The long-rumoured Motorola Razr revival is actually happening.
After months of speculation and excitable patent scrutinising, Motorola has finally confirmed plans to resurrect its iconic flip phone brand. However, this will not be an affordable Nokia 3310-esque device, but will instead have an all-new foldable display similar to the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X.
Motorola confirmed plans to enter the foldable market in an interview with Engadget. In an unusually candid chat, the international 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”.
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.
Motorola Vice President of Global Product Dan Dery told Engadget: “We started to work on foldables a long time ago, and we have been doing a lot of iteration.”
In terms of the final design of the foldable Motorola, the company was a little more cagey. However, when asked whether the product would be similar to the Huawei Mate X design, which keeps the foldable screen on the outside of the device, 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.”
If that doesn’t sound wholly complimentary about the Mate X, that’s because Motorola has ruled-out a similar design with the screen on the outside.
When asked to elaborate, the Motorola Vice President said that the intention with any future foldable “would not be to put the display outside. When you know the scratching issues you would be facing, you will have something that is very rapidly not usable”. If that sounds at all familiar, that’s because this aligns perfectly with illustrations filed in a recent patent from the company.
According to the patent schematics, the all-new 2019 Razr will have a foldable OLED display that runs the length of the handset when you flip open the device.
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.
Whether the all-new Motorola Razr actually makes it onto store shelves later this year remains to be seen. According to Motorola VP Dan Dery, the Lenovo-owned company has explored a slew of potential products over the years, some of which have since been discarded entirely.
So, it’s possible we will never see a finished foldable phone from Motorola. Still, if the firm is talking a big game about getting a handset into customers’ hands “no later” than its rivals, it must be pretty chuffed with the progress of whatever it has been working on inside the R&D department.