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Vertu’s new Bentley smartphone probably costs more than your car

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On our list of things we can’t afford, both Vertu smartphones and Bentley cars rank pretty highly.

As if to torment us further, the two luxury firms have teamed up to create a new phone – the Vertu Signature for Bentley – that’s unsurprisingly wallet-shattering.

The handset is actually the second entry into Vertu’s Bentley range, the previous iteration having been announced back in October.

This latest handset is based on Vertu’s most expensive Signature range however, albeit with Bentley trimmings.

That means you’ll get a Bentley logo, carbon fibre accents, and Beluga Black calf leather – that’s the same kind found in the Bentley Mulsanne Speed.

As such, you’ll be looking at a price of £14,500 for the device, which gets you about twenty iPhone 6 handsets.

But how does it actually perform as a smartphone? Vertu hasn’t revealed which processor is powering the Signature for Bentley, but it has detailed some of the other specs.

The phone comes packing a “high-resolution” 2-inch LCD display, 4GB of storage, and a 1,050mAh battery that’s good for approximately five hours and 30 minutes of talk time.

We know what you’re thinking; those specs sound abominable, and you’d be right.

Related: Best Smartphones 2015

So aside from the phone’s fancy dead-cow rear, what makes this phone so ruddy pricy?

The big seller with these phones is access to the Vertu Concierge service, which gives you access to your own dedicated “lifestyle manager”.

Using the ruby Vertu Key on the side of the phone, you can access this “expert assistance” that’s “designed to meet your every need, 24/7”.

Don’t forget that £14,500 is just the starting price for the Vertu Signature by Bentley. Adding gold, titanium, platinum, diamond, or alligator skin all add hefty premiums onto the sticker.

If you’d rather buy a normal phone – and several holidays to boot – then check out our smartphone group test video:

pimlicosound

June 25, 2015, 12:27 pm

"As such, you’ll be looking at a price of £14,500 for the device, which gets you about ten iPhone 6 handsets."

Where do you go buy the iPhone 6 for £1,450 a pop?

I'm still baffled by Vertu phones, and the concept of the phone as a luxury item. I can understand people wanting to spend lots of money on a luxury watch or car, for the craftsmanship, exclusivity and beauty of the core user experience, even at the expense of functionality. But I can't understand how anyone could lust after those same attributes in a phone when the product is just so much worse (less useful, less nice to use, arguably more ugly) than an iPhone or top-end Android/Windows phone.

The only way I can conceive someone wanting this is just for the sake of owning it and showing it off, and not to use it (because they have a PA with a real smartphone to make phone calls, send messages and look up info on their behalf) - like people who spend loads of money on a gaudy haute couture belt that drapes over their hips and does nothing to hold up their trousers.

Maybe that is indeed the Vertu's target market.

ElectricSheep

June 25, 2015, 3:02 pm

You can't argue that £14,500 isn't good value for a 2" LCD and a 1050 mAh battery with 4GB of on board storage. Is it running S40 OS? Does it come with 'Snakes' or is that a £1K option? 1990 calling, it wants its phone back!

Alex Mason

June 25, 2015, 4:35 pm

Look at it this way. Instead of buying an expensive piece of consumer tech that will be outdated and worthless in a few years (read, iPad, read Apple Watch) what they are doing is letting people buy something that is already massively outdated! Therefore it won't date so fast and won't be worthless in 2 years.

Oh, anyone who needs a "lifestyle manager" wants their head seeing to.

This is modern day snake oil.

Alex Mason

June 25, 2015, 4:43 pm

Same as big expensive watches. Watches never used to be eye-wateringly expensive, until someone decided that the watch was the only piece of jewelry a man could wear. Then out they all come, reviving old names to slap on a gaudy watch with a dumb movement that's beaten for accuracy by a $10 casio and won't be repairable once *insert old extinct watch-maker name here* disappears again in a few years. With these things, their worth or value consists only of their price tag. The only reason to own one is that it is expensive.

If they're not doing that, then like Hublot, they're putting mass produced $500 movements in blingy watch bodies and charging mega bucks. (Hublot big bang anyone?).

Now fair play to the person who can do that. Hats off to them, Perhaps they've worked hard in life and its come good. But its not something I find particularly endearing.

But, someone at one time decided he had more diamonds to sell and so every woman must have a diamond engagement ring. This was never the case, but now its ingrained, so stupid crap like this can be here to stay!

toboev

June 25, 2015, 6:27 pm

As a thought experiment, I ask myself, if I were offered one of these, fully expensed, that I could keep and use as my own, but not sell or trade or barter, would I be pleased? Mostly, with these expensive toys well out of my reach, like a Bently or a fancy watch - the answer would be 'yes'. But this Vertu, I wouldn't want one if you paid me. I just don't get it. Other than as an accessory to advertise one's wealth, what is its purpose? And there must be far better ways of doing that - expensive jewellery, hand made shoes, whatever.

LeeTronix

June 25, 2015, 9:53 pm

Ill take two please ^^

AlexG

June 26, 2015, 8:34 am

I don't think there is any maybe about it - it's expensive bling that is popular in the far east. Most people who own one of these will have an iphone as well. Electronics must really grate with the wealthy though because they just can't buy anything better than standard consumer products hence have to resort to things like this to show off which are inferior as a device.

lw

June 26, 2015, 9:55 am

If Apple are prepared to sell £10,000 Apple Watch Editions, I am surprised they are not also willing to fuel the market for £10,000 iPhones.

Yan Huang

June 26, 2015, 10:55 am

Each to their own. I'm as baffled about why anyone would waste money on a luxury watch as you are about phones. I'd much rather spend the money on a platinum plated phone than a watch, I wouldn't wear a luxury watch if you gave me one for free.

pimlicosound

June 26, 2015, 11:01 am

I mention watches here because luxury watches, while perhaps gaudy depending on your taste, are nevertheless usually perfectly good at being watches: they are made of materials that feel good when worn, they tell the time/date very well, and they don't lose functionality compared with regular commodity watches.

This is in comparison to a luxury phone like Vertu's, which is actually functionally much worse than regular commodity phones.

Yan Huang

June 26, 2015, 11:51 am

A rather narrow-minded view IMO. Luxury phones are just as good at being commodity phones as luxury watches are at being commodity watches. They make and receive phone calls perfectly well. No, this particular Bentley does not have high-end smartphone functionality but it's not as if all luxury watches have high-end smartwatch functionality either. You don't buy a Rolex instead of an iWatch for it's smartwatch functionality, you don't buy a Vertu Bentley instead of an iPhone for it's smartphone functionality. Most people in the world don't have smartphones y'know.

And you realise this article is about only one luxury phone right? You don't take a Nokia 1100 and say all non-luxury phones are crap because the Nokia 1100 doesn't have a touchscreen. Take a look at the Vertu Aster. Quad-core Snapdragon 801, 64GB storage, seven-band Cat 4 4G LTE, full-HD 4.7" display, and AC wireless, Android 4.4 (as of last October).

http://www.gsmarena.com/ver...

That's practically identical to the Galaxy S5, which was only released 5 months earlier. How is that functionally much worse than regular commodity phones?

Yan Huang

June 26, 2015, 12:05 pm

And if you were offered a Vertu Aster?

Yan Huang

June 26, 2015, 12:09 pm

Or, most people in the world don't have smartphones and some rich people don't want smartphones. If they wanted a luxury smartphone they can buy a luxury smartphone. This just isn't one of them.

LeeTronix

June 29, 2015, 12:05 pm

Or just simply this:-

1- people will casually look and think oh its another phone and not have the slightest interest and will move on without a second thought so no one is the wiser about this over silly priced bling phone.

2- this a person who has none to shallow friends (users) and wants people to know what he or she has and likes to think people like them and are not thinking I am a moron.

3- the pretentious wannabe who pretends to make a call to billy no I don't have any mates and will be silently laughed at probably had to sell and downgrade the car to purchase it.

4- wishes apple made an exclusive different style phone that is a special appleBling phone to compliment their "special" gold bling watches, enough said!

5- finally because they are rich and stupid or need to get into debt and stupid.

LeeTronix

June 29, 2015, 12:12 pm

Good honest answer.

LeeTronix

June 29, 2015, 12:15 pm

hehehe their maths are a little like their reviews not proof read but these days with these online review sites anyone can be a journalist!

LeeTronix

June 29, 2015, 12:18 pm

I wonder if the lifestyle manager can be used within the cool off period that way I could get full use of the service and then return the phone :-)

Evan

June 29, 2015, 1:45 pm

His maths are bad and he should feel bad. No need for that sort of bashing though!

LeeTronix

June 29, 2015, 2:04 pm

Fair enough and point taken :)

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