[Update: Foldable Confirmed] Motorola is reviving the Razr flip phone, this time with a foldable display
Much like the Nokia 3310, Motorola’s RAZR flip phone is one that had a major impact in the mobile phone industry. While companies like Nokia went with a thicker and much more durable route, Motorola went for pure style with the RAZR phone and it paid off well for them. Reports indicate that over the RAZR’s 4-year lifespan the company was able to sell over 130 million units and the RAZR ended up becoming the best-selling clamshell mobile phone in the world. With foldable phones becoming a new trend in the smartphone industry in the near future, it doesn’t surprise us to read a new report suggesting Motorola will bring the brand back with a device that has a foldable display.
The company has tried to revive the RAZR brand in the past with devices like the RAZR XT910 in 2011 and the Droid RAZR after that, but those were never able to live up to the success of its predecessors. The upcoming flood of foldable smartphones could be what the company needs to bring this brand back to its former glory. A new report from The Wall Street Journal says Motorola will be using Lenovo’s foldable screen technology to pull this off.
This technology is something we’ve seen in the past as companies have shown off early prototypes at various conventions over the last couple of years. The Wall Street Journal also indicates that Lenovo is partnering with Verizon for exclusive rights to sell the new RAZR phone and that we should expect it to have a starting price of around $1,500. Sources are saying the device could be available to customers in retail stores throughout the United States by February, but it’s actually still being tested so this estimated release date could change at any moment.
Most of Motorola’s success lately has been with their low-end and mid-range Moto E/Moto G devices, so it will be interesting to see if this new ultra-premium smartphone will sell well for them. Another thing to think about is that the Motorola RAZR V3 flip phone was popular because of how thin it was. It will be impossible for them to match that type of thinness with this new device, so using the RAZR branding for this new phone seems a bit of a stretch.
Update: Motorola Confirms Plans for a Foldable
Speaking to Engadget, Motorola VP of Global Product Dan Dery confirmed the company is working on a foldable smartphone. Dery says that Motorola has no intention of launching its foldable later than its competitors. Considering the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Fold is launching in April and the Huawei Mate X is launching sometime in the middle of 2019, that means that Motorola’s foldable may launch sometime this summer.
Dery also talked about the device’s potential design. He says the company initially began “testing a plastic OLED device with plastic film on top” like on the Huawei Mate X, but deemed it too susceptible to scratches. In light of that, Dery says that Motorola would likely not “put the display outside.” He says they’re exploring the “possibility of a dual-hinge device” which Engadget describes as a “single screen that folds twice, leaving only a third of the display exposed when in phone mode.” This concept, however, isn’t practical for Motorola right now because of the technical hurdles that need to be cleared.