After you've taken your pics, there are a few basic editing options such as cropping, resizing, rotating and adding colour effects. Video fares even worse, offering just 176 x 144 resolution, with very little depth and a tendency to get extremely blurry with movement. You can also view video in H.263, H.264 and MPEG 4 formats.
Sweet swivel action
The music player has little in the way of extras, though you can create playlists on the hoof, and it will play all the main compressed formats, including AAC, AAC+, enhanced AAC+, MIDI, MP3, WAV and WMA. There's 2GB of memory on board which isn't bad but you'll need to make the most of it as you won't be able to add any more via memory card – the Aura doesn't do them, dahling.
The largeish headphones bundled with the phone actually sound rather good, with a full, but not thumping bass sound and a pleasingly broad dynamic range. Adding your own is a problem, however, since there's no 35mm jack, though there is an adaptor to convert Motorola's power connection to mini USB, or you could take advantage of the Bluetooth A2DP connection to use some wireless ones. We tried it with a set of Sony Ericsson IS800s, though Motorola has its own sets available – set-up was easy and they worked a treat.
Additional features include an alarm clock, a calculator and a selection of basic games such as Sudoku and slot machines, though the presence of Java means you can download others. There's also a recorder for voice notes, plus appointments calendar and address book.
Available now for fashionable manbags
Battery life wasn't bad, and the Aura was still going after three days of moderate use – perhaps no surprise since it has so few data-hungry applications.
The lens-covered screen is a stunner and the swivel action is sweet as nuts but considering its price, if we have to do without 3G or Wi-Fi, we'd have liked to have seen a better camera on there. No one will buy this phone with the intention of being at the cutting edge of telecoms technology, but in competition with other super-priced, tiny-tech handsets, such as Nokia's 8800 Arte or the Vertu, as a pocket-friendly status symbol, it's probably the best available. ®
More Fashion Phone Reviews...
Samsung Emporio Armani Night Effect
LG Prada II
Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
Nokia 8800 Arte
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.