Dec 17, 2008

A $2,000 Motorola Phone (Sapphire Crystal Display Included)

Would you pay $250 for a sandwich? Are you the sort who buys clothes, cars and electronics at full price, and considers sales to be a form of cheating? Do you wish your blender had gold plating?

Motorola has your new phone.

It’s called the Aura, and oh how it makes the iPhone, the Storm and other assorted smart phones look — what’s the word I’m looking for here — affordable? Reasonable? Sane?

The Aura, which was announced in October and went on sale Tuesday, costs $2,000. For that, you get a phone that has some new features, none of which cures major diseases or painful inflammation. But they do sound fancy:

- Chemically etched textures and patterns
- Three tungsten-carbon-carbide-coated main gears
- The main bearing is Swiss-made
- Protective PVD coating and mirror polish finish, same as used on luxury watches
- 130 precision ball bearings
- Scratch-resistant, 62-carat, grade 1 sapphire crystal display

I know what you’re thinking: Why doesn’t my cruddy old Nokia have more ball bearings? Well, who knows — maybe it’s got plenty. You’re still able to talk on it. But is that really enough to have you feeling up-to-date when everyone whips out their phone at a cocktail party and starts bragging about whose gears have more carbide coating?

I suppose this is what happens when touch screens and smartphones and embedded music players become the norm. This is what happens when entry-level phones have GPS, and WalMart starts to contemplate carrying the iPhone.

The ante has been raised, people. The chemically etched bar is higher than ever.

Oh, and here’s something else the Motorola Aura offers: a 2-megapixel camera. Seriously. That’s what you get. Two megapixels. Sure, you could get that same quality with a $59 phone. But why bother? That would be cheating.

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