Smartphone makers are currently trying to figure out what a foldable smartphone should look and act like, and one could take inspiration from one of the all-time greatest flip phones: Motorola's RAZR.
While Samsung's Galaxy Fold and Huawei's Mate X go for the phone-to-tablet approach, the much-rumoured and leaked Motorola RAZR V4 fits a full-size smartphone into a half-sized package that folds up neatly in your pocket.
Sound like the great return of the RAZR we knew and loved back when? Could be! Here's what we've heard and seen so far of the foldable Motorola RAZR V4.
(Leaked renders via Slashleaks)
When will the Motorola RAZR V4 be out?
A Wall Street Journal report near the start of the year pointed to a potential February release for the foldable RAZR smartphone. Well, that didn't happen.
At this point, the rumours aren't very specific: they suggest a release sometime in 2019. And given the Galaxy Fold's delay just days before its planned release, following a series of problems with reviewers' handsets, we'd suggest that Motorola make sure the RAZR is properly primed and ready before showing it to the world.
How much will the Motorola RAZR V4 cost?
That Wall Street Journal report didn't get the release target right, but maybe it has the price right: it suggested a huge US$1,500 price point for the handset.
While that's an enormous price point for a smartphone, it comes up a fair bit less than the Galaxy Fold (£1,799) and the Mate X (€2,299). Motorola's approach doesn't seem to have quite as much screen in the mix, however, and could save on materials elsewhere as well. We don't want to say that $1,500 is cheap… but it could be the cheapest of the early foldable flagships.
It sounds "reasonable," but only in the sense that the more compact RAZR V4 (as leaked) could shave some cash off of the price tags of other foldable smartphones.
What will the Motorola RAZR V4 look like?
Purported leaked renders and patent sketches showcase a handset that looks a fair bit like the classic RAZR – only this time, you'll find only a touch screen inside.
Flipping open this design reveals a very tall display that stretches from the top to bottom (aside from the familiar-looking lower lip below), giving you a large panel to play with. And that's a bit of a surprise from the outside, as the RAZR V4 seems to fold up rather small. It seems like a really smart application of the classic aesthetic.
We unfortunately can't tell from the current leaked renders, but previous sketches and leaks pointed to a small outer touch screen, as well, which could provide a very flip phone-esque glance at the time, notifications, and more. But it'll have other tricks, too, as detailed later in this article.
We're not fully convinced that these renders are legitimate, as they could be good fakes based on the previous patent sketches. Still, the rumours and leaks are all pointing in this direction.
What about the Motorola RAZR V4's screen?
Leaked specs point to a screen that is large and tall, although not at as high of a resolution as you might expect for a phone of this price.
According to a report from XDA Developers, the Motorola RAZR V4 is expected to have a 6.2in screen at a resolution of 876×2142 – in other words, less than 1080p resolution. We suppose that's the disadvantage of being an early adopter to new tech. On the other hand, did you see that reported price tag?
The same report points to a low-res 600x800 display for the outer screen, which might be totally fine depending on the size. We don't have a leaked spec for that yet.
A 6.2in display at sub-1080p resolution doesn't sound so hot, but we'll reserve judgment until we see the real thing… and hope the leak lowballed that figure.
How much power will the Motorola RAZR V4 pack?
Other foldable smartphones so far have gone with the highest-end processors that each maker has available, but Motorola might be charting a different approach here.
XDA Developers points to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor in the Motorola RAZR V4 – that's a mid-range chip, rather than a more powerful flagship chip. For example, the Snapdragon 855 is what's being used in the Samsung Galaxy S10 (in some regions) and probably most of the other Android flagships coming in 2019.
That same report points to 4GB and 6GB RAM options, depending on model, as well as 64GB and 128GB storage options.
We'd be a little surprised to see Motorola go with less than flagship power here, to be honest.
What kind of cameras will the Motorola RAZR V4 have?
Unfortunately, we haven't heard anything about the camera(s) on the Motorola RAZR V4 at this point, and it's tough to tell from the renders.
However, the patent sketches suggest that there may only be one camera here, above the outer screen. That way, you could snap photos when the phone is unfolded, as well as take selfies by looking at the outer screen. It's very much like a flip phone in that respect.
We're awaiting more leaks here, but that's what we're seeing so far.
Is there anything else I should know about the Motorola RAZR V4?
The XDA Developers report points to a 2,730mAh battery, which is much smaller than other foldable phones but might make sense given the purported specs at play here. Also, we can see a charging dock in one image that you'll pop the folded phone into.
What's also interesting is the idea that the outer screen can be used as a trackpad in Google Chrome when looking at the larger inside screen, and that it'll also be used for various shortcuts, camera controls, and more. If true, that'll make it more than just a screen for previewing calls and notifications, and a proper functional enhancement that only makes sense for this kind of form factor.
This all lines up with the other rumours and leaks, but if newer leaks start shifting the narrative, then we'll have to see how it all adds up. Hopefully we'll get some official word sooner than later.