Vertu Constellation Quest: The blingtastic £17,300 smart phone

If you're willing to spend nearly £20,000 on a smart phone, then firstly, you're crazy. Secondly, luxury handset manufacturer Vertu has announced the Constellation Quest for all of £17,300.

You may think your fancy new smart phone was expensive, but it's a drop in the ocean compared to this beacon of bling -- the Vertu Constellation Quest.

Announced at a glitzy press party attended by stars like Kevin Spacey and Seal, the Constellation Quest is the latest in a line of luxury phones made by Vertu, a British-based subsidiary of Nokia. The idea is pretty simple: to create mobile phones that scream luxury, along the same lines of a Rolex or Gucci handbag.

The Constellation Quest can be thought of as a really, really, really expensive version of a Nokia phone like the E72 or E63 . Functionally, it works in much the same way -- it's the materials and care that have gone into making the hellishly expensive handset that give it its jaw-dropping price.

If you have a few thousand pounds to spare, there are three variants of the Constellation Quest you can pick up. For cheapskates, there's a £5,000 version made from brushed stainless steel and black leather. This is available in black or silver.

The £5,900 version is made with polished stainless steel and has some incredibly flash sapphire keys. You can get this in black, or pink leather for those Paris Hilton protégés out there. The most expensive of the handsets comes in at an incredible £17,300, and for that you get yellow gold instead of steel. There are more versions in the pipeline, we're told.

The actual specs of the device are unclear, however we did spot a camera with LED flash, two touch-sensitive buttons and a colour display. It also includes a proper analogue clock, which you think would have added another couple of zeroes to the cost, considering the price of designer watches. In saying that, this phone is less about the hardware and more about the fine materials and precious time that went into its creation.

"Our new smart phone represents the pinnacle of our 12-year history," said Hutch Hutchison, head of concept creation and design at Vertu. "Over the years we have mastered the use of fantastic materials, but now we are incorporating that with cutting-edge technology."

If you're rich and insane enough to buy the Constellation Quest from a Vertu boutique, you also have the option to sign up for the Vertu Concierge service -- a dedicated lifestyle manager to cater to your every whim. This service can be accessed via a dedicated key on the handset.

It looks like a practical joke, but all this is deadly serious. As Perry Oosting, president of Vertu puts it: "It's all about beauty and an emotional value. It's for people who either want to express their lifestyle, success and a higher appreciation of beautiful materials and experiences."

Or just how much cash they have.

 

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