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Motorola AURA hands on!

Published Oct 30th, 2008 11:41AM EDT

We’re not the first site to have a hands on, but we’re the first with a production unit. So there! All jokes aside, I’d like to give you a little back story… about 3 years ago I was talking to one of my higher-up Motorola sources and we started discussing Vertus. I said how much the right people appreciated those phones even though there were completely outdated in terms of technology. They filled a void and were the first ones to get it. I suggested Motorola should create a spin-off brand and concentrate on higher-end phones. Use precious metals, hand assemble them, limit availability, and you’ve got yourself a winner. Our source promptly shot down the idea saying that Motorola wasn’t looking to manufacture high-end devices, just handsets that fall under the RAZR umbrella. Well, I guess all good ideas never die. Motorola’s AURA is in fact the highest-end device they’ve ever built.

As far as the physical hardware goes, Motorola has used the same strategy above that Vertu has used successfully for many years. They’ve made the device almost purely out of metal (even the keyboard is metal), there’s Swiss-manufactured internal components for the flip mechanism (same concept as the complicated movements inside your favorite expensive watch), and they used Sapphire crystal to overlay the beautiful circular display. We’re not joking here, guys — this is hands down one of the most beautiful and impressive screens we have ever seen. As far as build goes, this really is built how a phone should be. And hey, for a retail price of $2,000, it better be. The software is the MOTOMAGX platform which does not allow for 3G, so that’s a pretty decent strike against it. But, we were pleased with the responsiveness of the phone and the familiarity of it. The reason why you see the pre-production devices with the serial number engraved on the metal panel on the flip is that we’re told Motorola originally was limiting the phone to 5,000 handsets. They were going to engrave the buyer’s name and serial number on the panel. Then, Motorola executives probably said two words and changed their minds… “Russian. Market.” Since this is such an important milestone in Motorola’s history, we’re going to put together a full review on the Motorola AURA in the coming days. If you’ve got any questions that you’d like squared away, drop a comment and we’ll do our best to include it. As always, you can find our fine photos in the BGR Gallery below!

Click on over to our Motorola AURA hands on gallery!

Jonathan Geller Founder, President & Editor-in-chief

Jonathan Geller founded Boy Genius Report, now known as BGR, in 2006. It became the biggest mobile news destination in the world by the end of 2009, and BGR was acquired by leading digital media company PMC in April 2010.

Jonathan is President of the newly formed BGR Media, LLC., and Editor-in-chief of the BGR website.

What started as a side project at the age of 16, quickly transpired into 24-hour days and nights of sharing exclusive and breaking news about the mobile communications industry. BGR now reaches up to 100 million readers a month through the website, syndication partners, and additional channels.