Last month, Motorola unveiled the relaunch of its classic Motorola Razr. The foldable smartphone was big on retro style, with its cool clamshell design and huge bottom bezel aping the flip-phone mechanic of old. The new Razr isn't actually out yet, with European consumers eyeing an early 2020 release. However, a recently-uncovered patent shows the company's already moving on it its next clamshell.
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Discovered by Dutch news outlet LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab), Motorola filed a patent in 2018 that was approved last month. The patent, titled "Foldable Phone with Side Sensors and Gesture Control", shows diagrams and details the technology that has been approved for... well, a foldable phone with side sensors and gesture control. It looks like Motorola is moving beyond nostalgia to create a genuinely modern foldable phone.
The phone's aforementioned side sensors are said to have "a variety of touch sensors disposed along the housing portion; a module implemented at least partially in hardware and configured to determine touch sensor physical proximity and to determine that the foldable device is in open mode (single sensor mode) or closed mode (cumulative sensor mode). Two sensors can be combined and mapped to one or more functionalities."
A fingerprint sensor in screen and two touch sensors to use more exaggerated swiping gestures round out the new technology. Motorola seems to be looking to use pressure-sensitive sensors in place of traditional buttons and shortcuts, which will change or deactivate when the phone is in closed mode to avoid triggering them accidentally. A lack of the bezel means the phone's horizontal fold is placed exactly in the middle of the screen, matching the design of the vertical Samsung Galaxy Fold.
We'll be waiting a while for this new, updated Razr: the first one has yet to debut, meaning the next iteration of the modern flip-phone will be competing against a raft of copycats. Samsung and Xiaomi are already rumoured to have clamshells on the way, albeit those are likely to be China-exclusive. We'll know more for sure once the Razr has officially launched, and more word begins to leak on the sequel.
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