Rich people can scheme in secret with £6,750 Vertu Signature Touch
The titanium, sapphire and calfskin Vertu Signature Touch smartphone costs thousands but gets you into the most exclusive clubs.
Here's a quick and easy way to tell how rich you are: take your phone out of your pocket. Is it made of plastic? Or is it made of titanium, sapphire and calfskin with 4G that works almost anywhere your yacht can take you, a dedicated concierge to conjure up your every whim at the click of a finger, and encrypted phone calls so you can plot and scheme with fellow members of the 1 percent without worrying about anyone overhearing?
If it's the former, you're a worthless peasant. If it's the latter, congratulations: you own a Vertu Signature Touch, which at £6,750 ($11,300, AU$12,200) -- for the cheapest model! -- means you are unquestionably, unassailably rich.
Inside the Signature Touch is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3GHz processor running Android KitKat 4.4, with 64GB of storage. You can juice up the Signature Touch with Qi wireless charging. It connects to the Web over 4G and Vertu reckons it'll work on most 4G bands around the world.
The 4.7-inch 473dpi 1080p high definition screen is covered in a single 5.1-inch slab of 118-carat sapphire. Your smartphone may have an HD display but can the screen be measured be carats? No it cannot.
UK-based Vertu, formerly owned by Nokia, has also recruited such luxe brands as Bang & Olufsen and Dolby to take care of the sound and Hasselblad to certify the camera.
The phone is encased in grade 5 titanium and a range of dead animals including hand-finished calf leather. It comes in "Jet Calf", "Claret Calf", "Pure Jet", "Seaspray Lizard", "Damson Lizard", "Pure Navy Lizard", "Jet Alligator" and "Pure Jet Red Gold Mixed Metals".
That's red, blue, purple and black to you and me. I had to Google "damson". Oh, and the price tag on the mixed metal model? $21,900.
If you think six grand is a lot even for a phone made of titanium, sapphire and calf leather, then bear in mind the extras that come with it. The phone itself is a portal to Vertu's concierge service, which means you press a button and get put through to a magical call centre that provides you with whatever you want, whether it's a taxi or a hotel or ten elephants decked out in your other half's favourite colour.
On top of that there's the Vertu Life package, which gets you into the most exclusive clubs wherever you roam, and Vertu Certainty, which uses the technology of Silent Circle to encrypt your calls. Silent Circle is a security company that also protects calls to and from the Geeksphone Blackphone, which caused a stir earlier this year with its privacy-focused features.
Vertu also has a deal with broadband company iPass to connect you to free Wi-Fi around the globe.
The Signature Touch will be out in June 2014 in Vertu Boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Madison Ave in New York and The Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, as well as other shops that would probably give you a hard look and subtly point you out to security should you accidentally wander in.