You may not have heard of Vertu before, so here’s a quick history lesson. The company produces handmade, luxury mobile phones and was up until last year owned by Nokia. Following Nokia’s well-publicised problems, it sold the always-profitable Vertu to a private equity group. After a lengthy transition period, Vertu is back with a brand new phone – the Vertu TI. What makes it standout is for the first time, it uses Google Android as its operating system.
Vertu’s of the past used Nokia’s Series 40 or Symbian software, making them more about style than technology. The Vertu TI brings the brand bang up-to-date as not only does it have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, it also has a fast, dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor with a clock speed of 1.5GHz.
The screen measures 3.7-inches and has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, plus there is an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, 64GB of storage space, NFC and a front-facing video call lens. But the specs are only half the story, as the phone is built from forged aluminium and titanium, which makes it incredibly strong, while the sapphire crystal screen is tough enough to withstand a ball bearing weighing 110 grams being dropped on it.
All this is in addition to a personal concierge service, where you’re connected to someone who will make reservations at your favourite restaurant (or recommend a new one), help you check out a new company or even hire a bodyguard. If this sounds a little extreme, it’s because Vertu’s clientele are usually fairly well off, something reflected in the price. The basic Vertu TI costs 7,900 euros, but you can spend up to 16,500 euros if you want one made with even more precious metals. It’s on sale now, if your bank account can stand it.