Motorola thinks you want to wear your next phone

The Motorola Active Display bendable phone concept
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Motorola debuted a new Active Display bending phone concept at Lenovo Tech World '23.
  • The new concept phone can be bent at any angle and worn on a wrist thanks to its tight, flexible hinge and grippy fabric back.
  • The 6.9-inch pOLED display can also completely unbend, becoming a "normal" slab-style phone, or sit partially bent on a table revealing a 4.6-inch display.

Foldable phones are getting more and more commonplace as prices continue to drop and manufacturers keep finding new ways to take advantage of the technology. But Motorola's new folding phone isn't like its existing Razr Plus phone. This one can be worn on your wrist like a smartwatch.

The new bending phone — called the Motorola Active Display concept — uses a flexible multi-pronged hinge that can be bent and folded in several different ways. As you can see from the header image, it can be bent 90 degrees to fit snugly around wrists of any size. It can even hold in place well, thanks to the grippy fabric back. That makes it a lot more practical than the previous rollable concept the company debuted.

When worn on the wrist like this, the Active Display concept works a lot like a smartwatch or the cover display of the Razr Plus, showing a clock and notifications. Interacting with content on a device like this is a lot better than a smartwatch since the display is significantly larger, but there are also obvious drawbacks to wearing something this bulky on your wrist.

Motorola is even debuting a new wallpaper feature that lets users take a picture of their outfit and let the onboard AI design a new wallpaper to match their clothes. That makes particular sense since this phone can be worn.

The last time we saw anything similar come to market was the LG G Flex 2 back in 2018, but that phone wasn't designed to bend nearly as much as this. Motorola's concept can be bent into several different shapes, including an L-shape that lets it stand on its own on a table.

This particular design is perfect for always-on display information or when on a video call as display is still 4.6-inches in this configuration. You can also further bend it down to look a bit like a Microsoft Arc Mouse, no doubt helping it work well with Motorola Ready For.

Motorola is also debuting new onboard LLM AI features that allow users to better scan documents — even if they have wrinkles — quickly summarize a web page, and even blur private names and data when sharing on social media.

From the demo, you'd edit any photos and tap the AI button that appears in the image editor. From there, the AI will scan the photo and automatically blur out names, usernames, and other personal information so you can more safely share things on social media without accidentally oversharing data.

No word yet on when these features will come to Motorola phones, but we'd expect some to make it to the company's Android 14 update.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu