The newly launched Motorola Razr 2019 isn’t set to actually go up for pre-order for a month yet, but talk about a potential successor has already started.
A Motorola Mobility patent for a folding smartphone has just been discovered, and it raises hopes for a Razr 2.
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The patent, which was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in May 2018 and published a few days ago, describes a handset that’s loaded with special sensors (via LetsGoDigital).
“A foldable device includes a first housing portion, a second housing portion, and a hinge structure joined there between to permit the foldable device to be folded along an axis between an open mode and a closed mode,” the document reads.
Straightforward enough so far. But here’s where things get a bit convoluted…
The document continues:
“Touch sensors are disposed along one or more of the first housing portion or the second housing portion. The device includes a module implemented at least partially in hardware and configured to: determine touch sensor physical proximity; responsive to the touch sensor physical proximity not being less than a threshold, determine that the foldable device is in the open mode and cause the foldable device to be operated in a single sensor mode; and responsive to the touch sensor physical proximity being less than the threshold, determine that the foldable device is in a closed mode and cause the foldable device to be operated in a cumulative sensor mode.”
It’s a horribly worded thing, but our understanding of this is that Motorola has visualised a folding phone that would be equipped with several side-mounted sensors.
It sounds like these would function similarly to the Active Edge sensors on the Pixel 4, which you can squeeze to quickly trigger Google Assistant.
However, Motorola’s patent says that users would be able to assign a multitude of different features to the sensors on its folding device. What’s more, these sensors would work in different ways, depending on whether the device was open or closed.
The images also show an in-display fingerprint sensor, though this isn’t actually discussed in the writing. On the freshly launched Razr model, the fingerprint sensor sits at the back.
As is always the case with patent applications, this is merely a vision and should not be considered an official declaration of intent.
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In the US, the new Motorola Razr will go up for pre-order on December 26, and will start shipping to buyers on January 9. It will likely become available in the UK shortly after.