MWC 2009: Various brands overview
At this year's MWC Motorola once again failed to grab the attention of the public. Their nicely made booth was in fact a home of rather various devices that didn't exactly qualify as novel. To cut the long story short, Motorola didn't present any new phones at the MWC 2009.
As we rarely see much of the once top manufacturer, we decided to go through a couple of their devices that we hadn't seen in person before. The first one is the Motorola A3100, also known by its codename Atilla, along with the Motorola Aura - an exclusive extra expensive device meant for the rich and famous.
The Motorola A3100, also known as Atilla, is the first keyboard-less Windows Mobile device by the company. It's an iPhone-sized device with a 2.8-inch QVGA-only screen, Wi-Fi, GPS and a 3 megapixel camera.
Externally, perhaps the most attractive feature of the A3100 is the brushed metal back.
The main method of navigating throughout the interface (besides the obvious touching of course) is the trackball just below the display.
The Motorola A3100 runs on a vanilla Windows Mobile 6.1 with a basic home screen interface consisting of various tabs scrolling across the screen sideways.
You've basically got a Today screen with a scoop of messages and appointments, but you can easily scroll to check weather information in selected cities. There's also a quick-dial Contacts screen, an application launcher and a fullscreen RSS reader.
Unfortunately, the Motorola A3100 lacks any wow-factor and probably only die-hard WinMo fans will be attracted to it.
If there's anything that the Motorola Aura certainly has it's an aura of extravagance and exclusivity. Sporting the world's first Swiss-made opening mechanism, a unique circular display and interface and finally, an all-metallic body, the Aura of Motorola has certainly got the killer looks.
The opening mechanism of the upper part of the rotation cover of the Aura has some really interesting design logic. The opening movement is assisted, so you can easily open it up single-handedly, however closing requires some extra effort. Opening the cover works in either direction, however you have to close it going in the opposite direction of the one you chose for opening it.
The mechanism behind the whole thing seems quite exquisitely exposed through the special port hole on the back of the phone. Reportedly, it takes a whole week to assemble the whole upper cover with all the tidbits and that makes the 2000 US dollars price a bit more understandable, but not a notch easier to swallow.
We were really interested in the circular user interface developed especially for the Motorola AURA. It ticks quite fast with excellent responsiveness. Unfortunately, the D-pad seemed a bit small for comfortable clicking through the menu icons. nevertheless, the UI graphics are extra nice and make really nice use of the unorthodox screen form factor.
The Motorola Aura have been announced for quite some time now but Motorola have decided to officially pimp it up with a set of approximately 90 brilliant cut diamonds set around the display amounting to a total of 1 karat. You can even pick the colors of the diamonds to match your wishes.
The new Motorola Aura Diamoniqe is an exclusively limited edition with only 50 units made. It's styled by luxury designer Alexander Amosu, known for making a diamond Blackberry Bold, diamond iPhone, diamond iPod Touch, diamond Nokia N95 or even diamond Canon IXUS 80IS.
The Motorola Aura Diamoniqe comes with one year free international concierge service in 44 cities around the world and will set you back a good 5000 GBP - and that's without the delivery cost.
And if that is a bit too much for you, Alexander Amosu and Motorola have teamed up for a Gold edition of the Motorola Aura, which comes slightly more cheaper.
Gold-plated with 24-carat gold, the Motorola Aura Gold can be yours for "only" 2000 GBP, which is less than half of what you would pay for the Aura Diamoniqe. Plus you get to choose out of rose, yellow, pink and rhodium black gold.