The Motorola Razr is Back! Are Designers Ready?

Michael Beausoleil
8 min readJan 24, 2020

The 2010s essentially killed off the flip phone, but Motorola is pretending that decade never happened. It’s time for new flip phone to hit the market, and on Feb. 6, 2020 we will see Motorola’s revival of the Razr.

The Motorla Razr 2020

The new Razr keeps the two most important elements of the original Razr. It’s true to form with a thin body. When unfolded, it’s 6.9mm thick, which is really thin for a smartphone (although that’s the same thickness as an iPhone 6, so it’s not that unique). It also features a second screen on the front of the phone, which is the real reason everyone loved the Razr so much. The Razr wasn’t the first phone to house two screens, but based on its popularity it was likely the first time users had a dual screen phone. Like the original Razr, the second screen will show the time, notifications, and camera controls. Now the front screen will have more functionality for practical use, such controlling utilities and music.

Motorola Razr front screen via Digital Trends

From a design standpoint, this does not pose a huge challenge. It’s essentially a notification center and utilities screen molded into one. Any design for a smartwatch will adapt to this front screen pretty well and will be intuitive for most users. The true oddity for the front of the phone is the camera. When closed, the camera is at the bottom of the screen. So, when taking a selfie, the focus will need to be below the screen. Anyone with prior smartphone experience is accustomed to looking above the screen. This is not a huge deal, but it may be a slight adjustment for users.

Despite the camera, the front design isn’t a far cry from the original Razr. I fully support the decision to retain both screens, as this became a standard feature on most flip phones. The new Razr keeps that functionality and applies it to 2020’s smartphone market. I don’t think this will be a game changer, but I think people who own the new Razr will appreciate being able to glance at notifications without opening the phone.

Screen Real Estate

The biggest feature on the new Razr is the folding screen. People who buy a Razr in 2020 will be using a folding Plastic OLED screen for the first time. This will allow users to fold the phone then unfold it without seeing a crease…

Michael Beausoleil

User Analytics | Digital & Brand Marketing | Productivity … hoping to explore topics that interest me and find others with similar passions