Verizon's foldable Motorola RAZR 2019 specs and release price - preview of the new clamshell

Verizon's foldable Motorola RAZR 2019 specs and release price - preview of the new clamshell
This year was supposed to be a paradigm-shifting one, where we go from the plebeian flat and rigid phone screens to getting a taste of the future where we will fold and roll and unfurl like the benevolent video-guzzlers we are. While that didn't really materialize with Samsung or Huawei just yet, there is another hope on the horizon - a Motorola RAZR resurrection in the modern foldable format of 2019, destined to appear on Verizon later on in the year.
The first bendy future-fetchers - Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X - turned out to be... how to euphemise it... uninspiring. The two foldable phones from brand-name manufacturers that actually reached a retail stage are big bulky contraptions that look and feel more like prototypes than polished rule-breakers, and both charge about two grand for the early adopter privilege. The sad part is that they also behave like prototypes, and Samsung had to pull the first batch in order to fix the issues that arose from using the preview units it sent out.

There are other players than Samsung or Huawei that will be entering the nascent foldable phone market this year, though, like Xiaomi or Motorola, and while the big names brawl, they might actually turn out to be very competitive with prices and design concepts, like the tri-fold from Xiaomi you see below.



The one we are waiting on with bated breath, however, is said foldable Motorola RAZR which has been bandied about in rumors since last summer, and whose existence the Wall Street Journal confirmed back in January. Since then we've heard quite a bit more about its price, specs and release date, while Motorola has filed plenty of patents on its possible form, so we are wrapping up everything that is known about the RAZR 2019 so far.



Motorola RAZR 2019 design and specs


The whole premise of foldable phones was, until a few years ago, to turn the 4"+ phone screens of the time into 7"+ ones without having to lug around a giant phone, and it took Samsung seven years to end up with a retail device on that concept. The problem that is evident with the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X is that they are giant phones. Regardless of whether you fold them inwards or outwards, bending the phones around the vertical axis makes them thick, tall, and uncomfortable to carry around in pockets.

Samsung itself may have noticed this controversy, and a rumored 6.7" Galaxy Fold heir will eventually bend around the horizontal axis, and will reportedly have just a small 1" screen on the outside for date/time/notification icons. That's quite a clever and eventually cheaper to produce approach than the current Fold concept.

The Galaxy Fold is more in the tablet realm when unfurled, while its successor is supposed to be a fairly compact clamshell when tucked in your pocket. When opened, the 6.7" display is exactly the size of the one on the Galaxy S10 5G. That's more like what we imagined a foldable handset would bring to the table. 

Folding on the shorter, horizontal axis, would have the resulting phone be more compact, and that's why Motorola's rumored foldable phone is tipped to be exactly what it says on the tin - a true spiritual successor to the RAZR clamshell, but with an invisible hinge on the interior. There exist two rumors about the size of the display when unfurled - 6.5" or 6.2" - and if you are wondering what the smaller diagonal would look like, go no further that this here prototype designed by Sharp to showcase its bendy 6.2 inches OLED display panel.


At the low-for-foldables $1500 price point one shouldn't expect 855+ chipset and QHD+ resolutions. The RAZR's display is tipped to bang a resolution of 876 x 2142 pixels, returning a rather tall aspect ratio of 22:9. A much smaller secondary panel on the outside of the smartphone is said to sport a 4:3 aspect ratio with a humble 800 x 600 resolution. There is a whiff of possibility for a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner contained within the Motorola logo but we'll believe that when we see it. 

Camera and chipset specs, as well as memory and storage amounts are still unknown, though we would be surprised if they are top-of-the-line, given the lack of space and the eventual price tag.

Sharp's approach in the video demo above is closer to what we imagined a foldable handset would be - an old-fashioned flip phone that has an uninterrupted screen where the hinge would be, making it compact to carry, and giving you a huge display when you need it. 

As to how will this be achieved, fret not, as we already know that the Korean company Kolon, which supplied the flexible cover for the first foldable device announced, Royole's FlexPai, will be rising from the ashes of Samsung's neglect by equipping Motorola's upcoming flexible RAZR.

Motorola is said to aim for about 200,000 RAZR phones in total which is a decent batch, and Kolon says they are "currently supplying transparent PI samples to global display companies. However, it is difficult to confirm whether our products were used for certain devices." The PI film is attached to the OLED screen underneath with an extremely durable and flexible adhesive and which should allow the package to bend at the middle by stretching a bit but not coming unglued and doing this many times while retaining its original size and form.

Kolon may be the main supplier of flexible cover film for the foldables of Xiaomi, Huawei and Motorola, and perhaps even Samsung, whose Japanese supplier Sumitomo was hit by the geopolitical issues between the two countries. The flexible OLED panel of the RAZR itself, however, isn't coming from Samsung, but from the Chinese display maker AUO, to which Kolon has already supplied samples of its PI film to fuse together.


Motorola RAZR 2019 price and release


All in all, the latest tips confirm that the foldable Motorola RAZR is in advanced stages of development, and we can't wait to take it for a spin if/when it lands on Verizon. There is no other handset more suitable for the bendy treatment than the ultrapopular clamshell of yesteryear.

The Galaxy Fold is expected to cost just short of $2000 again, with the 5G version going for more, while the Mate X that will ship with 5G modem from the get-go is pegged at 2299 EUR. The RAZR, however, will have the smallest screen of them all Gumby phones, at 6.2 inches, the most logical bend - around a horizontal axis - and the lowest price of about $1500, concurrent with the price tag we are hearing for Xiaomi's foldable. 

The Galaxy Fold release date is pegged for September 18, Huawei's Mate X could beat it to the punch as it passed its 5G connectivity certifications already, while the foldable RAZR will most likely see a late fall release, so as not to clash with the big guns. Any takers?

Related phones

Razr (2019)
  • Display 6.2" 876 x 2142 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Octa-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2730 mAh

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16 Comments

1. User123456789

Posts: 910; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Better than tablets wannabe phones.

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7361; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think the Motorola foldable is cool and all. But when it unfolds, it's still the length of current smartphones. Sure it goes smaller than current smartphones. But for $1500, then I would want to do more than a smartphone. Like the smartphone to a tablet for me is most definitely preferable, and I am sure most others would prefer that as well. I would like to have a full browser instead of a mobile version, or full email, spreadsheet, and more tablet size. If I want the smartphone size again with mobile sized apps, then fold it back. I was hoping that Samsung was going to add a pen. If they can get a foldable with a pen, then they can take my money.

3. TBomb

Posts: 1481; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I see use cases for both preferences. Some people don't want/require a tablet to be with them, in which case this moto option is better. Users like you who would like the full browser and stuff would go with the current Samsung approach. It would be great if both styles become popular (and cheaper) because at the end of the day, it's about using tech that makes us happy.

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7361; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I agree, but since the Motorola unfolded is the size of current smartphones, and at a price $1500. Plus it doesn't have flagship specs. I think it will be more of a niche until the prices of these displays drop drastically in price. Where as the Samsung and Huawei foldable versions are a smartphone as well as a tablet, and have flagship specs. Right now price is a huge factor for both. But to me, if I am laying out $1500 - $2000, then I better get flagship specs, in a smartphone and/or a tablet.

8. TBomb

Posts: 1481; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I'd argue it's at least almost flagship material. Not sure about the screen, but the 855+ is as flagship as you can get right now. If the specs end up being a high-level midrange device, I could see Motorola trying to beat Samsung on the price. You do have a good point though, if your spending the price of 2 flagships, you want the device to be able to be 2 devices in one. Not just a regular flagship size with a smaller footprint

10. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

I think we're looking at two totally different concepts here. First, the one that you prefer which has a large phone that converts to a small tablet. The second is the tiny pocketable phone which converts to a phone with a large display. Outside of the fact that both will use revolutionary seamless folding displays, they are 2 completely different concepts. Both will have their own markets and could eve be called by different names. I'm more of a phone guy, so the tiny Motorola horizontal concept is very interesting to me as a daily driver phone. The phone becoming a tablet is awesome too, but neither the Sammy or HW devices are small enough folded to be a daily driver to me. Each is more like a squarish tablet that can be squeezed into a pocket and converted from "portable" to "mobile". I hope Motorola knocks this out of the park. The others too for that matter. Exciting times are back

16. matistight

Posts: 986; Member since: May 13, 2009

Right? I would buy this for design alone, but sub $1k. No reason for this to costs over $1k (which could happen after the first gen sales to pay for R&D)

4. ijuanp03

Posts: 594; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Motorola understand that we don't need bigger screens instead, have the same screen in a smaller form factor hence, folding it.

5. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2186; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Can't seem to shake the past success of 2001-2004...LOL! So 2019 will bring more success with this launch even priced at an outrageous $1500. Ouch...

7. Valdomero

Posts: 675; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

It looks so cool, almost futuristic, but the future is now! really awesome tech. Now, why they don't add a layer of glass where the screen doesn't fold and keep plastic where it folds? It may be more difficult and expensive, but at least it'll protect most of the phone's screen

9. Junito

Posts: 144; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

Interesting, $1500 for an experimental/ prototype device.

11. kopkiwi

Posts: 102; Member since: May 31, 2013

"The first bendy future-fetchers - Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X - turned out to be... how to euphemise it... uninspiring." How much did Moto pay you to write such obvious rubbish?

14. Tukur36

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 21, 2019

Every time our pet companies are criticised we tend to feel bad. But it is because of these criticism that the companies improve and turn out better products. I'm sure the writer has not been paid. Only expressing an enlightened opinion.

12. CDexterWard

Posts: 75; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

As much as I'd jump all over this, it's sadly at least 2-3 years away from coming down to a reasonable price. That's if the current rate of phone inflation doesn't continue to spiral out of control.

13. Tukur36

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 21, 2019

At the risk of being labelled as a pessimist, I'd say 6.2 inches gives no comparative advantage. Most people can hold 6.4 inch phones comfortably. Let's go back to the drawing board again.

15. insat

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

Read this article looking for specs and release price, got a regurgitation of tye speculatiin and alleged buzz. The title lied, and as a result I read the article. My trust in phone arena has dropped a fat notch.

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