Once one of the big names in mobile phones, Motorola has tried all sorts to try and become a top-tier manufacturer in the age of the smartphone. Unfortunately, brilliantly executed ideas like MotoMods — magnetic attachments for certain handsets to give them extra capabilities — were largely met with a shrug, and its best results have come from the cheap and cheerful Moto G line.
But the company isn’t giving up on the unconventional if two planned designs revealed by the prolific leaker Evan Blass prove to be real.
Over the weekend, Blass wrote two articles for 91mobiles outlining the Lenovo owned company’s plans. The first is the Moto Razr 3 — the third generation of a flip phone series that could uncharitably (but accurately) be described as a poor man’s Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
But it sounds like Motorola is actually taking steps to improve the weak spots. Not only will it feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset (or maybe the upcoming Plus version, Blass says), but it’ll come with 8/12GB RAM and 256/512GB of onboard storage. The latter point shouldn’t come as a big surprise, given Lenovo’s Chen Jin has previously stated that all the company’s future phones would have a 512GB option.
So far, so Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, but this is where Motorola could finally get the upper hand at the third time of asking. Blass reports that it’ll have a dual-camera array, with a 50MP, f/1.8 primary sensor and a combination 13MP wide-angle and macro lens. Narcissists will no doubt be delight in the promised 32MP selfie camera, too.
Samsung’s foldables have typically had two weak spots: battery life and camera performance. The Z Flip 3, for comparison, has two 12MP rear cameras and a 10MP front-facing lens. If the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 4 doesn’t massively up the ante, it could be advantage Motorola — if it doesn’t go crazy on the pricing, that is.
We’ll find out in “late July or early August”, Blass says, with the handset launching first in China before expanding to other markets afterwards.
The second reveal is something that doesn’t have a fixed release date and may well never see the light of day — but it’s nice to know that Motorola is open to experimentation. Codenamed Felix like a secret-agent cat, the in-development handset has a screen that can roll out to give you an extra third when required.
It doesn’t sound a million miles away from some of Samsung’s experiments — or indeed another couple of concept phones that didn’t ever get released from Oppo and LG. The difference here is that the phone will apparently grow in height, not in width: in other words, it’s a compact handset that will grow into a full sized smartphone only when actually required.
It is, Blass says, in “very early stages of development” so it’s “at least a year away from retail, if not more.” So probably not your next phone, but maybe the one after? Assuming it doesn’t, like so many rollable phones before it, end up abandoned as a nice idea in theory but underwhelming in practice.