THE retro flip phone is back with a bang after Motorola unveiled a revamped version of its iconic Razr handset.
Unlike the original Razr, released 15 years ago, the new gadget is a smartphone that boasts a bonkers foldable screen.
It comes out in the US in January, setting nostalgia-chasing punters back $1,500 (£1,160).
The phone will hit the UK and other markets worldwide soon after, Motorola announced at a glitzy launch event in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Samsung, Huawei and others have phones that fold like a book via a high-tech vertical hinge. They offer a double-sized display when unfolded.
Motorola’s new Razr phone, on the other hand, folds like a clam via a horizontal hinge across the middle.
The phone ships in January in the US for $1,500 (£1,160). No word yet on a UK price or release date[/caption]
Model Sita Abellan attends the unveiling of the Razr in Los Angeles[/caption]
It will be smaller than a regular smartphone until unfolded to its full 6.2 inch size.
The idea is to make the phone more compact for carrying and storing when folded and not in use.
Flip phones such as the original Razr were popular in the early 2000s, when the screen and physical keyboard were separated by a hinge which folded the device closed to fit easily into a pocket.
The updated Motorola device has replaced the physical keyboard with a foldable screen which fills the entire inside of the phone.
The phone is available on Verizon in the US, and EE in the UK[/caption]
Motorola said the design is the first of its kind, but follows other foldable devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold, released in September.
The Fold was rushed to market and as a result has suffered countless issues with durability, reportedly breaking after just a few days of use at the hands of some users.
When closed, Motorola said the new Razr also has a 2.7-inch Quick View Display on which users can view and respond to notifications.
The phone-maker confirmed that the new device will launch in the UK exclusively on EE.
The original Razr, released in 2004, was praised for its innovative flip design[/caption]
Industry expert Ru Bhikha, from uSwitch.com, said the Razr had nostalgic value, but warned it lacked the high-end features to compete with other top phones.
“Some brands dominate their markets so completely that their names become bywords for the whole industry. Vacuum cleaners are ‘Hoovers’ and to perform an internet search is to ‘Google’,” he said.
“The original Motorola Razr was such an iconic design that, even now, when you think of a foldable phone, you are automatically reminded of the classic flip-phone of the mid-Noughties.
“But the cost of developing the folding screen makes the Razr V4 a high-end smartphone likely to cost over £1,100 in the UK – more than the iPhone 11, but less than the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
Even Becks got in on the action[/caption]
“The Razr can’t compete with the performance of similarly priced rivals, boasting only a single 16MP rear camera compared to the iPhone 11’s three-lens set-up that includes a telephoto and two wide lenses.
“The device is also less powerful in the CPU and battery departments due to the restrictions of the design, so we’re sceptical that users will get through the day on a single charge.”
He also warned of the strain placed on folding screens by the regular opening and closing of such devices.
“After the teething problems of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, we will be watching to see how the Razr’s complicated hinge mechanism holds up to the countless times it will be opened and closed every day,” he said.
“The return of the Razr will enjoy massive buzz, but without the specifications of its high-end rivals the V4 could be accused of being all style and no substance.”
A number of other companies – including Chinese firms Huawei and Xiaomi – have either already unveiled or are reported to be working on foldable phones.
TOP STORIES IN TECH
In other news, desperate Samsung fans were paying double for the £1,900 Galaxy Fold as “stock ran out” following its September launch.
Not keen on Samsung? Check out our review for the great-value iPhone 11.
And if you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll want to read our iPhone 11 Pro review.
What do you make of the new Razr? Let us know in the comments!
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at email@example.com