Motorola says “new” Moto Razrs should no longer arrive in used condition | GeekComparison

If you buy a new Moto Razr 5G, it might not seem as “new” when you get it. A very interesting note (first spotted by The Verge) is at the bottom of Amazon’s product description, which says that your Moto Razr will open before it gets to you, fold it up and, oh, we’re sorry if there are some fingerprints:

NOTE: Originally the RAZR was intended to be transported unfolded. However, to better protect the screen, we’ve folded your RAZR – it’s more secure, but might not look as elegant as we’d hoped. We apologize if you see fingerprints on your device. We assure you that your RAZR is brand new.

Motorola’s foldable reboot of the Moto Razr has had a hard time surviving in the real world. While the modern take on a classic smartphone looks great, it’s also proven to be extremely fragile, with its nifty hinge system and soft, flexible plastic screen prone to damage. (Ours died after one day!) The original came out in February 2020, but a higher-spec follow-up, the Moto Razr “5G”, came out in early October. It has already been decided that the box is not good enough.

The Razr 5G box looks like the original Razr reboot box and does not follow the typical smartphone box design. The bottom half of the box is designed to double as a functional phone stand and amplify the sound coming from the speaker. The phone sits vertically in the bottom of the box, open and tilted back slightly. The top “half” of the box drops down over the top of the phone stand and a very large block of foam presses against the phone screen, holding the phone in place.

Sending the phone with the screen exposed and pressed against a large block of foam in this way apparently causes problems. We contacted Motorola after seeing the list and some of these reports, and the company has sent a statement along with it

Motorola packages the new razr in its factory-level closed form. Once the device leaves our facilities, it will not be reopened. Motorola has strict requirements for glove handling and hygiene procedures, along with shipping protocols aimed at providing a great out-of-box experience. As with all products, we will continue to monitor closely and make additional adjustments as necessary to provide the best consumer experience.

So Motorola apparently had last minute reservations about the box design and admits it decided to ship the Razr folded rather than unfolded as depicted in the press photos. This isn’t limited to Amazon, and some comments to the Amazon reviews claim to have received folded Razrs directly from other retailers, such as Best Buy and Motorola. Motorola’s last-minute box tweak is pretty odd considering the company has nearly a year of experience with this box design. This is the second generation of the Moto Razr, after all, and the first generation had what appears to be an identical box.

In the Amazon review section, customers seem pretty dissatisfied with the state of their phones when they arrive. Customer Adolfo A. Sandoval Berro provided photos of a cut-up box and writes in their 1-star review, “The phone was not brand new… There was no [a] protective film on the inner screen, the protective film on the outer screen was very badly deformed and the device came folded in the package.” They continue: “Last but not least, when I inspected the lid of the box, I noticed something with the hand cut on the inside to make the lid fit with the phone folded.”

The foam block is definitely going to be a problem. It is intended to press firmly against the open, flat screen and secure the phone. Trying to close the box when the Razr is folded (and thus twice as thick) doesn’t really work, as the foam block now becomes too thick. The solution to this, according to this reviewer, is to cut a large piece out of the foam block so that the box closes.

Another one-star anonymous reviewer writes, “Unbelievable. Received the phone in the same conditions described in other reviews. Folded, with no film on the inside of the screen and a warped film on the outside. The screen shows very obvious crease marks But besides packaging issues, the main reason that convinced me to return the device, which I haven’t read in other reviews so far, is that the screen beeps when opening and closing.” Besides all the packaging issues, it’s nice to know that Motorola still hasn’t fixed the alarmingly beeping hinge mechanism. Several other reviews describe the “new” phone as “used”.

Motorola’s statement that Razrs are packaged with “strict” sanitary procedures doesn’t match the fingerprint warning on Amazon’s official listing, or numerous customer reports claiming the phone arrived in what’s described as a “used” condition. After a follow-up question about the fingerprint alert, Motorola told Ars, “We are aware of this issue and are taking steps to prevent it in the future.”

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