/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Meet the luxury phone for the super-rich and super-paranoid (pictures)

With its titanium body and security features, the Solarin phone from Sirin labs wants to earn its $16,000 price tag.

andrewhoyleheadshot2013-2.jpg
Andrew Hoyle
solarin-phone-video-20.jpg
1 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If you want to keep spies out of your business and you've got money to burn, then the Solarin phone from new startup Sirin Labs is the smartphone for you.

It's built from luxury materials, but its main aim is to encrypt all your calls and messages, making sure that all those shady deals you're doing stay firmly between you and your dodgy contacts.

Privacy comes at a price, though, and that price according to Sirin Labs £9,500 ($16,000). That's the starting price for the Solarin, but you can add even more money onto that if you want fancy metals like real gold. Which you do, of course.

The phone is available to buy online, or you can go down to Sirin Labs' retail store in no other than London's fanciest area, Mayfair.

solarin-phone-video-16.jpg
2 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You do get some fancy design for that vast amount of cash. The body of the handset is made from titanium, and that back panel is real leather, which for some reason the company has tried to make look like carbon fibre.

solarin-phone-video-18.jpg
3 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It tapers to a neat point at both ends.

solarin-phone-video-9.jpg
4 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Here it is next to the iPhone 6S. Both phones have 5.2-inch displays.

solarin-phone-video-10.jpg
5 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

On the back of the phone is a 24-megapixel camera, with a four-tone flash. Above it is a very important switch. Flick it and...

solarin-phone-video-7.jpg
6 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

...it switches into its private mode. When in private mode, all your calls and texts will be fully encrypted to make sure no sneaky hackers can access what you're up to.

solarin-phone-video-8.jpg
7 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Only calls and texts and texts are encrypted, so don't try sending launch codes over Snapchat.

solarin-phone-video-11.jpg
8 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There's a fingerprint scanner, of course, to make sure only you -- or the guys who sawed off your hand -- can access your phone.

solarin-phone-video-5.jpg
9 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You might think that a phone so pricey would come with the latest version of Android onboard.

You'd be wrong.

Instead, it runs the older Android Lollipop software.

solarin-phone-video-6.jpg
10 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Android interface is much the same as you'd find on any Android phone. It runs on an octa-core Qualcomm 810 processor, and there's a 4,000mAh battery, too.

solarin-phone-video-12.jpg
11 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There's a front-facing camera, hidden beneath the nicely curved Gorilla Glass 4 toughened glass.

solarin-phone-video-13.jpg
12 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It's certainly a dramatic-looking piece of kit. Whip this out in the business class suite of a major airline and people will know you mean business.

solarin-phone-video-21.jpg
13 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Yes, spending so much money on a phone may seem ridiculous to most of us, but it's not really designed for "us," is it? It's for those of you who own multibillion dollar corporations and are happy to spend any amount of money if it helps keeps your business secrets safe.

solarin-phone-video.jpg
14 of 14 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You do at least get the latest USB-C connector on the side.

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
The 23 best Christmas movies and where to watch them

More Galleries

The 23 best Christmas movies and where to watch them

23 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

67 Photos
Spooky space shots show creepy side of the cosmos

More Galleries

Spooky space shots show creepy side of the cosmos

29 Photos
2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

More Galleries

2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

65 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos