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Daily Authority: 😲 Brand new Motorola-ble

On today's TDA, we go hands-on with the Motorola rizr at MWC 2023, find host of great AI stories, and more.
By
February 27, 2023
motorola rizr rollable phone expanded sideview
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

😁 Good day, and welcome back to the Daily Authority. Somehow it’s Monday again and nearly the end of February. Where has the time gone? Before I waste any more of it, let’s get straight into today’s top story from MWC 2023.

We go hands on with Motorola’s rizr

motorola rizr rollable phone compact front facing camera 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Motorola brought the conceptual heat to a chilly Barcelona with its latest rollable phone concept. Dubbed the Motorola rizr, the phone caught Rita’s eye. Here are her thoughts after spending an afternoon with the device.

rizr basics

  • Motorola showcased a concept rollable phone back in October 2022.
  • This week, at MWC 2023, the company provided us with a working concept.
  • Called the rizr rollable phone concept, the device has a wonderfully compact form factor, but when you need more display, it momentarily scrolls out extra screen and tucks away when you’re done.
  • Rollable phones are generally more ergonomic in theory than foldables, and the rizr proves this in practice.

Watch me roll

  • The Motorola rizr’s party piece is its 5-inch 15:9 POLED display.
  • In this form, the phone is tiny compared to modern flagships that often pack 6-inch-and-above displays.
  • The screen also wraps around the back of the phone, covering a third of its rear plate.
  • This “secondary” display can be used as an always-on notifications panel or a camera preview display.
  • When the power button is tapped twice, most of this rear panel rolls up to the front of the phone.
  • This extends the screen to a much roomier 22:9 6.5-inch panel.
  • All in all, this process takes around three seconds.
  • Notably, Android accommodates the larger display by realigning icons and stretching apps.
  • At this size, the rizr feels much more like a traditional flagship.
  • If you double-tap the power button once again, the screen retracts.
  • “It can also drop down a little further to reveal the front-facing camera and speaker grille,” says Rita.

Questions remain

  • Rollable phones have yet to hit the mass market, and many questions remain.
  • The rizr packs a minor 3,000mAh battery, which may not be enough to power you through the day.
  • There’s also doubt over the form factor’s ruggedness.
  • Motorola kept the rizr in a case for the duration of Rita’s hands-on.
  • “Without it, the display would be entirely bare on the bottom and back, meaning you couldn’t put it down on a surface without worrying about how many dust particles were on there,” she notes.
  • As for when the rizr will debut, that remains unknown.
  • Motorola’s 312 Labs division targets a “couple of years ahead,” but that remains to be seen.
  • We had already seen concepts from LG and Oppo a few years ago, so the technology is there.
  • But is it truly ready?
  • Overall, we’re fully behind rollable phones and hope they land sooner rather than later.

Roundup

💻 More rollables at MWC 2023: This Lenovo laptop doubles its screen size at the touch of a button (Android Authority).

👐 We also went hands-on with the TCL NXTPAPER 11 tablet in Barcelona (Android Authority).

🗺️ Staying with Xiaomi, MIUI 14’s global release schedule is now live. Know when your phone will get the update (Android Authority).

💬 Final AI story today and a super read: Tech companies are reportedly hiring “prompt engineers” to train chat-based platforms (Washington Post).

🔓 Signal will ditch the UK if a new encryption law is passed, according to the firm’s CEO (Ars Technica).

💥 Zoom and enhance: What only works in movies? (r/askreddit).

Monday meme

No lessons or helpful links this week, just a glimpse into ChatGPT’s dread when we poke it with a keyboard.

Have a great day,

Andy Walker, Editor.