While other handset manufacturers have been busy tacking QWERTY keyboards onto everything with a screen, Motorola has designers hard at work on its next fashion phone: the AURA. Designed to appeal to the Gucci and Prada crowd, the phone borrows stylistic cues and materials from high-end watchmakers, along with a unique circular LCD screen, to make a bold stylistic statement.
The racetrack-shaped phone makes the 16-million-color LCD screen at its top the focal point around which the rest of the phone literally pivots on a Swiss-made main bearing, revealing an anodized aluminum keypad within. Besides the unusual shape of the screen, Motorola also advertises its incredible pixel density of 300 dots-per-inch, which is comparable to the quality of some photographic prints.
Cues from watchmakers are evident on the back of the phone, where the phone’s 2-megapixel camera is protected by a lens crafted from 62-Carat sapphire, one of the most scratch resistant materials on earth, according to Motorola. That inspiration also carries over to the face, where the stainless steel housing has been chemically etched and sculpted with a design that takes nearly two weeks for craftsmen to finish, then coated with PVD to give it a lasting shine. All together, Motorola boasts that the phone is comprised of over 700 individual parts.
Images Courtesy of Motorola
From an electronic standpoint, it’s less of a stunner, with fairly standard phone, text messaging, and e-mail capabilities, plus support for a basket of audio and video formats – and watching movies on a tiny circle could be slightly challenging. Other extras include an available 2GB of onboard memory, stereo Bluetooth, and Motorola’s proprietary CrystalTalk technology for cutting out background noise.
Motorola will make the phone available in the fourth quarter of 2008, although the price approaches what you might pay for one of the fine watches Motorola has modeled it upon. The company will charge $2,000 for an unlocked version, which supports GSM and should operate on AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States. Check out Motorola’s website for more information.
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