Motorola Razr Teardown Shows Complex Fold Design At The Expense Of Repairability
At long last, Motorola's Razr flip phone is back, though getting your hands on one will test your patience. Some preorders have gone out and if you are lucky, you can stroll into a Verizon Wireless store and nab one. Otherwise, you are looking at waiting a few weeks for new orders. In the meantime, there is already a teardown video that highlights the Razr's build flexibility form factor, and what that means for DIY repairs.
Before we get to that, let's recap the specs. The Razr boasts a 6.2-inch foldable pOLED display with a 2142x876 resolution (21:9), and a 2.7-inch external display with an 800x600 resolution. These are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz and 6GB of RAM, and has 128GB of onboard storage. For snapping photos, there is a 16-megapixel lens underneath the exterior display, and a 5-megapixel camera.
What makes a revival of the Razr design possible is the recent foray into foldable displays. Unlike the original Razr phones, the inside is not separated by a smaller display at the top and physical buttons at the bottom—it's an actual razor-thin screen that can fold without breaking. It took some clever engineering to make this happen, and it seemingly comes at the expense of DIY repairs.
The folks at PBK Reviews posted a teardown video to YouTube (embedded above), and from start to finish, it is a delicate process. As is typical on today's premium devices, there is prying involved, adhesive that needs to be heated (you risk cracking the plastic shell otherwise), and in this case, two displays—the main foldable screen and the external panel, which is glued to the outside plastic.
There are a bunch of screws that need removing as well. Several of them hold the antenna assembly in place, and inside the phone, there are nine "T4 or T5" screws on the top section. "If you see you are stripping the screws, then use a T5 torx screwdriver," the video's narrator says.
In addition to lots of screws, you'll also encounter various cables along the way. All of this comes crammed into a somewhat compact design.
"This is not an easy repair at all and I would probably even go as far as saying not repairable at all by most people," the video's description reads.
While DIY repairs look tricky at best, the Razr appears to be a well-designed smartphone from an engineering standpoint. Whether that means anything as to the Razr's long-term durability remains to be seen. Hopefully it does stand the test of time, as the Razr is not cheap by any means—it costs $1,499.99.
Thumbnail/Top Image Source: PBK Reviews (via YouTube)