Home  Out Now  Coming Soon Advertise  WAP  Search  Subscribe   RSS 2.0 Feed   YouTube   


Motorola AURA

 Motorola AURA Discontinued
21st October 2008

We will be the first to admit that we give Motorola a hard time for coming up with products that are frankly disappointing. But the new Motorola AURA shows that Motorola can still come up with handsets that are innovative and have plenty of "wow factor".

The good news is that this is a very exciting device. The bad news is that the SIM-free price in the US is a shocking $1999.99 (about £1200 or €1500) when it launches in December (you can pre-order it now). We could easily come up with 101 reasons why you shouldn't spend that much money on what is basically a fashion phone.. so we're going to give you some reasons why you should instead.

Let's get something out of the way first - at its heart, the Motorola AURA is not a particularly sophisticated phone. It's a simple quad-band GSM device, with a basic 2 megapixel digital camera and 2GB of internal memory. The AURA lacks 3G support, WiFi or GPS.. if these things are important to you, then there are plenty of better things to spend your money on.

 Motorola AURA But there are plenty of things that make the Motorola AURA unique - firstly, it's a very rare "rotator" handset. Motorola have done this before, back in 2002 with the Motorola V70, but that was six years ago and the whole format looks completely fresh. Yes, to an extent the Nokia 7373 and the old Motorola V80 do the same thing.. but they aren't in the same league as the AURA. A lot of work has gone into the rotating mechanism, but we will look at that more in a moment.

The other truly remarkable thing is the display.. this isn't a rectangular display in a circular housing, the AURA actually has a circular LCD display that is 480 pixels and 1.55 inches in diameter. We don't know how practical this is, especially when displaying web pages, but we can say that it is very cool indeed. The 16 million colour screen is protected by a sapphire crystal lens to prevent scratches, something that presumably adds a great deal to the price.

The bulk of the phone is made from a chemically etched stainless steel housing that has been hand polished and given a protective coating. Motorola says that it takes two weeks to make the front piece of the phone, which again helps to account for some of the cost. The aluminium keys are individually made and finished before being assembled, and there are interesting features such as nickel-chrome plated exposed screws.

Even the rotating mechanism is pretty cool - there are 130 precision ball-bearings, hardened steel gears and Swiss engineering to create something that is a cross between racing car design and precision clockwork. Motorola say that the idea is that the mechanism should work just as well the 100,000th time it is used as it did on the first time.

 Motorola AURA close-up Despite the lack of 3G or WiFi, the Motorola AURA does come with a comprehensive media player supporting MP3, AAC and Windows Media formats. There's a web browser and email client, and the AURA feature's Motorola's useful CrystalTalk technology for improved call clarity. The AURA also has stereo Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0. Some of Motorola's technical specifications mention microSD memory, although it is possible that this is an error.

It's quite a heavy device at 141 grams, but in terms of size it is pocket friendly at 97 x 48 x 19mm. Talktime is around 7 hours with up to 16 days standby time.

Let's be honest - the Motorola AURA is an insanely over-engineered device with a price tag to match. A handset such as the Samsung i8510 will deliver much more when it comes to "traditional" phone features and it is an awful lot cheaper. But the AURA is easily the coolest phone on the market, with a design that should appeal both to the fashion conscious and those that can appreciate the advanced engineering that has gone into it.

The launch date in the US is 4th December, with other regions slated for Q4 2008.

 Subscribe to our newsletter or RSS feed for more news on upcoming releases

Motorola AURA at a glance


Q4 2008


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900




480 pixel diameter


2 megapixels


97 x 48 x 19mm / 141 grams



Memory card:







Not specified



Battery life:

4 hours talk / 16 days standby


 About Us       Links

Copyright (c) 2014 - Unauthorised copying is prohibited by law. Use of this site means that you agree to our privacy and cookie policies.