A healthy dollop of nostalgia with a brand-new folding display
Motorola Razr looks set to recharge its long-dormant Razr brand, which was a household name in the mid-00s at the height of the popularity of flip-phones. The rumoured reimagining of the handset, which has been mooted since the hugely-successful relaunch of the Nokia 3310 two years ago, will purportedly combine the hinged design of the original 2004 flip-phone with a folding OLED display.
As we wait for the release of the next-generation Motorola Razr we’ll keep this article updated with every whisper, leak or educated guess that we hear. Stay tuned.
MOTOROLA RAZR PRICE
Unlike the rebooted Nokia 3310, which sells for £49.95, the Motorola Razr will be a high-end flagship smartphone with a price tag that competes with the latest iPhone models and the forthcoming folding Samsung Galaxy X. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the revived Razr will cost in the region of $1,500 ( £1,170).
MOTOROLA RAZR RELEASE DATE
Unfortunately, even those willing to cough-up the cash for this nostalgia-tinged smartphone might be unable to get their hands on it.
According to a report from GSM Arena, the new Motorola Razr will be exclusive to US mobile carrier Verizon, with only 200,000 units available. It’s currently unclear whether the phone will even make to store shelves outside of the United States.
As for when we’ll be able to clap eyes on this long-rumoured foldable phone, Motorola VP Dan Dery says the company wants to gets its flexible device into customers’ hands “no later” than its rivals. Given that the Samsung Galaxy Fold is set to launch on April 26 in the United States and May 3, 2019 in the UK and Europe, while the Huawei Mate X is tipped to launch worldwide sometime in mid-2019, that means we’d expect to see something from Motorola before summer.
In the unusually candid chat with Engadget, the technology company confirmed that it’s already working on a device with a pliable display and that it has “no intention of coming later than everybody else in the market”.
Motorola Vice President of Global Product Dan Dery added: “We started to work on foldables a long time ago, and we have been doing a lot of iteration.”
MOTOROLA RAZR DESIGN AND FEATURES
Motorola is expected to keep the same industrial design of the original July 2004 Razr V3, albeit with a very modern twist. The schematics of an as-yet unannounced Motorola-branded smartphone, now widely-believed to be the 2019 rebirth of the Motorola Razr, were spotted in a patent filing late last year.
These illustrations have since been transformed into a series of stunning high-resolution renders, as well as a glossy new concept video. Based on both, the new Razr will keep the iconic flip phone design seen on the original handset, as well as the secondary screen on the outside of the casing for notifications.
Open up the new Motorola Razr and you’ll be able to see just how much has changed. According to the patent schematics and rumours from the supply chain, the new Razr will have a foldable OLED display that runs the length of the handset.
While the Razr will still have a hinge, it will be hidden from view by the pliable display whenever you’re using the smartphone. When the rebooted smartphone is open, it is expected to have an expansive screen with a widescreen aspect ratio so that you can watch the latest blockbusters without any of those troublesome black bars.
Based on the schematics included in the latest patent from Motorola, there will be a single rear-mounted camera, as well as a fingerprint scanner just below it. Motorola recently moved every model in its new Moto G7 range to a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner to increase the size of the display.
According to the latest report from XDA Developers, this external screen will not be able to run every Android app installed on your smartphone. Instead, Motorola is believed to be limiting the touchscreen to a select few system apps, like Moto Display, Moto Actions, and the Moto Camera app. That is a very different approach to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which treats its 4.6-inch so-called Cover Display as a traditional smartphone screen that runs anything the larger folding screen can – albeit it’s limited to two app multi-tasking, not three like the 7.3-inch Flex Display.
As well as core system apps, the external display on the Motorola Razr can be used to show up to six Quick Settings tiles. These will be similar to those in the dropdown available at the top of the display on all Android smartphones and will allow users to quickly toggle Airplane mode and the like without interrupting whatever they’re doing on the main screen. According to XDA Developers, it’s unclear whether Motorola will allow users to scroll to see more than the six tiles displayed on the screen at any one time.
Elsewhere, whenever the Google Assistant is triggered with the wake phrase “OK, Google” or “Hey Google” while the Razr is flipped close, the Assistant animation will be shown on the external display to notify users that the handset has heard the command. This option can be disabled in the settings, in which case the user will simply be prompted to “flip open to unlock” with a passcode, pattern or PIN.
XDA Developers believes that users will be able to set separate wallpapers for the main foldable display and the smaller touchscreen on the outside of the clamshell.
Apparently, Motorola also experimented with putting the folding screen on the outside of the device (as in this concept video) but the company seems to have abandoned that approach. When asked whether the product would be similar to the Huawei Mate X design, which has the foldable screen on the outside of the device, Motorola’s Dan Dery said: “We have been testing a plastic OLED device with plastic film on top. The fact that you’re touching [that kind of display] with your nails is scratching it. It has a short life right away; it starts dying the day you unpack it. But it’s beautiful. That first day, it’s beautiful.”
MOTOROLA RAZR SPECS
In terms of specifications, it seems the new Motorola Razr will not have anywhere near the same processing grunt as rival foldable phones like the Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold. According to a report from XDA Developers, the new Motorola will employ the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 system-on-a-chip coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. A model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will also be available, it claims.
Although this chipset does support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology, we don’t yet know what kind of fast charging the Motorola Razr will offer. However, we do know that Motorola will kit out its bendy blower with a 2,730mAh battery cell.
That’s significantly smaller than the battery in the Mate X and Galaxy Fold. However, the Motorola Razr is a smaller device, so shouldn’t have a negative impact on the battery life of the handset. We can’t believe Motorola would fit its flagship foldable with anything other than all-day battery life, especially given its emphasis on battery with the recent Moto G7 series.
MOTOROLA RAZR CONCEPTS
Ahead of the launch, designer Waqar Khan has been hard at work building a slick video the forthcoming smartphone based on the latest leaks and rumours.
The short clip, which can be viewed below, gives a pretty good glimpse at what the final product could look like …
And here’s a video by TechConfigurations which shows the Razr with its screen on the outside…