Motorola wants you to wear its new bendable phone like a watch - but don't get too excited

The company unveiled its adaptive display concept at Lenovo Tech World '23, and it features a bendable form factor as well as some AI party tricks.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor

Ever stared at your boring slab phone and thought, "Why can't I just slap this thing on my wrist?" No? That makes two of us. But that may be exactly how we interact with our smartphones in the future. Or, at least, in the future Motorola is envisioning.

Also: OnePlus' first-ever foldable makes Samsung and Google's look outdated

Today at Lenovo Tech World '23, Motorola unveiled on stage its new Adaptive Display concept, a shape-shifting Android phone that can be bent to varying degrees. For example, the 6.9-inch slab can be bent into a C-shape and be worn and operated like a smartwatch. 

Motorola suggests pairing this wrist-worn mode with one of its new AI features that creates a phone wallpaper to match your outfit. We've seen something similar with Samsung phones and Galaxy smartwatches.

The Adaptive Display concept can also be bent so that the top half curves upward for a more ergonomic viewing experience. This self-standing position presents you with a 4.6-inch display, ideal for video calls, scrolling through social feeds, and other vertical-aligned tasks. The use cases are flexible. 

Motorola's Adaptive Display Upright Video Call mode

Given that this is a concept phone, pricing, and availability are out of the question. For now, I'm curious about how durable the phone is, how viable it is to wear something as heavy as a phone on your wrist, and how uncomfortable it will get after a long day at work. Also, is it even possible to make a case for this thing?

Also: Motorola unveiled the "Moto-rolla" at MWC earlier this year

There are plenty of other Qs, of course, but such uncertainties lead me to believe that Motorola's smartwatch-replacing phone likely won't see the light of day. Nonetheless, it's a valiant attempt at bringing something fresh to a smartphone market that's slowly but surely transitioning more toward foldable form factors.

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