Right now, Qualcomm is in the middle of hosting its Snapdragon Summit in Maui (no, I wasn’t invited) and it’s unveiling a bunch of cool stuff. There’s the new Snapdragon 865 processor that’ll be in every high-end Android phone next year; the new 765 processor which offers a less powerful but eerily similar experience to the 865; and a new, much larger in-display fingerprint reader that can read two prints at once.
That’s cool and all, but I wanted to highlight an announcement that almost got swept away in the midst of the press coverage for the summit. Qualcomm invited a few executives onstage from Motorola to talk about the new Snapdragon 865 and 765 along with 5G and a variety of other topics. usually, when a company invites another company onstage, it’s so that the latter can announce something. The same was true here.
In this case, Motorola confirmed it would start making flagship phones again beginning in 2020. The company says it will launch new devices with Snapdragon 865 and 765 chipsets inside, which means the company will make a return to form and start targeting the high-end smartphone spectrum yet again.
This is huge news. The latest proper flagship phone Motorola came out with was the Moto Z2 Force in 2017. Since then, phones that the company has shipped have targeted the mid-range and low-end spectrums of the market. Granted, this move was in their best interest – for the past five quarters, Moto has been profitable, and it’s all thanks to the doubling-down of investments and development in the budget division of the smartphone world. At this point, it looks like the Lenovo brand is ready to jump back into the ring with the big dogs.
We first saw evidence that Motorola would return to the high-end smartphone market with the rebooted Razr last month. That phone is clearly targeted at the high-end despite offering mid-range specifications. It costs $1,500. I don’t see anybody with a mere $500 or $600 even considering that phone, even though you could find a device for $1,000 less with the same specs.
Motorola wants to innovate, and the flagship Razr phone is perfect evidence of that. Hopefully, when the company’s first devices with the 865 launch, they do enough to stand out from the rest of the overly-saturated market of $1,000+ handsets. We can only hope and pray. After all, it’s Motorola. Who knows what might happen? We could be strapping more Mods to the backs of our phones by next summer.
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