MWC 2024: Moto’s Wearable Wrist Phone Is Cool & All, But It’s Not Practical

Motorola wrist phone concept on table at MWC 2024
In Short
  • Motorola has a foldable phone concept on display at MWC 2024, which can be folded into a wrist phone.
  • The Motorola wrist phone uses multiple batteries connected in series to achieve this flexibility.
  • You need to wear a strap with magnets at all times for the phone to attach and stay on your wrist.

Concept devices are always exciting to look at because they show us the endless possibilities and extremes of how we can use technology and engineering to create things that look out of the world. From visible camera lenses that vanish in thin air (OnePlus Concept One) to phones with displays that wrap around or open to transform into a phone and tablet form factor (Mi Mix Fold). And just as we thought we’d seen everything, Motorola had a wrist phone concept on display at the MWC 2024 show floor that wraps around your hand and becomes wearable.

Lenovo-owned Motorola first showcased this technology in 2023 where it called it an “Adaptive display concept.” The phone doesn’t exactly have a hinge, rather the staff told us that it “has a spine” through which folding it backward in such acute and deeper angles is made possible.

You may ask, “How does it cling onto your hand?” See the staff wearing a strap on their hand in the GIF below? The strap hosts two magnets one at the top and the other at the bottom side. The bottom part of the phone clings to the top magnet while the other side attaches to the bottom magnet when folded.

The Motorola staff repeatedly kept pressing the phone onto the magnets to adjust the folding phone’s position on the wrist.

“Folding a device with a large battery is pretty brave of Motorola,” is that what you are thinking? Actually, no. The phone hosts multiple batteries that are interconnected. While we don’t know how many, it essentially allows the phone to fold without exploding.

The appearance is uncanny, and it looks quite big on the wrist. Lenovo could’ve made it slimmer in width but it couldn’t have been possible to accommodate a bigger cell that way.

As for the UI, it doesn’t look like there is a dedicated UI or a watch mode but the phone lets Android know to adapt to a smaller form factor and shift the UI elements on the lower half when it folds.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of having a big screen on your wrist is personalization. Motorola has added a theme feature where you take a picture of yourself with the phone and it analyzes the colors and patterns of your outfits, makes four themes to match them, and lets you select one of them as your theme, which is pretty cool.

However, in our observation, some of the colors and patterns chosen in particular scenarios weren’t accurate. This is a feature I’ve wanted modern WearOS smartwatches to have but they don’t have a camera, so alas. what if they used our phone’s cameras to make custom themes instead? That’d be pretty cool.

Then there’s tent mode and a cobra pose mode (?). The UI will adapt to both the form factors and you can play games or take meetings in these modes.

Motorola says the wearable wrist phone is still very much a concept and we shouldn’t expect it to release anytime soon. Concepts are cool and while I’d say yes to most of them, this concept from Motorola is far from practical. Although, if we ever managed to defy physics and made a slim version of the same in width, maybe I would want to give it a try.

What are your thoughts on this Motorola wrist phone concept? Do you think Lenovo should bring it to the market? If not, what can they improve in it? Let us know in the comment section below.

Comments 1
  • Jim says:

    This isn’t the direction I was hoping or even imagining a “wrist phone” would go, I’d much rather see them advance the tech in smartwatches so they could actually be phone replacements, but at this point I’ll take anything that get’s me even close to the dream of just having my phone strapped to my wrist.

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