To everyone's surprise, Motorola, the former Google subsidiary, unveiled two clamshell foldable handsets this year. I would like to make a rather bold claim here: these are efforts to poach a few potential Galaxy Z Flip 5 customers from the market leader Samsung. Is this the dawn of another foldable superpower, or does the attack of the foldable clone fizzle out in the vast market? This is my opinion: In the end, Samsung always wins! It does not require two Sith Lords to upset the Rebel Alliance, it takes a dark force like the Death Apple instead!
Attack of the clamshell foldables
Motorola officially introduced the Motorola Razr Plus 2023 this year on June 1, 2023, with its nearly gigantic 3.6-inch outdoor display. It was followed by the Motorola Razr 2023 on July 20, 2023, which is practically the base model with a smaller cover display (1.5 inches). Samsung, on the other hand, only delivered a single foldable in a compact clamshell design, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, on July 26, 2023, accompanying the classic Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (review).
I had the great fortune to review the Motorola Razr Plus 2023, which I was so enthusiastic about that I still use it every single day. I also had the opportunity to review the Motorola Razr 40. Furthermore, I immediately asked myself about the reason of the two Motorola foldables because they are not that different in their execution. We prepared a direct comparison, which at least directly revealed the differences in the technical specifications.
Basically, the striking difference between the two Razr foldables would be the larger outdoor display of the Ultra model. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 only shows its superiority over the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 in a benchmark test. I would also personally dismiss the better main camera on paper based on the image quality of the photos.
So, in my eyes, only the direct jibe at Samsung and the Galaxy Z Flip 5 remains. Camila has extensively reviewed, so I have to rely on her expertise in terms of added value compared to its predecessor. In my opinion, it does seem as though Samsung has done everything right with its latest foldable.
- Also read: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review
With a price of $999 for the Razr Plus 2023, it is at least not more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, which can also be purchased at the same price point with 8/256 GB. There are plans to bring the Razr 2023 to the US in due time, which is why we do not have the price details yet. So, does the plan work out for Motorola, and can they poach potential buyers from the number one company in terms of smartphones sold worldwide?
Perhaps the answer is optimistic for someone who only looks at the price. However, those who are willing to accept a small cover display can also buy last year's Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, which is currently available for slightly more than $500 on Amazon, albeit a renewed model.
To put it plainly: Even though Motorola is on the offensive with two clamshell foldables, Samsung actually offers the same with the Z Flip 5 and its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (review), which the latter is even cheaper. Thus, South Korean company continues to focus on its only opponent: the Death Apple.
With the "Join the flip side" campaign, the company wants to win over Apple's iPhone customers. Because Darth Cook, for reasons of perfection, does not have a foldable so far. In fact, they neither have a fold nor a flip equivalent, which does not mean that iFoldable devices are not part of the product pipeline in the future. As soon as Apple presents the first iFold or iFlip device and sells it, Samsung will face a real attack of foldable clones.
Thus, Motorola's idea is not bad in principle, but I think it will not really work out in the end, since potential customers do not even know about the two Razr 2023 foldables. When I show my Razr Plus 2023 to friends, they all identify the chic foldable device as a Samsung Galaxy Flip. Together with the aspect that Samsung currently offers the best update policy on the market, I personally think that "excellent is not yet good enough" to knock Samsung off its perch.
What is your opinion on this matter? Can Motorola, with its admittedly sneaky strategy, poach Flip 5 customers from Samsung? Will Apple ever release a foldable? Drop us your guesses below in the comments. I'm already eager to hear your answers.