Motorola is patenting a modular folding telephone. It is a folding phone design, there is also a fisheye camera integrated.
Two weeks ago, Lenovo’s highly anticipated Motorola RAZR 2019 announced foldable smartphone. The device has a unique design and seems to be particularly popular. This will undoubtedly taste more, in other words, there is a good chance that Lenovo is already experimenting with new designs in the background. Last week it was already reported on a possible Motorola RAZR 2 with touch sensors on the side, to add extra controls. This time the smartphone manufacturer has again been granted a patent.
It is a very unique folding telephone. Broadly speaking, the design looks a bit like the recently introduced Motorola RAZR smartphone, so the device folds horizontally. Nevertheless, there are also a number of characteristic differences to be noted, including the integration of a fisheye camera and a modular system, to be able to add extra hardware components, such as a projector or a high-quality stereo speaker.
Motorola RAZR successor (2019)
Last year Motorola Mobility filed a patent with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) for an ‘electronic device with linking housing pivotally coupled between device housings’. The patent was published on August 22, 2019, and the application has now also been included in the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) database.
It is a clamshell model. When closed, you have a front display and once opened, a narrow, elongated screen unfolds. The design is more compact than the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate. Portability is therefore one of the strong points of this Motorola device.
The description refers to several options. For example, Motorola can opt for a flexible screen, but it is also possible to opt for two separate displays. In this way the cost price could be reduced.Thus, the lower part can also be provided with a physical keyboard, according to the patent documentation. The displays are equipped with touch functionality, which is also the case with the current RAZR.
Motorola folding telephone with modular design
Another striking design element is the top of the device, in a folded position. This part will not work if you unfold the phone.This creates an orthogonal shape (T-shape), or if you unfold the phone, this top will protrude backwards at a right angle. The images give a good illustration of this.
This has several functions, so you can easily fold your fingers around it for more stability while holding the device. Even if you decide to put down the telephone, this part serves as a support point, which should benefit the user experience.
Remarkably, Motorola also wants to make this part modular. Yes, you read that right; modular. Of course we all know the Moto Mods, with these modular mods for the Moto Z series smartphones you can create many new functionalities. It seems that Motorola has a similar idea for this conscious foldable smartphone model. In the patent description, several options are discussed, such as a module for a projector or a high-quality stereo speaker. However, there is not much space, after all the module is quite small.
Folding telephone with fisheye camera
Also remarkable, as standard this modular component is equipped with three cameras. One is oriented to the front, one to the rear, and one to the top. The camera that faces the front / rear is a fisheye camera. So it seems that you can record 360 degrees images with this smartphone.
The documentation also talks about a 12 megapixel sensor, although the final choice could of course differ. There is also talk of a structured light IR emitter, probably meant for face recognition.
If Motorola actually chooses to make this foldable smartphone modular, an additional camera will also be integrated into the housing, so that you will have a camera at all times – regardless of which module you use.
With the RAZR it is not that easy to unfold and fold the device with one hand. For example, it is quite difficult to put your finger between the two screens to open the flip phone. Motorola has come up with something for this, because a small notch on the left and right side of the housing should make this easier.
This notch is not visible on the images and the location can still vary, it is obvious that it is placed in the lower housing. The hinge mechanism is activated by applying pressure to this.
Once opened, the battery is placed in the lower part of the housing. This is deliberately placed in the lower part, so that the center of gravity is in your hand. Smaller and lighter components are installed in the upper part, including the speakers and microphones.
For the front display a screen will be used that requires less energy, such as an OLED display. This screen will also get a lower resolution than the main screen. This is a notification screen on which basic information is shown, such as the time, day, weather and incoming messages and calls.
Second model version from Motorola
A second model is then discussed. This Motorola foldable smartphone has a vertical folding line, instead of horizontal. This creates a device that is somewhat similar to the Galaxy Fold, the screen is on the inside when you fold the phone.
There is an important difference, the Motorola device is not equipped with one large flexible screen, but with two separate displays between which a thin frame edge is visible – comparable to the ZTE Axon M launched last year.
This Motorola smartphone is also equipped with a front display, which is the same size as the two displays placed on the inside.The screen edges are used to process additional components, such as the receiver and a camera. A camera system will also be placed on the rear, consisting of several camera lenses.
Although this design is mentioned in the same patent, the primary focus is clearly on the clamshell model, the first 36 images are all related to the clamshell model. Next, 5 images are shown of the other type of folding telephone.
Future Motorola foldable models
It is the first time that we have come across a folding telephone with a modular system. In 2016, the Moto Mods were created for the high-end Motorola Moto Z series. Numerous Mods are now available, from a boombox speaker and a game pad to a Turbo battery pack, an insta printer and a Moto 360 camera. With the modular components you can easily transform your phone, there is even a 5G Moto Mod available.
Although several modular smartphones have been introduced over the years, Motorola is the only leading manufacturer that currently uses it. To the delight of its users. This addition can therefore become an important added value for the range of Motorola folding telephones.
The fisheye camera is also a special addition. Taking photos with our mobile phones has become immensely popular, so popular that the digital camera market is suffering considerably. By providing the patented mobile phone with a fisheye camera you can take pictures of your entire environment – 360 degrees.
That the company is not afraid to experiment has shown with the RAZR. Because with the Motorola RAZR 2019 a unique concept has been chosen. Not only in terms of design, but also in terms of functions. Because it is currently the only foldable smartphone thatdoes not have high-quality specs. The choice has been made for components that can usually be found in middle class telephones.Therefore, the RAZR is also considerably cheaper than all other available folding models. € 1,600 will cost the telephone in Europe.
It is obvious that more Motorola foldable smartphones will be introduced in the future. The next model will probably arrive in 2020. It is certainly not inconceivable that more iconic highlights from the past are used. On 12 November 2019, for example, the company was assigned a trademark for the name Motorola ROKR.
Just like the RAZR, the ROKR is a classic telephone series that will evoke nostalgic feelings for many. The Motorola ROKR series was created in 2005 and was used until 2009. These devices were known for their music capabilities, the ROKR E1 was the first phone with an integrated Apple iTunes music player. It is possible that Motorola will introduce a phone again under the name ROKR in the future.