The Samsung Galaxy S22 and Motorola Razr represent two different philosophies when it comes to smartphone design in 2022. On one hand, the Galaxy S22 iteratively improves upon Samsung‘s tried-and-true slab smartphone formula. On the other, the new Motorola Razr boldly resurrects the flip phone form factor that was once synonymous with the Razr brand in the early 2000s.
Both phones have their strengths and weaknesses – let‘s compare them in depth across a range of factors to see which one comes out on top.
A Brief History
First, some background. Samsung has firmly established itself as one of the leading Android smartphone makers with its Galaxy S series. The Galaxy S22 continues the mainline numbering while polishing the familiar glass sandwich design.
Motorola, on the other hand, is seeking to recapture the glory days of its ultra-popular Razr V3 flip phone. That iconic, slim clamshell device was a cultural phenomenon back in 2004. With the new Razr, Motorola aims to modernize the flip form factor with a foldable OLED display.
It‘s a clash between Samsung‘s industry-leading technology and Motorola‘s retro-futuristic nostalgia. Let‘s see how they stack up.
Design and Form Factor
The Samsung Galaxy S22 sticks to the tried-and-true smartphone aesthetic – a rectangular glass and metal slab with minimal bezels. At 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm and 167g, it‘s an impressively compact and pocketable device for a 2022 flagship. The back panel is Gorilla Glass Victus+ for durability.
The Razr couldn‘t be more different. Folded up, it evokes the classic flip phone shape at 91.7 x 72.6 x 16mm. But unfold it, and you get a modern flexible 6.7" OLED screen. Of course, that means there‘s a horizontal crease down the middle when unfolded. Still, it‘s undeniably cool to snap the Razr shut to end calls and slip it into small pockets. However, at 200g, it is heavier than the S22.
For ports, both phones have a USB-C charging port but lack a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Razr‘s more complex hinge mechanism renders it less resistant to dust and water compared to the IP68 rating on the S22.
In terms of colors, the S22 comes in a wider range of options including Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Rose Gold, Bora Purple, and Graphite. The Razr is limited to just Polished Graphite, Liquid Mercury, or Blush Gold.
Overall, the Razr definitely wins on novelty and nostalgia points, but the S22 takes the crown for a more robust, compact, and pocketable design.
The Galaxy S22 sports a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz for smooth scrolling and an impressive peak brightness of 1300 nits for outdoor visibility. The Razr‘s larger 6.7" pOLED panel also sports a high refresh rate of 144Hz and a peak brightness of 1200 nits.
Both screens use OLED technology with support for HDR10+ content and 10-bit colors. The bezels are slightly thicker on the Razr when unfolded, due to the hinge mechanism.
DisplayMate experts have noted that the S22‘s screen calibration is extremely accurate out of the box. The Razr‘s screen also looks great, but color accuracy may not be as spot on as Samsung‘s panels.
With their high brightness, vibrant OLED technology and silky smooth high refresh rates, both phones are evenly matched when it comes to display quality. The S22 may have a slight edge for color accuracy.
Performance and Hardware
Under the hood, both phones are powered by Qualcomm‘s latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset with 8GB of RAM and 128/256GB of storage. This delivers blazing fast performance suitable for power users.
For most markets, the Galaxy S22 is equipped with the Snapdragon edition which benchmarks slightly higher than the Exynos model used in some regions. In real world usage though, both chipsets are extremely capable.
Gaming performance is excellent on both phones, with high frame rates in graphics intensive games thanks to the Adreno GPUs. There‘s little to separate them when it comes to raw processing power.
One concern with the Razr is that graphically intensive gaming over long periods could exacerbate the crease down the center of the flexible display. The S22‘s conventional glass panel does not suffer from this vulnerability.
Overall though, expect top-tier performance from either choice.
Being an Android phone, the Razr ships with a lightly customized version of Android 12. Motorola adds some minor tweaks to Google‘s interface with their MyUX skin.
Meanwhile, Samsung has its own heavily customized OneUI 4.1 interface on the Galaxy S22. It brings a plethora of features beyond stock Android, like Bixby Routines, Samsung DeX desktop mode, Knox security platform and deep S-Pen integration. Fans used to OneUI will feel right at home.
Both manufacturers promise at least 2 major Android version updates for these phones. Customization preferences aside, you can expect a polished software experience on both phones with the latest Android 12 features like improved privacy and Material You dynamic theming.
For photography, the Galaxy S22 packs a triple camera array consisting of:
- 50MP wide f/1.8 primary
- 12MP ultra-wide f/2.2
- 10MP telephoto f/2.4 with 3x optical zoom
The Motorola Razr has a dual camera setup:
- 48MP f/1.7 main
- 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
So on paper, it looks like the S22 has more versatility with its optical zoom lens. Real world performance is competitive though – both phones capture crisp, vivid photos with accurate colors in bright daylight. The S22 pulls ahead for low light photography with its Night Mode capabilities.
For selfies, the Razr‘s 32MP front facing camera enables slightly more detailed shots. But the S22‘s 10MP selfie cam still captures good images.
With up to 8K video recording on the S22 and 4K on the Razr, both are adequate for mobile videography. But the S22‘s optical stabilization gives it the edge for avoiding shaky footage.
All in all, the Galaxy S22 wins out for its triple camera flexibility and superior low light photography. But the Motorola Razr still takes great looking shots for social sharing.
Battery Life and Charging
With battery capacities of 3700mAh and 3500mAh respectively, neither phone is a battery life champ compared to 4000-5000mAh competitors. Still, both manage to deliver a full day of usage on a single charge unless you‘re a very heavy user.
For charging, Samsung provides 25W wired and 15W wireless charging on the S22. The Razr supports up to 18W TurboPower charging. Both support fast charging that can get you from 0 to 50% in 30 minutes.
The S22 does have slightly faster charging capabilities, but in real world usage, battery life is similar on both phones – expect to charge daily. The S22 does get an IP68 water resistance rating that the Razr lacks due to its folding design.
Availability and Pricing
The Galaxy S22 starts at $799 in the US for the 128GB model. The Motorola Razr launched at $1,399, though street prices have now dropped to around $1,000.
In terms of availability, Samsung obviously has a much stronger retail presence globally. The Galaxy S22 is widely available from wireless carriers and electronics stores. The Razr has more limited distribution thus far focused on certain carriers and regions.
Looking at the price delta of $200+, the S22 provides much better value for money given its superior performance, cameras and premium build. Unless you absolutely need that flip phone design, it‘s hard to justify spending extra on the Razr.
Which Should You Buy?
For most buyers, the Samsung Galaxy S22 is the smarter choice. It delivers fantastic performance and cameras in a compact, premium body. The conventional slab design accommodates a larger battery and water resistance. Software support is top-notch with Samsung providing 5 years of security updates.
However, for those seeking a radically different form factor, the Motorola Razr makes a bold style statement. Flipping the phone open and closed never gets old. The flexible OLED display is immersive. And it fits easily into pockets. Just keep in mind that nostalgia comes at a higher price.
At the end of the day, Samsung dominates with their S22 for its impressive all-round capabilities. But Motorola deserves applause for successfully reinventing the flip phone in a novel way. The choice ultimately comes down to your priorities – but overall, the Galaxy S22 provides better technology and value.