Remember the Motorola Razr V3? Motorola’s fashionable clamshell is one of the most iconic phones ever released, easily on the same level as the Nokia 3310 and the original iPhone. While the original phone is now just a memory, it’s apparently getting a spiritual successor in the form of a foldable Motorola Razr smartphone that could arrive in the next few months. The bad news? It may cost $1,500.
Release date and availability
A new report from Engadget suggests that the foldable phone could arrive by the summer. The report cites Motorola Vice President of Global Product Dan Dery as saying that Motorola “started to work on foldables a long time ago,” and that the company has “no intention of coming later than everybody else in the market.” The report also notes that Motorola may be working on a second foldable phone with two folds — though it’s likely that device won’t fall under the Razr brand.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Lenovo (the company that owns Motorola) has partnered with Verizon to sell the device in the U.S. No details on the nature of the device are known yet, outside of the fact that it will be a foldable smartphone — neatly encompassing future trends and the original Razr’s charm — and will carry Motorola Razr branding.
Folding phones aren’t looking cheap and the Motorola Razr folding phone will be no different in that regard. A price of around $1,500 is likely according to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, and that seems about right. Frankly, compared to the Samsung Galaxy Fold’s $1,980 cost, the Razr seems like a bargain.
This isn’t the first time the Razr brand has been brought back into the spotlight. Lenovo used the Razr V3 to hype a folding Lenovo smartphone in 2016, and the Razr name was originally reused on a series of decent Android smartphones. This will be the first time we’ve heard from the Razr brand in years, and we’re looking forward to seeing more. However, with Nokia having capitalized on nostalgia for its own products, would it be too much to ask for a re-release of the original Motorola Razr V3 as a dumb phone?
The Engadget report sheds some light on the overall design of the phone too. According to the report, Motorola intends to create a phone with a display inside the fold — preventing the screen from being scratched in the pocket. Not only that, but the report notes that the company has been testing the use of an OLED display with a plastic film on top, similar to the Huawei Mate X.
While the decision to bring back the Razr brand is a shock, we’ve known a Motorola-branded foldable smartphone has at least been in the design stage since June. A patent from December 2018 discovered by 91 Mobiles shows what a revised Moto Razr might actually look like.
The patent images show a design that’s (shock, horror) extremely reminiscent of the original Moto Razr, from the curved notch at the top of the screen to the large protruding chin at the bottom. The keyboard has been replaced by an extended, presumably folding screen, but the back of the device is extremely similar to the original, with a smaller screen and a camera lens. The one new addition on the back seems to be a fingerprint scanner placed on the bottom hinge.
Last year, Motorola was awarded a patent on a folding smartphone design that featured a heated central hinge that would “heal” imperfections in the OLED screen caused by bending. It’s entirely possible this design could form the basis of the updated Razr V3. The inclusion of a heated central hinge could also explain the high prospective price tag.
Updated on February 27, 2019: An Engadget report sheds some light on the design and release of Motorola’s foldable phone.