Vertu goes chic with the sleek new, $6,800 Aster smartphone

Vertu has launched a new smartphone, its second in 2014, following the Signature Touch back in June. The new phone is called the Aster, and it comes nearly twelve months after the announcement of the 2013 Vertu Constellation, the firm’s more accessibly priced “lifestyle” model.

The Aster continues the refreshing new trend at Vertu of ensuring the tech inside the hardware matches the high-end exterior. The screen measures 4.7-inches and has a 1080p resolution, but is covered with a 5.1-inch piece of fifth-generation sapphire crystal, and it’s all encased inside a titanium, leather clad body shell.

Related: Read our full hands-on impressions of the Vertu Aster!

Last year’s Vertu Constellation was designed to appeal to people who found the TI too masculine, or overly aggressive in its styling. The Aster is softer too, and many of the visual improvements introduced on the Signature Touch – the smooth, sleek sides for example – are repeated here. The leather rear panel will come in a choice of six colors, and in three different styles.

A Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.3GHz powers the Aster, and is accompanied by 64GB of internal storage space. A 13-megapixel camera lens sits behind more sapphire crystal glass on the back of the phone, along with a dual-LED flash. Hasselblad has again been called in to tune the camera performance, which surprisingly didn’t translate into amazing results on the Signature Touch, so it’ll be interesting to see if there have been improvements here. Other features include global 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, an extensive array of supported languages, and wireless charging.

The Aster should sound great during calls, thanks to the usually excellent speaker, microphones, and noise canceling tech; plus it has stereo front facing speakers and Dolby Digital Plus for optimum audio performance too. Vertu’s usual suite of services such as Classic Concierge, Certainty, and Life are all included, plus a wide range of customization options too. Android 4.4 KitKat is installed, and is subtly enhanced.

Naturally, the Vertu Aster is quite expensive. Prices start at £4,200 (around $6,800) and rise to £5,900 ($9,550) for the most expensive Ostrich leather model. Even one of the gorgeous matching leather slip cases will set you back between £280/$450 and £590/$950. Deep pockets, then, are essential. But exclusivity never comes cheap.

Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Avoid scratches and dents with the 20 best iPhone 8 Plus cases

So you've got a new iPhone? Congrats! But with a glass design, and looks to die for, you'd best keep it safe. Not sure about the best case choice? Check out our guide to the best iPhone 8 Plus cases for some great ideas.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Mobile

Samsung teases it will reveal its foldable phone during the Galaxy S10 event

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Mobile

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.