Motorola is relaunching its Razr line of flip-phones, this time with a large foldable inner screen and a smaller screen on the outside.
The inside screen measures 6.2″ corner-to-corner, very similar to the screen size of the regular iPhone 11 – slightly longer, although not as wide.
On the outside of the device a smaller 2.7″ external display will allow users to text, call, and email – but presumably not use any apps that Motorola hasn’t developed as bespoke for the smaller screen size.
Analysts expect the phone to cost more than £1,100 in the UK, although it’s initially going to be sold for $1,500 in the US only, launching on 26 December.
The high cost is a direct result of the technological investment needed for the folding display, something which a number of phone-makers have designs on.
But foldable phones have yet to really take off as a market, with expensive devices launched by Huawei, Samsung, and LG last year anticipating significant consumer interest – which hasn’t yet translated into sales.
Samsung was forced to delay the release of its new Galaxy Fold smartphone after reviewers experienced breakages within days of receiving the device, prompting journalists to post scathing reviews of the product.
The release for Motorola follows the company being purchased by Chinese multinational Lenovo and suggests a great deal of investment on Motorola’s part in the screen technology.
Unlike most foldable-screen devices, the new Razr does fold completely closed so that the screens are practically touching – but other than this feat of engineering it does not appear to compare favourable against its rivals in either its price or its specifications.
Market analyst Ru Bhikha, the mobile expert for uSwitch, told Sky News that the new phone was unlikely to be a real market mover for Motorola or Lenovo.
“The Razr can’t compete with the performance of similarly priced rivals,” he said, noting it was more expensive than the iPhone 11.
It has only a single 16 megapixel camera, while the iPhone 11 has “a three-lens setup that includes a telephoto and two wide lenses”.
The restrictions of the foldable design also mean that the Razr has less going for it in the CPU and battery departments than its rivals.
“We’re sceptical that users will get through the day on a single charge,” Mr Bhika added – suggesting that “without the specifications of its high-end rivals the V4 could be accused of being all style and no substance”.
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