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Android Central
Android Central
Michael L Hicks

Only one Android phone could tempt my partner to switch from an iPhone

The iPhone 12 Pro (left) and Motorola Razr Plus 2023 (right).

Around Thanksgiving last year, I overheard my partner Jennifer on the phone with her family, bemoaning how bored she's gotten with her iPhone and waxing rhapsodic about her hot pink Moto Razr V3 from her teens — how COOL phones used to be. And immediately, a plan formed in my mind. 

You see, I'd heard my coworkers doing their own geeking out all summer about the Motorola Razr+ (2023). Unlike the other modern Razrs, which mostly relied on nostalgia rather than quality, the Razr+ backed up the hype with excellent performance and a design that my chic-tech-loving partner would appreciate. 

If anything could free her from years of boredom with Apple slab phones, it would be an Android foldable phone. So I asked my coworker Nick Sutrich to mail me his Razr+ as an iPhone-freeing experiment. The question was, would the novelty be enough?

Like many Apple users, Jen sticks with her iPhone because it syncs with her other Apple tech, not out of any great love or excitement for the hardware or iOS. So I saw this as a chance to see whether one of the best foldable phones of last year would excite her enough that she might make the jump to Android for good. 

After using the Motorola Razr+ for all of December, Jennifer gave me her verdict.

Google made the transition easy

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

I figured the hardest part about switching from iOS to Android would be the software. Before her first iPad, Jen bought an old Samsung Galaxy Tab (she couldn't tell me which model) and was utterly underwhelmed by the old Android software; it's what pushed her to Apple in the first place. 

Thankfully, stock Android 13 is light-years ahead of whatever version she used then — probably Android 4.X — and the wealth of Google apps and tricks right out of the box made her feel at home. She appreciated having her Chrome searches, bookmarks, and recs from her laptop and tablet immediately at her fingertips, along with the new perk of Google Discover. 

She's also someone who used Apple Shortcuts and Widgetsmith to totally customize her iPhone home screen, which made Android's focus on customization exciting to her. She hasn't fully taken advantage of Android's many theming tricks and widgets yet, but she's a big fan of the Material You theming and playing with app icon shapes and packs.

Otherwise, well, she spends most of her phone time on Instagram and TikTok. Aside from any new features that iOS gets before Android, the app experience between the two ecosystems isn't that different. 

Breaking news: Foldable phones are cool

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

We live in Apple and Google's backyard, Silicon Valley, which means we mostly see people with iPhones, with a few Pixel 8s and Galaxy S phones mixed in. We just don't see many foldables around here, and probably won't until the iPhone Flip finally shows up.

So even though folks reading this site may be familiar with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 or OnePlus Open, a lot of everyday folks aren't even cognizant of this new wave of tech, which made the Motorola Razr+ an exciting novelty to my partner. 

She immediately spent a lot of time with the cover screen, saying she liked the automatic outer-to-inner app transition and the option to quickly check Doordash tracking or other cursory updates while it sits on her desk. 

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

At the same time, she said she wished the phone did a better job of walking her through what she could actually do with the cover screen, and she found that the small versions of apps like Calendar and Instagram felt awkwardly cramped, to the point that now she almost always opens the phone fully.

As for the inner display, she went from an 800-nit, 60Hz iPhone 12 Pro to a 1,400-nit, 165Hz Razr+, making it a bright, smooth wonder to her, even if it's not as bright as many of the best Android phones

She also didn't mind the tall aspect ratio as a fan of the old narrow-sized flip phones — she mostly uses vertical video apps, after all — and the minimal crease compared to a Samsung foldable made that a non-factor for her, too. 

She loves the hybrid approach between a retro feel and modern design concessions; she only wishes she had the Viva Magenta variant or the Summer Lilac color option for the standard Moto Razr 2023.

One major Achilles' heel

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Apple gets justifiably roasted for its middling battery life, especially when using the new AOD setting. Our iPhone 14 Pro reviewer was generous when he called its battery "average." Still, even by that standard, flip-style foldables have the same issue on steroids with their high-Hz cover displays and tiny batteries.

The Motorola Razr+ is especially mediocre for battery life. Jen said she'd need two hands to count the number of times she went to check something on the Razr+, only to find it dead. That's a lot of unexpected battery deaths for a few weeks of testing, and it's one that completely soured her on the experience. 

Part of the issue is Apple's Lightning dependence, prior to its forced USB-C transition, filling our house with incompatible charging cables. But she's just not used to having to charge her phone or find a wireless charger, except after hours of activity — not hours of inactivity. 

Simply because of that, she started letting the Razr+ stay dead and going back to her iPhone more and more. 

Not waiting for an iPhone Flip

As the experiment started fizzling out due to the Razr+ battery issues, I asked Jennifer two final questions:

  1. Would another Android phone with better battery life tempt you to switch?
  2. Would you choose a future hypothetical iPhone Flip over a standard iPhone Pro?

Her answers were (1) a reluctant "No" and (2) an emphatic "No."

To the latter point, all of her frustrations about recent iPhones boiled over. She thinks an iPhone Flip would be "insanely overpriced," in her words, combined with "boring-ass colors" that have become Apple's trademark with Pro phones. 

Apple's failure to do more with Dynamic Island makes us both worried that it wouldn't do anything especially innovative with a cover display, either.

She also noted that when she told her library colleagues about her foldable phone experiment, one warned that her husband had bought the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and ended up having to replace it when the hinge gave out. With foldables' durability issues and the difficulty of getting one repaired, Jen says she'd want to wait and see whether the iPhone Flip magically does any better than brands testing the form factor for years.

The iOS vortex can't be easily escaped... (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

As for switching from iOS to Android with another phone, she says it all comes back to the fact that she also uses an Apple Watch Series 9 and a MacBook. She likes these a lot more than she likes her iPhone, but it's how they all sync together that keeps the iPhone useful.

As the site's Wearables editor, I've shown her one Wear OS watch or fitness watch after another, and she's been thoroughly unimpressed with most of them, especially my Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic. She doesn't like their thickness, how the circular display cuts off text and the overall look of One UI Watch. To her, the Apple Watch squircle is exactly what she wants. 

She uses a Windows PC for gaming, and Microsoft Link to Windows would certainly work better with an Android phone. But the prospect of switching all of her other tech at once would be too much, she says, for an everyday Android phone that's just as boring as an iPhone. 

So what's the "one" Android phone that would tempt my partner away from iPhone, as my headline hinted? 

Samsung foldables don't have the durability, and the hypothetical iPhone Flip isn't worth waiting for, in her opinion. A standard Android slab doesn't seem different enough to her from an iPhone to make it worth the hassle of switching. I suspect a Pixel 8 Pro could change her mind, given her love of mobile photography and Google apps, but I don't have one for her to test.

The final answer is her ideal smartphone hasn't come out yet and may not ever: It's a hypothetical Motorola Razr+ 2024 with similar specs, a vibrant design, and a major battery boost (or a software change to how the cover screen works) that'd make idling battery drain much less of an issue. 

With that, she says, she'd happily consider leaving her iPhone 12 Pro behind. For now, she's stuck languishing with an older phone, not wanting to upgrade to another boring iPhone 15 Pro, but unsure if future foldable flip phones will deliver the proper experience and battery life to live up to her nostalgia. 

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