Motorola breathed new life into its iconic Razr flip phone, using foldable display technology to fit a full 6.2-inch OLED screen into its classic clamshell casing.
The device also features a 2.7-inch exterior touch screen which can be used to view notifications, control music playback, adjust settings, and reply to texts and emails using dictation. Users can switch between the outer and inner screens without losing their place.
Motorola said the new Razr preserves another classic feature: the ability to hang up on someone by snapping the device shut. However, it noted users will have the option to turn the feature off, and calls will remain connected when a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone are in use.
Other highlights include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, Android Pie, 16MP main and 5MP selfie cameras, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 2510mAh battery and water-resistant coating.
It is set to go on sale in the US in December priced $1,500, with other markets to follow.
Motorola president Sergio Buniac said in a statement the company started exploring flexible display technologies nearly a decade ago, developing and testing 21 different prototypes.
He added the company “didn’t start the journey of developing a smartphone with flexible display technology with the intent of bringing back the Razr,” but found the clamshell design “was the ideal form factor”.
“When we asked consumers about the Razr V3, they had a visceral reaction and often began telling stories of their old device. That’s something very unique to the Razr brand.”
But it’s unclear whether that will be enough to put Motorola back in the spotlight for long, especially given Samsung appears to be developing a similar clamshell device as a follow-up to its Galaxy Fold.
Francisco Jeronimo, associate VP for European devices at IDC, predicted in a tweet the launch will remind everyone Motorola “still exists and can launch innovative products” but ultimately “do very little to get consumers excited about their devices”.
In a series of tweets, CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood commented the high price makes Razr a “super-premium” product, but tipped the model to be “remembered as the first true folding phone”, praising a hinge mechanism which allows the device to fold flat.