You would have thought that Samsung’s difficult teething problems with the Galaxy Fold would have put manufacturers off folding screens, but Motorola was pretty bullish about its revival of the early 2000s Razr brand. “We didn’t bring the new Motorola Razr to market until we knew it was ready,” the company told PhoneArena back in November.
That confidence may turn out to be misjudged if a new video from CNET proves to be an omen of things to come. The site got hold of the Square Trade FoldBot testing machine – a sort of medieval torture device for folding phones that repeatedly tests the hinge – and set it to work on the Motorola Razr. The result, just over four hours into the live stream and captured below, show some cause for concern.
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At that point the machine started facing resistance suggesting something was wrong with the handset, and the site called it a day at 27,218 folds. That sounds like a lot, but bear in mind CNET had earlier tested the Galaxy Fold in the same contraption, and it nearly reached 120,000.
A couple of caveats: firstly, a machine isn’t as careful as human hands – especially human hands that have previously fished over a grand from their wallets to pay for the phone. Secondly, the Moto Razr still worked as a phone at the end of the video – it just didn’t close evenly, feeling slightly out of alignment as the film concluded. Thirdly, it’s entirely possible CNET just got unlucky with the handset it got sent.
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Still, if your Razr starts showing problems at a similar point that could be long before your contract ends. And with a 2017 study suggesting Americans check their phones an average of 80 times per day, that could be within the first year of ownership.
If that’s the case – and again, this is definitely an “if” for the reasons outlined above – then you have to hope that Motorola is feeling generous with its warranties. Because otherwise, a phone that costs around £1350 SIM-free and starts at £99 per month on contract feels like a very big gamble indeed.