B&O $1,275 phone hits U.S. stores

Bang & Olufsen's Serene is finally released in the states

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee

Would you shell out more than a grand for a cell phone? Bang & Olufsen, makers of high-end electronics fit for Hollywood celebrities and corporate bigwigs, is betting someone will. The company has partnered with Samsung to come up with the Serene, a design-first handset that launched a few days ago at the jaw-dropping price of $1,275. Yes, that's $1,275 for a cell phone.

It is certainly a beautiful piece of gadgetry; a black flip phone with a rotary-style keypad, complete with a power-assist self-opening clamshell that lets you open the phone with style and panache. But is it functional? Ronn Owens, host for KGO radio in the Bay Area, gave it a lukewarm reception on our News.com blog about a month ago, calling it "a phone for a museum, not your pocket." While we couldn't agree more, you might be interested to read David Pogue's mostly positive review of the phone in the New York Times (though he, too, balked at the phone's price), comparing the elegance of the Serene to what a still-mythical Apple iPhone should feel like.

For me, the answer to the question is a flat-out no. But hey, I'm no millionaire.

(Photo: Bang & Olufsen)