The number of brands selling foldable phones has started to rise, but sales of these still niche devices haven’t increased significantly yet. There are a number of factors contributing to this slow adoption, including the hesitation to invest in a still unproven and fragile technology. Perhaps a more important reason, however, is the prohibitive price of these smartphones, with the cheapest going for above your average flagship. Making foldable phones more accessible could also help make them more common, and it seems that Motorola will be attempting to address that problem, but it will be making one critical change to reach that price point, one that loses one of the new Razr’s biggest appeal.
The RAZR is one of Motorola’s most iconic phones, at least for those old enough to remember the original non-smart feature phone. Its razor-thin profile, from which it gets its name, was revolutionary even in the age of flip phones. The company revived that name back in 2019, and it also transformed the design into a foldable clamshell. Although it is hardly the only player in that arena, the Motorola Razr still has one important feature that none of its rivals have.
The new and foldable Razr has one of the biggest external screens as far as clamshells go. More than that, however, that screen can also run the full Android interface rather than a small custom UI with limited functionality. It is indeed cramped, but it at least gives owners the freedom to use it the way they want rather than constricting them to the manufacturer’s vision.
It seems that the Motorola Razr 2023 will be singing a different tune, though. It might even go by a different name. Based on renders generated from leaked information, this foldable clamshell will do away with the larger cover display. Instead, the dual cameras on its back will sit beside a small rectangular screen no taller than those cameras. Naturally, this would suggest that there will also be a reduction in capabilities, limiting its use to displaying notifications and the like.
Fortunately, this Razr “Lite” is expected to be accompanied by a Razr+ flagship model that would hopefully retain the foldable phone’s key feature. In exchange for that loss in functionality, the Razr Lite is expected to start with a lower price tag. How low that price will be is still unknown, but it better be accessible, or else Motorola will have a dud in its hands.