A recent Twitter post from a prominent leaker shows what appears to be the next generation of Motorola’s foldable Razr smartphone without a visible fingerprint scanner, signaling a possible switch over to facial recognition for its form of biometric authentication.
The tweet, posted by Evan Blass — popularly known as @evleaks — shows a 3D rendering of a device that looks similar to the foldable Razr that was launched earlier this year, however with the notable absence of a fingerprint scanner on the phone’s ‘chin’.
It’s possible that Motorola decided to move the fingerprint sensor — there are parts of the phone that aren’t visible in the leaked image — but it’s also a possibility that the second generation Razr will rely solely on facial recognition for its form of biometric authentication.
If that is the case, the move would seem to echo a trend started by Apple, with the release of the iPhone X in 2017 which saw the end of Touch ID fingerprint authentication (until this year’s iPhone SE release) in favor of Face ID for 3D facial recognition.
Google similarly followed suit with the release of its latest flagship Pixel 4, which also ditched its familiar rear-mounted fingerprint sensor in favor of Face Unlock facial recognition.
The biometric fingerprint authentication system was featured in Apple’s phones from its debut in the iPhone 5S in 2013 all the way to 2017’s iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, until being replaced by facial recognition in subsequent iPhones after the iPhone X, which marked Face ID’s debut.
The original Motorola Razr was launched in 2004 and enjoyed several successful years as one of the most iconic flip phones on the planet until it was discontinued in 2007.
In January of this year, Motorola launched the Razr (2020), bringing the phone back with a similar design to the original, and with a foldable screen. The bottom of the device — also known as the ‘chin’ — was disproportionately larger than the top (the ‘forehead’) due to the presence of a fingerprint sensor.