The foldable Motorola RAZR's second screen might offer limited functionality compared to the Samsung Galaxy Fold

Moto Razr foldable design concept. (Source: Yanko Design)
Moto Razr foldable design concept. (Source: Yanko Design)
Motorola's upcoming foldable RAZR phone will have several uses for the closed screen as learnt by XDA Developers. However, the functionality of the closed screen could to be limited when compared to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and it currently seems as if only Moto apps can display content on the closed screen.

Foldable phones are all the rage these days and this year, we will be seeing the likes of Samsung, Huawei, and even Motorola debut foldable devices. Motorola recently confirmed rumors that it is indeed working on a foldable device, which in all likelihood will be a resurrection of the iconic RAZR brand. Now, XDA Developers has managed to source more information about some of the software aspects of the device, particularly about how the closed screen functions, and it looks like there will be some limitations.

According to XDA Developers, the closed display of the RAZR phone codenamed 'Voyager' offers the following functionality:

  • The closed display when unfolded can act as the trackpad. The functionality is currently limited to scrolling web pages in Chrome and the apps timeline.
  • The closed display allows up to six Quick Settings tiles to be displayed. Whether the option to scroll for more tiles is available or not is unclear at this time. 
  • The user can tap in the camera app on the primary display to take a photo and swipe up to zoom in. This should help in taking selfies. The dual screen also helps in showing a countdown timer.
  • The user can choose to show the Google Assistant animation on the closed screen when triggered. Otherwise, the user is prompted to flip open the device to access the Assistant. 
  • Motorola is testing the Moto Display app to show a clock, pulsing notifications, and controlling media via the external display.
  • The user might also have a choice of displaying a separate wallpaper on the closed display.

So far, it appears as though there are some limitations in how Motorola uses the closed display. The only apps currently allowed on the closed display are first-party apps such as Moto Display, Moto Actions, and Moto Camera. The Samsung Galaxy Fold on the other hand allows for seamless app transitions between the primary and the closed display and also allows for features such as Multi-Active Window.

The foldable Motorola RAZR is speculated to cost around US$1,500. Motorola couldn't get to demonstrate the phone at MWC 2019 so we expect Lenovo to showcase it during their annual conference in August.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-03- 9 (Update: 2019-03- 9)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.