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.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot

Andrew Lanxon

See full bio
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

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More
John Cena attends Warner Bros. premiere of The Suicide Squad, in costume as Peacemaker.

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
The Best Games on Nintendo Switch in 2022
zelda-cnet-2.jpg

The Best Games on Nintendo Switch in 2022

36 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games
astro-bot-rescue-mission-screen-02-ps4-us-18may18

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More
thor4

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

85 Photos
Meet the US Navy's new $13 billion aircraft carrier
dcs09-371-5.jpg

Meet the US Navy's new $13 billion aircraft carrier

74 Photos
24 things you should never, ever google
snape

24 things you should never, ever google

25 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths
img9412.jpg

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos