Ultra comes with a clean user interface, minimal bloatware, and plenty of customisation tools. It’s closer to the Pixel’s original Android UI than many other Android phones on the market. You can expect three major OS updates and four years of security updates, so you’re getting ample longevity for an Android phone.

Along with personalising the external display to show off your creative flair, including a “Moo time” clock face with a big bat-bear hybrid character, the Motorola app offers a selection of exclusive features. As with nearly all Androids, you can easily customise the colours, fonts, icon shapes and themes in the app and try out different gestures to control the phone.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

There’s also Moto Secure, a security-focused app to keep the Razr 40 Ultra safe. It delivers privacy controls, a Secure Folder to store apps in a safe place, Network protection and a Privacy dashboard to keep track of your online activity. The best antivirus software has a few more advanced features, but it’s a great app to include for safety.

Along with video call effects, a Peek Display feature that lets you see quick information while the screen is off and more, Motorola’s UI is simple and effective.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra: Verdict 

If you’re riding the foldable phone wave and are looking for the best of the lot, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra should grab your attention. Yes, for its price, it’s lacking in the performance department with its (still snappy) Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, compared to what you’ll get with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. And Motorola can’t compete with the South Korean tech giant’s ecosystem of pairable earbuds and smartwatches.

However, the Razr 40 Ultra stands tall with a snazzy, lightweight design that’s begging to be picked up, an attractive full-sized cover display with plenty of uses and impressive battery life. The enhanced 6.9-inch AMOLED internal display with a forgettable hinge crease also brings major brownie points, and its OS is as close to stock Android as you can get. Plus, you’re getting three years of software updates starting from Android 13.

We’d love to see a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (or a next-gen chip) in the Razr 40 Ultra, but there’s always next year’s frontrunner. Still, as far as foldables go, Motorola has a compelling case to take the foldable crown with the Razr 40 Ultra.

Looking for something a lot less foldable? Check out our iPhone 15 Plus review.