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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The Motorola One Action Wants to Be a GoPro Smartphone


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Motorola essentially invented the cell phone and wowed everyone with the Razr in the early 2000s, but it’s had a harder time innovating in the smartphone era. There have been super-slim Moto phones, customizable phones, and modular phones, but some of the company’s most successful are the safer mid-range devices like the newly announced Motorola One Action. The gimmick with this phone is its built-in “action camera.”

At first glance, the Motorola One Action looks a lot like most of Moto’s recent One-series phones. It’s your standard glass sandwich design with a hole-punch front-facing camera instead of the display notch in other Moto devices. The bottom bezel is a bit larger than the top because of the decision to stick with a cheaper LCD panel — OLEDs can bend back at the bottom to save space on display connectors. This is a 6.3-inch 1080p screen with an extremely tall 21:9 ratio like some of Sony’s recent phones. 

The big selling point is the camera setup. There’s a regular 12MP camera and a 5MP depth sensor, which is pretty standard. The twist is the 16MP wide-angle sensor for 1080p video capture. Unlike the other sensors, this one is rotated 90-degrees. So, you can hold the phone vertically and shoot video in landscape. 

It used to be taboo to shoot portrait video (Google’s camera app even used to nag you about it), but apps like Snapchat have made it acceptable. And admittedly, holding your phone in portrait orientation is more comfortable for one-handed use. Motorola pitches the sideways sensor as a GoPro-like action camera in your phone. Although, the field of view isn’t as good as many standalone action cams — it’s just 117 degrees. 

Inside, the Motorola One Action runs a Samsung Exynos 9609 processor (an unusual choice) and 4GB of RAM. You also get 128GB of included storage (using the faster UFS standard) and a microSD card slot. It runs the Android One build of Android 9 Pie, but it might not be the same in all regions. 

The Motorola One Action launches today in select markets like Brazil and Mexico. It’s also out in several European countries. Pricing starts at €259 ($287). It will come to the rest of Europe, along with Latin America and Asia, later this month. The US and Canada will get the Motorola One Action as well — some past Motorola One devices never launched in either country. US and Canadian buyers can buy the Motorola One Action unlocked in October, but there’s no official pricing yet.

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The 5G Moto Mod Is Now Compatible With the Moto Z2 Force From 2017


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Motorola was technically the first company to offer a 5G phone, but it wasn’t actually a new phone. Its 5G Moto Mod on Verizon added 5G capability to the Moto Z3 earlier this year, and it later expanded to the newer Moto Z4. Now, Motorola and Verizon have expanded 5G Mod support in the other direction, all the way back to the Moto Z2 Force. 

By most measures, the Moto Z2 Force was the company’s last true flagship Z-series phone. Last year’s Moto Z3 had a lower resolution screen and hardware that was already a year out of date. The Moto Z4 stepped down to mid-range specs, indicating Motorola’s lack of confidence in Mods going forward. However, Verizon is extremely invested in the 5G Mod to promote its burgeoning 5G network. 

The Moto Z2 Force sports a 1440p OLED with a shatter-proof coating, dual cameras, and a Snapdragon 835 chip. It works with all of Motorola’s Mod attachments which feature batteries, speakers, a projector, a camera, and more. Motorola hasn’t launched a new Mod since the 5G collaboration with Verizon in early 2019. Since the Z2 Force was shatter-proof, there are probably still a fair number of them floating around. Now, they can get 5G. 

The Moto Z2 Force is almost indistinguishable from other Moto Mod-capable phones.

Android device makers have a hard time updating phones that are more than a year or two old, so how can this new piece of hardware work with a circa-2017 phone? The 5G Moto Mod includes almost all the components you’d find in a phone — it’s not just a 5G modem in a case. It has a Snapdragon 855 system-on-a-chip (SoC), the same thing powering phones like the Galaxy Note 10. However, it’s not there to crunch bits on the phone. You just need the 855 to support the Qualcomm X50 5G modem that’s also packed inside the Mod. There are also multiple antennas and a battery. 

The 5G Moto Mod attaches to the back of the company’s Verizon-branded phones only, giving them access to super-fast millimeter wave 5G, but only in a few cities. The range on millimeter wave 5G is also very limited, and it doesn’t pass through walls. So, you need to have line-of-sight to the cell tower to use the 5G Mod or any of Verizon’s newer 5G phones. That said, it’s cool that owners of a phone from 2017 can get 5G for a relative pittance compared to the $1,200+ asking price for new 5G phones.

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Motorola has GoPro aspirations for its latest budget handset – gpgmail


Good on Motorola for keeping it interesting. At the end of the day, I’m not sure how large a market there is for a budget “action camera” phone, but in a world of samey electronics, at least the Lenovo-owned brand continues to shade in interesting corners.

Honestly, I’m surprised more phones didn’t attempt to position themselves as action devices in the heyday of the GoPro. For most consumers, that trend has largely blown over, and for GoPro itself, it’s become tough to compete with cheap knockoffs and the recent entrance of DJI into the market.

The “action” part of the Motorola One Action is largely a reference to the three-camera array on the rear — specifically the 117-degree, ultra side angle that offers a more GoPro-style shot. What’s really interesting here (and could have broad implications) is the decision to change the sensor’s orientation. Holding the phone vertically (wrong) results in landscape videos (right).

And listen, I realize that there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to shoot phone video, but come on, let’s be real for a minute. Those bars are a really awful way to watch a YouTube video.

The handset is pretty much a standard budget Moto device in every other way. It arrives in Brazil, Mexico and parts of Europe today. The U.S. and Canada will get their hands on it in October. Expect it to be priced under $300.


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