Motorola Razr 2019: Price, release date, specs and all the latest rumours
Motorola Razr 2019: A couple of years after Nokia resurrected the 3310 (sort of), Lenovo could be about to do the same with the legendary Motorola Razr flip phone (sort of), which originally hit the market 15 years ago.
Here’s everything we think we know about the keenly anticipated 2019 version of the Motorola Razr.
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Motorola Razr 2019 − Release date and price
Citing “people familiar with the matter”, The Wall Street Journal reported in January that the Motorola Razr could make a (-nother) comeback in February, though this plan “isn’t yet final and could change”. The handset was apparently being tested at the time of publication, and the report claimed it could go on sale in the US in February as a Verizon exclusive.
That, of course, did not materialise. But we’ve heard plenty more about the Razr since.
In late February, Motorola’s VP of global product Dan Dery told Engadget: “We started to work on foldables a long time ago. And we have been doing a lot of iteration,” adding that the company has “no intention of coming later than everybody else in the market”.
With the Samsung Galaxy Fold scheduled to hit the market in early May, and the Huawei Mate X set to follow sometime in “the middle of 2019” − we’re expecting the Razr to come out in the first half of 2019.
And, as you might expect, it’s not going to come cheap. According to the WSJ, it will have a starting price of around $1500 (~£1170). Just for context, Motorola is currently selling the Motorola Razr V3 on Amazon for considerably less than £200.
Unfortunately, a Bluetooth certification filed in mid-April (that shows the phone will support Bluetooth 5.0) suggests the Razr 2019 will initially be a Verizon exclusive. This would make sense, as Verizon is the only carrier in the US with an active 5G network. Verizon turned on its 5G network in select parts of the US, including Chicago, at the start of April.
Read more: Folding phones
Motorola Razr 2019 − Design and display
The Motorola Razr 2019 won’t be the Razr we’re all familiar with. The 2019 version will apparently feature a foldable − and, presumably, touch sensitive − screen.
The fan render embedded above, which was created by Waqar Khan and based on Motorola’s own genuine patent, is a thing of beauty, showing off a device that we’d love to see. However, what’s more likely is something like this but a lot more bulky and awkward. Read on for everything we know so far.
An early March leak from XDA Developers claims the phone, which is apparently codenamed ‘Voyager’, will have a folding “clamshell” design similar to the one detailed in a patent filed by Motorola earlier this year. This would mean the Razr has a very different hinge mechanism to the competing Galaxy Fold, which folds horizontally inwards and Huawei Mate X, which screen folds outwards.
Instead, it appears the Motorola phone will have dual display design. The first display will be a larger one that folds down on itself when the phone is closed. The second will be an external facing front screen for quick actions and alerts.
In a bid to stop unoptimised apps ruining the user experience the new Razr will apparently restrict some functions “access [to the] display on flip”. The only confirmed apps that will run on the phone’s closed flip mode display are reportedly Motorola’s own Moto Display, Moto Actions, and Moto Camera app.
When folded, the internal display will apparently work as a trackpad, for doing things like scrolling through menu screens. It will reportedly also be able to display “up to” six quick settings tiles to commonly used apps and services.
And a Lenovo patent spotted by LetsGoDigital in April backs this up.
None of this has been confirmed by Motorola, but if true it could be a far more elegant interface than the Galaxy Fold’s. When closed the Galaxy Fold has an insanely small screen with an atypical aspect ratio. We haven’t had a chance to play with the Fold in person but the screen design left us concerned most apps won’t display correctly on Samsung’s folding phone.
The clamshell design could also solve our biggest concern about the Mate X: the fact the screen is permanently exposed on both sides. Huawei’s not confirmed how scratch resistant the screen is, but we can’t help but worry that without protection, the Mate X might be prone to picking up scratches fairly quickly.
Tellingly, Motorola’s Dan Dery has said that while the outer-screen design adopted by Huawei (and partially by Samsung) is “the nicest and the purest”, approach that will likely lead to damaged and scratched displays.
“We have been testing a plastic OLED device with plastic film on top,” he said. “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.”
He says Motorola’s “intention would not be to put the display outside. When you know the scratching issues you would be facing, you will have something that is very rapidly not usable.”
As mentioned above, back in August, a patent was discovered by Mobielkopen, showing a phone with the same iconic flip-phone form-factor (above). However, rather than combining a screen on one half with a T9 keyboard on the other, the new design features a single touchscreen, which can fold in the middle to fit the phone in your pocket.
Related: Huawei Mate X vs Galaxy Fold
An in January, a World Intellectual Property Organization listing was spotted by 91Mobiles, showing a mobile phone that’s recognisable as a Razr handset, albeit with a slightly tweaked design and dual screens (below).
Like the legendary Motorola Razr V3 from all the way back in 2004, the device shown off in the patent is a flip phone that features one external secondary display and another internal primary display.
However, the new Razr’s main display appears to be notched and flexible, stretching almost all the way from top to bottom and folding across the centre. There is, of course, no physical keypad (stop feigning outrage). Beneath the screen is that chunky wedge we’re all so familiar with. It will apparently house the microphone and speakers.
From the outside, the device shown off in the patent looks almost identical to the classic Razr, with a camera sensor and a small secondary display (for quickly checking notifications) both visible.
However, this concept design pitches the throwback device as the perfect blend of old and new. Designer Sarang Sheth has created Motorola Razr 2019 concept renders (below), based upon the leaks we’ve seen so far − and we seriously like the look of them.
Sheth’s vision features a single-lens camera beneath the display on the outward-facing portion of the folded handset.
Motorola Razr 2019 − Specs and features
Little else is currently known about the 2019 Motorola Razr, but WSJ’s report describes it as a “high-end” phone, and claims that Lenovo plans to manufacture 200,000 units.
For the price quoted above, we expect high-end features and all the trimmings, including Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 855 processor, a strong camera and, perhaps most importantly for potential buyers of this particular handset, a very slick design indeed.
According to XDA-Developers, the Motorola Razr 2019 will be powered by the Snapdragon 710, a mid-range processor that features on the Xiaomi Mi 8 SE − a budget version of the Xiaomi Mi 8. That’ll reportedly be paired with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and be joined by the Adreno 616 GPU and either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.
The handset is also said to feature a 2,730mAh battery (possibly with Motorola’s 27W TurboPower fast charging), a 6.2-inch, 2142 x 876 main display, and a 800 x 600 external display. Its size is not yet known. According to the report, the Motorola Razr 2019 will be available in white, black and gold colour schemes.
While specs aren’t everything, we had been expecting the new Razr to have a slightly more ‘premium’ feature set.
Earlier this year, we spent time with the foldable Royole FlexPai, a handset that validates many of our biggest fears about folding smartphones.
“It’s clear the FlexPai has been rushed out to ensure it claims the crown of the world’s first foldable phone,” we wrote in our hands-on. “It’s a shame then, that it’ll likely be remembered for its terrible user experience rather than its genuinely interesting foldable design.”
Would you be tempted by the Motorola Razr 2019? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.