The Motorola RAZR flip phone is BACK and renamed the Binatone Blade

THE tech firm Binatone is preparing to release a new version of the iconic RAZR flip phone called the Blade – and we’ve managed to get our hands on a leaked prototype.

News of the Blade’s existence was first revealed last week when tech journalist and mobile phone entrepreneur Simon Rockman claimed to have bought an early version of the gadget from eBay.

 An official press shot of the BinaTone blade, which will be released in November

Binatone

An official press shot of the BinaTone blade, which will be released in November

He gave The Sun Online exclusive photos of his Blade as well as his thoughts on the retro-styled phone, which you can read later on in this article.

This morning, Binatone confirmed the existence of the Blade and described it as being inspired by phones we “loved nearly 20 years ago”.

The stripped back new phone is designed to be the antidote to gadgets like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S8.

Recent studies have suggested teens are beginning to get fed up with social media and are turning to brick phones to cut the cord and disconnect themselves from Facebook, Instagram and other all-pervasive networks.

 This image shows a prototype of the Blade on top of the old RAZR, Rockman claims

Simon Rockman

This image shows a prototype of the Blade on top of the old RAZR, Rockman claims
 You can see the new phone is thinner than the old one which inspired it
You can see the new phone is thinner than the old one which inspired it
 The RAZR flip phone was one of the most iconic handsets that's ever been released

Simon Rockman

The RAZR flip phone was one of the most iconic handsets that’s ever been released

The phone is actually made by a British company called Binatone which licenced the design from Motorola.

Simon Rockman claimed he was able to buy a prototype from eBay for just £22.95 – half the eventual street price of £49.99.

He believes it was put up for sale by a company or individual who was sent the prototype for testing.

Rockman worked at Motorola when the original was released in 2003, selling for more than £800.

It was built by a crack team of Motorola engineers who worked overtime in evenings and weekends in a top-secret facility and without managers knowing what they were up to, Rockman said.

Motorola teases new Android version of Razr handset
 The new Blade is aimed at people who want a simple phone without the bells and whistles of modern gadgets

Simon Rockman

The new Blade is aimed at people who want a simple phone without the bells and whistles of modern gadgets
 It's believed that some teenagers and young people are getting fed up of social media, so are turning to old-fashioned phones which make it more difficult to access Facebook or other services

Simon Rockman

It’s believed that some teenagers and young people are getting fed up of social media, so are turning to old-fashioned phones which make it more difficult to access Facebook or other services
 The Blade will come in three colours: red, black and rose gold

Simon Rockman

The Blade will come in three colours: red, black and rose gold

Various versions of the RAZR went on to sell over 100 million with everyone from Jeremy Clarkson to David Beckham being spotted with one.

Here’s what Rockman, who now runs a telecoms firm called Fuss Free Phones, had to say about the Binatone Blade: “With the basic look of the RAZR, the Blade is more of a tribute act than a faithful follow-up.

“It’s bargain priced and this means it hasn’t got the quality feel of the original.

“The new phone is plastic where the original was metal. It doesn’t shut with the same satisfying snap.

The smartphone shortcuts that will change the way you use your Apple device

STRIPPED BACK: The retro features of the Binatone Blade

  • Backlit keypad
  • Phonebook for 100 contacts
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarm function
  • Different Ringtones / Vibration
  • LED Torch
  • Battery Li-ion > 600 mAh
  • Micro USB charger input
  • USB Headset Connection
  • FM radio
  • Vibration

“Where the 2003 phone had a difficult-to-make laser etched keypad the Binatone Blade has standard keys printed in a 1970s typeface.

“The new phone is a lot lighter at 67g to the Razr’s 96g, which makes it feel cheap.

“The Blade does capture the thinness of the phone, which was designed by Chris Arnholt, who was once described by the RAZR project leader as a ‘quiet, humble genius’.

“The new phone doesn’t have the front screen which was added to later models of the RAZR.

“But what you get instead is a phone which is a tenth of the price of the original, has a music player, two SIM cards so that you can have two phone numbers and much better software.”


PHONE FEARS Excessive smartphone use can have a catastrophic effect on teens’ mental health


The announcement of the Blade comes after Nokia released a rebooted version of the 3310,cheap and cheerful version of the much-loved classic gadget which costs just £49.99.

Dino Lalvani, Binatone’s chairman said: “It’s a fact of life that most of us now carry two mobile phones.

“Whether it’s a work/home split, a second phone for holidays and festivals or just a temporary device to give to the kids for sleepovers, we just don’t have a single mobile anymore.

“We developed the Blade with this in mind, making sure it was a small, slim and light as possible, without compromising on battery life.

“Our designers really went to town and those of us old enough to remember will definitely see a resemblance to some of the iconic phones we loved nearly 20 years ago, which in consumer electronics is a lifetime.”

Shovel Knight to be Renamed Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

shovel-knight-treasure-trove

Developer Yacht Club Games has announced that big changes are coming Shovel Knight this year, including a name change, price increase, and standalone campaign releases.

When Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows launches this spring, it will be accompanied by Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope, and Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment. As Yacht Club Games explains, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is what all versions of Shovel Knight will become known as, and you’ll be able to purchase each campaign as a separate, standalone game on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch (prices TBA).

Also this spring, the price of Shovel Knight will be increasing from its current $14.99 USD (new price TBA). Yacht Club adds, “If you haven’t picked up Shovel Knight yet and want all the content included within Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, buy it now before the price increases this Spring! Or pick a selection of the standalone versions for a cheaper price!”

Here’s why all of these changes are coming to Shovel Knight:

Well, we hope providing less expensive standalone versions will provide better entry points for different types of players! Also, players can more easily grab an adventure (or Battle Mode) on another platform!

All owners of Shovel Knight on all platforms will automatically own Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove instead and will continue to get each of the planned free campaigns and features via updates. It will work exactly like how Shovel Knight was updated to include its first campaign addition, Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows. Don’t worry!

At the same time as Plague of Shadows this spring, Body Swap Mode will become available for Shovel Knight’s campaign, adding body-swapped versions of the main characters.

Then, later in 2017, the King Knight’s campaign and the 4-player Battle Mode will release on all platforms (Battle Mode won’t be available on 3DS/PS Vita). You’ll be able to buy them as standalone games, and they’ll also be delivered as free updates to Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.

Here’s an overview of what each Shovel Knight standalone game will include:

Spring 2017

  • Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope – Shovel of Hope is our new name for the original Shovel Knight game, since it needed a title like the others.
  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows – Plague Knight’s Campaign emerges from the Shadows to hopefully get some recognition this time!
  • Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment – Specter of Torment is our most expansive campaign yet. We’re so excited for you to become the reaper!

Later in 2017 (Names TBD)

  • Shovel Knight: King Knight’s Campaign – A crazy campaign with the gilded goob himself!
  • Shovel Knight: Battle Mode – Duel with up to 4 players as your favorite heroic or villainous knight! (3DS/Vita not included)

If you have any questions about the upcoming Shovel Knight changes, check out this FAQ.

Even with all the new content in the works, Yacht Club says they’ll begin working on a new project outside of Shovel Knight this year.

[Source: Yacht Club Games (1), (2)]

Shovel Knight coming to Switch, to be renamed Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Shovel Knight coming to Switch, to be renamed Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

2D side-scrolling platform getting price raise in the spring.

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Shovel Knight is coming to Nintendo Switch, developer Yacht Club Games announced. And Shovel Knight will be renamed Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove across all platforms and get a price raise in the spring.

There’s a lot to take in, so here is Yacht Club Games’ blog post in full:

Body Swap Mode

Body Swap Mode is complete and will be included for Shovel Knight’s campaign! Get ready for sprites and illustrations of all-new designs for body-swapped versions of the main characters as the release draws closer. To get you primed, here’s your first look at body-swapped Shovel Knight and Shield Knight!

Shovel Knight Two-Player Co-op

Finally!! After many requests! Grab a friend and rejoice! Local two player co-op in Shovel Knight’s campaign is coming as a free update to all console and PC platforms (3DS/Vita not included). Amiibo not required!

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

Soon, the game you now know as Shovel Knight will become Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. When that happens, you’ll also have new options to purchase each campaign as separate, standalone games on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Mac/Linux, and Nintendo Switch:

  • Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope Shovel of Hope is our new name for the original Shovel Knight game, since it needed a title like the others. What do you think!? Rewatch the adventure here.
  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows – Plague Knight’s Campaign emerges from the Shadows to hopefully get some recognition this time! Watch it all here.
  • Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment – Specter of Torment is our most expansive campaign yet. We’re so excited for you to become the reaper! See Specter Knight in action here.

Later in 2017 the following will release (names TBD):

  • Shovel Knight: King Knight’s Campaign – A crazy campaign with the gilded goob himself!
  • Shovel Knight: Battle Mode – Duel with up to 4 players as your favorite heroic or villainous knight! (3DS/Vita not included.)

Why is this happening? Well, we hope providing less expensive standalone versions will provide better entry points for different types of players! Also, players can more easily grab an adventure (or Battle Mode) on another platform!

All owners of Shovel Knight on all platforms will automatically own Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove instead and will continue to get each of the planned free campaigns and features via updates. It will work exactly like how Shovel Knight was updated to include its first campaign addition, Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows. Don’t worry!

Price Raise

In the spring, we will be raising the price of Shovel Knight. If you haven’t picked up Shovel Knight yet and want all the content included within Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, buy it now before the price increases this spring! Or pick a selection of the standalone versions for a cheaper price!