Lenovo is working to introduce a smartphone that can be folded. The Chinese producer will introduce the Motorola Razr folding phone before 2020. Probably this will be the cheapest folding phone that has been introduced to date (except for the Royole Flexpai). Earlier, the company has already shown several prototypes in April this year, LetsGoDigital reported on a patent for a Lenovo foldable smartphone with a clamshell design.
Lenovo folding phone with double hinge
In March 2018, Lenovo Beijing filed a design patent with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) for a ‘flexible electronic device’. The patent was published in the USPTO database on 10 September 2019, while the patent was also included in the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) Global Design Database. There are 14 product sketches included.
It is a folding telephone with a clamshell design. You can fold the device into half giving it a considerably smaller and portable size. Once unfolded, you have an elongated display at your disposal.
The patented Lenovo foldable phone has many similarities with the device we reported earlier this year. It seems to be a simple variant with no secondary display. This was placed on the back of the previous model, as an additional notification screen, the phone is folded shut. Instead of a second screen, Lenovo has provided with an apparently light-ribbed plastic material in this model, enabling to have a good, firm grip.
Also striking, with the updated design, a physical fingerprint sensor is included on the back of the device. With the previous design it remained unclear how the phone can be unlocked, this model probably had an in-display fingerprint scanner. There are no smartphones in the market that has a flexible screen and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
There is a change in the hinge that has been revised. There was a wide hinge in the model that we discussed in April this year that could be folded at various points. The same functionality remains with the updated model, except two separate hinges are used.
If you use the upper folding line, you can fold the device almost completely. If you use the lower fold line, then a considerable part of the flexible screen remains usable, so you can look up something quickly or view incoming notifications or messages.
The smartphone has rounded edges. A small screen border is visible both above and below the flexible screen. A front camera and a speaker are included in the upper bezel. It looks like a second speaker has been placed at the bottom. However, this Lenovo phone is quite thin.
In addition to a selfie camera, this device also has a camera on the back. This is also a single camera. This folding telephone, therefore, has two cameras. That is very little if you look at the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which has a total of six cameras. Huawei has also been able to add an extra camera in recent months so that the updated Huawei Mate X has 4 cameras.
It is, of course, possible that Lenovo still chooses to place an extra camera. However, it is also possible, and certainly not to be excluded from this design, that the Chinese manufacturer wants to bet strongly on the price with this device. In that case, the focus will not be on a camera more or less.
When the first Lenovo folding phones expected?
Last month, LetsGoDigital reported exclusively that the Motorola RAZR will be sold in Europe from December 2019 / January 20220 for a suggested retail price of € 1500. Quite a difference with the price of other manufacturers.
You can buy the Samsung Fold for € 2,020 and the price of the Mate X is set at € 2,300. Huawei’s folding telephone launch will probably take place around November 2019. The lower pricing, however, comes from somewhere, in terms of hardware, the RAZR will look more like a middle-class smartphone than a top model. Also in terms of battery capacity, this device will not excel.
Obviously, Lenovo first wants to launch the RAZR under the Motorola brand, before they also release a foldable smartphone of their own. If both devices get a clamshell design, the focus is placed on price with both models. We may have to wait for MWC 2020 for the variant of Lenovo. Incidentally, there are more manufacturers that have a clamshell phone in development. Xiaomi too is planning to introduce a cheap folding phone next year.
Lenovo is also experimenting to provide other products with a flexible display. Earlier this year, the world’s first folding laptop Lenovo ThinkPad X1 was introduced. This special notebook will be launched in 2020. However, the RAZR smartphone’s announcement is expected before this notebook’s launch.