By Charlie Duffield
Motorola has revamped its iconic slim Razr flip phone 15 years after the first revolutionary device was released.
The new edition has a 6.2in screen which cleverly folds inwards when closed, with an additional, smaller screen to show notifications on its outer shell.
The mobile phone can be bought for $1,500 in the US from December 26, and will be available elsewhere at a later date.
Usually phones get smaller as they develop, but the new Razr is actually 1mm thicker when the screen is folded than the original Razr.
In 2018 the actor Daniel Day Lewis was spotted still using a flip phone, but analysts are not predicting that the device will change global smartphone sales.
IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo told the BBC: “The question everyone will be asking is whether this foldable device will change Motorola fortunes, because their market share is extremely small. Honestly, I don’t think it will."
However, Ben Wood from CCS Insight said: “The new Motorola Razr has the potential to bring some excitement back into the market.”
The folding screen
The new Razr has been described by Motorola as an “impossible” feat of engineering.
Glenn Schultz, the firm’s head of product development, told the BBC: “Our zero-gap hinge allowed us to bring to market a device that folds completely in half. Many didn’t believe we could do it.”
However, there was a clue at the start of the year that Motorola intended to bring their first foldable device into the world; their application for a patent was uncovered by mobile phone news blog 91 Mobiles.
Whilst other manufacturers like Samsung beat them to it in the end, their Galaxy Fold was plagued with difficulties and concerns around durability.
The new Razr is the first of its kind to make use a foldable screen, and it’s also water resistant.
The outer screen, referred to as the Quick View display, allows users to view notifications, reply to messages, make contactless payments and take calls.
A blast from the past
Back in 2004, Motorola released their original Razr with some assistance from Paris Hilton and David Beckham, who were pictured holding up the device, with side-angle shots used to emphasis how slim the Razr was.
Their mobile devices business rocketed, and by 2006 they were beating Nokia to sell a quarter of the world’s mobile phones.
Mr Wood recollected: “The Motorola Razr V3 was an extraordinary device.
“It was a true fashion icon, initially in silver aircraft grade aluminium. Later there were a whole spectrum of colours, notably the highly successful pink Razr and also the memorable Dolce & Gabbana version - which at the time cost an eye-watering £400.”
However, then the iPhone arrived.
Motorola’s market share fell rapidly from 21.4% in 2007 to 13.9% in 2008, and today is only 2%.
Do you want to feel the flip? The new Razr flip phone is certainly not cheap but its definitely more pocket-sized, and time will tell if it’s able to revive Motorala’s share in the market.