Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Technology https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Motorola Foldable Razr: Inside the redesign of the phone flip icon

Motorola Foldable Razr: Inside the redesign of the phone flip icon

David Beckham. Paris Hilton. Bono. Everyone who was someone in the early 2000s owned a Motorola Razr. With its elegant edges and metallic keyboard, it stood out from the crop of generic flip phones. And it wasn't just for the elite. In its four-year cycle, the smart, ultra-thin phone has sold 130 million units on the way to becoming one of the most beloved and iconic pieces of technology ever.

Then the Apple iPhone appeared and destroyed it, along with the memory of the so-called blunt phones.

Now, more than a decade later, Motorola, which invented the mobile phone but is struggling with the mobile unknown, is organizing a comeback with a rev. It combines retro clamshell design with Google's Android software and an innovative folding touchscreen that puts a new twist on the classic flip phone. CNET reviewer Jessica Dolcourt, after an early and extended look at Razr describes it as "Structured. Certainly a pocket. Nostalgic, with a sharp, futuristic edge. "

" We consider it a franchise, "Motorola President Sergio Bunyak said in an interview before today's launch.


With $ 1,500, the new Razr is too expensive to come out even with premium phones, including the Samsung S10's iPhone 11 and Galaxy, but Bunjac and company are hoping that its ability to stand out from the pack will again make a buzz at Motorola and make consumers excited about

We could use the jitter. The folding phones arrived with a huge too high and high expectations earlier this year, which were meant to strengthen the wireless world and represent a potential sea change in the way we use our mobile devices. The new category would also serve as a bridge to the kind of science-fiction tech we see in films like Minority Report, or shows like Westworld.

That didn't happen. Concerns about endurance, compounded by the early defects of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the delayed launch of Huawei Mate X, caused excitement. Even Motorola missed its original summer launch target for Razr . The company is now taking pre-orders starting December 26, with Verizon launching the phone in January as an exclusive lifelong experience in the US. It will launch elsewhere next year.

Eye prices do not help. Razr is five times the price of a mid-range Moto G7 phone. And that's still a bargain compared to $ 980 Galaxy Fold or $ 2400 Mate X.


Unlike those two devices that are positioned as the future of their respective franchises, Motorola is returning to one of its most famous icons as a path in the market for super-premium smartphones. We hope that the nostalgic chords it pulls, combined with a hassle-free 6.2-inch display (when unfolded) and compact design (when folded), can generate awareness not only for the Razr, but for its larger stable phone .

Motorola, which has about 3% of the handset market, is facing an upward trend. Now the company specializes in budget phones, so price remains an issue. It's unclear if this Razr name, so beloved by older generations of users growing up on flip phones, will even register with the majority of younger users who view the first iPhone as the iconic phone . [19659002] The question of durability then arises.

What is certain is that Motorola and Lenovo have big ambitions with Razr. They have made a unique bet on folding screens, making the device smaller unlike Samsung and Huawei devices that expand into larger tablets.

"If the goal is to create a slam with a folding phone, it can be very effective," says Avi Gringart, an analyst at consumer technology research firm Techsponential. "Anything Motorola can do to break through congestion and reminding people that they are still making the desired phones will only help.

Back to the Future

"At the time, we didn't know we were creating these iconic devices," says Mike Jank, a global industrial designer at Motorola.

  timberwolf-2019-4127 evid19199090, which features wolf-2019-4127 recorded19659023, that Mike Jank, Motorola's worldwide industrial designer, is working on both the original and the new Dev.

James Martin / CNET

I'm talking to a 21-year-old Motorola veteran at the headquarters of a phone maker in the historic Merchandise Mart building in Chicago. Junk was pulled out in combination with a purple cotton tie and sweater that appeared in the range of various Razr colored phones behind him.

As one of the designers of the original Razr, Jank shares stories of missed celebrities when requesting special versions of a flip phone. The device was removed as a status symbol after Motorola took the clever step of putting a special black Razr edition into the Academy 2005 award bags. Shortly thereafter, each powerful player had to have one – personalized to their liking.

Tennis star Maria Sharapova had her signature edition. Motorola has made versions of the television show in Miami Ink and Dolce & Gabbana.

Following its initial $ 600 exclusive experience with wireless provider Cingular, Motorola has added new carriers, new options and lowered its price.

Motorola withdrew the then impressive task of making available and a telephone connection.

By 2006, the company owned more than one-fifth of the global phone market, according to Neal Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research. Razr has spawned a number of imitation slim phones from competitors such as Samsung and Sanyo's Katana. Motorola has tried to track the success of Razr with phones such as Rizr or Slvr that have a similar aesthetic. Football legend David Beckham serves as the face of Razr 2.

"Everybody else had to fight to catch up," said Roger Enter, a recon Analytics consultant. "Copycat devices have made Razr a more iconic device."

But a year later, Apple CEO Steve Jobs released his iPhone. And Motorola's slow and steady sliding began.

  image-01.png records19659034Senseimage-01.png records19659035, New origin

The next few years turned out to be an event if punished. Motorola has never found a worthy successor to Razr, despite Beckham's best efforts. The company split its consumer handset business and its enterprise operations into units (confusingly, both continue to use Motorola's name and the emblematic trampoline logo) A decade ago, Motorola Mobility launched the first mainstream Android phone, Droid, backed by huge Google and Verizon marketing dollars. Motorola tried to return the Razr once before with the Droid Razr.

However, its market share and profitability slid with the rise of Apple and Samsung's wealth, and in the fall of 2011, Google s took over the business. Three years or more later, Google landed Motorola at Lenovo, best known for its laptops.

Around the time Google took the reins that Motorola began to play with plastic as a display material. Most phone makers have used glass as it offered more craft and first-class feel. But plastic can bend and bend and when treated with a special coating, it has proven to be surprisingly durable.

So despite the rich history of notable devices, from the first cellphone, DynaTac, to the first flip phone in StarTac, the Droid Turbo 2 may have given the key inspiration for the new Razr.

I will forgive you if it does not come to mind immediately.

The Droid Turbo 2, which launched in 2015 as Verizon exclusive, stands out as the first phone to use this specially tempered plastic display that Motorola called Shattershield. He endured an impressive amount of our torment before succumbing to a pickaxe. Later phones such as the Moto Z Force used the technology.


Motorola and Lenovo started thinking about folding around 2015.

James Martin / CNET

At about the same time, engineers and designers examined folding devices and began collaborating with their counterparts at Lenovo, whose Japanese unit gave experience in the hinge designs used in their YOGA laptops. The teams showed the early fruits of this endeavor at Lenovo Tech World in 2016, which included a phone that wrapped around your wrist. The working prototype is still in Motorola's design labs.

"The new Razr is an icon for design and innovation, rediscovered," said Lenovo CEO Jan Yuankin in a statement. "It's also a powerful reflection of the engineering and technological magic that exists in our company."

Internally, Motorola went through more than 20 different prototypes and settled on a phone that folded into fewer by the end of 2016. device. Motorola executives saw similarities between the design of the final prototype of the final prototype and the original Razr.

Suddenly, the return began.


Motorola plays with many prototypes before settling on the final design.

James Martin / CNET

"We didn't do the Razr directly, but it makes sense," says Ruben Castano, Motorola's vice president of design, as he stands over a large pile of various prototypes of the new Razrs. [19659002] The team even took a page from Razr's original design scheme to move components into his thicker chin at the base. Motorola this time around had a set of additional hardware to add, including 22G cell wave antennas for 4G LTE (no 5G connection), fingerprint sensor, Wi-Fi radio, GPS and more.

Over the next two years, Motorola designers and engineers were quietly working on the project. In 2017, Motorola introduced an early prototype to Verizon, which clicked it as exclusive.

"It's one of those devices that you bring to the dining table and it's attention-grabbing," says Brian Higgins, Vice President of Device and Consumer Product at Verizon Wireless, [19659002] In January, a report in the Wall Street Journal canceled the return and the expensive price. It was the latest iconic nostalgic wave product after Nintendo's NES Classic and Nokia 3310 candy phone.

The weather was favorable. The excitement of the folding phones hit a frantic pace after Samsung delivered its Unpacked presentation with a teaser for the Galaxy Fold, stealing the spotlights from its flagship Galaxy S10 smartphone. A few days later, Huawei joined the attendees of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with Mate X. The market for these devices – despite their prices – is shaping up.

Then, after a hasty start, Samsung Galaxy Fold's early review units began to break.

  image-02.png records19659063 SAMSimage-02.png records19659035: 2Closing the gap

If Motorola executives broke out of the Samsung incident, they didn't show it when I asked one after another about their reactions.

"I don't see anything surprising," Buniac says. "That's what new technologies are about, problem solving."

Castano said the news assured him that his team was on the right track because one of his early prototypes looked like Fold's.

But Verizon's Higgins admitted that it had an impact. "When the reports came out, I immediately went back to Motorola," he said, noting that the company had re-released all its specification tests.

Samsung eventually came back with a reinforced Galaxy Fold but a reputation for folding. phones had taken a hit.

What Motorola felt confident about was the unique hinge design created for the new Razr. The ultimate goal was to create a mechanism that would allow the screen to close inside. But here's the dilemma: if you fold a sheet of plastic or paper completely flat, you inevitably get a crease.

That is why the Galaxy Fold, which folds inwards, has a large gap in the middle. In addition, Huawei chose to position its folding screen on the outside. Increasing the folding radius reduces the stress on the display and the likelihood of folding.

This was not an easy process. Early prototypes had a phone with giant hinges popping on each side, giving it Dumbo-like ears that would ruin the aesthetics.


You can see the open hinges of the hinge on each side of the new Razr.

James Martin / CNET

Finally, the designers were able to perform a complete fold with what they call the zero-gap hinge. Like the earlier prototype, the hinges remain on the side, but not so far. In fact, you can see some of the gears out there that give you a look at the mechanics of the construction, much like a luxury watch. It also added space to display the display inwards. If you can look at the cross section of the phone when it is folded, you will see the screen bend in a complex tear shape rather than a flat fold.

Tom Schirtzinger, Director and Principal Innovation and Architecture Engineer for Motorola, walked us through the various components of Razr, noting that the display panel, which had five layers, including one made of stainless steel, was only 360 microns thick .

Schirtzinger, who went from college straight to Motorola's R&D team 23 years ago, also said that a similar solid coating used in the Shattershield display, has been added to the display screen display so it can withstand scratches that plastic displays are prone to. But the team re-pressed the cover to provide more flexibility.

Motorola also added steel plates behind the display on each side of the turning point, enhancing the display and straightening any creases, a step Samsung has taken with its enhanced Galaxy Fold,

"We looked at ways this could fail , and we'll explain it, "says Schirtzinger.

Bigger isn't always better

Unlike Samsung or Huawei, who showed off their products early, Motorola kept the Razr close to the waistcoat.

Motorola originally set out to launch the Razr in the summer. When asked about the delay, Buniac laments, "I'm Brazilian, so my summer is coming in January," before admitting the company missed its deadline.

"Of course, we want to be fast in the market, but we're not in a hurry or desperate to get started, so we believe that now is the right time," Buniak says. Galaxy Fold, as its design allows the phone to go from normal size to small, Laura Joss, global director of design studies, says consumer surveys show a contradictory trend for people who want larger displays but not massive ones

Motorola devices

The clamshell design meant that Motorola could include a second, 2.7-inch external "Quick View" screen when folded, just like the original. It is designed to process notifications, control your music and work as a selfie display, since the main 16MP camera is located just below.


The Quick View screen gives you easy access to notifications.

James Martin / CNET

Jeff Snow, general manager of product innovation at Motorola, says he often doesn't even open the gap he's been using since July. Instead, he chooses to triage his messages and other notifications from the small secondary screen.

Motorola is not the only one thinking of this approach. Samsung showed off a layout of a horizontally foldable phone at its annual developer conference last month. TCL showed prototypes of foldable flip phones during the World Mobile Congress .

Within one year, the phones to turn can turn to the new black.

A Touch of Nostalgia

The original Razr design, with these metallic keys and a 10mm thick chassis, still evokes an emotional reaction when you hold one, It's a call back to a simpler time when we actually used our phones to phone calls.

It is also a reminder that Motorola was once the titan of innovation, pouring the kind of huge dollars into research and development that only Apple and Google likes can do now.

Motorola hopes the new Razr will stir some of those memories now. Even some of the little details came down, like the satisfying sound the phone makes when you close it – closing someone has not felt so good for a long time.


Разр не е буквално тълкуване на класическия телефон, но споделя много от едни и същи черти.

Джеймс Мартин / CNET

Докато марката Razr поражда носталгичен акорд сред по-възрастните потребители, любимите спомени може да не са достатъчни, за да оправдаят цената от 1500 долара.

„Носталгията може да ви стигне само досега“, казва Рамон Ламас, анализатор в научните изследвания IDC.

Забележка: Докато NES Classic и SNES Classic бяха хитове за Nintendo, собствената ретро игра на Sony с PlayStation Classic беше флоп.

Марката Razr може дори да не се регистрира при по-млади потребители със смартфони, освен да изтрива тъпите телефони от спомените си. Каролина Миланеси, анализатор в Creative Strategies, заяви, че би препоръчала Motorola да наблегне на новия дизайн и сгъваемата тенденция, а не да се спира на минала прищявка.

„Раззър се занимаваше с дизайн“, казва тя. "Хората използваха Razr, защото беше готин, а не защото беше страхотен."

Motorola казва, че очаква Razr да издържи средната продължителност на живота на смартфон, но не посочва точната продължителност на времето. За да убеди клиентите, компанията ще предложи 24-часово време за замяна при замяна на устройството или дисплея, въпреки че не казва колко дълго трае гаранцията.

Бизнесът е в подем, като отчете четири четвърти от печалбата след години кървене. Все пак ще завърши годината с около 3% от пазара – до голяма степен управляван от бюджетни телефони – подчертава, че това е далеч от тежките хитове Samsung или Huawei. Докато Buniac започва да насочва вниманието си към разрастване на бизнеса и въвеждане на повече премиум устройства, той има реалистични очаквания за Razr.

„Не го виждам като сребърен куршум“, казва Буняк. „Ние виждаме това като пътуване, което току-що започна.“

Този път наоколо, новият Разр вероятно няма да има известни личности, които да се подреждат на ексклузивно издание. На въпроса дали Бекъм ще се върне с новата сгъваема версия, Джанке отвръща: „Ще се радваме да го продадем.“

Тази история е публикувана в 8:11 ч. PT.


Motorola се надява името на Razr да резонира с някои потребители. Но някои анализаторите смятат, че компанията трябва да се съсредоточи върху новия дизайн.

James Martin / CNET

Source link