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Motorola on the Razr’s folding screen: ‘bumps and lumps are normal’

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Pre-sale begins today

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Today’s the day that the Motorola Razr is available for pre-sale for $1499, exclusively on Verizon. Motorola originally said that it should begin shipping on February 6th, but it looks like it’s already backed up to the 14th on Verizon. Alongside the pre-order launch, Motorola has posted a series of videos on its YouTube channel that are somewhere between brief ads and how-tos for the folding phone. And as you might have guessed from the headline, “Caring for razr” caught our eye.

In it, Motorola runs through the basics of what you need to know if you have a phone with a plastic folding screen. We thought we knew most of them already based on our experience with the Galaxy Fold, but Motorola’s video has one more thing to think about: “Screen is made to bend; bumps and lumps are normal.”

With the Galaxy Fold, “bumps and lumps” ended up being the first harbingers of a catastrophic screen failure on our review unit. Apparently that’s not going to be the case with the Razr. There are lots of ways to build a hinge for a folding plastic screen, and Motorola apparently opted for a design that allows for a little more flex than the original Fold design did. It’s also able to close completely flat.

Because of that plastic material, the screen is likely to have some kind of crease — though we weren’t really able to see much of one in our original hands-on. We’ll obviously need to review the phone in full before we can say ourselves whether the screen has a notable crease, bumps, or lumps.

As with the Galaxy Fold, there are some Gremlins-esque rules to worry about: don’t get it too wet and if you do, dry it off quickly with a soft towel; keep it away from sharp objects; and close it before you put it in your pocket.

That last rule, “close phone before putting in pocket or purse,” is a clear sign that the company knows the screen is fragile. It also explicitly warns users to not use a screen protector. As with the Galaxy Fold, it seems likely that the adhesive on most screen protectors would be damaging to the screen.

At the launch, Motorola executives were incredibly confident about the screen’s durability for users. One executive specifically said “We’re not going to go out there and say, ‘consumers should be cautious of how they use the phone.’” Instead, it looks like a little caution is warranted.

Notably, the Razr is set to become available right around the time of Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event on February 11th. It’s widely rumored to be released the Galaxy Z Flip, a direct competitor to the Razr. A more recent rumor hinted that the Z Flip may have an “ultra thin” glass display.

The other videos that Motorola has posted so far are more straight-forward overviews of the phone, though one seems to indicate that users will need to go to a Verizon carrier store in order to activate the eSIM.

There are a few other videos on the channel but one that might be of interest is the big pile of camera features Motorola is building into the Razr, including a Cinemagraph mode that looks pretty fun: