Vertu has launched its first major new smartphone for 2015, and it’s an evolution of last year’s Signature Touch. It’s called the New Signature Touch — nothing gauche like adding a 2 or an X after the name for Vertu — and the luxury brand wants us to think of it like a Porsche 911. What Porsche does is refine and redesign subtly with every iteration, improving on a timeless, classic shape. Vertu considers the 2014 Signature Touch generation one, and the platform on which it will build for the future.
It’s a real step up specification-wise. The screen now measures 5.2-inches with a 1080p resolution, and is hidden under a giant slab of scratch and shatter resistant 5th generation sapphire crystal. On the rear is a 21-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash, that’s driven by a separate image processor, that can also record 4K video.
Inside is a Snapdragon 810 chip — the all-important 2nd generation version — with a whopping 4GB of RAM, plus 64GB of memory and for the first time on a Vertu phone, a MicroSD card slot. The card slot is hidden behind one of the New Signature Touch’s most visually exciting features. On the rear is a Vertu trademark, the metal panel containing the camera lens, and a toggle to open up the SIM card door. Twist the toggle in the other direction, and a second door opens to reveal the MicroSD card slot. The gull-wing door effect looks fantastic, giving the phone a unique style, and was apparently influenced by the Mercedes SLS sports car.
Android 5.1 is installed with minimal alterations, outside of Vertu’s usual Concierge, Life, and Certainty apps, all quickly accessed by using the dedicated button on the side of the device. Vertu teased the New Signature Touch by emphasising the audio performance. The body redesign has improved the speaker output thanks to a new, polished V rail design, and Dolby lends its software enhancements too. Other features include Qi wireless charging, global 4G LTE, and a 2.1-megapixel selfie camera.
The titanium and sapphire materials used to construct the New Signature Touch are joined by various leathers, resulting in eight different designs from which to choose. The body is just over 10mm thick, but it looks far more compact than that in real life, and despite the 225 gram weight, it’s deceptively light to hold.
Vertu hasn’t announced the price of the phone yet, but don’t expect it to be cheap. It’ll be on sale from October 9, and Harrods in the UK will be taking pre-orders before then.
CONTINUE TO PAGE TWO FOR ALL THE NEWS LEADING UP TO THE NEW VERTU PHONE LAUNCH