This bendable smartphone transforms into a smartwatch — and I tried it on

Motorola Adaptive Display Concept
(Image credit: Future)

For as long as I've owned a smartwatch, I've wished it could also be my smartphone. No, I'm serious. Whether it's a smartwatch with a massive display or major computing power, I've wondered how long it will be until smartwatches can convincingly replace smartphones. 

But in Motorola's world, the compromise might not be to replace your smartphone with a smartwatch, but to have your smartphone transform into your smartwatch. The company brought the adaptive display concept it first demoed at Lenovo Tech World last fall to MWC 2024, giving me the chance to demo the impressive display feat for myself.

Featuring a 6.9-inch FHD+ pOLED display, the still-nameless Android phone can bend backward from flat to a few different configurations. The most noteworthy of those configurations switches the device to a smartwatch that straps to your wrist with the help of a magnetic bracelet accessory. 


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Once I managed to attach the phone to the band properly — remember slap bracelets from the '90s? The idea is sorta the same — it automatically adjusted the display to behave like the Motorola Razr+'s exterior window. Fixed to my wrist, the device offered a large look at the time, though I could scroll through and open a few different apps, too.

The phone can also take on a small L-shaped bend at the bottom to create a built-in stand when placed on a flat surface. Once again, the display adapted to 4.6 inches for the amount of exposed screen. This mode is especially good for video calls of taking photos hand-free.

Motorola Adaptive Display Concept

(Image credit: Future)

You also can bend the phone out like a tent to have both the top and bottom rest on a desk or table. In this mode, the phone's display is essentially split in half, with both sides remaining usable. Although I can't think of quite as many practical uses for this configuration, I was able to play a fun game of Connect 4 head-to-head with an opponent across the table. I imagine Battleship would be a blast (hah) in this format as well.

Motorola definitely isn't the only smartphone maker testing out foldable concepts. In fact, I saw a pair of imaginative flexible OLED display form-factors from Samsung back at CES 2024 last month. But Motorola has done perhaps the best job in recent years in showing off concepts that don't feel so far off from a finished product.

The rollable Motorla Rizr is another good example of the company's display innovation. That said, the Motorola Rizr was available to demo alongside the new adaptive display, yet all eyes were on the newer adaptive display concept. Whether it's a true taste of a device that'll hit the market soon is hard to say, but it's certainly caught my attention.

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Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.