Motorola has its new Razr smartphone in the hands of various testers. One of the test scenarios that we saw recently had the smartphone loaded into a custom-made testing machine called FoldBot that folded and unfolded the phone repeatedly to see how long the device could last before the hinge or screen broke. The longevity of a smartphone that is as expensive as the Razr is a key consideration for buyers, obviously.
When CNET put the Razr into its folding robot, it found that the hinge stopped working correctly after 27,000 folds. It figures that would be roughly two years of average daily use. In response to that CNET test, Motorola released its own test in a video, seen below, that is titled "The Real Razr Flip Test." See for yourself it it seems real-world enough to pass muster...
Motorola's video shows a very different test setup that flips the screen back and forth, moving only the top half of the screen. The implication that Motorola appears to be offering is that the CNET robot was holding the device wrong. The Motorola test didn't put pressure on the hinge and slowly opened the screen, and flipped it shut rapidly. The test regime does appear to mimic how most people would likely open and close their devices. The CNET machine was borrowed from SquareTrade, and it's unclear if the smartphone was improperly loaded into the machine or if there is some sort of inherent weakness over time in the design of the hinge of the new Motorola Razr.
Motorola issued a statement that says the FoldBot "is simply not designed to test our device." Motorola says that any test using that machine puts "undue stress on the hinge" and doesn't allow the phone to open and close as intended. Motorola went so far as to say that the CNET test isn't indicative of what consumers will see in the real world. I guess we will have to wait until there are enough devices in the real world to see if they fail prematurely to know for sure.