The crazy (but cute) reason you should buy a Motorola flip phone

Moo on the Motorola Razr Plus's cover screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

When I reviewed the Motorola Razr 40 (or Razr 2023, if you prefer), I fell in love. Not with the phone, although it is very good indeed, but with Moo.

Moo lives on the phone’s cover screen and is a very rare beast indeed, as it’s a fun and cute character created by a brand that’s actually fun and cute. I liked having Moo live on my Razr so much that once I’d discovered it, I never thought about changing to another clock face or wallpaper image once.

What on Earth is Moo?

Moo on the Motorola Razr 40 and Razr Plus's cover screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Moo is an animated character who lives on the cover screen of the latest Motorola Razr phones, including the brilliant Motorola Razr Plus. Despite the name, Moo is not a cow, but an interpretation of the iconic Motorola “Batwing” M-shape logo. Moo is round and white, with a cute face and two dots above its antenna, and just goes about its day on your phone. It just so happens that Moo’s day usually mirrors your own.

I know how this sounds. Moo is based on Motorola’s logo and therefore dreamt up by marketing folk who have heard about cute things, but have no understanding of cuteness at all. Many brands have tried to create fun characters that resonate with people — for example, Samsung has a skateboarding bear, and Realme has the Realmeow cat mascot — but they’ve always been rather soulless branding exercises and quickly forgotten.

This history suggests Moo absolutely shouldn’t work in any way at all, but Moo is different. Whether by design or by chance, Moo is easily the cutest, most fun animated logo-turned-mascot ever to be put onto a smartphone, and you need to be made aware of its existence. Why? Because it may end up factoring into your phone-buying decision.

What’s so great about Moo?

Moo on the Motorola Razr Plus's cover screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

What am I saying? Am I actually recommending you buy a particular smartphone because of a clever clock face? Well, kind of, yes! Smartphones are pieces of technology, so when something adds character, it should be celebrated. Moo does exactly that. Let me explain what I mean, and you’ll have to forgive me because I’m going to sound a bit crazy; I know I’m describing an animated character on a phone, but just stay with me.

Right at this moment, I am typing this story on my computer, and when I tap the cover screen on the Razr 40, Moo is there typing away on a laptop too. Tap Moo again, and the view switches to the side as Moo furiously types away, reminding me of those cute GIFs of cats typing. Moo’s activities then change according to the time of day. Moo brushes its teeth first thing in the morning, then commutes to the office before eating dinner and reading in the evening, with other activities in-between. When the phone’s battery is almost flat, Moo gets exhausted and takes a nap.

The Motorola Razr 40's cover screen, with the Moo character.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Each time you tap Moo, the scene changes to something else, but it’s never something unrelated or perfunctory. Someone has thought about Moo and tried to inject some feeling into the design. Only when you are told Moo is shaped a bit like Motorola’s logo does that link it become clear, and until then, it’s just a very cute creature doing its own thing. It’s astonishingly successful, as there are flashes of actual character here, and it all comes to life through a simple, yet brilliant design.

Moo’s activities aren’t just basic movements or “cool” activities. Moo doesn’t skateboard, which is a good thing, as neither do I. Moo doesn’t act like a DJ, jump up and down for no particular reason, or just walk across the screen either. This is the inspired part, as it transforms Moo from being yet another failed marketing play into a memorable character that lives on your phone and, amazingly, becomes somewhat relatable in the process. No other phone company has come close to creating a character like Moo.

I didn’t want Moo to go

Moo on Motorola Razr Plus
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Initially, I didn’t use Moo for the Razr 40’s cover screen, and those early few days with just a boring image are ones I regret. I discovered Moo after looking at the cover screen options, and my experiences with previous mascots almost made me pass it by. I’m so glad I didn’t, as once Moo was living on the cover screen, it didn’t change until I took my SIM card out to put into a different phone. I’ll be honest, it was a sad day saying goodbye to Moo.

I have recently had the chance to try the Motorola Razr Plus (or Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, as it’s known in the U.K.), and Moo is also an option on that phone — just at a far larger scale than on the Razr 40’s small cover screen, and with added background animations too. Moo manages to make the Razr’s cover screen entertaining, is far cuter than it has any right to be, and I promise you will smile when you see its antics (especially when you’re doing something very similar in real life).

Here’s a confession: I’d take Moo on the cover screen over it running Android apps every time. If you think I’m crazy, then just give Moo a try when you handle a Razr phone, and I think you’ll be nodding in agreement with everything I’ve said after just a few moments. If you already own a Razr phone, but haven’t found Moo, go to Settings > External Display > Clock Faces, and select the one named Moo Time. You’ll be glad you did.

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