Motorola Razr 2019 Renders Show Why the Flip Phone Is Making a Comeback

This could be more than a throwback launch.

Yanko Design / Sarang Sheth

The future of smartphone design is starting to coalesce around foldable displays. The most notable player in the emerging space is Samsung, who plans to launch a two-in-one tablet and smartphone concept with its upcoming Galaxy F release. But Motorola is also reportedly using this surging trend to stage a comeback for its famed Razr flip phone, possibly as early as this month, according to some reports. Now, a new series of renders have imagined what this new Razr could look like after more than a decade since the product line entered its prime.

The exterior of the device appears to be highly reminiscent of its clamshell ancestor, but the inside is expected to be absolutely dazzling. News outlet Yanko Design created 3D renders of the Razr based on the World Intellectual Property Organization patent of the device that was first publicized in 2018. This resulted in some of the most eye-popping teasers of the phone yet, but it also has some glaring flaws that may make it a tough sell with mobile reviewers.

The rumored Razr's display looks stunning, but where's the front-facing camera?

Yanko Design / Sarang Sheth

The most compelling part of the render is the stunning display, which offers a 19:8 aspect ratio that spans the entire length of the device when it’s opened up, along with its bottom chin and small top notch. When closed, it becomes roughly the size of a Post-It note with a small, square display that seems mostly designed for displaying notifications when the phone’s not in use.

The drawback? The render depicts a single camera lens found directly beneath the notification display, but there were no signs of a front-facing camera. The 2004 Razr didn’t include a selfie camera either, but a front lens has since become a baseline mobile phone feature. Not being able to easily take selfies with the phones feels like it could be a deal-breaker in the Instagram age, especially considering the eye-watering price tag it’s expected to launch with.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Razr’s successor could cost $1,500 when it hits shelves. The Galaxy F is expected to cost anywhere between $1,900 to $2,500. In that sense, the Razr could seem like something of a bargain for early adopters, though the lack of a front-facing camera is unlikely to be the only shortcoming.

Is a long smartphone screen worth $1,500?

Yanko Design / Sarang Sheth

All of the other foldable phone concepts that have been teased so far present them as smartphone-tablet hybrids that users can expand when the user wants to watch a video or close up to make a call. It’s not yet clear whether the new Razr will be able to seamlessly transition between the two orientations, as Huawei’s did in a recent demo, a feature that’s also expected from Samsung’s offering.

To truly capitalize on the trend, the new Razr will have to be a truly multi-use device. Otherwise, it will quickly be supplanted by the many other foldable smartphone launches that are already expected in 2019.