The market for compact foldable smartphones has definitely become more interesting this year. First the Oppo Find N2 Flip went on sale, which generated a lot of interest with its large external screen, and then Motorola unveiled its latest foldable flagship.
That phone is the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, which combines all the best features of foldable smartphones. The device has a powerful processor and a robust design, but its greatest asset is its useful external screen, which can run almost any application installed on the smartphone.
From the moment the flagship was unveiled, there wasn’t the slightest doubt that it would be the biggest competitor to this year’s Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. We’re now past its launch, so let’s see if it has a real chance against the Razr 40 Ultra from Motorola.
Confusingly, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra is called the Motorola Razr+ in the US. They are the same phone!
Design & Build
Both the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra have two AMOLED displays – an internal and a large external screen. It is on the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, however, that both displays are larger.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a 6.7-inch internal screen with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz and a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. On the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, on the other hand, the internal screen features a diagonal of 6.9 inches, a refresh rate of up to 165 Hz and a peak brightness of 1,400 nits. Both screens support HDR10+ content and have a resolution of 1080 x 2640 pixels.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5’s external screen is a 3.4-inch display with a resolution of 720 x 748 pixels and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. Interestingly, its shape resembles that of a folder with a diagonal cut off around the cameras.
The Motorola’s external screen, on the other hand, is 3.6 inches diagonal with a resolution of 1056 x 1066 pixels and refresh rate of 144Hz, respectively. The external display of the second smartphone is therefore not only larger, but also offers a more detailed image and smoother animations, although it is worth bearing in mind that part of its surface area is taken up by the camera lenses.
Significant differences in design also come about in the dust and water resistance ratings. The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra fares slightly worse than the Z Flip 5 in this aspect, as it has not received any certification in the “IP” series and users can only count on a waterproof protective coating. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has an IPX8 rating, which makes it the best water rating of any foldable on the market in this respect.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is based on the currently most powerful Qualcomm-branded processor for mobile devices, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. You will encounter the same chipset in almost all the top flagships from this year, such as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Xiaomi 13 Ultra or Vivo X90 Pro+. So it seems that in terms of performance, Samsung may have a slight edge over Motorola.
After all, the Razr 40 Ultra is equipped with an older version of the same unit, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. In synthetic tests, this year’s version of the processor performs better than its predecessor in almost every aspect. However, it must be said that in terms of performance, the smartphones do not differ too much in everyday use.
It is also worth mentioning here that the Galaxy Z Flip 5 offers 8GB of RAM and 256 or 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage. The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra is also available with 8GB, but only with 256GB of the slightly slower UFS 3.1 storage. You won’t notice, though.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Unfortunately, Samsung has not used a larger battery in the Galaxy Z Flip 5 than in its predecessor – it still has a capacity of 3700mAh. The battery used in the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra is slightly larger and offers a capacity of 3800mAh. In addition, the battery on the Motorola is quicker to charge via a cable. This is because it supports 30 W charging, while the Samsung only supports 25W charging.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, on the other hand, is quicker to charge wirelessly at 15W. The Motorola Razr 40 Ultra can only be charged wirelessly at 5W. In addition to this, Samsung supports wireless reverse charging.
Samsung and Motorola take a completely different approach to the system too, and more specifically to the system overlay on Android. The Korean brand relies in this case on very extensive software – with a mass of proprietary applications and additional programmes. Motorola went in a decidedly more minimalist direction and opted for an almost pure Android.
The choice between these two, radically different, approaches should be based on subjective preference rather than the superiority of one solution over the other. Samsung’s advantage, however, will be evident in the number of major updates, as the manufacturer will provide as many as four of them (the Razr 40 Ultra will receive three major updates).
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Motorola took a significant step forward this year in the development of the entire foldable flagship segment and equipped the Razr 40 Ultra with a large external screen with a diagonal of 3.6in. From the moment the smartphone was unveiled, many speculated that Samsung would want to use a similar solution, as its Galaxy Z Flip 4 was already standing apart not only from the new Motorola, but also from the Oppo Find N2 Flip.
As it turns out, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 also received a noticeably larger external screen. Indeed, the top of the smartphone is adorned with a 3.4-inch display, so Samsung users finally get a comfortable-to-use external display. The question remains, however, whether its functionality is on the same level as that of the Motorola model?
The Razr 40 Ultra allows any installed application to be run on the external display, which in practice translates into the smartphone being unfolded far less often and – as a result – consuming less battery. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has admittedly received quite a few new widgets and apps that have been adapted for use on the external screen. While this is definitely an improvement over its predecessor, the possibilities remain more limited than on the Motorola smartphone, though our Z Flip 5 review details how you can run any app on the smaller display.
Price & Availability
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 costs just as much as the Galaxy Z Flip 4 did at launch. Both generations start at $999.99/£1,049. The big difference is that the Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes with 256GB in its entry-level version, which is double that of the 128GB Galaxy Z Flip 4. Essentially, you get double the storage at the same price. There’s only one additional Galaxy Z Flip 5 version, which comes with 512GB of storage. It will set you back $1119.99/£1,149, which is cheaper than last year’s 512GB version of the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
You can get Galaxy Z Flip 5 directly from Samsung, as well from Best Buy in the US, or Argos, Currys and John Lewis in the UK.
The Razr 40 Ultra is available in the UK and Europe, and also in the US under the Razr+ name, for $999/£1,049/€1,199 – so exactly the same as for the Galaxy Z Flip 5. However, the Razr 40 Ultra does not offer more storage options and is only sold with 256GB.
You can get Razr 40 Ultra directly from Motorola, from Best Buy in the US, or from Amazon, Currys and John Lewis in the UK.