The Motorola Rizr rollable phone concept gets some hands-on time at MWC 2023

Motorola Rizr concept
(Image credit: Motorola)

What you need to know

  • Motorola Rizr is a new rollable concept phone from the Lenovo-owned company.
  • Unveiled at MWC, the Rizr has two screen sizes to play around with; a 5-inch screen that extends to 6.5 inches.
  • It will transform sizes automatically based on content or can be triggered with the power button.

Motorola used to make RIZR series smartphones decades ago — a feature phone with a sliding mechanism where the screen slid up to give access to the well-regarded T9 keyboard. Two decades later, Motorola introduced a new RIZR phone at MWC 2023 this week that is out of the world.

The new rollable screen is an AMOLED panel with flat edges, which can be triggered by double pressing the home button to raise or lower the display from 5 inches to 6.5 inches. If you’re wondering where the screen will incorporate itself in 5-inch mode, it intelligently rolls to the rear. The user can use it as a secondary screen or a camera viewfinder, as seen on Motorola Razr and Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Several hands-on videos are popping up on the web from those visiting the MWC 2023, which is currently being held in Barcelona. These videos give us what to expect from the new rollable concept phone. Avi Greengart, president and lead analyst at Techsponentialk, shared his hands-on with the device on his Twitter, showcasing more functionalities with the new Rizr rollable Android smartphone.

As revealed by Greengart's hands-on, the 5-inch display further rolls down to reveal a hidden selfie camera and speaker, which is done automatically while clicking selfies and during a call. While this reminds us of pop-up selfie cameras from the past, the approach from Motorola on the Rizr is cooler than the previous iterations.

The phone can automatically extend during certain situations, such as when you rotate the device in landscape orientation to while watching a video or when you click on a text field to open the keyboard.

While the concept certainly looks fantastic, its durability comes into question. We can see from the side view that the display doesn't appear to be flush with the chassis and pops out a bit. The top portion of the display also doesn't seem well protected when rolled out. The durability is obviously something Motorola needs to focus on with the Rizr concept phone if it ever plans to launch the phone as a commercial product.

This isn't the first time a rollable phone has been shown off, and this particular concept was demoed back in October at Lenovo World 2022. Similarly, other rollable phones like the OPPO X 2021 have shown off in the past, although no such device has reached commercial availability.

Still, the growing popularity of foldable phones from companies like Samsung, Motorola, and OPPO is a great example of successful commercial products utilizing a relatively new form factor, even though it took a few generations of devices to get to this point. Hopefully, companies like Motorola will take the rollable concept to the mainstream.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.