Report: Motorola plans to release a new foldable Razr this year

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Motorola's folding Razr smartphone is getting delayed due to high demand.
Image: Motorola

Motorola reportedly intends to release a second-generation foldable Razr smartphone later this year. The new model will feature an improved chipset, 5G connectivity, and greatly enhanced image capturing capability.

The Lenovo subsidiary launched the first iteration of its vertically collapsible handset in February.

2.0 Foldable Razor Technical Specifications

According to XDA Developers, the new version of the Razr will come equipped with a Snapdragon 765 processor and Snapdragon X52 modem. The handset will also boast 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage and a 2,845 mAh battery. The second-generation mobile device will also house a 20-megapixel front-facing camera and a 48-megapixel rear-facing Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 image sensor.

The website noted the new incarnation of the foldable Razr would come preloaded with Android 10 but did not mention any display specifications or pricing information.

By comparison, Motorola’s first flexible handset featured a 6.2-inch screen, 6 GB Snapdragon 710 CPU, 128 GB in memory, 16-megapixel external camera, and 5-megapixel internal sensor, and no 5G connectivity. As a result, many reviewers praised the smartphone’s innovative design but slammed its middle-of-the-road hardware. Tech writers also took issue with the foldable mobile’s $1,499 price point.

The Verge notes Lenovo South Africa general manager Thibault Dousson said the new Razr would go on sale in September.

Will the New Razr Flop or Thrive?

It is difficult to determine the prospects for Motorola’s second foldable smartphone because so many unpredictable factors are involved.

Despite its lackluster hardware, the first modern-era Razr received so many preorders, its manufacturer delayed its release. In addition, Samsung sold nearly half a million $1,980 Galaxy Fold flexible handsets last year because of consumer enthusiasm about its unconventional form factor. The South Korean conglomerate also moved 400,000 of the Galaxy Z Flip, its second foldable smartphone sold at a price point of $1380, in just two months.

Those sales numbers and their pricing show the public has an affinity for expensive novelty in mobile device design.

However, all of the above-listed handsets found success before the coronavirus pandemic. In the post-coronavirus landscape, consumers may not feel as keen to shell out $1,200-1,400 for a new phone. Indeed, Omdia recently reported the iPhone 11 ranked as the best-selling phone of the first quarter of 2020. But the next three slots on the list are claimed by budget mobile devices made by Samsung and Xiaomi.

Industry watchers have noted the iPhone 11’s popularity is due to Apple launching it at $50 less than its predecessor. Also, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple would ship 12 million to 14 million units of its mid-tier iPhone SE in Q2. If affordability has become a greater smartphone buyer priority than novelty, Motorola’s new Razr might underperform at launch.

That said, the smartphone maker might see decent handset sales for its new flagship given its release date. A mid or late September debut would make the Razr available ahead of the holiday season and after the world has had more time to adjust to COVID-19. Provided the manufacturer can price the handset effectively, it could become a major hit.

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