New Motorola Razr 40 is a compact foldable that emphasises minimal screen time

Powerful yet pocketable, the Motorola Razr 40 shows how the clamshell phone is maturing, pitched at those who prefer to keep digital temptation at bay

Motorola razr 40
(Image credit: Motorola)

One of our favourite foldables has been revised and updated for 2023. Motorola’s Razr 2022 becomes the Razr 40, with a new tactile case, a generous 256GB of on-board storage, new colours and – in a surprising departure from the usual smartphone arms race – a small external screen. 

Motorola razr 40 foldable phones

(Image credit: Motorola)

The latter decision came about partly to save money and keep the price down, but also because Motorola is pitching the device at so-called ‘digital minimalists’. Despite its 1.5in size, the external display is perfectly adequate for checking weather, scrolling through notifications, or shuffling songs; anything you need to do without opening up the device. Unfolded, the Razr 40 offers a 6.9in pOLED screen (an iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7in screen), along with the usual high-quality cameras front and rear.  

Motorola razr 40 phones lined up

The Motorola Razr 40's external screen can perform a number of functions

(Image credit: Motorola)

The new Razr comes in three colours developed in collaboration with Pantone – Sage Green, Summer Lilac and Vanilla Cream – along with what the company calls a ‘luxury vegan leather back’, giving it more of a jewel-like, powder-compact feel than ever before. The jury is out on whether Razr buyers skew in any particular gender direction, but the compact size and textured feel are a welcome change from a regular plus-sized slippery smartphone, let alone a full-size foldable. 

Motorola razr 40, open and closed

(Image credit: Motorola)

The phone runs Android 13, lightly customised by Motorola to make the most of the its ability to be its own stand, either as a tent-style alarm clock or recorder, or as a mini keyboard and screen for video calling, along with gesture recognition that allows you to signal the phone to take a selfie. The company is also pushing its focus on sustainability, with plastic-free packaging. 

Finally, there’s a specific ‘Razr scent’ impregnated on the box, an element of ‘surprise and delight’ that shows how far brands are going to find lasting synergies with their customers. 

Motorola razr 40, £799.99,

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.