The Motorola Razr, which was a household name in the mid-00s at the height of the popularity of flip-phones, is getting a reboot from Motorola this year. The latest report says that the 2019 Motorola Razr will be launched on Wednesday, 13 November 2019 at an event in Los Angeles. Scroll down and you’ll see the video invite that was sent out for the event.
The return of the Razr became certain in mid-April 2019, when the new Motorola Razr was officially confirmed as existing and indeed called the “Motorola Razr” in an official Bluetooth certification body listing, which also confirmed that the phone would use Bluetooth 5.0 technology.
The re-imagined handset had been rumoured to be incoming ever since the hugely-successful relaunch of the Nokia 3310 two years ago, and will apparently combine the hinged design of the original 2004 flip-phone with a new folding OLED display.
The addition of a foldable display means the new Motorola Razr will compete directly with the likes of the Huawei Mate X, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and the unnamed (and so far unreleased) dual-folding Xiaomi.
Plenty of information about the next-generation Motorola Razr has already landed, so read on to get up to speed on one of this year’s biggest folding phones. We’ll keep this article updated with every whisper, leak or educated guess that we hear, too. Stay tuned.
Motorola Razr price
Unlike the rebooted Nokia 3310, which sells for £49.95, the Motorola Razr will be a high-end flagship smartphone with a price tag that competes with the latest iPhone models and the Samsung Galaxy Fold. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the revived Razr will cost in the region of $1,500 ( £1,170).
Motorola Razr launch and release date
The Motorola launch date looks set for 13 November 2019 at an event in downtown Los Angeles.
However, that launch might not be followed by a worldwide release of the handset. According to a report from GSM Arena, the new Motorola Razr will be exclusive to US mobile carrier Verizon, with only 200,000 units available. It’s currently unclear whether the phone will even make it to store shelves outside of the United States.
As for the release date, Motorola VP Dan Dery originally said the company wanted to get its flexible device into customers’ hands “no later” than its rivals. Given that the Samsung Galaxy Fold was set to launch on April 26 in the United States and May 3, 2019 in the UK and Europe, while the Huawei Mate X was tipped to launch worldwide sometime in mid-2019, that meant we were expecting to see something from Motorola before summer 2019.
However, Motorola was given a bit of leeway there as the Samsung Galaxy Fold release has been delayed due to issues with the display, and the release date for the Huawei Mate X has apparently been delayed following the issues that Samsung faced.
In the unusually candid chat with Engadget, the technology company confirmed that it’s already working on a device with a pliable display and that it has “no intention of coming later than everybody else in the market”.
Motorola Vice President of Global Product Dan Dery added: “We started to work on foldables a long time ago, and we have been doing a lot of iteration.”
Motorola’s wish didn’t come true, though, as the Samsung Galaxy Fold is now on sale and the new Motorola Razr is nowhere to be seen. CNET is now reporting that the new Razr will be announced on 13 November 2019. The video invite for the event can be seen below.
Motorola Razr design and features
Motorola is expected to keep the same industrial design of the original July 2004 Razr V3, albeit with a very modern twist. The schematics of the as-then unannounced Motorola-branded smartphone, now widely-believed to be the 2019 rebirth of the Motorola Razr, were spotted in a patent filing late last year.
These illustrations have since been transformed into a series of stunning high-resolution renders, as well as a glossy new concept video. Based on both, the new Razr will keep the iconic flip phone design seen on the original handset, as well as the secondary screen on the outside of the casing for notifications.
Just a few minutes later, a new series of Motorola Razr 2019 images leaked and then on Friday 1 November, a THIRD successive leak saw a hands-on image of the new Razr hit the internet courtesy of Mobile news site DroidShout.
That was followed by a fourth leak just a few hours before the 13 November launch event where images that were posted to the website of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) were spotted by Mysmartprice. They’re not the clearest of images but they do show the new handset in its folded and unfolded form and they match earlier leaks, leading us to believe that these are genuine.
What can just about be seen in these new images is a probable rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the back beneath a Motorola logo, a camera on the rear, and a USB-C port on the bottom of the handset. What’s missing from the handset is a headphone jack and, although the pics are low res, we can’t see a front-facing selfie camera on the phone and we think it’s highly unlikely that there is one hidden under the screen.
Open up the new Motorola Razr and you can see just how the design has changed from the original. According to the patent schematics and rumours from the supply chain, the new Razr will have a foldable OLED display that runs the length of the handset and that’s what the leaked images confirm.
While the Razr will still have a hinge, it will be hidden from view by the pliable display whenever you’re using the smartphone. When the rebooted smartphone is open, it is expected to have an expansive screen with a widescreen aspect ratio so that you can watch the latest blockbusters without any of those troublesome black bars.
Like the iPhone XS Max and Pixel 3 XL before it, Motorola will use a notch at the top of the screen for the earpiece, and probably a selfie-camera, though that selfie camera is looking a bit doubtful based on the latest leaked images shown above.
Based on the schematics included in the latest patent from Motorola, and confirmed in the leaked images, there will be a single rear-mounted camera, as well as a fingerprint scanner just below it. Motorola recently moved every model in its new Moto G7 range to a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner to increase the size of the display.
According to a report from XDA Developers, this external screen will not be able to run every Android app installed on your smartphone. Instead, Motorola is believed to be limiting the touchscreen to a select few system apps, like Moto Display, Moto Actions, and the Moto Camera app. That is a very different approach to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which treats its 4.6-inch so-called Cover Display as a traditional smartphone screen that runs anything the larger folding screen can – albeit it’s limited to two app multi-tasking, not three like the 7.3-inch Flex Display.
As well as core system apps, the external display on the Motorola Razr can be used to show up to six Quick Settings tiles. These will be similar to those in the dropdown available at the top of the display on all Android smartphones and will allow users to quickly toggle Airplane mode and the like without interrupting whatever they’re doing on the main screen. According to XDA Developers, it’s unclear whether Motorola will allow users to scroll to see more than the six tiles displayed on the screen at any one time.
Elsewhere, whenever the Google Assistant is triggered with the wake phrase “OK, Google” or “Hey Google” while the Razr is flipped close, the Assistant animation will be shown on the external display to notify users that the handset has heard the command. This option can be disabled in the settings, in which case the user will simply be prompted to “flip open to unlock” with a passcode, pattern or PIN.
XDA Developers believes that users will be able to set separate wallpapers for the main foldable display and the smaller touchscreen on the outside of the clamshell.
Apparently, Motorola also experimented with putting the folding screen on the outside of the device (as in this concept video) but the company seems to have abandoned that approach. When asked whether the product would be similar to the Huawei Mate X design, which has the foldable screen on the outside of the device, Motorola’s Dan Dery said: “We have been testing a plastic OLED device with plastic film on top. The fact that you’re touching [that kind of display] with your nails is scratching it. It has a short life right away; it starts dying the day you unpack it. But it’s beautiful. That first day, it’s beautiful.”
Motorola Razr specs
In terms of specifications, it seems the new Motorola Razr will not have anywhere near the same processing grunt as rival foldable phones like the Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold. According to a report from XDA Developers, the new Motorola will employ the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 system-on-a-chip coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. A model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will also be available, it claims.
Although this chipset does support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology, we don’t yet know what kind of fast charging the Motorola Razr will offer. However, we have heard that Motorola will kit out its bendy blower with a 2,730mAh battery cell.
That’s significantly smaller than the battery in the Mate X and Galaxy Fold. However, the Motorola Razr is a smaller device, so shouldn’t have a negative impact on the battery life of the handset. We can’t believe Motorola would fit its flagship foldable with anything other than all-day battery life, especially given its emphasis on battery with the recent Moto G7 series.
The latest Motorola Razr spec leaks come from XDA Developers Editor-in-Chief Mishaal Rahman, who on 1 November 2019 tweeted a summary of “basic Motorola Razr specs”:
* sdm710, likely Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
* Main display: 6.20″ 2142×876 by BOE
* Closed display: 2.69″ 800×600 also by BOE
* 4/6GB RAM
* 64/128GB storage
* Now believed to have 2510mAh battery
Those specs pretty much align with earlier leaks although the battery size, if correct, is now even smaller, at 2,510mAh.
Motorola Razr concepts
Ahead of the launch, designer Waqar Khan has been hard at work building a slick video the forthcoming smartphone based on the latest leaks and rumours.
The short clip, which can be viewed below, gives a pretty good glimpse at what the final product could look like…
Motorola Razr official press images
On Sunday 28 April 2019, images purporting to be official press renders of the 2019 Motorola Razr briefly appeared on Chinese social networking site Weibo before being quickly pulled down. They were then reposted to Slashleaks.
The images show the folding phone leaning against its prism-shaped packaging. A second image shows the contents of the packaging, which seem to be a wireless charger, a USB-A to USB-C cable, a USB-C-to-3.5mm audio cable (which suggests that there will be no headphone jack on the new Razr), earbuds andthe Motorola Razr V4.
Are they genuine? To us, these renders look decidedly non-luxurious for a phone that is expected to cost in the region of $1,500. So if they are actually from Motorola, or a company acting on its behalf, they’re most likely early rough renders that were never intended to see the light of day. Or they’re fake with a capital F.
Motorola Razr alternatives
On Tuesday 29 October 2019, Samsung took to the stage at the Samsung Developers Conference to tease its own clamshell concept. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which folds on a vertical axis, the new concept phone folds on its horizontal axis, exactly like the Motorola Razr. Dutch site LetsGoDigital took the presentation slide and mocked up a 3D model which you can see below.
It’s not clear whether the Samsung concept would feature a smaller screen on the front, as the new Razr will have, or whether Samsung will even put this phone into production but given that Samsung has seemingly solved the problems with folding screens, the appearance of this concept is sure to cause a few worries at Motorola HQ.
Lead Image Credit: Sarang Sheth