Ah the 90s, the time when “feature” phones were the bread and butter of the mobile space, where everyone had a phone with physical keys, including the dial-pad, displays were small and not often colourful, touch displays were rarer than hen’s teeth, battery charge would last you a week or more, and although mobile internet and mobile data was a thing, it certainly wasn’t a primary component; with handsets able to do little more than some VERY basic web browsing, email, and downloading of attachments.
This was Motorola’s heyday, when it was the undisputed king of the mobile market and producer of some of the most iconic devices in mobile phone history.
Amongst these was the Motorola Razr, which launched in 2004,and quickly became top dog in the desirable sub-category of flip-phones. According to new gossip, the Razr flip-phone may be about to make a return!
Yes this is a very curious thing – Motorola isn’t even a visible brand any more, with the firm being wrapped up into Lenovo to produce the “Moto” brand of handsets.
The timing is just about right in another way, however, with folding phones being on the cusp of a renaissance if rumours are to be believed about Samsung’s Galaxy X flexible folding OLED handset coming in 2017. That’s the crucial difference though; the next generation of folders will fold down the middle of a flexible touch display rather than being a non-touch display hinged to a dial-pad, as with the original Razr.
However, it seems somewhat unlikely that Motorola/Lenovo would beat Samsung (one of the most prominent OLED makers in the space) to market with this concept.
Motorola Mobility’s YouTube channel uploaded a video entitled “Moto 06.09.16”, a reference to the date of an event the firm has scheduled for June 9, the video shows a group of high-school students using Razr handsets and has a tagline “Flip back to the Razr days of yesteryear and get ready for the future.”
While that’s not strictly a confirmation that we’re looking at a Razr reboot or a flip-phone, it is one possibility, the other of course being Motorola reminding us that one day it made the best phones on the market and perhaps implying that whatever it launches that day will be of equally high standing.
Lenovo already launched the 4th generation Moto G earlier this month and rumours and leaks persist of a rebooted Moto X flagship under a new moniker; Moto Z. It’s expected this new model could come to market in June, meaning it could well be the handset revealed at the scheduled event. It’s also possible the Moto X/Moto Z could feature similar Razr styling while still being a non-flip touchscreen smartphone.