Worth the £1250 asking price?
Review It's a moot point whether releasing an unashamedly style-led handset costing over a grand - yes, more than one thousand of your Earth poundingtons - at the present time is recession busting - or recession baiting. The kind of cash that's required to trouser this high-end, low-spec phone could well engender the sort of spending that will offset the credit crunch. Or it might just fuel the bonfire of toxic debt that has already brought us to this pretty pass.
Motorola's Aura: the return of artistry, apparently
And by releasing it now is Motorola showing a canny insight into market trends, or blindly forging ahead with a decision that was probably made a couple of years ago, and must continue simply because it can't conceive of any alternative?
While Motorola is hailing the Aura as a breakthrough in phone styling, the design isn't really new, strictly speaking. Phone fans with long memories may recall Motorola's V70 which debuted in the last century and featured a circular screen and a similar swivel action to access the keypad.
Besides the unusual look, the V70 was pretty much a bog-standard handset and, ten years later, so is the Aura. It's quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge, but there's no 3G, no Wi-Fi and only a 2Mp camera – nothing to detain tech-heads in other words.
But can there be method in Motorola's apparent madness? The Aura is undoubtedly a looker, thanks to its uniquely eye-catching screen. And it includes some very high-end components such as a polished stainless steel casing, which takes nearly two weeks to sculpt, etch and polish, apparently.
It's held together with nickel chrome-plated screws and includes a hardened steel gear mechanism for the swivel action too. This is a phone that's clearly built to last, and if you value a handset that will see you through the years in style, immune to the latest nips and tucks of technology, Motorola might just have something here.
Looks like some PR bunny missed the point. Literally.
Aura vs. 8800 Arte: 45% vs 80%????
Ok help me out here. I'm confused as to why this phone gets 45% in the review and the nokia 8800 Arte gets 80% - maybe because it's the Arte actually got reviewed as opposed to the author just annotating the press release??
Both the Aura and the 8800 share the same basic characteristics - a low-to-medium feature set, great build quality & design, astronomical price. They are both aimed at people who want a phone to be more than just a phone, and who have a PA to check their hotmail for them so they don't need a web browser on their phone.
So all else being equal, why does this score 45% and the Arte 80%?
For what it's worth I'd still have the Arte - but that's because I want a phone who's guarantee will outlast the company that made it and I don't have that confidence in Moto.
Sadly, I have seen one...
on the Motorola display board at Mobile World Congress, so I know it is not April Fools. I even played with it, but it had no power.
It FEELS classy, nice and well formed, and you can easily tell that the case is metal and not sculpted plastic.
Sadly, I think it has missed it's market - it isn't REALLY sexy enough for a show-off phone, not quite a Vertu. And now with true luxury goods names getting in the business of selling hyper-expensive mobiles (Tag Heur, Porche, etc.) , the name cachet of "Motorlola" doesn't really compete.
Too little, too late - and that is even as a luxury good, not as high-tech mobile. But the case window showing the gears is slick though, so I expect to see more like this (there is a kinetic powered luxury phone that I am too lazy to link to, but it also has one).
Robert, you are totally missing the point - probably way too wrapped up in The Jobsian Reality Distortion Field.
This device is neither about features not about useability. It has two functions:
Primary function: Look good, look expensive, BE expensive
Secondary function: Oh yeah, make occasional phone calls
It's an accessory dammit! The "wielder" of this device wants to display the "aura" of having lackeys who carry around j-phones or crackberries, and can't afford this thing AND not understand its point. Vertu name remind you of anything? It's not pointless, it does have its niche buyers, called clientele and not customers or users.
The filthy rich can be stupid, but are rarely so. The stupid and his/her money are soon parted you see. It's just that they don't usually occupy the same plane of existence/have the same mindset/outlook as the working class.
You can even relate if you can think about it: There are a lot of people on this bluish globe of ours who have to subsist on less than 1 USD a day - who probably won't be able to read this, living on yet another plane of existence.
When I first saw this thought that it was an April Fools joke until I did a google check, the phone is real.