Remember the Motorola Razr V3? Before the iPhone came along it was the world’s first truly aspirational handset, boasting a thin profile, gorgeous design and powerful (for the time, at least) specifications. Motorola sold around 130 million of these phones following its initial release in 2004, and it enhanced the firm’s standing in the smartphone arena to the point where it created a phone with Apple, the ill-fated Motorola Rokr.
Things have changed with Motorola since then. The company was purchased by Google in 2012 before being sold to Chinese firm Lenovo two years later. It’s a shadow of its former self, but Lenovo does at least have plans for the Razr sub-brand – and this is one revival that actually makes sense.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Motorola Razr will be getting a new model this year that will boast a folding screen. Lenovo is working with North American network provider Verizon on the device, and there are rumours that it could launch as early as next month. Cost is expected to be $1,500.
Picking up on the story, USA TODAY quizzed Motorola about the phone, and the company responded with a video depicting the “shrug” emoticon – read into that what you will.
If all of this lines up and Motorola’s Razr is indeed making a comeback, it will be yet another entrant in the folding phone war of 2019, which already has Samsung, ZTE, LG and Huawei involved. However, if Lenovo really is releasing the new Razr next month then it could steal a march on its rivals; Samsung isn’t likely to announce its folding phone until its Unpacked keynote on February 20th, where it will also show off the Galaxy S10.
This isn’t the first time that the Razr brand has been resurrected, it’s worth noting. In 2011 Motorola released the Android-based Droid Razr, a device which lacked the flip-phone form factor but retained the same thing profile. However, a phone which uses modern screen-folding tech and retains the same eye-catching design of the 2004 original would have more of an impact, it could be argued.
The only real issue we can see is that the Motorola brand is no longer seen as a premium proposition, and today is more famous for its cheap and cheerful ‘Moto G’ line of devices. A new Razr with a price tag of $1,500 might be a hard sell for mobile users who have flocked to the premium handsets of Apple and Samsung in recent years.
Main image credit: CNET