Check out our review of the Vertu Constellation smart phone.
This year has seen mini versions of popular high-end HTC and Samsung phones, at more competitive prices, plus a cheaper version of the iPhone 5, and now Vertu – purveyor of fine, if insanely expensive, hand built mobile phones – has joined in with a more reasonably priced model of its own. It’s called the Constellation, but with a starting price of 4,900 euros, or about $6700, it is still not what most of us would call affordable.
However, not only is it more technically impressive than the Vertu TI, but it’s also targeting a different type of buyer. The Constellation is Vertu’s most mainstream phone yet, losing much of the visual drama of the TI, while still retaining the company’s distinct style. So what’s it like? The screen measures 4.3-inches, up from the 3.7-inch display on the TI, and the resolution is 720p. Vertu has once again covered the screen is sapphire crystal – the largest sapphire screen produced for any device in the world – making it almost impervious to scratches, while the titanium body is wrapped in leather sourced from a tannery in the Alps, which has been in operation for more than 150 years. The phone’s leather covering will come in several different colors, including black, orange, Mocha, and Raspberry.
A dual-core, 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor powers the phone, and a 13-megapixel rear camera with a dual-LED flash represents a decent upgrade from the 8-megapixel on the TI. A total of 32GB of internal memory is yours to use, plus the phone has a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front, NFC, GPS, Wi-Fi, an 1800mAh battery, and 3G HSPA+ connectivity.
Interestingly, the Vertu Concierge service, which gives you access to a telephone-based personal assistant 24/7, isn’t included with the new Constellation, but it does still come with a revised version of Vertu Life for a range of exclusive event invitations, and the security services – both personal and for the phone – of Vertu Certainty. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is installed and left largely untouched, and it runs beautifully smoothly.
The Constellation is aimed at younger buyers with a lot of money. Some of these people were perhaps put off by the TI’s unique style, and want something that at least resembles a mainstream, modern Android phone. It’s all set to go on sale next week with prices starting from 4900 euros ($6700), and like Vertu’s other phones, it’ll be sold through the firm’s own boutique stores and approved retailers.
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