Lenovo’s smartphone division has as soon as once more been caught deceptive the press on its future plans. This time, the corporate held a press occasion for Chinese language media and confirmed off what it mentioned was a render of the legendary Moto Razr cellphone reboot with a foldable show. The one drawback is “Lenovo’s” Razr render was a fanmade video that it obtain from the Web, and the creator says the corporate did not even have permission to make use of it.

The allegedly stolen video in query is that this Moto Razr idea video created by Waqar Khan. What seems to be an edited model of Khan’s video was given to the Chinese language media, and stories like this one from Sina Know-how (a media firm from the house owners of Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter clone) rehosted the video saying (by translation), “Lenovo in the present day unveiled its personal folding display screen cell phone video in an interview with Sina Know-how and different media.”

The rehosted video, reportedly from Lenovo, exhibits Khan’s Razr render with some—however not all—of the watermarks eliminated. Essentially the most noticeable remaining watermark is on the clock, which says “Idea by @WaqarKahnHD” above and under the time. This seems on the within and outdoors screens of the cellphone render. The unique video has watermarks within the backside left and prime proper corners of the video, which have been cropped out within the model given to the Chinese language media.

Richard Lai, Editor-in-Chief of Engadget Chinese language, additionally confirms the assembly with Lenovo did truly occur, and he even shared a video from the press occasion. On this, Khan’s video seems on a projector—once more with Khan’s watermark within the clock, however this time with a “Lenovo” display screen on the finish of the video.

This isn’t the primary time Lenovo’s smartphone division particularly has gone out of its strategy to mislead the press. The corporate shared incorrect and significantly exaggerated renders of the Lenovo Z5 within the run as much as launch, as an illustration. The corporate’s renders and outline of the cellphone, launched simply weeks earlier than the launch, claimed it could be practically all show with a notch-less design. Lenovo made the Z5 appear to be a big leap over present smartphones, however when the ultimate launch got here, the corporate as a substitute turned in a cellphone with a notch and a thick backside bezel, identical to each different cellphone available on the market on the time.
So is the foldable Razr cellphone truly in improvement?

Allegedly taking a fan made video and passing it off as a Lenovo challenge is embarrassing sufficient, however there is a large query that must be requested in any case this: does the folding Moto Razr cellphone truly exist? If the folding Razr is an actual smartphone in improvement and Lenovo needed to speak to the press about it, why did not Lenovo have their very own self-made render to share? Why would a fan render be correct in any respect?

Lenovo has by no means truly mentioned it’s constructing a folding Razr cellphone. The corporate patented a folding Razr design, however each firm patents each potential design it could possibly consider, and patents are by no means stable indicators of future merchandise. The one credible information concerning the Moto Razr got here from a Wall Road Journal report written in January 2019. The story famous a $1500 foldable smartphone can be launched on Verizon the US “as quickly as February.” Clearly, it is Might now, so it does not appear to be the timeline in that report was correct. Was the cellphone delayed for upwards of 5 months, or was the report mistaken?

Lenovo’s foldable Razr patent.

We’ve not seen a single stable piece of proof that the Moto Razr truly exists. It is extraordinarily uncommon that any high-profile in-development cellphone is stored a secret. It is also exhausting to think about the cellphone was at one level a month away from launching, quickly delayed a number of months, after which by no means leaked in any case that rearranging. Apart from a number of dubiously-sourced renders (which, as seen above, can come from anyplace), this cellphone is a ghost.

Attempt to think about Lenovo’s place right here: you might be extraordinarily thirsty for press consideration, you wish to speak to the press about your in-development Razr cellphone, and slightly than present what you might be truly engaged on, you select to obtain and edit another person’s YouTube video. This isn’t conduct that is smart—notably if the Razr cellphone is definitely in improvement.

The closest factor we have seen to cellphone with a Razr-style design is a prototype Sharp show demo that had a vertically folding display screen. This “system,” proven off in April 2019, wasn’t a cellphone; it was a foldable show mounted to an enormous metallic field. Regardless of having a whole metallic shoebox price of area to retailer smartphone components in, the folding show half nonetheless wasn’t anyplace near the thinness you’ll count on from a “Razr” cellphone.

As we discovered with the Galaxy Fold, foldable shows are very fragile, and a method to assist with longevity is to not put a tough crease within the show. That is the technique Sharp’s show demo takes, however holding a wider bend radius within the show means a thicker system.

The foldable Moto Razr design pictured in Lenovo’s patents and Khan’s render doesn’t appear to be a potential smartphone design. It is too skinny, the show would wish to fold an excessive amount of, and it does not appear like there may be room for a large battery. It appears extra like somebody traced the unique Razr design for a patent for granted for feasibility.

Whereas expertise continuously improves and designs that weren’t potential in the present day ultimately grow to be potential sooner or later, Lenovo will almost certainly not be one of many firms to leap forward of the pack on the subject of foldables. Lenovo is just not a top-tier smartphone firm—it doesn’t produce new or trail-blazing smartphone designs the way in which Samsung, Apple, and Huawei do. Foldables, after they do get found out, will almost certainly be found out by one in all these three firms.

Samsung is a foundational large in smartphone expertise, and the Galaxy Fold, with all its issues, is the closest foldable to launch as a result of Samsung is the most important and most superior show producer on Earth. Apple is essentially the most worthwhile smartphone firm on Earth and might make investments a ton of cash in R&D and provide strains to create smartphone applied sciences which have by no means been carried out earlier than. Huawei is the second greatest smartphone producer on Earth behind Samsung, however as a Chinese language firm, it has the good thing about quicker collaboration with all the provide line firms in China. Many would additionally say this firm has the complete would possibly of the Chinese language authorities behind them, which might assist rather a lot in attending to market first.

In distinction to any of these organizations, Lenovo’s smartphone division has by no means proven the power to get a characteristic or expertise to market first. The whole trade is barreling towards foldable smartphones, however to ensure that a second (or third?) tier producer like Lenovo to get a foldable smartphone out the door, we have to see the massive firms nail all the things down first. Even then, all of those first era gadgets will likely be approach uglier and thicker than this legendary Razr render.

Itemizing picture by Waqar Khan


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