(Pocket-lint) - The folding phone market is well and truly alive, seeing the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, followed by the freshly invigorated Moto Razr 5G, which goes head-to-head with Samsung's other folding phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G.

There's also the Galaxy Z Flip 4G to consider and the original Moto Razr, but here we are focusing on the latest devices and how they compare. 

So which 5G horizontal folding phone is best? The Motorola Moto Razr 5G or the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G?

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Design 

  • Razr 5G: 169.2 x 72.6 x 7.9mm (open); 91.7 x 72.6 x 16mm (closed), 192g
  • Z Flip/Z Flip 5G: 73.6 x 167.3 x 7.2mm (open); 73.6 x 87.4 x 17.3mm (closed), 183g

The Moto Razr 5G and the Galaxy Z Flip 5G both hinge around the same design, that's a clamshell, with a horizontal folding display. They both have articulated hinges, the big difference being that the Moto Razr 5G carries some retro design elements from the 2004 Razr it apes.

That includes the classic Razr chin - slightly redefined from the original Razr - which gives some form to the phone, while the Samsung is a lot more symmetrical, with the two sections effectively the same size. The Razr 5G, on the other hand, has a smaller top section. 

The Razr 5G has a stainless steel frame, and both the top and bottom of the rear section have a polished glass finish, with the top section housing a second display and the bottom section housing a physical fingerprint sensor - this was moved from the chin where it was for the original Razr.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G (and the 4G variant), also have a glass finish on the rear and a stainless steel frame but the display in the top section is much smaller.

There are some differences in the hinge too. Motorola redesigned the hinge for the Moto Razr 5G but you can see how the supporting central section of the open phone drops down, while the pOLED (plastic OLED) screen doesn't fold, per se, instead expanding into the hinge to allow a slightly softer arc - while letting the frame seamlessly fit together. 

The Z Flip 5G's hinge meanwhile, has a really satisfying action and the spine neatly folds away when the phone is opened.

Overall, Samsung's phone is a little shorter and lighter, despite having a larger display, but it is more seamless in design.

Display 

  • Razr 5G: 6.2-inch, 2142 x 876, 21:9, pOLED, 373ppi; 2.7-inch 600 x 800, 370ppi 4:3
  • Z Flip 5G: 6.7-inch, 2,636 x 1,080, 21.9:9, AMOLED, 425ppi; 1.1-inch 300 x 112

The Razr 5G's Flex View display goes up against Samsung's Infinity Flex. While Motorola uses a plastic surface, Samsung uses ultra-thin glass (UTG) as a coating for protection. That means the Z Flip is a little better protected. 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G has a crease in the display, which Samsung says is a "natural characteristic" - while there's also a centred in-display camera cutout at the top - the Moto, on the other hand, has a notch. 

Samsung also has the advantage in size. Despite the dimensions of these phones being close, not having a chin on the phone (as dictated by the Razr 5G's design) means it can sport a display that's 0.5-inch larger. 

Samsung also pushes a greater resolution, having ensured that its display is full HD+. If you look at the pixel densities, Motorola is at 373ppi, while Samsung is at 425ppi. Basically, Samsung's display is technically better.

Of course, there's a lot more to the display than just the specs, but Samsung also has a long history of delivering great displays. 

When it comes to the second display, the Razr 5G is a much more usable size. There's actually some substance to it, whereas Samsung's external display is more like a notification window, even though you can use it to see what a selfie would look like. The Razr therefore offers a better closed-phone experience.

Hardware specification 

  • Razr 5G: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, 2800mAh
  • Z Flip 5G: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, 3300mAh

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ with 8GB of RAM. The LTE model meanwhile, has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset, just for reference.

The Moto Razr 5G runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset, which we've seen in a lot of the powerful sub-flagship models, like the OnePlus Nord and Pixel 4a. It comes with 8GB of RAM too, like the Z Flip 5G and Z Flip.

The Z Flip 5G and the Moto Razr 5G are both paired with 256GB of storage, but it's the Samsung that has the slightly larger battery capacity at 3300mAh compared to the Moto 5G's 2800mAh battery. Both phones support 15W fast charging.

Both of these phones support eSIM - while the Moto uses it as a primary SIM, the Galaxy Z Flip uses it as a second SIM. 

The cameras 

  • Razr 5G: Rear - 48MP, f/1.7, 1.6µm, laser autofocus; front - 20MP, f/2.2, 1.6µm
  • Z Flip 5G: Rear -12MP, f/1.8 + 12MP, f/2.2; front - 10MP, f/2.4

The Razr 5G gets a 48-megapixel main camera and it's just a single unit, mounted on the "lid" of the phone. You can flip the phone open to use it as the main camera, or use the second display to use it for selfies.

The internal camera on the Razr is 20-megapixels, sitting in that notch at the top of the display.

The Z Flip 5G has a pair of cameras on the rear of the phone, the 12MP lens offering a wide-angle, which we always enjoy. 

Samsung therefore offers more options with its camera, but we do like that Motorola goes with a simpler approach and there's beauty in the symmetry that comes from that single rear camera. 

Samsung wins on the front camera though, as we much prefer the punch hole front camera to the notch of the Razr 5G - though the Moto beats Samsung on the megapixel count.

Price and availability

  • Motorola Razr 5G: Available from "fall", $1399/£1399
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G: Available now, $1449/£1399

When it comes to pricing, the Moto Razr 5G and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G are pretty much on par - the Samsung is slightly more expensive in the US.

The Samsung is available to buy now though, while the Moto Razr 5G is due to come out in the "fall", though an exact date hasn't been confirmed and will likely differ per country.

You could of course consider the Moto Razr first generation, which has seen a big price reduction now the second gen model has appeared, and there is also the 4G model of the Z Flip to add to your options too.

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Conclusions

Like the original, the Moto Razr 5G will likely win a lot of fans thanks to its appearance and we have to admit that the nostalgia value around this form and design is huge - it's really desirable. 

The Samsung Z Flip 5G might not have the same retro appeal and the external display might be too small to be of any practical use compared to the Razr 5G. But the processor load-out is more advanced and the design is more seamless overall.

The Samsung is more expensive than the Moto Razr 5G in the US though, so for some, the Moto might represent better value for money. You can read our reviews on both the Moto Razr 5G and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip for all the details.

Writing by Chris Hall. Editing by Mike Lowe.