Motorola Razr V4: what we want to see

Motorola Razr V4

The Motorola Razr series were iconic phones in the days before full-featured smartphones, and they might be a big deal once again. A new entry - which might be called the Motorola Razr V4 – is heavily rumored.

But unlike the older models, this new device is unlikely to be a feature phone. Instead, the Razr V4 is tipped to be a full-fledged smartphone – and it will probably fold. However, it might also cost an awful lot of money, so you might want to get saving.

Update: Have we just been given our first glimpse of the foldable Motorola Razr V4? Some convincing-looking renders of the phone have leaked online.

In the meantime, here's everything we've heard about the Motorola Razr 2019 so far, along with a wish list of what we want from it.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A foldable reboot of the Razr range
  • When is it out? Probably sometime in 2019
  • What will it cost? Maybe around $1,500 (roughly £1,170, AU$2,010)

Motorola Razr V4 release date and price

The main Motorola Razr V4 release date rumor came from a report in The Wall Street Journal that pointed to February 2019 - a month that has been and gone with no sign of the phone.

However, the report did add that the phone is still in testing (as of mid-January) and the release timing isn’t final yet and could change, as it seemingly has done.

Meanwhile, comments from an exec at MWC 2019 (more on this below) suggested that we probably won't see it yet - though it is probably in the works.

As for what it will cost, the Wall Street Journal report says to expect a starting price of roughly $1,500 (around £1,170, AU$2,010). That would make it far more expensive than most phones, but that’s not surprising given that it’s rumored to have a foldable screen.

Expect the new Motorola Razr to be a lot more modern (and a lot more expensive)

Expect the new Motorola Razr to be a lot more modern (and a lot more expensive)

It also sounds like Motorola and parent company Lenovo aren't expecting the Razr 2019 to be a mainstream device, with the report also saying that only around 200,000 units are likely to be made, and that in the US it's a Verizon exclusive. 

It's not clear whether or not the phone will be sold outside the US.

Motorola Razr V4 news and rumors

The main thing we've heard about the Motorola Razr V4 is that it will have a foldable screen. The first hint of that came from Lenovo’s CEO Yang Yuanqing, who, during MWC 2018, said: "With the new technology, particularly foldable screens, I think you will see more and more innovation on our smartphone design.

"So hopefully what you just described [the Motorola Razr brand] will be developed or realized very soon."

Then, at MWC 2019, Motorola vice president and general manager Anthony Barounas, said, according to TrustedReviews

“If you go around the stores today, for me the phones all look the same. It’s difficult to see if it’s a Motorola, or [another brand]. How we differentiate to the consumer, show them something really different, that’s where foldables comes in. And that’s where Motorola also has a very big investment. I can’t say much but we have one franchise that will have a very big impact there.”

So that's pretty much a confirmation that a foldable phone is in the works, though the Razr brand wasn't mentioned by name.

Elsewhere, a report suggested that the Motorola Razr V4 would be high-end and have a foldable screen.

Image 1 of 3

Credit: Mobielkopen

Credit: Mobielkopen
(Image: © Mobielkopen)
Image 2 of 3

Credit: Mobielkopen

Credit: Mobielkopen
(Image: © Mobielkopen)
Image 3 of 3

Credit: Mobielkopen

Credit: Mobielkopen
(Image: © Mobielkopen)

We've also seen patents pointing to a foldable screen. You can see images from the older patent above and the newer one below, but they both point to a clamshell design with a foldable display. 

However, while the older one shows a large hinge and seemingly a gap between the two display halves, the other, newer patent (found by 91mobiles) shows a truly foldable display.

There's still a hinge, but this isn’t as visible when looking at the screen. This one also appears to have a smaller secondary display on the back of the phone. That makes some sense, as otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see a screen unless the phone was fully unfolded. The newer patent also shows a notch at the top of the screen.

Image 1 of 3

Credit: 91mobiles

Credit: 91mobiles
Image 2 of 3

Credit: 91mobiles

Credit: 91mobiles
Image 3 of 3

Credit: 91mobiles

Credit: 91mobiles

The back also contains what looks to be a single-lens camera above the smaller display, and a fingerprint scanner on the lower section.

There's no guarantee that either of these patents show an accurate picture of the Motorola Razr V4, but we'd expect a clamshell design, since that's what the original Razr range had.

And a newer rumor supports the design that has a secondary screen. It also details some possible features of that screen, saying that you might be able to use it to scroll through web pages that you're viewing on the main screen.

The secondary screen could also apparently be used to display notifications and a clock, to interact with Google Assistant when the main screen is closed, and to provide shortcuts to settings. It sounds then like it won't have the full functionality of the main screen if this rumor is right.

Image credit: XDA Developers

Image credit: XDA Developers

(Image: © XDA Developers)

Another report revealed possible specs, as well as a logo (seen above, background filled in with black for clarity). The Motorola Razr V4 will supposedly pack a Snapdragon 710, either 4 or 6Gb of RAM and either 64 or 128GB of storage. 

It also may have 2,730mAh of battery, though XDA noted that last spec might be out of date – and the Razr V4 looks to be much smaller when unfolded than its foldable competitors (like the Samsung Fold and Huawei Mate X), which look to expand into tablet-size dimensions. The Razr V4 looks to be smaller, so it might not need nearly as much juice to stay on.

Clearly, this would be a departure from other soon-to-launch foldable phones , which have top-tier specs. And while previous rumors have revealed a somewhat cheaper potential price for the Razr V4, it's still far beyond what today's non-folding flagship phones cost.

The silver lining, of course, is that the Razr V4 might open up the door to mid-range foldables. If you don't need cutting-edge processors and RAM to power foldable tech, perhaps we'll see more affordable folding devices sooner than we thought.

Motorola Razr V4 leaks have taken another step forward though, after press renders claiming the show the handset hit Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, but were pulled shortly after.

However, SlashLeaks was able to grab the images before they disappeared, showing us an impressive looking device.

What we want to see

Rumors about the Motorola Razr V4 are starting to roll in but we don’t know much yet, so we’ve come up with a list of what we hope it offers.

1. A great design

One of the reasons the Motorola Razr range was so popular was because of its slim, stylish design. Of course, the old models like the Motorola Razr V3, are dated now, but we’d like to see the spirit of the design carried on for the Razr V4, but in a more modern form. We want a slim, futuristic handset.

The good news is that if the screen really does fold then it should at least be futuristic, though it might not be all that slim when folded shut.

2. Genuinely useful flexibility

There’s a worry that early foldable screens could be little more than a gimmick, but we hope that’s not the case with the Motorola Razr V4. Hopefully, the company will find a way to make it feel genuinely useful.

If Motorola successfully makes a screen that can change from phone to tablet size without feeling awkward then that would be a good start.

3. Flagship specs

Any foldable phone is inevitably going to be expensive and rumors specifically suggest that the Razr 2019 will be pricey.

So we really want to get our money’s worth, by not just getting a foldable screen but also specs that can compete with the best of 2019’s new and upcoming flagships, like the Samsung Galaxy S10 and iPhone 11.

We want the Razr V4 to be able to compete with the latest flagships

We want the Razr V4 to be able to compete with the latest flagships

4. A long-lasting battery

We want all of our phones to have decent battery life, but this is of particular concern with foldable phones, as the larger screens could be a big drain.

So hopefully there will be an appropriately large battery in the Motorola Razr V4 to keep it going through the day and beyond.

5. A palatable price

Early rumors suggest this will be one very expensive phone, and we’d expect it to be too, since foldable screens are a new, likely pricey feature. However, for these devices to have remotely mainstream appeal the cost is going to need to be pushed down.

That probably won’t happen until the second or third generation of foldable devices, but it would be a nice surprise if Motorola (which is known in part for offering great value handsets) manages to make an affordable one on the first attempt.

6. Near stock Android with foldable features

One thing we love about most current Moto phones is that they use a version of Android that’s had little done to it, ensuring the software is polished, easily approachable and typically quick to get updated.

We hope the same is true for the Motorola Razr V4. Or at least, for the most part. What we would like to see though are some software features that help you get the most out of the foldable screen. We’re not sure what those would be, but hopefully that’s something Motorola has given some thought to.

7. A sharp, durable screen

Being foldable is one thing, but we don’t want that to be the only thing the Razr V4’s screen has going for it. We’d also like it to be a sharp, high-quality panel. And for it to be durable, because it’s going to need to be if it’s constantly being folded.