Motorola’s Razr foldable phone is discounted to $500 today | Digital Trends

Motorola’s Razr foldable phone is discounted to $500 today | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you’re planning to buy a foldable smartphone, here’s an offer from Motorola that may be hard to refuse — the Motorola Razr 2023 for a discounted price of $500, for savings of $200 on its original price of $700. Folding phones rarely appear in phone deals, and they get sold out quickly when they do. We expect the same thing to happen with this bargain, so if you’re interested in taking advantage of it, you should proceed with completing your purchase as soon as you can.

Why you should buy the Motorola Razr 2023

The Motorola Razr 2023 is in our roundup of the best folding phones as the top option if you want to get one for cheap — it’s our recommendation if you’re one of those people who doesn’t need to have everything you can possibly get on a foldable phone. It’s a lightweight and compact device that features a 1.5-inch OLED external display with a 60Hz refresh rate and a 6.9-inch Full HD+ pOLED main display with a 144H refresh rate. You can view notifications, check the weather, play music, record videos and many more through the external display, without having to flip the phone open.

In terms of performance, the Motorola Razr 2023 runs pretty quick with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 processor and 8GB of RAM. It ships with Android 13 pre-installed, but you’ll be able to upgrade the smartphone to the latest Android 14. Its camera system is headline by a 64MP camera with optical image stabilization, and its 4,200mAh battery can last you the whole day.

The Motorola Razr 2023 is an excellent choice if you want a folding phone, and it’s currently an even better option due to a $200 discount from Motorola. From its sticker price of $700, it’s down to a more affordable $500, but only if you hurry because there’s no telling when the offer will end. If you want a similar smartphone from Motorola with a faster refresh rate, a larger outer display, and an updated processor, the Motorola Razr+ also has its

from $1,000 for savings of $300. You can’t go wrong with the Motorola Razr 2023 though, so buy it now if it’s the phone that you prefer.

Editors’ Recommendations

Have one of these Motorola phones? You’re getting a big update | Digital Trends

Have one of these Motorola phones? You’re getting a big update | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

If you bought a Motorola phone within the last couple of years, you’ll want to keep your eyes out for a big Android update coming your way. Why? Motorola recently updated its support website, confirming which of its phones are getting Android 14, and it’s a big list.

The folks at YTECHB went through the (somewhat complicated) support page and made a full list of all the Motorola phones slated to get Android 14. There are well over 20 phones, including ones sold in the U.S. and models Motorola sells in other markets.

Focusing on the U.S. Motorola phones getting Android 14 and starting with the Moto G series, the following Moto G handsets are confirmed to receive an Android 14 update:

  • Moto G Stylus 5G (2023)
  • Moto G Stylus (2023)
  • Moto G Power 5G (2023)
  • Moto G 5G (2023)
  • Moto G Play (2023)

Looking at Motorola’s Edge phones, the Motorola Edge (2023) and Motorola Edge Plus (2023) are — unsurprisingly — getting Android 14. If you have the older Motorola Edge (2022) or Motorola Edge Plus (2022), you’re getting an Android 14 update, too. The wonderfully named Motorola Edge Plus 5G UW also has an Android 14 update headed its way.

Moo on the Motorola Razr 40 and Razr Plus's cover screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

What about Motorola Razr phones? The two Razr handsets released last year — the Motorola Razr Plus and Motorola Razr (2023) — will be updated to Android 14. And if you picked up the Lenovo ThinkPhone, you’re getting Android 14 as well.

That’s a healthy list of Motorola phones confirmed for an Android 14 update, which is great to see. However, there’s one big piece missing from this puzzle: timing. Motorola hasn’t indicated when Android 14 is coming to any of these phones, and if previous Android updates are anything to go by, you could be waiting a while before you actually get Android 14 on any of these Motorola phones.

Regardless, it’s good to have confirmation from Motorola that Android 14 is — finally — in the works.

Editors’ Recommendations

Motorola’s latest Razr foldable phone is discounted to $500 | Digital Trends

Motorola’s latest Razr foldable phone is discounted to $500 | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you want to get a foldable phone but Samsung’s Galaxy Z devices are too expensive, you may want to turn your attention towards the Motorola Razr 2023. From an original price of $700, it’s currently available from Amazon with a $200 discount, so you’ll only have to pay $500. There’s no telling when the offer expires though, so you’re going to have to make a quick decision on whether you’re buying this if you want to pocket the savings from one of the most interesting phone deals we’ve come across recently.

Why you should buy the Motorola Razr 2023

The Motorola Razr 2023 is featured in our list of the best Android phones as the best cheap foldable Android phone. For a much cheaper price than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, you’ll get a folding smartphone with a 1.5-inch OLED cover screen that shows notifications and allows you to take a selfie with its 64MP external camera without having to open the device, and a 6.9-inch pOLED inner screen with a 144Hz refresh rate that looks absolutely fantastic. The 32MP internal camera features Quad Pixel technology that allows it to capture more details when you take photos with it.

The 4,200 mAh battery of the Motorola Razr 2023 will last you the whole day, but if it gets depleted, the smartphone  will recharge quickly with TurboPower 30W charging or wireless charging. The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 processor and 8GB of RAM, it offers 128GB of storage, and it ships with Android 13 pre-installed while waiting for an Android 14 update.

The Motorola Razr 2023, a foldable phone with amazing style and fantastic performance, is on sale from Amazon for only $500, for savings of $200 on its sticker price of $700. It’s probably not going to stay this cheap for long though, as we expect this bargain to attract a lot of attention from shoppers. If you think the Motorola Razr 2023 should be your next smartphone, there’s no way to secure the discount other than proceeding with the purchase as soon as possible, because the device’s price may be back to normal as soon as tomorrow.

Editors’ Recommendations

Why Motorola could be the smartphone company to beat in 2024 | Digital Trends

Why Motorola could be the smartphone company to beat in 2024 | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

2023 is just about one for the history books, and it was a big one for smartphones. Apple went all-in on titanium iPhones, Google had an incredible year for Pixel devices, and Android phones had a shockingly good year across the board.

As we wind down 2023 and start looking ahead to 2024, there’s one company, in particular, that I want to highlight. Plenty of folks are already getting excited about the Samsung Galaxy S24 and the iPhone 16, but if you ask me, Samsung and Apple aren’t the companies you should be paying close attention to in the new year. Instead, your eyes should be set and centered on Motorola.

Motorola has nailed flagship smartphones

The lock screen on the Motorola Edge Plus (2023).
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Motorola got so much right this past year — and it all started with the Motorola Edge Plus (2023).  I reviewed the Edge Plus this past May, and all these months later, it remains one of my favorite phones of the year.

There’s not one single thing that made the Edge Plus stand out, but rather a culmination of Motorola getting so much right.

The 6.7-inch OLED display is vibrant, colorful, and a pure joy to look at. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor is still a performance champ, even a year after its release. The battery easily lasts for two days on a single charge, and the 68-watt wired charging means you can go from zero to 100% in about an hour. Hell, even the cameras — something Motorola has long struggled with — are solid. They’re not Google Pixel 8 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra quality, but the Edge Plus’s camera system is still a wholeheartedly enjoyable one.

2023 gave us a lot of standout flagships, but the Motorola Edge Plus still stands out as one of the best ones. It’s one of the most complete smartphone packages you can buy today, not to mention the excellent $800 MSRP (which is often discounted as low as $600). I’ve waited years and years for a proper return to form for a flagship Motorola phone, and that’s precisely what we got with the Edge Plus in 2023.

Its mid-tier options are getting better, too

The back of the Motorola Edge (2023).
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

And it wasn’t just top-of-the-line flagships where Motorola succeeded this year. The company also impressed with its more budget-minded offerings — specifically with the Motorola Edge (2023).

I reviewed the Edge (2023) right around the time I was testing the Google Pixel 8, and it was remarkable just how easy it was to go back and forth between the two phones. As a $600 smartphone (which can now be bought for as little as $350), the Motorola Edge exceeded a lot of my expectations this year.

The Edge isn’t quite as well-rounded as its Edge Plus sibling, but as a decidedly mid-tier handset, it’s a very good package. I really like Motorola’s decision to use leather on the back and around the camera housing, which is grippier than glass and more premium-feeling than plastic. You also still get a very good OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, the MediaTek Dimensity 7030 processor is surprisingly capable, and you don’t have to sacrifice battery life or fast charging speeds.

There are some drawbacks, obviously. Motorola promises just one major software update from Android 13 to Android 14, and the cameras aren’t anything to write home about. But the overall package is a strong one, and I think it’s one of Motorola’s better mid-range offerings in a while.

The flip-phone foldable champ

The Motorola Razr Plus, half folded with its cover screen on.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Even while doing so well with “regular” smartphones in 2023, Motorola still found time to crank out multiple folding phones — and two of the most important ones of the year, at that.

The first foldable release from Motorola in 2023, the Motorola Razr Plus, was everything I’d been waiting for in a flip-phone type of foldable. Fun, unique design? Check. A large cover screen that runs fully-fledged Android apps? Check. Water and dust resistance? Fast performance? Great software? Check, check, and check.

Motorola has been dabbling with folding phones since late 2019, and the Razr Plus felt like what the company has been working toward for so many years. It’s one of the most enjoyable phones I’ve used in 2023, and even with more technically impressive competitors like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 now out, the Razr Plus still holds a special place in my heart.

A person opening the Motorola Razr 40.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Finally, it’d be a disservice not to talk about the regular Motorola Razr (2023).

On paper, the Razr (2023) doesn’t seem like anything special. Compared to the Razr Plus, it has a lower-specced main display, a slower processor, worse cameras, and a much smaller cover display. It’s an inferior phone in almost every regard, so why mention it at all?

The price.

The Motorola Razr (2023) has a retail price of $700, and depending on when you buy it, you can pick it up for as little as $500. In late 2023, you can spend just $500 for a brand new folding phone. That was completely unheard of just a year ago, but Motorola made that a very true reality this year — and it’s still a bit hard to believe.

High prices have long been one of the main deterrents for foldables. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold families are great, but with prices ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $1,800, they’re far from affordable. The Razr (2023) is the first folding phone that feels like it’s actually obtainable for a large group of people, and even without the best specs in the world, that’s nothing short of amazing.

What will Moto do in 2024?

White Motorola logo against a wooden background.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Was 2023 a perfect year for Motorola? Not quite. The company still has room to improve its software update policy. Motorola’s Moto G line has also become unnecessarily confusing, and resulted in some less-than-stellar releases from Motorola this year.

But even with those quirks left to iron out, I can’t help but look back at 2023 as one of the strongest for Motorola in years. And because of that, I’m excited thinking about where Moto goes in 2024.

With the Edge Plus nearly perfected this year, imagine how good a successor next year could be. Motorola proved the standard Edge can be a very competent mid-ranger, and it has clear — but manageable — ways to improve it in the new year. And with the Razr and Razr Plus making such strong showings in 2023, the prospect of 2024 successors to them is beyond exciting.

Leaks and rumors about Motorola’s 2024 product roadmap have remained quiet so far, but if the company follows a similar pattern to what we saw this year, it’s safe to say we’ll be in for another spectacular year. And I can’t wait.

Editors’ Recommendations

The most innovative smartphones of 2023 | Digital Trends

The most innovative smartphones of 2023 | Digital Trends

It’s been an interesting year for smartphones. Though it may seem that phones have plateaued, we still got some genuine surprises in 2023 from names that you may not have expected. These phones stood out from the rest in some form, proving that you can still do something fun and exciting with a smartphone.

So, sit back and relax, take a sip of that delicious cider or hot cocoa, and take a look at the most innovative smartphones of 2023.

Want to see the rest? Check out our full list of the most innovative tech products of 2023!

Winner: OnePlus Open

Digital Trends

Though Samsung has dominated the foldable market in the U.S. for a few years, 2023 saw a rise in foldables from competitors like Google and OnePlus. But the OnePlus Open has become the folding phone to beat, even though it’s the first foldable from OnePlus.

In terms of specs, the OnePlus Open is certainly impressive. You have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip along with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. With this kind of power, the OnePlus Open can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. It even packs in a 4,805mAh battery that will last a full day and then some, and it has support for 67W fast charging.

It features a 6.31-inch AMOLED cover display and opens up to reveal a 7.82-inch AMOLED inner display. Both screens have up to 120Hz refresh rates and can reach up to 2,800 nits peak brightness, making it one of the brightest displays available on any phone. The inner display also has an anti-reflective coating, making it much more usable outdoors in bright sunlight than the competition. Plus, OnePlus’ Flexion Hinge results in a barely visible crease, which isn’t a given with folding phones today

You have a powerful triple-lens Hasselblad camera array with a 48MP primary camera, a 48MP ultrawide camera, and a whopping 64MP telephoto camera that can do 3x optical, 6x in-sensor, and up to 120x Ultra Res zoom. The selfie cameras are also 32MP on the cover display, while the inner selfie camera is 20MP, though you can also use the rear camera for selfies.

But the OnePlus Open’s real magic is its power for multitasking with the Open Canvas feature in OxygenOS 13.2. This new way to multitask was specifically designed to increase productivity with multi-window efficiency.

What does this mean? Essentially, the OnePlus Open can support up to three apps in split screen and floating windows, and there’s a persistent desktop-like taskbar at the bottom. But it’s not restricted to just utilizing the physical screen space. You can stretch and resize all windows as you see fit, as Open Canvas is like having virtual screen space. To bring in the second or third window, just slide it in or out of view.

So not only is the OnePlus Open impressive in terms of specs (and it has a nice design to boot), but its fresh approach to multitasking allows you to be more productive than ever before. All of this makes the OnePlus Open one of the most innovative phones this year, especially for a foldable.

Runner up: Fairphone 5

The back of the Fairphone 5.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

When it comes to smartphones, you don’t think of them as being highly repairable or even very sustainable to the planet. But that’s exactly what you get with the Fairphone 5. This is a phone that’s about commitment to the planet and sustainability, as it’s designed to last for years.

The Fairphone 5 specs aren’t super impressive compared to the competition. It has a Qualcomm QCM6460 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB internal storage, though you can increase the storage with a microSD card. You have a dual-lens camera system on the rear with 50MP primary and ultrawide cameras, plus a front-facing 50MP selfie camera — though taking photos with it has some shortcomings. But you’re not buying the Fairphone 5 for the hardware specs — you’re buying it if you want a phone to last you for years.

With the Fairphone 5, the main selling points are sustainability and repairability. This is a phone that you can repair yourself if certain parts break (including the screen, USB port, camera, and battery), and those parts are reasonably priced. Repairing parts is also relatively simple and not complicated, as all you need is a 00 Phillips screwdriver and a good work area.

Fairphone is also dedicated to updating the Fairphone 5 with five major Android plus other general software support through 2031. The Fairphone 5 tackles longer-term ownership in a way no other phone does, and that deserves recognition.

Honorable mention: Motorola Razr (2023)

Apps on the Motorola Razr Plus.
Motorola Razr Plus Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Finally, we’re giving an honorable mention to the Motorola Razr (2023). It’s not innovative in terms of specs for folding flip phones; instead, it’s innovative for the price. This is the first folding phone that you can buy for just $700.

When you bring up folding phones, the first thing that you’re probably going to think of is the price. Most foldable phones start at $1,000, and the flagship ones can reach up to almost $2,000 — and even higher, depending on your storage options.

That’s what makes the Motorola Razr so appealing. It’s the only folding phone that you can find for less than $1,000. And you get a lot of great features for that price! The design is simple yet elegant with the vegan leather, which also comes in fun colors. There’s no gap when it’s closed, the cover display makes it easy to see the time and notifications at a glance, the screens are bright and crisp, and the performance is good for the cost. And the cameras are even pretty solid, all things considered.

The Motorola Razr (2023) is the first folding phone that feels attainable for a wide group of people, and even with fairly mid-range specs, that’s darn impressive.

Editors’ Recommendations

Something amazing happened to folding phones in 2023 | Digital Trends

Something amazing happened to folding phones in 2023 | Digital Trends

Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Samsung has been in charge of leading the foldable segment for too long. For years, Samsung dominated the foldable landscape with little to no competition. But that changed in 2023.

While the company put in the work to improve the Galaxy Z Flip 5 with a bigger cover display, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 seemed to remain an afterthought. Fortunately, other smartphone manufacturers started rolling out more foldable phones globally this year, and now, Samsung’s aren’t the go-to choice anymore. There’s finally healthy competition and choice for folding phones, and I’m so here for it.

Finally, some real competition

OnePlus Open and Google Pixel Fold camera modules.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Samsung started facing the heat from Google in June with the rollout of the Google Pixel Fold. It introduced a new form factor with a wide cover display and a horizontal aspect ratio on the inside. In my opinion, it isn’t an ideal form factor, especially with the weight and not having a vertical display on the inside. But it brought actual competition for the foldable phone market in the U.S. — a critically important task.

Honor showcased the slimmest and lightest foldable with the Honor Magic V2 in September, and it was a turning point for me. It lies in the middle of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold in terms of form factor. It solved the major design issues that were a norm for book-style foldables.

The Honor Magic V2 is closer to a slab phone in more than one way. It is thin enough to feel like a regular slab phone and weighs less than my then-primary phone, the iPhone 14 Pro Max. In fact, Honor made a whole new slim 5,000mAh battery for its foldable. Plus, It has a crease less than the other two Folds and packs a 20:9 cover screen, which is close to what you’d find on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra or the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

While the Honor Magic V2’s global availability hasn’t been announced, it is slated to launch sometime in Q1 2024. It showcased what a book-style foldable can be and became a benchmark for design – at least for me. And it remains one even after the launch of the OnePlus Open (more on that below).

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 next to the Motorola Razr Plus, both showing their cover screens.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Additionally, we saw the return of Motorola Razr with the Motorola Razr (2023) and Motorola Razr Plus. The latter was arguably better than the Galaxy Z Flip 5, with a bigger cover screen and better battery life. Globally, Oppo had already rolled out the Find N2 Flip, which introduced a new vertical cover screen on the outside.

Samsung made a good comeback with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in Q3, which brought a solid hinge and new cover screen but with the same dual camera setup and gutter-like crease in the middle. The Oppo Find N3 Flip solved both concerns with a triple rear camera setup that included a dedicated telephoto lens on a flip phone for the first time. Plus, the crease situation was much better than Samsung’s phones.

One phone beat Samsung at its own game

OnePlus Open from the back, in hand and less than half folded.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

If the Honor Magic V2 had been released outside of China, it’d be my go-to recommendation for a book-style foldable. But OnePlus did what Honor couldn’t with its first big foldable, the OnePlus Open. It not only challenged Samsung but beat it in almost every way — despite undercutting it on the price.

Similar to the Honor Magic V2, the OnePlus Open features a 20:9 aspect ratio, which I consider ideal for this type of foldable. As a result of the slab-like cover screen, apps don’t misbehave, which is an issue on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold – whether with black borders or the app not being comfortable and displaying zoomed-in text on an irregular aspect ratio. But the OnePlus Open did two other things that no other folding phone has done yet.

First, It offered a camera setup that’s better and more versatile than any big foldable phone. At launch, it had some issues with tuning for the new Sony sensor, but it has only gotten better with updates. Plus, the 6x zoom feels straight out of a more traditional flagship phone.

Two games running simultaneously on OnePlus Open held in hands.
Botworld (top) and Whiteout Survival running on OnePlus Open simultaneously. Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

Second, the crease is almost negligible. You can still feel it, but it’s notably less than the Samsung, Google, Honor, or Tecno foldables. You can’t see it 99% of the time, and for that 1% you can, you have to view it at a specific angle. It’s a non-issue.

The OnePlus Open also took multitasking to the next level with its Open Canvas feature. For the first time, you can now have three apps simultaneously on your screen, with each interaction just a tap away. When you use it, you realize how much you can accomplish on the big inner display. I can plan for my next story or my next trip with Chrome, YouTube, and Google Keep all open simultaneously.

The OnePlus Open is easily my favorite phone of the year that’s available globally.

2023 did something else for foldables

Tecno Phantom V Fold and Tecno Phantom V Flip.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

It’s no secret that folding phones come at an expensive price tag, and oftentimes, it’s the price that keeps consumers from jumping on the foldable bandwagon. But Tecno democratized the market by launching a book-style foldable and a flip phone at unbelievable prices.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold was launched at 79,999 Indian Rupees (INR), which translates to $960, less than most regular flagship phones. YouTuber Michael Fisher famously called it the “a fold at the price of a flip” – something Tecno used at its launch event.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold's open screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Phantom V Fold isn’t a bad foldable by any means. It offers a more useable cover screen and a lesser crease on the inner screen than the Galaxy Z Fold 5. There were obviously instances where Tecno had to cut corners. For example, the hinge is either at 90 degrees or 180 degrees flat, and the cameras aren’t something to boast about, but they’re workable.

As if that wasn’t enough, Tecno also launched a flip phone at 49,999 INR ($600), which brings it to a mid-range phone category, similar to the Motorola Razr launch price in the US. It is selling for 54,999 INR ($660) and still remains the cheapest flip phone on the market, slightly cheaper than the $700 Motorola Razr.

You might not get the fastest performance or the best cameras on these two flip phones, but they are democratizing foldables, which have long remained a novel pursuit. In 2023, folding phones aren’t something you have to splurge on, and that’s a big win for the form factor.

Folding phones are here to stay

Honor Magic V2 and OnePlus Open in hand.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

In short, 2023 was an outstanding year for folding phones.

Samsung faced more competition than ever, which exposed its lazy approach with the Fold 5. Google entered the segment. Honor showed you can make foldables as slim and light as a slab phone. OnePlus led the form factor with great cameras, a near-creaseless display, and next-level multitasking. Oppo introduced a dedicated telephoto camera on a flip phone for the first time. Motorola and Tecno brought foldables to the masses.

That’s more activity in the global foldable market than we’ve seen in the last four years combined — since the launch of the first Galaxy Fold in 2019. I’m still amazed by having a 7.6-inch tablet-like display right inside my pocket that enables me to do so much more than a regular, non-folding phone.

I hope 2024 continues to be amazing for foldables and that Samsung pushes itself to make the Galaxy Z Fold 6 more than an iterative upgrade. This is the best year we’ve had yet for folding phones, and I can’t wait to see where the niche is another year from now.

Editors’ Recommendations

I reviewed 20 phones in 2023. These are my 5 favorites | Digital Trends

I reviewed 20 phones in 2023. These are my 5 favorites | Digital Trends

This has been a fantastic year for smartphones due to the sheer variety of great devices at all prices. In other words, if you wanted a brilliant new phone this year, it didn’t have to be a $1,000-plus flagship.

I’ve used and reviewed a great many phones over the past 12 months, but the following five have left the biggest impression to become what I consider the very best you can get.

iPhone 15 Plus

Apple iPhone 15 Plus Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

While the iPhone 15 Plus may not be the most technically impressive new iPhone released this year, it is the one that surprised me, as I’d felt that the iPhone 14 Plus was too big, too heavy, and too uncomfortable to be a true cheaper alternative to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 Plus solved all the comfort issues, which in turn made it more manageable. The camera has really impressed me, too.

Don’t Miss These Pixel Deals:

It means the iPhone 15 Plus really can be considered by people who want the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s big screen, but not the accompanying big price tag. It’s still an expensive phone, but there is a substantial savings over the 15 Pro Max, and because it’s a far better phone than last year’s model, it can actually be recommended. Calling it one of the “best” phones I’ve reviewed this year may be a tiny bit of a stretch, but it’s certainly the most improved over what came before.

I’ve also been using the superb iPhone 15 Pro Max since it was released, and the differences between using it and the iPhone 15 Plus for normal, everyday tasks are minimal. It’s only when you get creative with the camera, start playing a lot of intensive games, or compare the two screens closely (one is 60Hz and the other 120Hz) that it’s obvious where the extra money goes. Otherwise, the iPhone 15 Plus is a worthy big-screen alternative to the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Google Pixel 7a

The Google Pixel 7a in a person's hand.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Most end-of-year lists will feature the Google Pixel 8 or Google Pixel 8 Pro, and they are right to do so, as both are excellent new smartphones. But it’s easy to forget that Google’s cheapest Pixel phone, the Google Pixel 7a, was also released in 2023, and it is the best value Pixel to buy if you don’t want to spend much money. It has all the usual Pixel goodness — great camera and clean Android — for less than $500. While it lacks all the AI features found in the Pixel 8, it’s questionable as to how much they will add to the experience for everyone.

When I’d finished using the Pixel 7a the first time around, I didn’t feel the need to swap my SIM card out and into a more expensive flagship phone. Considering the list included the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, this is high praise. It’s an incredibly competent phone that shares the same cool design of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, and the camera performs almost as well too. It has last year’s Google Tensor processor inside, so it’s not the most battery efficient, but it still always lasted a packed full day for me.

As tech fans, we’re constantly looking at the next big thing and lusting after the very latest releases, but overlooking the Pixel 7a because it doesn’t share the Pixel 8’s name and processor would be unfortunate. It’s a brilliant, capable, and long-lasting smartphone for anyone not wanting to spend more than $500 on a new phone.

Motorola Razr (2023)

The Motorola Razr 40's cover screen, with the Moo character.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The third phone on my list is yet another midrange device, proving you don’t absolutely need to buy an expensive flagship to bag one of 2023’s best. The Motorola Razr (2023), or Razr 40, as it’s known in the U.K., is the cheaper of the two new Razrs released this year, with the other being the excellent Razr Plus. But the regular Razr is the one that breaks new, important ground.

Why? It brings the compact folding phone down to a sensible price, especially when it was available for just $600. Even at the full $700, it’s still a solid buy — and Motorola seems happy to still offer deals on it, too. It’s far better built than the Razr (2022), the hinge feels more reliable and expensive, and the technology inside is more than enough to satisfy most people for daily use. You’ll want more power if you play a lot of games, but it’s a minor gripe when looking at the Razr (2023) as a complete package.

I liked the Razr (2023) because the hardware never felt like a compromise, and it introduces the joy of a folding phone to those who don’t want to spend $1,000 to get one. Folding phones are fun, exciting, and useful, and the more people who can discover this, the better. The Razr (2023)’s compact design means it’s never a burden, yet you’re not missing out on a lovely big screen when you want it. Plus, the phone is given character by Moo, the creature that lives on the cover screen, something you don’t often find on any smartphone, let alone a modestly priced foldable.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in Sky Blue, seen from the back.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I had to get to a flagship phone eventually, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra is every bit a flagship. Since the death of the Note series, the S-Series Ultra has taken on the task of providing just about everything that can be squeezed into a modern phone. Several of these features are unique to the S23 Ultra, too, including the 10x optical zoom camera and the Bluetooth-connected S Pen stylus stored inside the phone’s body.

The 10x optical zoom is a big benefit, as no other phone offers a similar feature at all. It adds so much creative ability to the already superb camera, and there’s almost no situation or environment where it doesn’t take a brilliant photograph. I chose it as the phone I took on a short trip over any other for this very reason, and I never once regretted it. Then there’s how good the video recording is. It also introduced me to using Adobe Lightroom on a smartphone to make photos look even better.

The camera’s brilliance is repeated everywhere else, from the outright performance to the software. I’m using the Galaxy S23 Ultra again as I write this, and it has received an update to One UI 6 and Android 14, bringing it right up to date. Big, bold, and brilliant, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the phone to buy if you don’t want to change it for years.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, showing the cover screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

When I decided to upgrade my Galaxy Z Fold 4, I didn’t choose the Galaxy Fold 5 — I bought the Galaxy Z Flip 5 instead. While the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is very good, it really doesn’t offer much new over the Z Fold 4, while the Z Flip 5 is a very different phone from the Galaxy Z Flip 4. I appreciate the compact design too, as it fits in with my current lifestyle better. I didn’t write our initial review of the Z Flip 5, but I’ve been using it long term and updated our review on it recently.

The big cover screen is highly customizable, and although it can run any Android app you like, I find it works best when you use a core selection. The Z Flip 5 is a phone you can properly use open and closed, and for a much wider variety of tasks than before. Its new versatility brings it closer to the Z Fold 5, leaving you mostly with the decision as to whether you value a big screen or a compact phone more when choosing between them.

Samsung’s hardware is also still the best in the business. I love the Motorola Razr (2023), but you can tell it’s cheaper than the Z Flip 5 just from the hinge. The Z Flip 5’s hinge is smooth, yet tight, with no wobble or flex in the wrong places. It gives you confidence in the phone, as does Samsung’s use of durable materials. The Z Flip 5 is the phone that changed my mind about compact folding phones, and it’s easily one of the year’s best new devices.

The ones that got away

A blue Google Pixel 8 Pro, laying face-down next to a small pumpkin and squash.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

There have been a couple of phones I haven’t been able to use so far this year, and although I don’t expect either to usurp any of the devices above based on what I’ve learned from colleagues, they do deserve special mention. It’s the Google Pixel 8 Pro and OnePlus Open that have eluded me at the time of writing.

The OnePlus Open falls into the same category as the Google Pixel Fold and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 in that big-screen folding phones haven’t been as enticing in 2023 compared to compact folding phones. I’ve enjoyed using the Z Flip 5 and Razr (2023) a lot, and both are considerable improvements over their predecessors. The Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold are brilliant, but don’t offer much that’s new. I have a feeling the OnePlus Open may be exactly the same.

OnePlus Open in Emerald Dusk showing Flexion Hinge standing up.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

I know I’ll love the Pixel 8 Pro’s camera and would be interested to try out the additional AI features that are exclusive to the model, especially as I really liked the standard Pixel 8. It’s sure to be an excellent phone, but the Pixel 7a caught my attention because of how good it is for the price, and the Pixel 8 Pro is the same price as most other top smartphones today. It better be good when I get to use it.

When I use these two phones, perhaps I’ll change my mind about this list. But for now, these are my favorite smartphones from the many I’ve used and reviewed in 2023.

Editors’ Recommendations

Why this cheap folding phone from Motorola is a must buy | Digital Trends

Why this cheap folding phone from Motorola is a must buy | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Are you a bit bored with your current phone? Do you want something more exciting, more futuristic, and more fun — all without spending tons of money?

Until now, a wish list item like this was unlikely to be realistic. But I recently spent a few weeks with the Motorola Razr (2023), and I want to explain how it rapidly became one of my favorite phones of the year, how it meets the criteria described above, and why you’d be wise to pick one up soon.

Now’s the time to buy a foldable

A person opening the Motorola Razr 40.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

When folding phones first arrived, they were very expensive; the big-screen, flagship versions still are, which has likely made many people dismiss foldables as being unobtainable or overpriced.

Well, those times are changing, as the Motorola Razr (2023) is a midrange folding phone — and it has a midrange price to go with the specs. This puts it well within reach if you’re already considering a Samsung Galaxy A54 or a Nothing Phone 2, and it’s even cheaper than the OnePlus 11 and the Google Pixel 8.

But it’s nothing like any of these phones. The Motorola Razr (2023) is a compact folding phone, just like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, but for almost half its $1,000 price. The Razr (2023) is currently on offer for $599, a discount of $100 off its normal retail price. Sure, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 does have higher specifications, but if you a phone that you can fold up, then the Razr (2023) will happily scratch that itch for a whole lot less money than the Z Flip 5.

At this price, the Razr (2023) is really the first folding phone you can consider without thinking you’re massively overspending on a new phone just for the chance to fold it. Let me tell you, though — when you get one, you’ll find all the folding and flipping doesn’t get old. We’ve been patiently waiting for a brand to shake up foldables and help propel them into the mainstream, and Motorola is doing exactly that with the Razr (2023). It joins Tecno as one of the key brands working hard to bring exciting foldables to more people this year.

The Razr (2023) isn’t just a cheap phone

A person holding the open Motorola Razr 40.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Am I saying you should only consider the Razr 2023 because it’s quite cheap? No. When I reviewed, used, and really liked the Razr (2023), the U.S. price wasn’t even known. I reviewed its U.K. equivalent, called the Razr 40 (which is the same phone with a different name), and it won me over. Not because of the price, but because the flip phone design is fantastic, and the phone itself is really good.

All folding phones are exciting pieces of hardware, but I love compact folding phones because they’re so unbelievably convenient. They mark a return to the days when mobile phones were modestly sized, but without impacting ability or forgoing modern tech. It’s one of the main reasons I fell for the 6.9-inch Razr (2023), as it just slips in my pocket or bag and I barely know it’s there until I want it. It’s a huge advantage, and it’ll change the way you think about phones with giant screens.

A person taking the Motorola Razr 40 out of a pocket.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The low price may make you wonder if it has been made like a cheap phone, especially considering the cost of such high-tech hardware. No major corners have been cut with the Razr, so this couldn’t be further from the truth. The textured rear panel is wonderfully tactile and keeps the phone clean, as it can be wiped down to remove any greasy prints. It comes in some cool colors, and although the hinge isn’t quite as refined as that of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, it has a far superior feel and motion to the Motorola Razr (2022). Plus, it’ll always be fun to open and close a folding phone.

Midrange doesn’t mean mediocre performance or that Motorola has made it dull, either. The Razr did everything I wanted, the software is speedy and clean, and there’s the cutest character called Moo living on the cover screen to give it character. Yes, character. It may sound silly, but Moo made the Razr feel friendly, and that’s rare for any piece of tech. The lack of an always-on screen irritates me, but I’ll forgive the Razr when it manages to be both friendly and fun.

Good phone, good price, what else?

A person holding the closed Motorola Razr 40.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

On the surface, the Motorola Razr (2023) is just another good phone at a good price, just like the Google Pixel 8 is also a good phone at a good price. What makes the Razr unusual and worth your attention is that it’s a compact folding phone at a good price. That helps remove one of the things I have always suggested when talking about this type of phone in the past: that you need to try one out before buying.

The reason I’d tell people this was that very few would take a risk on a phone that cost $1,800, so you needed to find out for yourself how transformative they can be. The Razr (2023) isn’t the definition of a bargain, but it’s priced so sensibly that there’s very little “risk” involved. Compact foldables are just as usable as similarly sized non-folding phones. but with a lot of added convenience. Now, you can find out for yourself without breaking the bank.

I fell in love with the Motorola Razr (2023) not just because it’s a good phone, but also because it has the potential to introduce so many people to the joy of a modern, folding flip phone. At some point, Motorola is going to put the price up to $699, and that is going to make it a bit less tempting, so don’t miss out on this golden opportunity to enjoy this fun, futuristic, characterful, and capable smartphone.

Editors’ Recommendations

Motorola’s newest folding phone is cheaper than the iPhone 15 | Digital Trends

Motorola’s newest folding phone is cheaper than the iPhone 15 | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Motorola is finally putting its most affordable foldable phone on the shelves in the U.S. The Motorola Razr (2023) will be up for preorder from Motorola’s official website starting October 12, while AT&T, Boost Infinite, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile will get it a week later.

The most alluring aspect of the Motorola phone is its asking price, which puts it strictly in the midrange segment despite offering sophisticated foldable phone engineering. For a limited spell, the device will go for an irresistible sticker price of $600. It will also be sold unlocked via Amazon and Best Buy, in addition to Motorola’s own storefront.

T-Mobile subscribers, both new and old, can get the Razr (2023) for free when exchanging a phone tethered to the Go5G Plus and Go5G Next plans. Xfinity Mobile is giving $400 off for its customers, while AT&T will sell the Razr for just $2 per month without any trade-in caveats for select plans.

Even without the carrier offers and a lower introductory price, the official retail price of the Razr (2023) has been set at $700, which still undercuts the likes of Apple and Samsung. The iPhone 15 starts at $799, while the Google Pixel 8 will set you back $699.

A person opening the Motorola Razr 40.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

At that asking price, the Motorola Razr (2023) is the most affordable foldable phone from a mainstream brand out there. But it still has quite some identity of its own, rocking a vegan leather build with a sturdy metallic chassis that comes in multiple peppy colors and impressive work done to minimize the display crease.

“I haven’t noticed the crease at all,” Digital Trends’ Andy Boxall wrote in his review of the Motorola Razr (2023). It offers a 6.9-inch FHD+ pOLED display with a neat 144Hz refresh rate and 1,400 nits of peak brightness. On the outside is a 1.5-inch OLED cover display that is also sufficiently bright but serves more like an at-a-glance screen for checking on notifications and alerts. A less distracting screen, if you will!

Motorola’s foldable device draws power from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, ticking alongside 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. Authentication duties are shouldered by a side-mounted fingerprint scanner integrated into the power button. The battery capacity is 4,200 mAh, and it supports 33W fast charging, which once again surpasses what Apple has to offer.

A person holding the closed Motorola Razr 40.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The primary camera relies on a 64-megapixel sensor, while the 13MP ultrawide camera is also capable of taking macro shots. For selfies and video calls, you get a 32MP selfie camera on the Motorola Razr (2023). Camera features include night vision and audio zoom, but you don’t get the ability to capture 4K videos.

But at a starting price of $599 — and even $699 once the initial promotional pricing is gone — the Motorola Razr (2023) punches way above its weight class, not just with the sheer strength of the specs sheet, but also because it offers the flexibility of an adorably pocketable foldable phone. It just so happens that it looks damn good while at it. The only chink in its armor is that Motorola’s software support assurance isn’t quite up to the mark, but for a foldable this cheap, that’s hardly reason enough not to consider it.

Editors’ Recommendations

Motorola’s cheap Razr could change folding phones forever | Digital Trends

Motorola’s cheap Razr could change folding phones forever | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

In all the fuss over the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5, you may have forgotten Motorola also recently released some foldable phones of its own. The Motorola Razr (2023) and Motorola Razr Plus (confusingly known as the Razr 40 and Razr 40 Ultra, respectively, in the U.K.) are two flip foldables well worth your attention. But there’s something special about this duo. While the Razr Plus is a flagship phone with a lot in common with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, the Razr (2023) is rumored to be something we haven’t seen in a foldable yet — a true, honest-to-god midrange phone.

While U.S. pricing and availability haven’t been confirmed for Motorola’s new foldable, the odds are it’ll fall somewhere around the $600 to $800 price range. While not exactly an affordable phone by most metrics, it’s likely to have the cheapest MSRP of any foldable sold in the U.S. to date.

In other words, this is a very good thing. Motorola should have released a midrange foldable phone years ago — and in some ways, it did. Only it forgot to lower the price.

The Razr (2019) was ahead of its time

Folding the new Motorola razr.
Riley Young / Digital Trends

I’m going to peel back the veil of time and take us on a trip to the past to the very first generation of flip smartphones. February 2020 saw the release of two flip foldables: the original Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola Razr (2019). The two phones shared a number of similarities: the horizontal flip fold, obviously, and a high price that reflected the cutting-edge nature of the tech.

But for all the similarities, there were more than a few big differences separating the two, and the most egregious of these were the specs. The Galaxy Z Flip was priced at $1,380, but it had strong specs to back that up. The Snapdragon 855+ chip used wasn’t the latest of Qualcomm’s chips, but it was still a very strong processor for the time, and it would still stand as a decent chip in 2023. The cameras, similarly, were taken straight from the Galaxy S20, meaning they were close to the best camera phones of the time.

The Galaxy Z Flip face down on a table, half folded.
Corey Gaskin / Digital Trends

The Motorola Razr couldn’t have been more different. At $1,500, it was over $100 more than the Z Flip, so you might assume it pushed to the very top of the specs available, right? Wrong.

The Motorola Razr (2019) was a midrange phone. It folded, yes, but the specs were — if I’m being polite — underpowered. If I’m being harsh? They were pathetic. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor was a fine chip, sure, and the 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage were also, well, fine … for a midrange phone. Not for a phone that was only $500 short of $2,000. When put up against the cheaper, more powerful Galaxy Z Flip, you’d have to be mad (or blinded with nostalgia) to pay more money for an objectively less powerful, less capable phone.

Despite my obvious ire, I feel sorry for Motorola. The Razr (2019) wasn’t a bad phone by any means, and at a lower price, it would have been a smash hit. But the technology was simply too new to drop the price to a level that matched the specs. But that didn’t stop Motorola from pushing out new foldable phones in the years that followed.

Enter the Motorola Razr (2023).

The Razr (2023) is exactly what we need

A person holding the Motorola Razr 40, showing the weather widget.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Foldable phones have been with us for several years now, and Samsung, in particular, has had a field day with them — having released no less than ten foldable phones in the Galaxy Z series. However, in all that time, it’s still not released a midrange foldable phone.

“Big deal,” you might think. “Who cares about a midrange phone? Foldables are premium tech, there’s no need to introduce a midrange phone now.” You’re dead wrong. Sure, foldables are premium tech, but phone manufacturers don’t want them to stay that way. Foldables are a brave new frontier in smart device development, and they represent a chance for manufacturers to make phones interesting again.

Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you were really, truly excited about a normal, non-folding phone? There’s only so excited you can be about a new zoom lens, an upgraded processor, or even a slightly tweaked design. But a folding phone? Oh, that’s a completely new ball game, and we all know it.

The buttons on the side of the closed Motorola Razr 40.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The issue is they haven’t broken into the mainstream just yet. I’ve seen a handful of Galaxy Z Flip phones in the wild, but no Z Folds — and certainly no foldables from other manufacturers. Why? As a wild guess, I’m assuming it’s because foldable phones are still seen as experimental and expensive, not traditionally a good combination. Much in the same way VR didn’t take off until it was cheap enough that most people were willing to take a chance on it, foldable phones aren’t going to bloom until there’s at least a midrange option on the market. The Razr (2023), when combined with the strong brand recognition from the original Motorola Razr V3, could be the phone to take advantage of that.

But it needs to be priced correctly. All we really know for sure about the pricing is it won’t be around or above the $1,000 mark — because that’s where the Razr Plus is set, and it’s clearly the more advanced sibling of the two. If the Razr (2023) is priced at $800, then that might be a harder sell. Put it closer to $600 and put it up against phones like the Google Pixel 7? Well, you might just have a winner there.

It’s late, but welcome

The Motorola Razr 40's open screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I’ll say it here and now: the Motorola Razr (2019) should have been a midrange phone. Motorola should have held it for a few years and released it at a more reasonable price. However, if the best time to release a midrange foldable was a few years ago, the second-best time is today. The Motorola Razr (2023), if it releases at a decent price, could be the missing piece that foldables need to start taking over the smartphone market.

But it’s not going to have an easy time, even if the price is right. Motorola has the chance to get a head start, but you can be sure other manufacturers already have their eyes set on midrange versions of their foldables. There haven’t been any rumors of a cheaper foldable from Samsung yet, but that doesn’t mean one isn’t coming.

Heck, even if the field is currently clear for new midrange foldables, Motorola also has to compete with the older variants of Samsung’s folding smartphones. At the time of writing, a new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 from last year can be found on Amazon for
just over $600
. If you’re happy to grab a refurbished model, then you can expect to get one for even cheaper than that.

But old flagships have always been a problem for midrange phones, and there’s no reason to believe the risk is any worse for the Motorola Razr (2023) than any other phone. But I do believe a midrange-priced Razr could be a major turning point for foldable smartphones — and I can’t wait.

Editors’ Recommendations