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Roundup Mobile

Motorola Razr rumors: Foldable phone expected in 2019, leaks, specs, price and more

All the rumors and leaks for one of the most exciting phones this year.

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The Motorola Razr's slim design might be repurposed with a folding screen and launched later this year.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Rumors that Motorola is revamping its iconic Razr flip phone have been circulating since January, and have continued throughout the year. The foldable phone race has been one filled with delays with other phone makers like Samsung and Huawei postponing the launches of their folding phones. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Samsung is working on a second foldable phone, to follow the Galaxy Fold, and like the upcoming Moto Razr, it will fold down into a pocketable size. In August, a rumor circulated that the phone will launch in the US "within the next few months" and in Europe in December, according to Dutch site Let's Go Digital. It's also speculated that the Razr won't be as powerful and high-end as other foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, but there are a lot of reasons to be excited about a Moto Razr foldable phone.

A foldable screen would breathe new life into the classic phone's form-factor. Instead of there being a small screen and physical dial pad like the original Razr, there will likely be a screen that covers the top and bottom halves of the phone and that can even fold closed. Another plus going for the Razr foldable phone is that it will be comparably less expensive than its $2,000 premium counterparts. For more info, read about CNET's roundup of other foldable phones available now.

Motorola hasn't formally launched the Razr foldable phone yet, and Motorola has not officially commented on the Razr's folding design, price or availability. The company has repeatedly said that its policy is to "neither confirm nor deny rumors" about products.

But even as they keep mum about it, the Razr remains one of the most anticipated phones coming down the pipeline. Despite being released 15 years ago, the Razr still has name and brand recognition. Its clout is as much of a draw as its folding display will likely be.

Here's everything we know at this point.

Razr patent indicates iconic design with foldable screen

As mentioned earlier, Motorola was reported in January to be reviving its Razr brand with a new device, according to The Wall Street Journal. Later, a patent filing discovered by tech blog site 91Mobiles included illustrations of what could be a new Razr phone.

The illustrations suggest a similar design to the original, but instead of the interior surface being divided by a hinge that separated the display and dial pad, the allegedly new Razr would be entirely display. The screen would apparently be flexible enough to fold in half and the curved bulge of the screen (when closed) would be hidden inside the phone's body.

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Possible patent design filing for the "foldable" Motorola Razr phone.

WIPO

If these markups turn out to be accurate, Motorola is taking a more practical approach than Samsung and Huawei. Instead of a phone opening out into a tablet, the Razr's appealingly small size would mean it remains a pocketable phone. Small phone fans rejoice!

It was speculated that the company might announce the phone in April, but when the month came along, we instead just got more purported press this time in the form of images posted to the site /Leaks. The photos show a phone with a Motorola logo and a long, continuous display. Another image shows the phone folded at 90 degrees.

Midrange folding phone price

The same January story from The Wall Street Journal also reported that the phone will allegedly cost $1,500. That's more expensive than most high-end smartphones like the iPhone XS Max or Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

However, with the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X costing $1,980 and $2,600, respectively, the Moto Razr's supposed price seems reasonable for a folding phone. This along with leaked specs could be a hint that the Razr is more of a midrange foldable phone instead of a premium one like the Fold and Mate X.

Another report by Let's Go Digital points to the phone costing €1,500.

Now playing: Watch this: So retro: Designing the original Motorola Razr
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Razr foldable phone specs leaked

In March, the tech enthusiast site XDA Developers shared what were alleged specs and features for the Razr:

  • Main display: 6.2 inches; 2,142x876 pixels
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
  • RAM: 4GB or 6GB
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB
  • Battery: 2,730mAh
  • Colors: White, Black or Gold

As a reminder, the display on the original Razr was just 2.2 inches. A new 6.2-inch display bodes well for people who prefer as much screen as possible packaged within a small body. The processor is a curious choice, too. Instead of a Snapdragon 855, Motorola may go with the Snapdragon 710, which is found on the mid-tier Galaxy A8 and Xiaomi Mi 8 SE. It will be interesting to see how Motorola optimizes features for the processor.

Galaxy Fold specs vs. foldable Motorola Razr


Samsung Galaxy Fold Motorola Razr (leaked specs)
Display size, resolution 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED; 4.6-inch Super AMOLED 6.6-inch OLED (2,142x876 pixels); NA (800x600 pixels)
Mobile software Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI N/A, but likely Android Pie or Android Q
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
Storage 512GB 64GB, 128GB
RAM 12GB 4GB, 6GB
Battery 4,380mAh 2,730mAh
Camera 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto) N/A
Front-facing camera Two 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth N/A
Price off-contract (USD) $1,980 $1,500

Razr may be packed with useful software features

One of the features leaked by XDA Developers was the Razr's ability to use the main display as a trackpad when unfolded. This is similar to the One Button Nav found on some of Motorola phones like the Moto G5 Plus, which used the fingerprint reader as a mini trackpad instead of the screen itself.

Like the original Razr, there might be a display on the outer shell. This could offer more functionality especially with some of Motorola's apps like Moto Display, Moto Camera and Moto Actions. Currently, Motorola uses a lightly skinned version of Android on its phones that include similar shortcuts. I really enjoy the company's take on Android and I hope if a Razr phone materializes that it uses something similar.

Rumors also posit that Google Assistant will be a big part of the device and that there will be a specific feature to trigger it when the phone's closed. This is especially probably important since folding phones like flip phones back in the day do require a different way to control and interact with them. Being able to access the phone when closed with just your voice could go a long way toward solving some UI issues.