iFixit says the Motorola Razr is the most complicated phone it's ever taken apart


Posts: 6,644   +59
Staff member

Things weren’t looking good for the Razr when CNET put the phone in a device called "FoldBot" with a goal of reaching 100,000 folds. Sadly, the hinge mechanism broke at around 27,000 folds, roughly four hours in. Motorola objected to the test, noting that the bot was designed for use with the Galaxy Fold, meaning it was putting undue stress on the Razr’s hinge and not allowing the phone to open and close as intended.

But the Razr hasn’t impressed most reviewers, and iFixit’s teardown shows it isn’t going to win any awards for repairability, either. The site awarded it the lowest 1 out of 10 score.

iFixit notes that folding the Razr reveals gaps between the hinge and display similar to those that caused so many problems with the original Galaxy Fold. These only appear midway through the folding action, but it’s still a concern, especially when you’re paying $1,500.

It’s noted that there’s an excessive amount of glue, which makes opening the Razr difficult, and the fingerprint sensor cable next to the home button is easy to tear when disassembling the device.

Other difficulties include the batteries being stuck to the pOLED display sheet, meaning replacing them requires an almost total disassembly, and the charging port being soldered directly to the main board.

Ultimately, however, iFixit writes that “just bringing this impossible gizmo into existence was such a tall order that we’re not surprised serviceability didn’t make it into v1.0.” It adds that as this is a first-gen design, we shouldn’t expect anything other than a low repairability score, but that could change as future foldable handsets arrive.

Permalink to story.



Posts: 2,981   +2,766
Phones like these are interesting to look at but they're definetely harder to repair and maintain.


Posts: 1,433   +1,039
More complicated phone means more money for manufacturers when the phone breaks.
Except it doesn’t though. If I buy a phone from a manufacturer and it breaks and either can’t be fixed or costs a lot to fix then I would jump ship. Exactly this happened to me a few years back with a Samsung phone - the charging port failed 2 months in and the warranty did not cover it. Since then I haven’t bought anything from Samsung. I think most users would dump a manufacturer in these circumstances if they have the option to.


Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
High cost, limited repair-ability and a folding screen that might now ........ no thanks


Posts: 5,464   +6,145
Honestly, this was all expected. The less then stellar parts inside to the low repair ability score. A phone like this has less room for parts compared to a phone of the same size thanks to the hinge. Sacrifices need to be made.

If you are buying this phone, you should really have a use case for it's small form factor.


Posts: 3,603   +3,524
First off, I'm not interested in a folding phone,.whether it's flawed or perfect. That said, these are early adopter devices. It took nearly 5 for smartphones to iron out usability issues and I'd argue that it wasn't until 2015-2016, that we started seeing the premium devices we enjoy today. It could be 5 or 6 years before foldable phones mature.

It frustrates me to no end that people look at what are essentially publicly available prototype devices. You don't look at a prototype and say, "this sucks, we shouldn't even try.

Just look at how far foldables have come in the last year. They went from plastic screens that broke easily to having foldable glass.


Posts: 604   +571
Do people really expect that folding phones will be easy or cheap to repair?
Heck, plain vanilla phones are not that cheap to repair!!

But many rubes will buy them then act surprised and start complaining....


Posts: 143   +120
So the gap is only present midway closing action and that is an automatic strike? You will be closing it in the palm of your hand so unless you plan throwing sand at it while you’re closing it, just because this is your “thing”, if this isn’t nitpicking I don’t know what is..


Posts: 143   +120
Well now we know this phone has bigger problems than the gap ;-) Although still related to the very same area gap was not at fault after all ;-)