Luxe phonemaker Vertu folds; think of all the money you just saved

Et tu, Vertu?

If you’re a newly minted millionaire or old-school billionaire, we have some sad news, so grab a tissue. Yes, the rumors are true, Vertu, maker of stupidly over-priced “luxury” cell phones that come with a personal concierge service, is no more.  We know: we need a moment, too.

Vertu was formed by Nokia back in 1998, back when having a cell phone at all was still kinda cool, let alone one that cost as much as a new economy car… or even a luxury car.

We spent some quality time with a Vertu Signature Touch handset back in 2015 and it certainly impressed, with a leather back, sapphire glass screen, and Mercedes-inspired wingie-doors on the back. Super classy stuff for sure, but for $11,500? Yeah, we’ll take ten top-of-the-line iPhones or Galaxy rigs instead, thank you very much. Vertu changed hands a few times over the years, racking up over 125 million pounds in debt along the way.

The current owner, Turkish investor Hakan Uzan, tried to salvage the company with a re-investment deal, but the banks said no. Uzan says the brand could rise again in the future, but we’re not going to hold our breath.

Hot under the hood

Hey Honda Accord owners, here’s an important heads up: Big Red is recalling over a million Accords made between 2013 and 2016 for defects that could result in an engine fire.

Honda says the defect that could cause the motor to start combusting externally is part of the car’s battery system and you need to get it into an authorized service provider for a free temporary fix while they fab up the parts for a more permanent solution, which will require yet another visit to the shop. But like we said, it’s free, so maybe get the oil changed and tires rotated while it’s there. Hit this link to see if your Accord is affected.

Third chip is a charm?

AMD continues to shoot arrows at Intel with their Ryzen line of CPUs, and the latest wave of chips may be the most painful yet. Ryzen’s 3-series of low-cost silicon brains could come in at near the $100 mark, if a post on Reddit is to be believed – and it seems pretty believable. A quad-core Series-3 Ryzen CPU running at 3.5 gigahertz could ring in a $129, while a slightly slower variant has been tipped to sell for just $109.

That’s nearly half the online price of a comparable Intel Core i5 chipset, and the AMD rigs can be overclocked as well, providing you can keep them cool. The new Ryzen chips aren’t available just yet, but should be ready to ship in the next couple of months. We’ve had good luck with the Series 7 and 5 Ryzen bits, and we have link to those reviews here and here.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.