Rumor has it that Motorola’s first phone with a foldable display will feature classic flip-phone style design and that it may even be sold under the classic Razr brand name.

While Samsung, Huawei, and other companies are using flexible display technology to produce phones that can be unfolded to become tablets, Motorola’s device will likely look like a normal phone when extended, and fold in half to take up less space in your pocket or bag.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be useless when folded. The folks at xda-developers report that the phone has a secondary screen that lets you interact with the phone even when it’s closed… although you won’t get the full Android experience when using that screen on its own. But the phone’s two touchscreen displays will allegedly work together in some interesting ways.

First, let’s cover the basic stuff.

When the phone is folded in half, you’ll be able to use the smaller screen to view the time, date, notifications, and some other information. You can also see up to 6 Quick Settings tiles. And you may see the Google Assistant animation if you’re talking to Google’s voice service when the screen is closed.

Things get more interesting when you open the phone so that the “closed display” is on the back. When this happens, you can use the smaller screen as a touchpad, allowing you to do things like scroll through web pages by moving a finger along the back of the phone rather than by covering part of the screen on the front of the phone.

Or you can flip the phone around so that the small screen acts as a viewfinder while you’re snapping a selfie or making a video call. In this mode, you can tap the larger screen which is now on the “back” to snap a photo, essentially turning the big screen into a shutter button.

According to xda-developers, these details come from a single source, so I’d take them with a grain of salt for now. But they all sound pretty reasonable… especially from the company that first brought us the Moto Display suite of features that let you interact with a phone using the lockscreen.

It sounds like the company is basically extending the concept of Moto Display to take advantage of the secondary display as a more versatile version of the software-based Android lockscreen experience.



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7 replies on “Report: Motorola’s foldable flip-phone will have a useful secondary screen”

  1. This is the first foldable smartphone I could possibly see myself using. I don’t care about a huge screen on a smartphone but having a decent sized smartphone that could get much smaller to put in my pocket is an idea I like. I also think they have some cool ideas for the second screen, the scrolling with the screen on the back of the phone is a pretty cool idea.

  2. My only concern for the second screen is accidental pocket-touches. Unless it has its own Ambient Light Sensor

    1. How is this second screen any more susceptible to accidental presses than any other smartphone screen in your pocket? The screen lock is there to prevent that, right?

  3. The drawing really looks very much like the old RAZR. I hope this is what it will look like. This seems pretty awesome.

    Matter of fact, just build a new RAZR with Android Pie and delete the folding screen and the high cost.

    My E815 was a fantastic flip phone and lasted a long time. If the hinge didn’t finally break, I’d probably still have it. I miss high quality flip phones.

    1. You’re right about the folding screen. It would be cool to see one on there, but I’d likely make the jump and purchase one if it had two screens with a thin line between two separate screens. I dearly miss having a phone that comfortably fits in my fitted work slacks. I’d probably settle for an updated version of the original Moto G, which was the last phone I owned that comfortably fitted in both my hand and pockets.

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