The foldable smartphone revolution has been slow to pick up steam, what with the Galaxy Fold saga and the AWOL Huawei Mate X, but there is one foldable that has gotten us very excited – the foldable Motorola Razr 2019. Here’s what we know about the phone so far.
If the information that is doing the rounds is accurate, you won’t have to wait much longer to get your hands on the foldable Motorola Razr. All signs point towards a 2019 launch date, most likely late in the year. Although the usual rumor, leak and tease cycle has been shorter for the foldable than say, the Galaxy Fold (we have been hearing about and seeing prototypes of flexible Samsung displays for years), it seems as though a foldable Motorola Razr is in the advanced stages of development.
Of course, the release schedule has not been confirmed by Motorola’s parent company, Lenovo, but a 2019 release would make sense given that we’ll get the Galaxy Fold in September, and that should kick-start a steady flow of foldable smartphones. The Huawei Mate X shouldn’t be far behind. After all, we’ve already been hands-on with the device. Xiaomi is already teasing its tri-folding design too. It would make sense for Lenovo to get the Motorola out while there is significant buzz around foldable smartphones, especially if it can undercut the others on price.
Price is the ultimate barrier to entry for foldable smartphones. Sure, people are concerned about durability and long-term wear and tear, but the number one reason this new form factor won’t sell in big numbers at first is the cost. The Galaxy Fold will be as near as makes no difference to $2,000 in the US. Huawei’s Mate X is being pitched even higher, penciled in at €2,229 in Europe, although Huawei’s foldable will come with a 5G as standard. The foldable Motorola Razr will not be cheap, that much we know. But can it be ‘cheap’ for a foldable phone? Perhaps…
Reports in the Wall Street Journal at the start of the year suggested that the foldable Motorola Razr will be exclusive to Verizon in the US and will start at around $1,500. That would make it $500 cheaper than a Galaxy Fold. The thorn in Motorola’s side here could be Xiaomi. It would be very surprising if the Chinese manufacturer asked for something close to two grand for its foldable smartphone. Either way, the Razr will be at the lower end of the foldable market, in terms of price.
Once again, we must proceed with caution here, as none of this is officially confirmed. However, there is a lot of information circulating that the foldable Motorola Razr will be taking a slightly different approach than what we’ve seen from Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi so far.
It is almost certain that the new Motorola Razr will not be the smartphone-and-tablet-in-one solution that the others are doing. We expect the display to be much smaller, maybe even as small as 6.2 inches when open. That’s about the size of a Google Pixel 3 XL. The new Note 10 Plus has a 6.8-inch display, for comparison.
Then there’s the resolution to consider. If Motorola is seriously trying to keep the price down on this, we shouldn’t expect a QHD+ screen or anything like that. Rumors are pointing towards a main screen in an aspect ratio of 22:9, close to the tall display on the Sony Xperia 1, with a resolution somewhere in the region of 876 x 2142 pixels. A smaller 4:3 display on the outside of the clamshell should offer an 800 x 600 resolution, which is enough for notifications and displaying the time etc.
If the renders and patents are to be believed, the hinge on the new Motorola Razr is in the middle using the same clamshell design that made the original Razr such a classic. That means the crease in the display should be at about halfway up. We know that the display itself will come from AUO, a Chinese company, rather than from Samsung.
Interestingly Kolon, the South Korea company that did the display cover for the Royole FlexPai, will be providing the cover film for the Motorola Razr. Kolon uses a PI film which is attached to an OLED display, making is more durable and bendy. Xiaomi and Huawei are likely to use the same firm for their display covers too.
Some rendered images also show a small display at the bottom of the phone, still visible when the clamshell is closed. We don’t really know much more about this at the moment, or whether it will even be a display at all. We’ll have to wait and see.
One cool thing that has surfaced about the display regards the hinge and its part in the folding mechanism. According to a patent discovered by LetsGoDigital, the hinge could feature a kind of heating technology that heats the crease of the display when it comes to folding. The idea is to soften up the display itself with heat when to make it more malleable. You can see what I’m talking about in the image below, it’s an interesting idea.
Chipset and memory
Whereas Samsung and Huawei are stuffing the most powerful chips into their foldable smartphones, Lenovo is taking a slightly different approach with its foldable Razr. You can expect to find a Snapdragon 710 octa-core SoC inside this one, the same processor as the Nokia 8.1, the Oppo Reno and the Realme X. These are not exactly flagship phones in 2019. The GPU should be an Adreno 616.
Two versions will be available in terms of memory – a 4/64GB and a 6/128GB. Just 4GB of RAM does seem low compared the 12GB that’s in the Galaxy Fold, but the Fold is designed to run three apps at once, and the Razr is designed to look cool! Finally, there should also be a microSD slot for expandable memory.
We know very little about the camera so far, but it is almost certain that the Motorola Razr 2019 won’t be going down the road of triple and quad camera configurations. From the leaks and renders we have seen so far, it looks like a single-camera setup, probably a 12MP sensor. Rather than add an additional selfie camera, it makes sense to allow users to shoot with the clamshell closed, using the same sensor as both the front and rear camera. We’re not sure how this will work given the tiny display on the outside of the Razr and the low resolution, but it seems unlikely that the Razr will put a strong focus on camera quality anyway.
Again, this is not officially confirmed but the word on the street is that the Motorola Razr 2019 will come with a 2,730 mAh battery, chargeable via the USB-C port. We do not expect to see any wireless charging on this one.
Glorious! It looks absolutely glorious. Here is a selection of concepts, patents, rendered images and video footage that the internet has produced depicting the Motorola Razr 2019. There are still no official images from Lenovo or Motorola, so this is all we’ve got to go on at the moment. Still, it’s pure eye candy for Razr fans like me. Enjoy!
Are you excited for the Motorola Razr 2019? Let us know in the comments below.