Foldable phones were the hottest attraction at MWC 2019 last week. The Mate X was voted the best device of the show, and Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was also on display. A variety of smartphone vendors also showed off prototypes during the show or mentioned plans to launch a device in the near future. One such company is Motorola, which revealed a foldable is in the works for later this year with a design that’s nothing like the Mate X. A week later, we have a leak that lists several of the features Motorola has developed for foldable phones.
One of the problems with foldable phones is that we still don’t know if we need them. Handset vendors are trying to figure out new apps and experiences that would make more sense on a foldable device than on a traditional handset, and Motorola is no different.
A series of rumors and leaks said Motorola will be reviving the RAZR brand for its foldable phone line, although the company never confirmed such plans. A RAZR foldable phone would have an internal foldable screen, as well as an external display, very much like the original RAZR phone. Images from patent documentation showed us how such a device would look like.
According to an xda-developers finding, Motorola is working on a smartphone with two displays, although its marketing name isn’t known. And xda discovered how the external display will work.
Apparently, Motorola will not allow a full Android experience on the external display, and only certain apps will be able to access “display on flip.” The list includes pre-installed Moto apps like Moto Display, Moto Actions, and Moto Camera.
Here’s all you’ll be able to do on the “closed display” based on the information xda received:
- When unfolded, the ‘closed display’ can act as a trackpad. Right now, the trackpad functionality is limited to scrolling web pages in Google Chrome and scrolling the apps timeline.
- Up to 6 Quick Settings tiles will be displayed on the “closed display.” It’s unclear to us if Motorola will allow the user to scroll to see more tiles, however.
- When in the camera app, the user can tap on the primary display to capture a photo, or swipe up on the primary display to zoom in. Presumably, this will help the user take selfies when holding the phone with the camera pointed toward the user. A countdown timer can also be shown through the dual screen.
- If the user triggers Google Assistant while the phone is flip closed, then the Assistant animation can be shown if the user chooses to enable it. Otherwise, the user will be prompted to ‘flip open to unlock’ using their password or PIN.
- Motorola is testing having the Moto Display app show a clock, pulsing notifications, and controlling media via the external display.
- The user may be able to have a separate wallpaper showing on the ‘closed display.’
We also expect Motorola’s foldable phone to offer various features created specifically for the primary display, such as support to run multiple side-by-side apps. But those features haven’t been leaked.