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If money is no object, go for broke with Vertu’s Constellation smartphone

Why it matters to you

Regular mortals need not apply -- Vertu's Constellation smartphone is just for those looking for pure luxury.

Known for making luxury smartphones with matching price tags, British manufacturer Vertu unveiled the Constellation, which looks to be the company’s most well-rounded phone yet, and one that manages to feature a few tricks up its sleeve.

As with other Vertu-made phones, the Constellation’s main focus is its design and material choices. Aesthetically, the phone continues the manufacturer’s long string of interestingly designed handsets with its combination of leather finishes, an aluminum frame, and an inset ruby that doubles as a shortcut key to¬†activate Vertu’s Concierge. Available 24 hours a day, Concierge caters to your every need, so if you need your yacht’s decks to be washed, just press the button and you will be taken care of.

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Love it or hate it, at least the Constellation stands out from the sea of generic-looking smartphones that have dominated the market for a number of years.

The 5.5-inch, 2560 x 1440 resolution display is plenty sharp, but it sits underneath sapphire crystal glass, which offers relatively higher scratch resistance at the alleged cost of being easier to shatter when compared to Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Vertu utilized sapphire crystal for a few of its previous smartphones, but the material choice is still a rarity for modern-day phones.

Under the hood, Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 820 and 4GB RAM power the Constellation, with the 128GB of built-in storage expandable through the MicroSD card slot. The 3,220mAh is a decent capacity for a phone this size, with other niceties like wireless charging, USB Type-C, a fingerprint scanner, and dual SIM capabilities — a first for a Vertu phone — along for the ride.

Vertu specifically advertises the Constellation’s rear camera, which weighs in at 12 megapixels and features a large pixel size of 1.55 micron pixels, similar numbers to those of the Google Pixel’s camera setup. Whether the Constellation’s camera measures up to the Pixel’s in real-world use is unknown, though the on-paper specs inspire some level of optimism.

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Vertu also highlights up the phone’s ability to make encrypted calls, thanks to the company’s partnership with Silent Circle. Finally, the Constellation runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow underneath Vertu’s software skin.

Overall, you do not buy the Constellation because you want a high-end Android smartphone. Google’s Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy S7, for example, fulfill that want just fine without a need to sell your kidneys just to be able to afford them. Rather, you buy the Constellation to be noticed, to tell the world that your wallet cannot fit in any of your leather jeans’ pockets.

Vertu did not mention when the Constellation will be available or how much¬†it will go for, but based on the company’s pricing history with its smartphones, expect the phone to cost several times more than one dolla dolla bill, y’all.