Motorola mailed-out invitations to a mysterious event in Los Angeles, California that promises to unveil something that’ll make the audience “flip”. Given that Motorola executives have been not-so-cryptically teasing the launch of a new foldable smartphone based around its nostalgia-drenched Motorola Razr flip-phone since the Galaxy Fold broke cover back in February, it seems like the device could finally be here.
According to Cnet, which published the text of the invitation – as well as the GIF that accompanies it, the Motorola event will showcase the “highly anticipated unveiling of a reinvented icon”.
If you needed any more persuading about what we’re going to see, the GIF shows what appears to be the hinge design of the original flip-phone being peeled away to unveil a sleek new design underneath. Overlaid on the image is the tagline, “An Original Unlike Any Other.” So, what else could it be?
Unfortunately, there’s no word on exactly when the hotly-anticipated event will take place today, November 13, 2019. However, given that the event takes place in LA, which is eight hours behind GMT, it could easily slip into the early hours of Thursday November 14.
Based on the latest reports and rumours, the nostalgic handset will be based on the icon flip-phone design which debuted in late 2005, but rather than sporting a keypad and screen – it will have a single, uninterrupted foldable OLED that unfurls when you flip open the smartphone. This elongated touchscreen will be perfectly suited to running multiple apps on-top of one another.
Sony has already moved its smartphone range to a similarly long and thin screen design. The company says it’s ideal for running splitscreen apps as well as watching movies in the landscape orientation without any black bars above or below the display.
According to a source speaking to Cnet, we’re likely to see the new Motorola Razr in December 2019. That means Motorola will be able to achieve its promise of launching a foldable handset no later than everybody else in the market.
That pledge was made by Motorola Vice President of Global Product Dan Dery back in March in an interview with Engadget. During the same chat, Dery revealed the company had been working on its folding flagship “a long time ago” and that the firm had “been doing a lot of iteration”.
It’s not entirely clear why the re-imagined Razr will launch so close to the end of the year. Given the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X were originally set to launch on May 3 and September, respectively, it appears Motorola was either struck with some of the same issues or has decided to play it safe in light of the troubles experienced by Samsung.
Otherwise, if the release date was always planned for late December, the Chicago-based company’s promise of launching no later than rivals seems a little disingenuous.
With the Razr 2019, it seems Motorola wants to capitalise on the same nostalgia-drenched success experienced by HMD Global when it announced the all-new Nokia 3310 in 2018. The handset, which arrived with Snake preinstalled, was a massive critical and commercial success for the company.
Motorola looks set to combine that appeal with a cutting-edge pliable OLED panel. If nothing else, the result cannot possibly be dull.
It’s worth noting Motorola has never explicitly confirmed the existence of its Razr 2019 redesign. While VP Dan Geary has spoken openly about the company’s interest in folding designs and how these could be used in future products, it’s never confirmed what these would be called.
When asked for details on the design, Geary was a little cagey. However, he did rule-out a Huawei Mate X-like design.
He said: “We have been testing a plastic OLED device with plastic film on top. The fact that you’re touching [that kind of display] with your nails is scratching it. It has a short life right away; it starts dying the day you unpack it. But it’s beautiful. That first day, it’s beautiful.”
That definitely sounds to us like Motorola is planning on putting a flexible display on the inside of whatever folding phone is does release.
Express.co.uk will be covering the announcement as it happens, and will share everything as soon as we know. So stay tuned.