Earlier today Lenovo (which owns the Motorola mobile brand) revealed a highly anticipated foldable phone in the form of the new Motorola razr.

This new device, which goes up for pre-order in the States next month for an eye watering $1 499, is currently not slated for launch in South Africa, as no Motorola devices are available in the country at the time of writing.

As such it is a little bittersweet talking about this new piece of hardware.

Seeing as how we are in Beijing at the moment, however, which is one of two cities where the Motorola razr is being debuted this week, we decided to get hands-on with the flagship device and weigh in with our initial impressions.

A different approach

Apart from leveraging the name of one of Motorola’s most iconic phones, the new razr is interesting compared to other foldable phones as it takes a different approach from the likes of the Galaxy Fold or Mate X.

Namely as this device has a rather compact design when folded up in its clamshell mode. This is something that the likes of other foldable phones cannot muster, and if you’re wanting a device that is a bit more discreet, the new razr ticks that box.

We’ve spoken previously about foldable phones and how they are designed to get bigger, but the Motorola razr’s most intriguing element is how much smaller it can get.

Truly premium

In hand the Motorola razr feels like an immensely premium device. It also gives off the aura of being something out of the ordinary and a little bit special compared to other devices out there.

Lenovo has opted for surgical grade stainless steel for the body of the phone, with a textured back cover on the lower portion of the clam shell. The firm has also gone for a black colour option, which makes it look stealthy, but we would have liked to see the brand go with some of the colours that the RAZR V3 use to come in, or perhaps an entirely different hue for this reinvented icon.

Regardless Lenovo has done a good job of making the new razr feel solid. While Lenovo does not mention how many times the phone can be folded and unfolded before wear and tear (creases) begin to show, the firm does state that the design of the device ensures that no excess stress is placed on the folded part of screen.

Added to this is a pair of plates at the folding point to add a degree of rigidity when in full smartphone mode, as well as a design feature that Lenovo says stops any dirt or debris from entering when the phone is closed. If true, it shows that the Chinese company has learned from the mistakes of its South Korean counterpart.

All in all, the new razr feels every inch the flagship device.

Needing more?

If there is one aspect we think the Motorola razr is lacking, it may be on the specifications front. We understand that going for a top of the range Qualcomm chipset, instead of the octa-core Snapdragon 710 one present here would increase the cost of the phone, but if Samsung and Huawei did not compromise on the internals of its foldable phones, Lenovo should have done the same.

While we have not benchmarked the Motorola razr, it should prove interesting to see how the 710 chipset copes, especially with many of the resources going to power the foldable 6.2″ screen. Luckily there is a healthy 6GB dollop of RAM, so things should tick over nicely for now.

Should consumers react positively to the new razr, we can certainly see future iterations go the more heavily specced route.