back to article Don't break your swanky new Motorola Razr, you probably won't be able to get it fixed

The Motorola Razr is back and while the 2000s stalwart had a reputation for toughness, you'll probably want to be careful with the refreshed version. A recent teardown from the T3-wielding terrors at iFixit has proven it to be nigh-on impossible to repair. Oh dear. So what seems to be the problem? For starters, even the most …

  1. cornetman Silver badge

    > It's entirely possible that the manufacturing and design technology simply isn't there to combine flexibility and repairability.

    I call bullshit on that. It's all about cost.

    If there was a will to make phones repairable, then they would be.

    Until it starts to seriously cost manufacturers that their phones are unrepairable, then they will continue exactly as they are doing.

    And that comes down to us.

    We need to put our money where our principles are. Just don't buy a phone that cannot be repaired, even if it causes you to avoid buying a phone that you like the look of.

    1. Youngone

      I suspect this particular model won't have too many buyers, due to the massive price and the very negative reviews.

    2. Robert Grant Silver badge

      When phones become largely commoditised, this will become more of a thing.

      1. simonlb Silver badge

        I think you missed out the word 'flip' somewhere there, but in any case I can only see these every really being a niche product. Especially at those ludicrous prices.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "When phones become largely commoditised, this will become more of a thing"

        Editing time must have run out before you saw you didn't add the /s sarcasm tag.

        Since mobiles are commodities, it's only the rubes that splash out on the very spendy phones that do the same things as ones that are half the price, or less. Mine's the one on clearance for £18.50, no contract.

    3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      I guess the simplest option would be making the statutory warranty on electronic devices 5 years. Then the manufacturers have to bare the cost of replacement, or make it repairable, or (good grief!) actually make reliable stuff.

      Sure they will bitch about it pushing up costs for consumers, but only for those who see a 1-2 year throw-away life and the resulting environmental costs as acceptable for a few quid saved initially. I doubt most of el Reg readers would see it that way...

      1. NATTtrash

        I guess the simplest option would be making the statutory warranty on electronic devices 5 years. Then the manufacturers have to bare the cost of replacement, or make it repairable, or (good grief!) actually make reliable stuff.

        I don't agree with you there. Not in a day and age where (online) businesses and retailers bring new, returned products to the skip, "because we don't have the storage room" or "it is too expensive to reissue them". Then again, if the financial incentive countering this is big enough... Like REALLY big...

        Another option of course, would be if the regulatory route was utilised. After all, electronic products like this have to apply for, and can only be sold after receiving a CE mark (in EU). So, if it needs to get approval anyway, I can't see why "sustainability" can not be one of the design requirements, just like "radio waves should not fry users brain". The fact that this isn't captured yet in design regulations might be a symptom of the standard MO of rule makers/ politicians: "Let's start thinking about this when it becomes a problem for me/ people start making noise that affects me personally"...

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        I guess the simplest option would be making the statutory warranty on electronic devices 5 years. Then the manufacturers have to bare the cost of replacement, or make it repairable, or (good grief!) actually make reliable stuff."

        There's already a full 2 year warranty on goods in the EU as well, in some/many/all EU member states, an expectation of a "reasonable life" which could extend to a more limited warranty more years. Unless manufactures are making different models just for EU sales, then I think you'll find they've simply increased their expected life-time costs to cover expected failures of the longer period and increased the initial sale price accordingly.

        EU prices almost always include local VAT rates whereas US prices generally don't include Sales Tax, but even when they are compared like for like, taking exchange rates into account, EU prices are higher than US ones generally because the manufacturer has to cover that 2 year warranty. TANSTAAFL.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        " guess the simplest option would be making the statutory warranty on electronic devices 5 years."

        It's hard to say. Production cost isn't that much so they'd just throw your broken one away, hand you a B-stock unit with a big scratch down the back and still be dancing. Any phone insurance will be going up on next renewal.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish they brought back the original V3i RAZR

    That silly thing was gram for gram about the most useful phone I've ever had once I got a matte keyboard for it. Of course, it wasn't "smart" because a classic 12 key numeric keyboard doesn't make for a great entry experience (the calendar and email were IMHO more read-only), but as a phone it was small, had very good reception, had a user changeable battery and the flip was impressively robust.

    It's about the only phone that was suit pocket compatible (also shirt pocket compatible, but that idea tended to be discarded quickly after a toilet visit :) ).

    Anyway, that *format* worked, the many imitations afterwards just could not quite live up to it. If someone could fit that with two proper screens I'm sure it would be impossible to make them fast enough.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: I wish they brought back the original V3i RAZR

      Anyway, that *format* worked, the many imitations afterwards just could not quite live up to it. If someone could fit that with two proper screens I'm sure it would be impossible to make them fast enough.

      I think just re-releasing the original, upgrade to current radios and screen technology, would probably sell out in no time. Just look at how HND has done with the "re-released" classic Nokias. Plenty of people who are thoroughly disillusioned with the so called smartphones.

      I still have my old RAZR2 V8 in the box full of old Nokias.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: I wish they brought back the original V3i RAZR

        > I think just re-releasing the original, upgrade to current radios and screen technology, would probably sell out in no time.

        If they did that, I'd buy one today.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: I wish they brought back the original V3i RAZR

          If they did that, I'd buy one today.

          Perhaps you had better look at the KaiOS Nokias then. No, they aren't Motos, but KaiOS looks to be a useful 'featurephone' OS and among the three current models is a flip-phone with two screens, one inside, one outside. They are 4G and can act as hotspots but also have email, GPS and web browsing capabilities. Obviously not smartphone-like levels of usability, and they are a little expensive, but sounds like the sort of thing you are looking for...

          M.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: I wish they brought back the original V3i RAZR

            Yes, I've looked at them and they seem like fine phones! They're already on my list of possibilities.

    2. Spacedinvader
      Headmaster

      Re: I wish they brought back the original V3i RAZR

      "shirt pocket compatible"

      Rub the nip right off you

      --->

      face when nip is sore

    3. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: I wish they brought back the original V3i RAZR

      I found my pristine RAZR3 the other day when tidying up!

      I told them it was cool once, but my children still laughed at it......

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I wish they brought back the original V3i RAZR

      gram about the most useful phone I've ever had once

      One place I worked, we gave them out to all our sales types. We had about a 30% replacement rate every 3 months (despite our efforts to teach them how not to destroy them..).

      Killing methods included:

      - Forcing them shut even when there was something trapped between the clamshell halves (favourite one - sales guy put it in his pocket with his car keys - which proceeded to wedge themselves between the clamshells. Noticing that his pocket had an unsightly bulge, he pushes hard to shut the device. One loud crunch later he has no display..)

      - The old standby of dropping them into the toilet.

      - Dropping them then driving over them..

      We eventually put in place a system where they had one free replacement every year. Any more than that, they had to pay a proportion of the replacement cost (sliding scale from 25% at first paid replacement to 100% after 4). That helped to stem the tide.

      (For comparison - I've *never* broken a mobile phone physically. I've bricked a few though trying to root/custom ROM them..)

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    £100 a month on Contract?

    whoosh.

    That's the sound of this oh so wonderful offer passing me by.

    I'll stick to my £10/month SIM Only deal thanks.

    1. Tomato Krill

      Re: £100 a month on Contract?

      I cant think that it's right - 2.4k for a two year contract ?!?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £100 a month on Contract?

        Yep, sd it probably includes over priced call rental too.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: £100 a month on Contract?

      For that money, surely you just get given a new one if you need it?

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: £100 a month on Contract?

      Those AirPods are $10/month if you go out on a limb and expect them to last 2 full years. $20/month if you are prone to not checking pockets before putting your jeans in the washer.

      I'm paying $30/month for unlimited talk/text (text shut off) and 2gb of high speed data and all I can eat of slow speeds. No contract, paid in advance and I might have made some mistakes when I filled out my info. Not entirely sure.

  4. Roq D. Kasba

    " it's early days for foldable phones"

    Made me giggle, anyway

  5. Aynon Yuser

    One word

    Landfill

  6. cb7

    Beam me up Scotty.

    Or maybe not.

    I wonder how long before someone makes a badge style phone a la ST TNG.

    A Bluetooth version is already available:

    https://forbiddenplanet.com/211535-star-trek-the-next-generation-bluetooth-communicator-badge

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      I note there are no reviews for the product. I find that VERY suspicious.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "I find that VERY suspicious."

        You'd rather find it on Amazon with loads of gushing yet strangely generic praise?

  7. Fursty Ferret

    Bit unfair here

    The 1/10 score seems a little unfair since the whole thing can be taken apart and reassembled without breaking anything. iFixIt made the same complaint about the Pixel 4 ("Display repairs continue to be difficult, requiring complete disassembly of the phone") yet that scores 4/10.

    Pinch of salt etc.

  8. BGatez Bronze badge

    Yet another POS device from people who could care less

    1. Just Another SteveO

      OK - I’ll bite.

      I presume you mean “Yet another POS device from people who COULDN’T care less”. If they could care less, then they actually care at some level... which would seem to be against your argument...

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        people who COULDN’T care less

        The OP appears to be speaking US 'English'. Lets have a few seconds silence in sympathy..

  9. Munkstar

    These issues never seem to crop up in 5 star reviews.

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