If you ever get your hands on a Vertu phone, whatever you do, don't drop it.
These cellphones are worth anywhere between $10,000 and $21,000 dollars.
Reading about the Signature Touch line of smart phones by Vertu might make the fiscally-responsible side of your brain kick into a fugue state. But the over-indulgent, chocolate-for-breakfast-because-I-can side of your brain will enjoy the details about these hand-crafted pieces of technology.
A durable titanium casing, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal screen, and a back cloaked in premium animal hide -- leather or crocodile, your choice -- as well as a ceramic “pillow” around the earpiece of the handset greet the luxury user.
Even the Signature Touch's SIM-card holder is nifty distinction, according to Wired. The user folds out a little ring handle on the back side of the phone, twists it, and it pops open a swinging door, the inside of which is signed with an etching by its builder; each phone is assembled by a single person from soup to nuts in Vertu’s factory in England.
For the anti-NSA types, the Signature Touch is able to keep your text messages and phone conversations, but not your emails, on lockdown. The phone comes with voice, video-chat, and text encryption powered by Silent Circle, but to get the full end-to-end encryption you might have to buy your buddies the pricey phones too; message recipients must also be running the Silent Phone or Silent Text app to ensure full protection, according to Wired.
But the extravagant phone comes with perks: for instance the Silent Circle features are free for the first year, and the British would never leave you hanging without your own personal butler. Ok, it's actually a concierge service, but for the entire first year you tote the phone-worth-a-car around, you'll have access to your very own attendant. After that, the 24-hour concierge helper will cost a mere $3,000 a year.
“Signature Touch is our pinnacle smartphone, designed for a global consumer who appreciates and expects unique products and first class performance," Massimiliano Pogliani, Vertu’s chief executive officer, said.
The "global consumer" comment speaks to the company's "one world phone" mentality.
“Most phones come out of the box prepared only for their area of sale, so when you travel with them, they may not work as efficiently in other markets," Vertu’s Research and Development Director, Neil Hooper, said. "Signature Touch was designed under the Vertu ethos of a ‘one world phone’, with the development team working to ensure that, no matter where you are in the world, (the phone) has the optimum set up for the region that you are in."
The company press release says this "perfect world service" is complemented by global Wi-Fi access supplied by iPass.
Just by glancing at the "lifestyle" shots on Vertu's website, you can tell which customers they expect could afford the phone: a globe-trotting executive, anyone who owns their own plane and keeps a model of it on their desk, or perhaps a world-famous photographer.
While we may never afford (or want the burden of trying not to drop) the Signature Touch, it's still fun to look at.
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