Motorola Razr is coming back and it's gunning for the Samsung Galaxy X

The iconic Razr name could be emblazoned on a very different kind of 'clamshell' phone

Motorola Razr vs Samsung Galaxy X

Motorola is working on a folding phone which could well carry the iconic Motorola Razr branding. It recently filed a patent for a foldable smartphone and in February 2017 its CEO strongly hinted that the the firm wants to refresh and reintroduce the Razr design.

If brought to market, this new handset would be in direct competition with the rumoured Samsung Galaxy X, folding iPhone and Huawei's foldable phone.

Now, filing for a patent doesn't necessarily mean the phone will ever go into production, but there's a second thread to this story that strongly suggests that a) Motorola is preparing to launch a folding phone and b) that phone is going to be a reboot of the much-loved Motorola Razr, but one that won't look like the original.

The Motorola Razr originally came out in 2004, with a cool clamshell design and glowing keypad. It proved a massive hit, selling over 50 million units by July 2006. But by 2010, despite several Razr updates and reboots, tastes had changed as people moved to larger-screened phones such as the iPhone, which first launched in 2007. And lo, the Razr was abandoned.

But speaking to TechRadar in February 2017, Yang Yuanqing, the CEO of Lenovo (which owns the Motorola brand) revealed an interesting bit of news. He said: "With the new technology, particularly foldable screens, I think you will see more and more innovation on our smartphone design. So hopefully what you just described [the Motorola Razr brand] will be developed or realised very soon". 

TechRadar speculated as to whether we would see an updated Motorola Razr in its original form factor, an entirely new design with Razr branding, or both.

That question now appears to have been answered by Motorola. Judging by the patent application, the 2019 Razr will feature a very new take on the iconic clamshell, with a large foldable touchscreen that, when folded, will be of similar size to a regular phone screen, but which opens out into a square-ish tablet.

This would make perfect sense, as while the original Razr design may be remembered with fond nostalgia, that tiny screen would soon prove impractical for today's applications.

Motorola foldable phone concept

An illustration from Motorola's patent application

(Image credit: WIPO)

Lead image credit: Getty

Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of and PetsRadar.