“Luxury” handset maker Vertu confirmed the launch of its first Android powered device, with the company arguing that despite a price tag starting at €7,900, “Vertu will never be at the bleeding edge of technology”.
According to the BBC, there are “just 326,000 Vertu smartphone owners worldwide after 10 years in the industry”. This exclusivity forms part of the proposition, with Perry Oosting, its CEO, noting: “We don’t make massive numbers of phones and the price point is reflective of that.”
As anticipated, Vertu TI has a feature set that is best categorised as mid-tier. It runs Android 4.0 with a “uniquely tailored user interface”, has a dual core 1.7GHz processor, 3.7-inch screen, 8 megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
The company said that the display is “the largest sapphire crystal screen ever engineered”, and is “virtually scratch proof…and tested to be four times stronger than other smartphones in terms of impact resistance”.
It also includes “symphonic sound tuned in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen and punctuated by the London Symphony Orchestra”. The company said that “powerful stereo drivers” are acoustically integrated into the chassis, to maximise frequency response and level.
The Vertu TI also introduces “the Vertu key”, which the company said “provides instant access to a curated world of benefits and services available via a global team of professionals available to customers wherever they may be, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week”.
With the entry-level model costing €7,900, four versions are available, reaching €16,500 for the “black PVD titanium red gold mixed metals” device.
While the privately-held (and previously Nokia-owned) company provides few details of its business, it said that it has seen sales growth every year since 2002 – “barring only 2009”.
It also said that “a strong product roadmap is in place to ensure that this trend continues over the coming years”.