Even so, I can't help but wish Motorola had cooked up a few more ways to get things done on a RAZR without having to open it. That external screen is too small to fully display apps, so that's out, but I'd love to access quick controls for say, my Hue lights, or sift through the first few tweets in my timeline. In fairness, though, Motorola says it'll continue to evaluate which apps could be coaxed into working well on that secondary screen, and that's really all I can ask for. Foldables are still so new that companies don't have a crystal clear sense of how people will actually want to use them. In other words, expect a lot of trial and error across the industry for a while.
So far, the camera seems pretty decent too: It has an f/1.7 aperture so it handled even low light without much fuss, and you can use it to shoot standard photos and selfies when the RAZR is closed. (If you insist on shooting selfies while looking at the full-size screen, there's a 5-megapixel camera above it that'll get the job done.) I haven't been able to review any of my sample photos on a bigger screen so I'll hold off on the judgment, but let's face it: If you really care about getting great smartphone photos, this probably isn't the way to go.
By now, it's clear that Motorola's first foldable has its share of limitations, perhaps too many for some people. $1,500 is a lot of money to ask for a phone that won't deliver the latest and greatest performance or battery life or cameras, after all.
Even with all that said, I can't help but feel optimistic about Motorola's work here. The RAZR is the first foldable I've ever used that I could hand to my parents or my non-phone-nerd friends and feel good about it. Its design is first-rate. It's easy to understand. It's more durable than I expected it to be. And perhaps most important, Motorola's take on foldable design seems more broadly appealing. (Samsung seems to think so, too.) We're not looking at a smartphone that morphs into a tablet; it's just a more pocketable kind of smartphone. Who wouldn't want one of those?
At the end of it all, it's too early to tell whether Motorola's attempt will be the first to really make foldables A Thing for people. If nothing else, though, the new RAZR is proof that Motorola still has what it takes to make ambitious, iconic hardware, and with any luck, its foldable plans won't end here.