Boutique phone manufacturer Vertu returned from years of hiatus with the unveiling of flagship handset Metavertu, which it claimed as the first smartphone built exclusively for the Web3 experience.

At a global launch held in London, Vertu CEO Gary Chan said it was time for the company to “revolutionise” the smartphone market in keeping with the growth of Web3 and blockchain ecosystems.

Chan named the Metavertu flagship collection as the first ever innovation to tap Web3 and metaverse services into a mobile phone.

The phone is powered by the  Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, includes a light node system, blockchain-enabling applications, a dual operating system (Web2 and Web3) and a voice assistant which will answer to Web3-related questions alongside basic features.

The new flagship also promotes NFT transactions, allowing users to generate and store NFT collections through a built-in app secured with unique authentication. Once an NFT is generated via camera and uploaded to the app, a digital certificate will be issued.

Vertu noted the deployment of a Web3-specific system, including a privacy chip, which it asserts prevents user data and assets from being stolen.

Chan explained the Metavertu flagship as the first Web3 phone that promises high performance, comparing the innovation with older key players whose feature phones still run on outdated software.

The company is expecting the launch of its London retail store by year-end, where the Metavertu collection, ranging from £2,909 to a hefty £36,587, will be available.