Later this week, Motorola and parent company Lenovo will host a special event in San Francisco, California, called Lenovo Tech World where the two companies will announce a whole host of new devices.
MobileSyrup will be on the ground in the Bay Area to cover the event, bringing you the latest announcements from the two historic brands. In the meantime, we’ve prepared this piece, which collects information from the majority of leaks we’ve seen to date and puts them all in one place.
As preface, since the two companies have invited an entire contingent of Canadian media to the event, it’s likely at least one of the products announced at Tech World will come to Canada. With that out of the way, here’s what we think smartphone consumers can expect to see later this week.
A new name for an old friend
To start, you can expect Lenovo to announce new iterations of its Moto X Play and Moto X Style smartphones, though they will no longer carry the X branding. Instead, the two companies are expected, for reasons known only to them, to drop the X in favour of Z.
More exciting than a name change is the fact, taking a cue from LG, the two new phones will feature a modular component. At the very least, Motorola is expected to announce three backplates, reportedly called MotoMods, that add to the functionality of the two phones. For instance, thanks to a photo from serial leaker Evan Blass, we know one of the backs will give consumers access to a Hasselblad camera, while another one will let users add a JBL speaker to their smartphone.
On the one hand, given that the modular component of these two devices sounds a lot like the evolution of Moto Maker, we may not see the backplates make their way to Canada. On the other, given that the backplates seems pretty integral to the overall design and marketing of the devices, it’s possible Canadians may be able to get their hands on them.
Moreover, if past history is any indication the Moto Z Pure may not come to Canada. That leaves Canadians waiting on the more modestly specced Moto Z Play. According to the leaks we’ve seen leading to the event, consumers in some markets will be able to choose between a 16GB and 32GB storage configuration and a 2GB and 3GB configuration. Otherwise, each and every Moto Z Play is expected to ship with a Snapdragon 625 processor, 16 megapixel camera and 3500mAh battery.
Project Tango finally gets its time in the sun
Prior to Google’s annual developer conference, I/O, which went down on May 18th, most publications, including MobileSyrup, speculated that the company planned to devote part of its opening day keynote to Lenovo’s upcoming Project Tango smartphone. While multiple sessions during the two day event were devoted to Project Tango, Google did not provide specifics the device, which is to be the first consumer-facing device to take advantage of its augmented reality platform. That duty now falls to Lenovo itself.
Teased back at the start of the year, Lenovo is expected to properly announced its first Project Tango smartphone on Thursday. In contrast to most phones released in 2016, there hasn’t a deluge of leaks pertaining to Lenovo’s as of yet unnamed device. What we do know is that it will measure in at just under 6.5 inches and feature a Snapdragon processor. According to Evan Blass again, the device will be called PHAB2 Pro and it will ship with a QHD display. Past rumours have indicated the PHAB2 Pro will cost under $500 USD and will ship sometime later this summer. We haven’t heard whether it will come to Canada.
The RAZR won’t make a glorious comeback
Partway through last month, Motorola teased the return of the RAZR, its signature flip phone from the mid 2000s, in a video dripping with nostalgia. However, don’t expect the company to announce a new RAZR device at Tech World, because it turns out that video was created to show how the company had helped to redefined mobile, not tease a specific device.
In an interview with The Telegraph, a spokesperson for the company told the publication Motorola has no plans to return to the device that defined its identity during the last decade. “We love how the throwback video has been embraced and the excitement it has generated,” said the spokesperson.”The RAZR was one of the most iconic phones ever designed and redefined how stylish a mobile phone can be. While Moto is not re-releasing the RAZR, we will transform mobile again on June 9th.”
While some will be disappointed by this news, it’s not an unforeseen turn of events. We here at MobileSyrup were pretty excited about the prospect of the Razr coming back, if only because most of us on staff grew up during the height of its popularity, but in 2016 it makes little sense to release a flip phone. Save for outliers like Japan, most of the world has outgrown the form factor, just like they outgrew the RAZR.