In the States, Motorola has launched the "AURA" a high-end phone that the company says is "inspired by luxury watches and handcrafted design".

Seemingly giving weight to the argument that Motorola's design team is stuck in some kind of time warp, or Groundhog Day at the very least, the phone strongly resembles the company's V70 from the early Noughties.

Under the slogan "the return of artistry", the phone is launching with a circular display and "a sensory experience that is second to none for those with refined tastes".

The 1.55-inch in diameter screen is a world first in the mobile phone industry and gets a 300dpi resolution and 16 million colours.

The phone is said to be constructed from high-end materials with "superb craftsmanship". It has a sapphire crystal lens, a stainless steel housing with a chemically etched texture and pattern that takes nearly 2 weeks to sculpt, etch and polish.

With a Swiss-made main bearing, there's a custom-engineered rotating mechanism has 130 precision ball bearings and the whole device gets a mirror polish finish.

Specs-wise the phone is less than luxurious. It's a GSM/EDGE/GPRS handset with a 2-megapixel camera. There's multimedia playback and 2GB of built-in memory.

Due to launch in the fourth quarter of 2008, operator pricing has not been officially revealed, but it will sell in the States handset-only for $2000.