OPINION: Foldable smartphones, while looking cool, are still a bit of a niche in the wider smartphone market, accounting for just 1.1% of smartphone use in 2022. Considering it’s only really Samsung that has served the western market with its Z Fold and Z Flip ranges however, that’s not too surprising.
Actually, it’s not inaccurate to say that Samsung has had the lion’s share of the western foldable market in the past few years with very little competition. It feels like Samsung took advantage of this, particularly with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4, both of which looked and performed fairly similar to their predecessors. Why innovate if your foldables are the only options available?
However, with more manufacturers throwing their hats into the foldable ring, 2023 could see a revolution in the foldable industry, and one rumoured smartphone in particular has got me excited. Before you interject, it’s not the Galaxy Z Flip 5 or Galaxy Z Fold 5.
I had the chance to play with the Motorola Razr (2022) for a week at the end of last year and it’s safe to say that I fell in love with it. I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that I had the original Razr back in the early 2000s, but there’s more to it than that. Compared to the Z Flip 4, the Razr offered a better camera set-up, a gapless close and most importantly, a barely noticeable hinge.
It also had my favourite outer display of any clamshell foldable, an opinion I still hold even after using 2023’s Oppo Find N2 Flip. It was much larger than that of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and offered more functionality than the Find N2 Flip – in fact, it lets you access any Android app you want on that small 2.7-inch display.
That’s why I’m so excited about the rumours surrounding the Motorola Razr (2023) which suggest the outer display is about to get much better.
The news comes in the form of renders from leaker Evan Blass, aka Evleaks, showcasing a Razr with a much larger cover display than the 2022 model. In fact, it essentially takes up the entirety of the cover panel at 3.6 inches, embedding the dual cameras within. It not only provides a more striking, futuristic look than other clamshell foldables on the market but it could be genuinely useful.
I used the Razr (2022)’s outer display to access apps like Hue to quickly control my lights, control YouTube playback on my TV and reply to WhatsApp messages, though admittedly it was a little small for the latter. The bigger display will likely change that, allowing me to do more on the outer display without the need to actually unfold the phone to access the larger interior screen – a process that starts out fun but quickly becomes cumbersome over time.
If these leaks come to fruition then the Razr (2023) could have the most functional clamshell cover display on the market. Throw in other rumoured specs including an improved display and improved camera tech, and you’ve got a very tempting clamshell foldable.
Let’s just hope that Motorola’s launch is a little smoother than the 2022 variant, which first saw release in China in August 2022 before making it to parts of Europe and the UK in late 2022, with no US release on the cards at all.
Are you excited about the Motorola Razr (2023) or has another upcoming foldable piqued your interest? Let us know on Twitter.