One of the most iconic phones of all time is coming back with a brand new look.
Recent foldable phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X show that a smartphone that unfurls into a tablet is now achievable tech, but the Fold is delayed due to durability issues and the Mate X isn't coming to the U.S. They're also both phones with huge displays that require two hands.
With reports swirling that Motorola is looking to bring a new, all-screen bend to a reboot of its classic Razr, the most sensible foldable-screen phone may soon be here.
So when can you get your hands on the new Razr, and will the new version of the former feature phone be able to compete head-to-head with today’s best smartphones? Here’s everything we know about Motorola’s plans for the 2019 Razr.
News and Updates (Updated May 17)
- A Motorola Razr concept video proved so convincing apparently parent company Lenovo shared it at a media briefing.
What is the 2019 Razr release date?
A Wall Street Journal report from this January blew the lid off of Motorola’s plan to bring back the Razr as a foldable-screen smartphone as early as February. Days later, a patent filed by the company emerged to show what the design could potentially look like.
But as February faded out without a Razr launch to speak of, Motorola finally confirmed in an interview with Engadget that it, indeed, has been working on a foldable-screen phone, but it’s not due out until the summer.
Motorola decided not to say officially whether the upcoming mid-2019-destined handset would be a Razr, but reports before and after the company went on record about its foldable phone plans seem to spell out that it will be.
What will the new Razr cost?
Our only information on pricing for the new foldable-screen Razr comes from the original Wall Street Journal report that puts the upcoming handset in the $1,500 range.
Though that price would have the 2019 Razr well below the $1,980 Samsung Galaxy Fold or $2,600 Huawei Mate X, $1,500 would still be considerably more than the $1,099 iPhone XS Max and $999 Galaxy S10+.
Nevertheless, it’s understandable that a foldable design would command a premium price above today’s standard slab flagships.
How would the foldable Razr work?
Assuming Motorola retains the design of the Razr from yesteryear, we're looking at a flip phone that unfolds to reveal an edge-to-edge display inside.
That January patent from Motorola that describes the new alleged 2019 Razr seems to show a foldable screen tucking nicely into a clamshell, which itself features a second, smaller notification screen on its exterior.
Leaked renders showcasing potential Razr designs are beginning to emerge. One that appeared on SlashLeaks showed off a phone that looks an awful lot like the Razr from the 2000s, only with the tiny screen and keyboard replaced by an AMOLED panel that folds. The leaked images also show accessories that could come with the phone like in-ear headphones and a nylon braided USB charging cable.
A video from YouTuber Waqar Kahn probably best illustrates how the foldable Razr would look, with its exterior display giving way to a full screen whenever you open the phone.
2019 Razr specs: What to expect
|Main screen (Resolution)||6.2-inch OLED (2142 x 876)|
|Cover screen (Resolution)||Unknown (800 x 600|
|RAM||4GB or 6GB|
|Storage ||64GB or 128GB|
|Rear Camera||Will be used for standard and selfie pictures, but specs unknown|
In March, smartphone developer news website XDA began leaking (alleged) nitty gritty hardware and software details about the next-gen Moto flip phone, which its reporting says is codenamed “Voyager.”
The Android device’s internal specs, like its design, could mix classic and cutting edge, considering it’s rumored to be powered by a generation-old Snapdragon 710 processor and fairly small 2,730mAh battery, XDA says.
The large, 6.2-inch OLED screen that will distinguish the foldable handset from its Razr forefathers is reportedly coming in at a low-res 2142 x 876 pixels, with its smaller, outer display packing 800 x 600 pixels at an unknown size, XDA says.
Modern RAM, at 4GB to 6GB, and storage, at 64GB or 128GB, do seem likely, according to the report. And Motorola’s flip phone patent sketch seems to point to the existence of a fingerprint reader.
Camera and software
Also made apparent by Motorola’s patent is that the new Razr will have a single camera. The rumor is that the phone’s small, outer screen will help that camera pull double duty for regular and selfie pictures, like the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition.
On the software side, XDA claims the 2019 Razr will behave like a normal Android device when it’s unfolded, but only certain experiences will be available from the handset’s smaller screen when it’s shut. Things like notifications, media controls and Google Assistant interactions should be outer-screen accessible, XDA says. The small panel, which will evidently be a touch screen, will also act as a scrolling pad for content on the phone’s larger screen.
Foldable handset introductions from Samsung, Huawei and Royole have prompted some mobile enthusiasts to scratch their heads over whether they have any use for a tablet that folds into a smartphone. This leaves the door open for Motorola to zig by putting bendable-screen tech to use in shrinking — not expanding — the overall size of today’s smartphones and potentially win over some new fans.
However, it remains to be seen whether the 2019 Razr’s rumored high price and mid-range specs will prevent it from becoming a serious choice for lovers of iPhones and Galaxy phones. We will bring you more details as they emerge.