Motorola RAZR (2019) still expected to launch this year
The Motorola RAZR (2019) is one of the most anticipated new phones this year. Based on the extremely popular Motorola RAZR clamshell, the device opens up into a full-sized smartphone (either 6.2-inches or 6.5-inches based on the rumors) while folding along the horizontal access. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X, which transform from a smartphone into a tablet, the RAZR is designed to stay in your pocket until you need a phone. There will be a small external screen for notifications.
Even though the RAZR has a much different footprint that the Galaxy Fold and Mate X, it has apparently caught the same "delay bug" that pushed the launch of the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X back several months. The Motorola RAZR was originally expected to be launched this summer as a Verizon exclusive, but the summer has come and gone with no sight of the phone. But there is good news. According to CNET, a person close to Motorola says that the foldable will be released before the end of this year. A leak we passed along last month hinted that the phone will see the light of day during the upcoming holiday season.
Nostalgia will play an important role in the success of the Motorola RAZR (2019)
Another big difference between the Galaxy Fold, the Mate X and the RAZR is that the latter will not carry flagship type specs. While Sammy's foldable is powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and the Mate X is equipped with the Kirin 990 5G, we could see the Snapdragon 710 Mobile Platform inside Motorola's phone along with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage. The Galaxy Fold features 12GB of memory and 512GB of storage while the Mate X sports 8GB of memory and 512GB of storage. But this doesn't mean that the RAZR is going to be available for a low price.
With the Galaxy Fold (which was released on American soil today) priced at $1,980 and the Mate X (which will never be released on American soil) tagged at the equivalent of $2,600 USD, the RAZR's rumored $1,500 price tag only seems cheap compared to the other two models. Still, we would expect Motorola's first foldable smartphone to sell extremely well in the states where it has the advantage of stirring up some nostalgic feelings among consumers. The original RAZR flip phone sold over 130 million units over a four year period. And while that might have been the company's highwater mark in the industry, Motorola did subsequently produce the phone that kicked off Androidmania, the Motorola DROID. And while the company has been recently making its bread from low to mid-range Android handsets, it has been slowly preparing to make another run at the high end of the market. Following ZTE's export ban last year, which had the result of blocking the Chinese manufacturer from accessing its U.S. supply chain (sound familiar?), the company lost its position as a top-five U.S. phone vendor and Motorola slid in at number four.
The Motorola RAZR (2019) is still coming this year
The lower price tag, name recognition, and nostalgia factors could help the RAZR become important to the ultimate success of the niche foldable market in the U.S. Samsung recognizes this and is reportedly working on another foldable phone similar to the RAZR. This device will open up from a square to produce a 6.7-inch display with a small punch-hole selfie snapper. A dual-camera setup faces the rear when the phone is open and the front when it is closed. Right now, the device is being called the Galaxy Fold 2 and is expected to be thinner and more importantly, less expensive.
It might take years for the public to embrace foldable phones due to not only the price tags but also the fragile nature of these devices. As builds improve and prices drop, foldables can join with 5G to give the struggling smartphone market a second wind.