The Motorola Razr, a household name in the mid-noughties, is due to make a comeback this year! Formerly pre-dating smartphones, they could become a big deal once again. The re-imagined handset will be a smartphone featuring a folding screen, a right-on trend of 2019.
The handset was officially confirmed as existing and named as the Motorola Razr in an official listing by a Bluetooth certification body in April 2019, which also confirmed that the phone will use Bluetooth 5.0 technology.
There have been rumours of a reboot for the device ever since the hugely successful relaunch of the Nokia 3310 two years ago, and it will combine the hinged design of the original 2004 flip-phone with a folding OLED display.
The addition of a folding screen means that the Motorola Razr will compete directly with the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X and the as yet unnamed dual-folding Xiaomi.
Unlike the Nokia 3310 which sells for £49.95, the Razr will be a high-end flagship smartphone with a price tag that vies with the latest iPhone models and the Samsung Galaxy X. Expected to cost a smidgen under £1,200, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, it will be more expensive than most smartphones. But even at this price, you’ll be lucky to get your hands on one as only around 200,000 units are planned to be manufactured and it will be a Verizon exclusive in the USA.
And when are we likely to see the launch of the new phone? Motorola VP Dan Dery has said the company wants consumers to be able to buy the phone ‘no later’ than its rivals. Given that the Galaxy Fold and Mate X are expected to launch in mid-2019, we’d expect to see the Razr around the same time, if not before. Motorola has confirmed that it’s working on a device with a foldable display, and Dery has stated that the company began working on the technology ‘a long time ago’ and it has been through many iterations.
A patent application seen late last year contained diagrams which have since been transformed into a series of gorgeous high-resolution renders and a glossy new concept video. Based on this evidence, the new Razr will retain the iconic flip-phone design of the original handset and the secondary screen on the outside of the casing.
But open the smartphone and you’ll see how much has changed! Judging by the patent schematics, the device will have a foldable OLED display that runs the length of the handset. The hinge will be hidden from view by the display when you’re using the phone. When open, the display will have a widescreen aspect ratio so that you can watch the latest films without those annoying black bars.
There will be a notch at the top of the screen for an earpiece, and probably a selfie-camera. Again, based on the schematics, there will be a single rear-mounted camera with a fingerprint scanner just below it. (Motorola recently changed to a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner across the whole of its Moto G7 range, in order to increase the size of the display).
According to one report, Motorola is planning to limit the touchscreen to a few select system apps such as Moto Display, Moto Actions and the Moto Camera app. In addition to the core system apps, the external screen will be used to display up to six Quick Settings tiles, which will enable the user to toggle Airplane mode, for instance, without interrupting what they’re doing on the main screen.
As far as the specification goes, it appears that the Razr won’t have anything like the processing power of rival foldable phones, the Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold. Rumour has it that the new Motorola will feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 system-on-a-chip together with 4/6GB of RAM and 64/128GB of storage.
Although this chipset does support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology, we don’t know yet which kind of fast-charging system Motorola will offer. However, it is known that the phone will be fitted with a 2,730mAh battery cell. That’s significantly smaller than the battery in the Mate X and Galaxy Fold. But the Razr is a smaller handset, so it shouldn’t necessarily have a negative impact on the battery life. But it’s hard to believe that Motorola wouldn’t fit its flagship foldable with all-day battery life.
We look forward eagerly to the launch of this intriguing new model!