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Would you want a smartphone that doubles as a smartwatch?

Motorola's latest concept phone is weird

At Mobile World Congress 2024 (MWC), Motorola showed off a concept phone that wraps around your wrist. I got the opportunity to try it out, and boy, it is weird.

I’m not necessarily saying it’s a bad idea, or you shouldn’t be excited about it, but it is undeniably strange.

To be clear, this isn’t the first time the company has unveiled this bendy phone. In fact, Lenovo showed off the device at Lenovo Tech World ’23 back in October, but the company brought the wacky smartphone to MWC to showcase it to more press, including myself.

Here’s how it works: When the device isn’t wrapped around your wrist, it has a 6.9-inch display with a very tall aspect ratio. In this mode, you can use the device like any other handset. You’ll quickly notice it features an odd orange fabric backing that’s kind of like the Vision Pro’s headband. However, it’s pretty tall, making it strange to slide into your pocket — but that’s on purpose. The idea is that instead of putting the handset in your pocket when you’re done with it, you attach it to a magnetic wristband.

“There are still a lot of unknowns about Motorola’s concept device.”

On the back of the device, there are two silver magnetic strips you’ll need to ensure are attached to the wristband. If they aren’t attached, it will definitely fall off (I’m looking at you, Nirave Gondhia, who dropped the concept in front of everyone). However, the wristband smartphone won’t randomly fall off once it’s securely attached. Believe me — when I had the watch wrapped around my wrist, I wiggled my arm around a lot, and it was fine.

While I had the wrap-around phone on my left wrist, I was wearing my Apple Watch Series 9 on the other, and it was definitely heavier than my smartwatch, just as I suspected it would be. However, a two-in-one device might be better than having your Apple Watch on your wrist and your iPhone in your pocket all the time. When wrapped around your wrist, the device’s software adapts naturally. It shows the time, but you can still access apps and do other things. Also, because of its bending abilities, you can flex the phone into different positions, such as having the device bent into a ‘U’ shape and placing it down like a tent, or moving part of the display to face downwards to watch videos hands-free without needing a stand.

There are still a lot of unknowns about Motorola’s concept device. First off, we don’t know what powers it, its battery size, when it will release or even if it’ll make its way to Canada. It’s also important to point out that, like Motorola’s Rizr, this is only a concept they might never get released.

Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating proof of concept, but at the end of the day, I’m unsure if people are ready to replace their phones and smartwatches with this two-in-one device.

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