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Fast Charge: Motorola keeps showcasing whacky foldable concepts, and I love it

OPINION: Motorola has undergone quite the transformation over the past couple of years. While back in the 2010s it was focused mainly on budget smartphones that’d do the job with little fanfare, the company has flexed its premium muscles in the 2020s with top-end mobile hardware like the Motorola Edge 40 Pro and the foldable Motorola Razr 40 Ultra.

However, it hasn’t stopped there. You see, Motorola is keen to experiment with what the next big thing will be after clamshell and book-style foldables, and unlike most companies that keep such research hush-hush, Motorola likes to share its concepts with the world. 

That started late last year with the Motorola rollable concept, but rather than just showing a CGI rendering of what the future tech would look like, Motorola actually built multiple prototypes to show to the media months later at MWC 2023. 

I had the chance to see the concept in the flesh and was very impressed with what I saw, essentially using foldable phone tech to extend the screen automatically when needed, then shrinking down to a more compact form factor for general use. It felt well-built for a concept phone too.

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What was more impressive was that Motorola revealed to Trusted Reviews that it had manufactured quite a few of the concept phones, with models in use by a lucky few members of the public around the world to gain insight into how well the form factor performs on a daily basis.

That was a pretty cool look at one possible future for foldable tech, but not content with just one fascinating future mobile concept, Motorola didn’t stop there. 

At Motorola parent company Lenovo’s annual Global Tech World event in late October, the company revealed yet another Motorola phone concept, this time simply dubbed the “adaptive display concept”. 

This newer concept is an even more incredible potential look at the future of smartphones, showcasing a device that can essentially bend around your wrist to turn into a smart bracelet, or simply stand on its own as a tripod. 

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Though Motorola didn’t go into much detail about potential specs, the phone is said to sport a 6.9-inch pOLED panel with an FHD+ resolution, and going by the images and videos shared by Motorola, it’ll have a soft fabric back that should be comfortable to wear on the wrist. There also looks to be a separate bracelet that the phone snaps onto, presumably with the use of strong magnets. 

What’s more, Motorola’s experimental UI will dynamically change depending on how the phone is bent and aligned, shrinking down to something similar to the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra’s 3.6-inch cover display when in its wristband mode while still delivering full access to Android apps. 

The company also took the opportunity to highlight potential generative AI features of the concept, with the phone’s MotoAI generative AI assistant able to personalise the wallpaper and theme, with users apparently able to take a photo of their outfit and have the AI generate a complimentary wallpaper, turning the foldable cuff phone into a fashion accessory.

Motorola adaptive display concept on the wrist

Sadly, Motorola didn’t have physical samples of the phone to showcase at the show, but it’s certainly an exciting concept and one I’d love for Motorola to flesh out in the coming months. Maybe we’ll see a genuine, working concept by the time MWC 2024 comes around in April 2024? 

Regardless, the fact that Motorola is being so active and transparent about these future mobile concepts makes for a refreshing change in a market often too competitive for companies to share insight into future plans, and I love it.

I can’t wait to see what Motorola comes up with next!

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