Folding Moto Razr Might Launch in December for $1,500


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We can be fairly certain at this point that Motorola is working on a folding phone. There have been some telling patents, and executives have made cryptic statements that stop just short of admitting the folding Razr exists. A new report claims the phone is currently on track for a late 2019 release, but it won’t be cheap. 

The new folding Razr will allegedly borrow from the company’s iconic pre-smartphone clamshell, which set sales records when it launched years ago. Instead of a small screen and a keypad when you flip it open, the new Razr will have a 6.2-inch flexible OLED panel. When it’s closed, you can check notifications and the time with the small external display, and when someone gets on your bad side on a call, you can snap that clamshell closed. Just like the old days!

A new report from Dutch site LetsGoDigital claims Motorola will announce the phone in December before launching it first in the US. In January, European buyers will be able to get their hands on the company’s first folding phone. However, Motorola is planning on a $1,500 price tag. In Europe, the folding Razr will reportedly cost the same number of Euros — the equivalent of $1,662. 

A Motorola patent showing a Razr-style folding phone.

Past Razr leaks have pointed to rather modest specs compared with other folding phones. The device allegedly runs on the Snapdragon 710, a chip rarely seen in the US. It would come with 4 or 6GB of RAM and either 64 or 128GB of storage. The display looks to be lower resolution with a taller aspect ratio than usual: 2142 x 876. The battery would also be small for a phone of its size — just 2,730mAh — because of the folding body. 

That’s a lot of money for a phone, especially one that’s mostly just a quirky retro novelty. Unlike the Galaxy Fold or Mate X, the Razr wouldn’t change the way you use a phone.SEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce It would just make the phone smaller when it’s in your pocket. We don’t even know if Motorola can work around the engineering issues that have threatened the Galaxy Fold since its near-launch earlier this year. Samsung retooled the folding phone to fix numerous screen defects that cropped up in early reviews, and it’s finally scheduled for release next month. The Fold will cost more than the Razr at $2,000, but it does have more potential to move the industry forward.

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Huawei’s Folding Phone Delayed Until Late This Year


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Huawei’s no good, very bad year continues to get worse. The company came into 2019 with a growing market share and some impressive technology. Huawei unveiled a folding phone just a few weeks after Samsung, and most would agree the Huawei mate X looked much sleeker than the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Now, Huawei is staring down the barrel of a politically motivated technology export ban, and the Mate X is taking longer than expected to finish. The company now says the phone won’t launch until late this year. 

The Mate X was the second “real” folding Android phone. There have been uncountable trade show demos and sketchy developers devices like the FlexPai, but Huawei promised to sell the Mate X to consumers. And it looked gorgeous, unlike the clunky Galaxy Fold. When flattened out, the phone offers an 8-inch display. The Mate X folded outward, so the single flexible OLED covered the front and back of the device. 

Huawei initially wanted to launch the Mate X in June, which was an ambitious timeline that would have put it up against Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. Of course, the Galaxy Fold famously disintegrated in reviews’ hands last spring. Samsung hurriedly recalled the devices and set to work retooling the device, which still hasn’t launched. 

While Huawei never specifically cited the Galaxy Fold’s issues, it delayed the launch of the Mate X soon after Samsung pulled the device. At the time, Huawei floated September as the new launch timeframe, but the company has announced at an event in its sprawling Chinese HQ that, no, the phone will not be ready next month. 

633956-huawei-mate-x-foldable-phone

Huawei continues to work on devices like foldable phones, even as its devices are all-but-shut-out of the US market.

The company still thinks the device will come out this year and leaves the door open to a “launch between September and November 2019.” The later timeframe seems more likely from what Huawei representatives have said when not restrained by PR. Part of the issue may be Huawei’s relationship with Google, which hangs in limbo as the government drags its feet on granting special export licenses. 

It sounds like Huawei is trying to give itself some breathing room as it decides how to approach the Fold. It’s not even certain that Samsung’s design tweaks will make that device sufficiently robust, and Huawei doesn’t need any more negative press. The last thing Huawei needs is the president making fun of its broken phone on Twitter.

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