If you wanted a modern flip phone in North America, your only viable option for a while was Samsung with the Galaxy Z Flip line, at least until Motorola’s triumphant return to the foldable space with the Razr Plus and Razr 2023 models. Now, Nubia is entering with its first foldable, the Nubia Flip 5G, challenging Motorola’s take on the affordable foldable.

Both the Nubia Flip 5G and Motorola Razr 2023 have plenty of similarities but are also different enough that Motorola’s phone could still be considered higher-end than Nubia’s. This is evident by the $699 launch price of the Razr, a $200 premium over the $499 Nubia Flip 5G. That said, nowadays, you can find the Razr 2023 for the same price as the Nubia, which might make your decision a little more difficult (or easier) if you’re looking for an affordable flip phone.

So, which foldable is worth your money? Let’s break it down.

Nubia Flip 5G vs. Motorola Razr 2023: Design

The Nubia Flip 5G next to a green Motorola Razr 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Budget phones aren’t really known for having the most premium designs, but these two flip phones sort of flip the script on that narrative. Whether it’s more premium-like materials or a more high-end look, both the Nubia Flip 5G and Razr 2023 offer something that makes you feel like you should’ve paid more for either phone.

The Nubia Flip 5G looks like some amalgamation of a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the TECNO Phantom V Flip. Essentially, if you took Samsung’s already stellar design and slapped the Phantom’s circular camera/cover screen housing. The result is something that looks rather classy and different from most other flip phones, which usually opt for a square cover screen.

The cover panels are otherwise very flat, as is the frame of the phone, which is very reminiscent of the Galaxy. It’s a stark contrast to the Motorola Razr 2023, which features a more rounded frame and cover panels that curve slightly into the said frame for a seamless feel.

But that’s not the only way the Razr 2023 differs from the Nubia Flip. Instead of the typical glass you find on most phones, the Razr has a vegan leather finish that completely covers much of the back panels. We’re big fans of the vegan leather on Motorola phones like the Moto G Power 5G, even if it can get easily scuffed. It certainly makes me less worried about dropping and cracking it, although there’s still the camera/cover screen housing to worry about.

The Nubia Flip is made of glass, but the company put it through a particular process that gives it a sandy feeling. While I like the frosted, stardust look of the glass, I can’t say I’m a fan of how it feels in my hand. The phone feels incredibly cheap as if it’s really made of plastic, which makes me a bit concerned about the durability of the glass.

Speaking of durability, the Razr 2023 one-ups the Nubia Flip with an official IP rating of IP52, meaning it can withstand light splashes, rain, and even exposure to dust, the latter of which is still pretty uncommon in foldables.

The Razr 2023 is a hair thicker, but the curved sides help alleviate that a bit. Meanwhile, the Nubia Flip is wider, which I find I prefer on a phone (I’m not a huge fan of very tall phones). Both also have really sturdy hinges that can hold their positions relatively well.

These phones are very different in terms of design, so it’s hard to say who wins in this department, but the circular housing may give the Nubia an edge.

Nubia Flip 5G vs. Motorola Razr 2023: Hardware and software

The Nubia Flip 5G folded upright and playing a video with the Android Bot on top of it

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Spec-wise, the Nubia Flip and Razr 2023 are very similar. Both are powered by the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, which is a rather capable midrange chip from 2022. Opening and juggling multiple apps is handled well with the included 8GB of RAM (although the Nubia has a 12GB option), and performance is overall pretty good on both phones. That includes gaming, with graphic-intensive games like Honkai: Star Rail playing well, even with higher settings.

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Category Nubia Flip 5G Motorola Razr (2023)
OS Android 13 (MyOS13) Android 13
Display (internal) 6.9-inch, OLED, FHD+ (2790 x 1188), 120Hz 6.9-inch, pOLED, FHD+ (2640 x 1080), 144Hz LTPO
Display (external) 1.43-inch, circular OLED 1.5-inch, OLED, 194 x 368
Chipset Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
Storage 256GB, 512GB 128GB
Rear cameras 50MP wide + 2MP depth 64MP wide + 13MP ultrawide
Front camera 16MP 32MP
Audio Dual Speakers, Snapdragon Sound, DTS:X Ultra 3 mics, stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos
Connectivity 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC
Security Fingerprint sensor, face unlock Fingerprint sensor, face unlock
IP water/dust resistance IP52
Battery 4310mAh, 33W wired charging 4200mAh, 30W wired charging, 5W wireless
Dimensions (open) 75.5 x 170 x 7.0mm 73.95 x 170.82 x 7.35mm
Dimensions (closed) 75.5 x 87.6 x 15.0mm 73.95 x 88.24 x 15.8mm
Weight 209g 188.6g
Colors Cosmic Black, Sunshine Gold, Flowing Lilac Sage Green, Vanilla Cream, Summer Lilac, Cherry Blossom

The phone displays are the same size, and while the Nubia Flip 5G has a higher pixel density, the Razr 2023 has a higher refresh rate at 144Hz, meaning content is extra smooth, especially during gaming sessions. Still, the Nubia display is plenty fast at 120Hz and even has an incredibly high PWM rate for PWM-sensitive individuals (Motorola also handles this well with flicker reduction, a feature you can enable when needed).

One area where the Nubia wins is in storage capacity, as it comes with double the amount found in the Razr 2023. The Nubia also has a slightly larger battery and faster charging than the Razr, but the Razr is no slouch and both phones can get you through much of the day before you need a top-up. You also get wireless charging with the Razr, which is always a handy feature to have.

Moto Unplugged on the Razr 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Both phones run Android 13, and while that makes more sense for the Razr 2023—a phone that was launched while Android 14 was still rolling out on most phones—the Nubia has less of an excuse since it launched in 2024.

Motorola’s software is very close to the « stock Android » experience you’ll find on a Pixel phone, save for some differences in customizations and additional (and quite useful) gestures. If you’re a fan of the Pixel UI, then you won’t mind Motorola’s flavor of Android.

Nubia’s MyOS13 is noticeably different, and not necessarily in a bad way. Visually, it’s very unoffensive, and it sort of reminds me of One UI meets Pixel UI. There is quite a bit of bloatware you have to sift through when you first set the phone up, which is a major negative in 2024, and for some reason, the software doesn’t handle notifications very well, as they often won’t appear until much later or not until I’ll open a particular app.

The Nubia Flip 5G in hand with the quick setting shade pulled down

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Nubia also hasn’t been very forthcoming about software updates. We don’t know how many the phone will get or how often it’ll get them, but at a $499 price point, we don’t imagine it’ll be many. Meanwhile, Motorola has promised three OS upgrades and four years of software updates for the Razr 2023, which is a huge step up for the company. Software updates also come roughly every other month, although we are still waiting on Android 14 and don’t know when that’ll appear.

Nubia Flip 5G vs. Motorola Razr 2023: Cover screen

The Nubia Flip 5G next to a green Motorola Razr 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

While phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr Plus have large cover screens that let you use apps and feature a number of panels for quick access to features, this isn’t the case for the Nubia Flip 5G or Razr 2023. Both cover screens are rather small and similarly limited in their usability.

At 1.43 inches, the Nubia Flip cover screen is the more interesting of the two as it’s a circular display. This makes the cover screen seem larger than the 1.5-inch display on the Razr, but it’s not all that interesting to use. It comes with a handful of panels, including a calendar, daily agenda, pedometer, weather, and camera.

Unfortunately, they’re not all that useful aside from offering glanceable information and one-touch access to simple phone functions. You can view notifications from the cover screen, but these are equally not as useful as much of what you do on the cover screen requires you to open the phone, even expanding on notifications. Swiping individual notifications or clearing them doesn’t seem to work either, and once again, you are required to open the phone.

The Nubia Flip 5G cover screen prompting to open the phone

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

The Razr 2023 cover screen is a little more useful, but not by much. You still get a handful of panels with quick access to certain functions, much of which are less visual than the Nubia’s cover screen. Still, notifications are handled better, allowing me to swipe them away or clear them with the press of a button. I can also expand notifications so I can see the entire text, which is nice as it lets me better determine if it’s worth opening the phone. The Razr also has limited access to the quick settings panel, which is a nice touch and something you can’t do on the Nubia.

A notification on the Razr 2023 cover screen

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Both cover screens allow you to take selfies using the main cameras, which is handy. On the Nubia, you can open the camera using the dedicated panel or by double-tapping the power button if you have that gesture enabled (although this doesn’t always work for some reason). When the camera is open, swiping up or down lets you switch between photo, video, and portrait modes. Hitting either volume button takes a photo instantly, or you can tap the screen for a two-second timer.

The Razr 2023 is similar, but you swipe left or right to access the same modes. The main difference is that the Razr lets you switch between the wide and ultrawide cameras (the latter of which is not present on the Nubia), but tapping the volume button or the screen has the same capture response as the Nubia. Unfortunately, you can’t preview/delete the images afterward on the cover screen like you can on the Nubia.

Lastly, when taking photos with the phone open, the Nubia lets you use the cover screen as a preview for your subject, something you can’t do on the Razr 2023.

Nubia Flip 5G vs. Motorola Razr 2023: Cameras

A clock face on the Razr 2023 cover screen

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Flip phones are usually limited in the number of cameras they have, with most featuring only two on the rear. This is the case for both phones here, but the Motorola Razr 2023 has a major leg up here. That’s because Motorola outfitted the phone with a wide and ultrawide setup, meaning you can get a wider shot of your scene with the 13MP camera.

However, when it comes to photos taken with the primary camera, the 50MP sensor on the Nubia seems to do a better job than the 64MP sensor on the Razr. The colors are just more vibrant, and there’s a bit more contrast, which I like. It makes photos really pop, although it can go a little overboard at times. Meanwhile, photos from the Razr, while bringing in plenty of light for low-light images, can often appear washed out and just overall dull in regular lighting, even if you have the automatic photo enhancement feature turned on. Sometimes, it gets a decent image, but it’s hit or miss.

That said, the Nubia lead sort of ends there, as the 2MP depth sensor doesn’t really help at all. The phone seems to have trouble separating the background from the subject, and you’ll need to play around with it quite a bit to try and achieve the effect you want. The Razr 2023 just gets it without the dedicated depth sensor, although the ultrawide likely plays a part. You also get macro mode, making this secondary sensor much more useful than the Nubia, and you can always edit your images in Google Photos if the output isn’t to your liking.

Both phones top out at FHD 60fps video, but the Razr 2023 seems to struggle a bit when taking videos, and you’ll notice a number of dropped frames and stuttering, especially when you first start recording. The Nubia seems to handle video capture with aplomb.

Nubia Flip 5G vs. Motorola Razr 2023: Which should you buy?

The Nubia Flip 5G next to a green Motorola Razr 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Given the Razr 2023 launched at a higher price point, this could have been a pretty easy comparison, but not so much. There are a lot of similarities between these phones, with the main differences being in the design, display specs, and camera setup.

If you really care about camera quality, then the Nubia might be the option for you, although you’ll have to sacrifice an ultrawide sensor for a rather useless depth sensor. The cover screen is also more visually appealing, but it’s less functional, and you’ll have to deal with a few annoyances when handling notifications. The software update situation is also precarious, especially given that this 2024 phone launched with Android 13.

The Razr 2023 doesn’t have the best camera, but it’s much more versatile than the Nubia. The cover screen also feels smaller, but it’s less annoying to deal with. It also helps that Motorola seems serious about keeping the phone somewhat up to date, and we at least have a solid software promise.

So who wins? Well, now that the price of the Razr 2023 has been cut down to match the Nubia Flip 5G, I have to go with Motorola. It’s really the little extras like the unique vegan leather finish, the addition of wireless charging, and the more reliable software that give Motorola an edge here. With the Nubia Flip 5G, the situation feels a lot more like « you get what you paid for. »

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