Home Science & Technology Motorola ThinkPhone review: first impressions

Motorola ThinkPhone review: first impressions

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Business phones are rarely the most exciting devices, but there’s something magical about the ThinkPhone. It’s a smart move to expand such an iconic brand into the smartphone space, even if the device itself is standard.


  • Fast charging68 W charging from the included power supply

  • Inspiration for ThinkPadSome iconic features from the ThinkPad line of laptops, including the red key

  • Durable designIP68 for water resistance and MIL-STD 810 rating for added durability

Introduction

The ThinkPad is one of the most iconic laptops in history, and now Motorola and its parent company Lenovo are expanding the brand into the smartphone space with the ThinkPhone.

Aimed at business users and large companies, the ThinkPhone is Motorola with good specs Android phone with some additional features for the target market – a focus on security, for example.

Although the ThinkPhone won’t be widely available for consumer use, I had the opportunity to spend about an hour with it before its unveiling at CES 2023.

Screen and design

  • Bright red shortcut button
  • Durable assembly

DNA Art ThinkPad The ThinkPhone lineup is obvious in several ways. Most obviously, there’s a red shortcut button on the side, a sign of the iconic protrusion that still sits in the middle of ThinkPad laptops to this day.

thinkphone button
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The finish on the back of the phone should also feel familiar to ThinkPad users, while the ThinkPhone branding reflects what you’d find on a laptop. It’s certainly fair to say that Motorola has done a good job of making you feel part of the ThinkPad family.

thinkphone branding
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The rest of the phone is a little more generic, but I think it looks good in a professional way, and that’s really all that matters. The sides are flat, almost like an iPhone, and the front has a 6.6-inch display. The body is made of aluminum for a more durable construction.

It contains as an IP68 dust and water protection rating along with a MIL-STD 810 drop protection rating. Two welcome features for a device that can be handed around by several possibly clumsy employees. Don’t expect to find an expandable storage slot or headphone jack here, though.

In terms of display, the ThinkPhone gets most of the basics done, but doesn’t offer much in the way. It’s an OLED panel for inky blacks and excellent contrast with a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling. FHD+ resolution and basic HDR support too.

Productivity

  • Emphasis on safety
  • Not the latest Qualcomm chipset, but still plenty of power
  • Fast charging 68 W

The ThinkPhone is primarily designed for business, and many of the software features have been customized to suit a specific market.

Special attention is paid to security, for example a feature called ThinkShield works together with a special security chip to add extra PIN and password protection. Motorola also promises four years of security updates from Google.

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Another feature worth noting is Think 2 Think, a version of the Ready For software available on some of Motorola’s higher-end phones.

It allows you to use your phone’s camera as a laptop webcam, create a unified clipboard for easy copy/paste from different devices, and easily share files. Think 2 Think can also expand your phone’s screen via a connected monitor, and share notifications from a Windows PC.

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The phone is powered by the 2021 flagship Qualcomm 8+ Gen 1 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Of course, there is support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6E for those with compatible routers.

I only spent about an hour with the phone and wasn’t able to do a benchmark test, but it should be more than capable. I will also need more time to properly test the battery life. What I can say is that you’ll find a 68W fast charger included (which can also charge recent ThinkPads at full speed), and there’s slower Qi wireless charging included.

Camera

  • The same set of cameras as the Moto Edge 30 Fusion
  • Multiple cameras on the back and one on the front

It’s a business-first device, so I doubt the camera was a priority, but there are still a few sensors around the phone. The phone’s rear setup mimics the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion, consisting of a 50MP primary camera with OIS paired with a 13MP ultra-wide camera and a depth sensor.

There’s also a 32MP camera on the front, which I think is more important for a device that’s likely to be used a lot more for video calls and the like.

Initial verdict

Phones designed specifically for business use are rarely the most exciting, but there’s something magical about the ThinkPhone. It’s a smart move to expand such an iconic brand into the smartphone space, even if the device itself is standard.

Manufacturer

Screen size

Storage capacity

Rear camera

Front camera

Video recording

IP rating

Wireless charging

Fast charging

Operating system

Release date

Date of first review

HDR

Refresh rate

A set of microcircuits

AZP

A “view” this is just our first impression of the product – not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early feel of what it’s like to use it. We call these “hands-on reviews” to make them visible in search. However, they are always non-evaluative and non-recommendative. More about our review policy.

Jargon Reporter

OLED

Organic Light Emitting Diode is a panel technology that allows each individual pixel to produce light rather than relying on a backlight. This allows the screen to accurately display black by turning off the pixel, resulting in improved contrast compared to conventional LCD panels.

mAh

Abbreviation for milliamp-hours and a way of expressing the capacity of batteries, especially the smaller ones in phones. In most cases, the higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last, but this is not always the case.

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