What’s old is new again. As the foldable smart device market heats up, Motorola confirms that it will be dropping its latest offering possibly by this summer, a foldable smartphone that bears a striking resemblance to the beloved Motorola RAZR of yesteryear.
Is This The New Motorola RAZR?
Back in the day when flip phones meant you were cool, the coolest of them all was the slender Motorola RAZR. That era abruptly came to an end with the introduction of the smartphones, but Motorola might be finding themselves once again producing the must-have device of the year.
The company confirmed their intentions in an interview with Engadget, stating that they would be releasing their foldable device, as yet unnamed, “[no] later than everybody else in the market.”
"We started to work on foldables a long time ago," said Dan Dery, Motorola's vice president of global product. "And we have been doing a lot of iteration."
With the Galaxy Fold launching in April and the Huawei Mate X in the middle of the year, The Verge is reporting that the device will likely be announced during Motorola’s annual launch event in August.
Patent filings by Motorola show that the clamshell hinged device bears a direct resemblance to the old Motorola RAZR design. Engadget also confirmed that the outside of the phone, when closed, will not have a full sized screen like other foldable devices launching this year.
Sarang Sheth of Yanko Design created a series of visuals of what the new RAZR might look like based on these filings and it looks perfectly suited for the foldable smart device market. With nostalgia kicking into high gear for many of us, Motorola's new foldable phone might just be a device whose time has come.
Concern Over the Durability of Foldable Plastic Screens
Motorola vice president of Global Product, Dan Dery, told Engadget that Motorola has been looking for ways to reduce the number of scratches the plastic screens suffer over time.
“We have been testing a plastic OLED device with plastic film on top,” he said. “The fact that you’re touching [the plastic display] with your nails is scratching it. It has a short life right away, it starts dying the day you unpack it.”
Creating a smaller form factor for the phone could protect the sensitive screen surfaces, as well as provide other benefits. As The Verge’s Natt Garun points out, a slim, foldable smart device could be the smaller form factor on a smartphone that many women have been demanding.
If the patent filings for Motorola’s new phone are indeed a new, foldable RAZR smartphone, there will likely be many people, not just women who'd like to put their phone in their pocket for a change, who would be grateful for a functionally slimmer form factor after years of phones getting bigger every year.
Personally, if this new phone is indeed a next-generation Motorola RAZR, it may be the only foldable smartphone I have any interest in buying.