Worth the £1250 asking price?
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. ®
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