There are a handful of devices that are veritable icons when it comes to mobile phones, which most users had as their first phone, or remember their parents carrying one before they were old enough to have their own. The Nokia 3310 probably pops in your mind immediately, followed immediately by the Motorola RAZR.
Despite all-glass smartphones replacing the nearly indestructible plastic and aluminum phones today, cellphone makers are cashing in on the popularity of devices like the RAZR, the 3310 and 8110 from The Matrix movies trilogy. Nokia did that with its redesigned 3310 and 8110, which with a fair price and impressive specs has managed to carve out a significant niche in both the affordable device market, as well as the nostalgia-fueled user who just HAS to have the banana phone Neo used to exit The Matix or make a joke about how their Nokia 3310 could stop a bullet.
Lenovo, Motorola’s parent company, took an entirely different direction with their planned RAZR model. Instead of focusing on the affordable end, Motorola decided to incorporate this year’s most anticipated smartphone feature: foldable screens. If any device was meant for such an innovation, it’d definitely be the RAZR: the most iconic flip phone of the early 2000s.
This isn’t Motorola’s first attempt to revive the RAZR brand, with the 2011 Droid RAZR, which was not a flip phone, but a more traditional medium-range Android released with Verizon. Motorola did keep true to its thinness factor though, and the Droid RAZR was the slimmest smartphone of its time.
Reports indicate that the RAZR with the foldable screen will probably sell for $1500, which is a steep price and a far cry from what we’re used to from Motorola. However, with flagship smartphones regularly punching over $1000 in recent years, and considering the RAZR will feature a foldable screen, Lenovo seem confident that customers will be willing to shell out a premium price to have the latest smartphone technology innovation, and to top things off the device will be packaged in the vintage cellphone design that 130 million users carried throughout its lifetime.
2019 will be a cut-throat year in smartphone design, with growth in sales plateauing for most manufacturers and an expected boost to Samsung’s Galaxy S series that has remained without any drastic upgrades, and the upcoming iPhone whose latest iterations were a disappointment and users are expecting something big to compensate with the newest model out later this year.
Whether the new foldable RAZR will manage to compete with other manufacturers remains to be seen, but Motorola’s bet appears to be a smart one: combining iconic design and nostalgia, with the cutting edge of modern technology. The only question is, will users be willing to part ways with $1500?