I'll admit, I was one of the detractors when I heard that Motorola was planning a reboot of its classic Razr handset as a foldable phone. Then I saw this render from Sarang Sheth over at Yanko Design and, well, now I'm convinced this idea could actually work.
The designer himself calls his pitch "the perfect fusion of futurism and nostalgia," which is a pretty apt way of putting it. When its folded, Sheth's concept resembles the original Razr from way back when, only squashed. So imagine the shock upon opening it for the first time and uncovering a massive 19:8 flexible OLED display.
Sheth says his design is based on a patent filed by Motorola's parent company Lenovo that surfaced earlier in January. The proposal here follows that patent pretty closely. On the portion of the device that would serve as the backside if the phone were shut, there's a depressed Motorola batwing logo that appears to serve as a fingerprint sensor. The placement would be quite low and potentially awkward to reach when the device is unfolded — an in-screen scanner would be a much more ergonomic solution, for what it's worth.
On the opposite side is a second display and a camera that would presumably serve as both the front- and rear-facing shooter, depending on the device's orientation. Theoretically, the panel would be used for notifications and a quick glance at incoming messages, though there's no word on whether or not it'd be responsive to touch. It also might be E-Ink, based on the grayscale look of this particular mockup. That'd be beneficial for outdoor visibility and battery life, though perhaps not very visually appealing.
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What I love about Lenovo's patent and Sheth's interpretation of it is that everything you see here is feasible, and the concessions made to the bezels, hinge and so on actually suit the Razr's iconic look.
The chin at the bottom of the phone is certainly large enough to accommodate the display driver and other circuitry, but it's also essential to the Razr profile. The notch surprisingly integrates really well into the Razr's edgy, mid-aughts aesthetic. Everything checks out, and none of it is the kind of pie-in-the-sky wish-casting that pervades most concept renders of phones these days — especially anything meant to be rollable.
The new Razr could emerge as soon as February, and is purported to be a Verizon exclusive with a price tag as high as $1,500, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. This mockup has genuinely piqued our interest; now let's see the real thing, Moto.