In recent years, Motorola has focused on affordable smartphones – it has the entry-level Moto E range, the popular Moto G range, then the mid-range Motorola One line and finally the once flagship, but now mid-high tier, Z series.
However, it appears Motorola is readying a return to the true flagship level of the market.
The revelation appeared during a media briefing for the new Moto G8 Plus, E6 Play and One Macro, which TechRadar attended.
Motorola used graphs to clarify how the product lines (E, G, One and Z) stack against each other, but there was an entry labelled 'Flagship' that sat above all the other devices.
There's no confirmation of what this handset is, or what its specs will be. All that's known is Motorola appears to be moving in a direction where it will once again produce a more premium device - something which could potentially rival the likes of the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10.
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A return to form?
However, as we entered 2018 it became clear Motorola was starting to re-position its Z line. The Moto Z3 packed a chipset which was a generation out of date, a full HD screen while flagships from other firms were using QHD resolutions, and a price point which comfortably moved it out of the premium tier.
Fast forward to 2019 and the newly launched Moto Z4, which landed in the US but didn't reach markets such as the UK, is firmly a mid-tier handset with a Snapdragon 675 chipset, 4GB of RAM, just the one rear camera and a price tag around half that of the top-tier phones from Samsung, Apple and Huawei.
There's certainly a gap then at the top of Motorola's range, and the indication from the firm that it's looking to fill it is good news for consumers, as we could soon have another high-end player back in the market.
Whether or not Motorola decides to bring its modular MotoMods to its new flagship proposition remains to be seen. It's unlikely, as the connector required for the current mods restricts handset design and we'd expect Motorola to push a new direction with a brand new range.
A new direction
When we asked Motorola to clarify the comment, a spokesperson said it was "a non-specific comment on the direction that the brand is heading".
However, since foldables are still a novelty that few people would currently consider buying, it seems unlikely Motorola would refer to this as a 'flagship'. In addition, language used implied the flagship is more of a future plan than an imminent device.
Given the last year of Motorola's products, it makes sense for the company to work on a flagship phone to rival anything from Apple, Samsung, Google or Sony.
Its Motorola One line of smartphones all come with advanced camera features, and it's likely Motorola used them to soft-launch these features, to see which are popular.
No timeline was given for a launch of the new Motorola flagship, so for now you'll just have to watch this space.
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John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.