25 Oct Vertu Signature Touch 2015
Rich people never wanted to be associated with the plebs, not even by the unfortunate necessity of having a mobile phone. For that very reason, Nokia invented a ridiculous luxury custom-made mobile phones line and sold it to people with more money than sense until 2012, when they sold the whole gimmick to a private equity group EQT VI – a Swedish private equity group worth around 30 billion Euro – retaining just about 10 per cent of the UK based Vertu brand. Despite the exorbitant price and the truly outdated OS – Nokia’s own Series 40 – Vertu managed to find 350k customers, mainly nouveau riche questionable characters from Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
Since the takeover by EQT VI, Vertu decided to actually provide something for the exorbitant price they demand and started outfitting the devices with the Android OS, at the Church Crookham, Hampshire, England – the location of the factory being the most ironic fact of the whole operation. The most expensive model ever sold was the Signature Cobra – no, a cobra did not sign, nor design the phone – which went for £213,000 in 2006. Yes, someone paid almost a quarter of a mill quid for a ghastly smartphone that ran on the same OS found in 1000 times cheaper phone devices.
Anyway, in 2015 the new Vertu Signature Touch has been released and it is now a real smartphone with flagship specs, which will cost you about as much as at least twenty Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphones, without contract. This titanium body and luxurious calf leather clad abomination has a Sapphire crystal glass capacitive touchscreen, 5.2 inches in size with a screen-to-body ratio of 65% and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which amounts to some 424 ppi pixel density. Inside is the notorious Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810, yes the one that overheats, an octa-core CPU with the Adreno 430 GPU, 64 GB storage and 4 GB RAM, microSD card slot and a 21 MP camera with dual-LED flash.
It does look like some thought went into the design of the Vertu Signature Touch 2015, because it looks original, a bit like the Vertu Constellation from 2011, only a bit more debonair. The integrated OS is the latest Android OS v. 5.1, Lollipop, upgrade to version 6.0 has not been announced. The non-removable Li-Ion 3160 mAh battery is fine, as are the stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, but they sound nothing like HTC BoomSound speakers – still unchallenged. It is quite a weighty fellow, around half a pound and quite thick for a fancy-pants gadget, whole 10.8 mm.
People do need to show off their gadgets and James Bond should definitely show off one of these goodies in the next outing, but why on Earth would any sane person waste twenty thousand quid for a smartphone is beyond anybody’s guess. Granted the Sapphire crystal glass may be more expensive than Corning Gorilla Glass 4, granted titanium is more expensive than Aluminium, but inside is nothing better than what is in any flagship smartphone and the whole package is certainly not worth 20k. Sony’s Xperia Z5 has better specs than this monster.
If you have 20k to burn and would like to define your personality by an overpriced smartphone, you can purchase the new iPhone 6S plus and save yourself 19k for other endeavours, or you can purchase the Vertu Signature Touch 2015, basic model. You can add gold, diamonds, human eyeballs, DNA testing equipment and probably the rocket ship to Mars to the purchase price, laser weapons coming free of charge – or rather not free of charge. All joking aside, this is a solid phone, but greatly overpriced. Compensation for some shortcoming can be obtained by other, more acceptable means.