updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue October 21, 2008
Motorola today broke some ground in cellphones today by revealing the AURA, the world's first handset with a full color circular LCD. While small at just under 1.6 inches, the display has a unique, 480-pixel diameter resolution that produces an extremely high 300 dots per inch density and also makes the phone's swivel design possible; unlike a slider or some other swivel phones, the display can stay in a fixed position while the outer cover rotates to reveal the number pad. It generates 16 million colors and so has a photo print-like quality, Motorola adds.
Billed as a luxury phone, the AURA is also made of relatively high-grade materials that include a 62-carat sapphire lens that protects the two-megapixel camera from scratches, a stainless steel body with precision ball bearings, and an aluminum keypad. Actual hardware features are relatively modest, however, and include 2GB of built-in memory as the only storage option, a media player app, stereo Bluetooth and EDGE data.
Motorola plans to ship the AURA internationally during the fall, but hasn't named carriers; an unlocked version will be available in the US on December 4th for $2,000. It supports North American frequencies and so should work with AT&T, T-Mobile and Rogers.