News on Mototola's crazy high-end Aura cellphone surfaced last week, and over at Mobile Review they've actually managed to get a hold of a pre-production example and given it a good playing-with. And as the gallery confirms, the round-screened phone really does seem to impress with its shiny looks, whizzy screensavers and clocks, and circularly-tweaked UI.
Since the circular-screen is the first of its type in a cellphone, the guys gave its menus and such the most thorough going-over. Apparently Moto's engineers wanted to optimize all the UI to make the most of the roundness, but ended up mainly tweaking the main menu, which has a suite of icons arranged in a circle, while many of the phone's other menus and controls simply end up working in a rectangular, conventional screen area in the middle of the display. The phone's precision-engineered rotation mechanism was pleasing too, with the viewing window on the back giving you a hint of the gearing involved, though flipping it open will likely take a bit of practice. Plus its all-metal rounded shape means its feel in the hand is pretty good. From a design/initial grope point of view then, the phone actually looks pretty interesting. Of course it's hard to know how good a gadget like this really is until you've given it a good road-test, trying out its functions as much as possible. So, despite its shiny sleekness, we'll have to wait for a review like that before you'll know if the Aura is worth its hefty $2000 price tag. [Mobile Review via Engadgetc]