There’s only one problem with high class co-branded products, and it’s the Joey Tribbiani effect.
Any Friends’ fan will recall the episode in which Joey pretends to own a Porsche parked outside his apartment, and dresses from head to foot in Porsche gear to, in his mind, back up his claim when trying to pick up easily influenced women. Just how far can you go with proudly displaying brand allegiance before you become Joey?
We’ve found the limit in the Vertu for Bentley smartphone. Buy it, and aside from the car itself — an essential, in this case — you need own absolutely nothing else with the name Bentley on it to declare your love of the brand to the world. No one will question if you actually own a Bentley, because if you don’t, the Vertu for Bentley phone makes absolutely no sense. If ownership of the car didn’t gain you entry into an exclusive enough club in the first place, then owning the phone sets you apart even further, because there are just 2,000 being made.
Why is the Vertu for Bentley phone different from other car/tech tie-ups we’ve seen in the past? The phone is designed to work with your car, thanks to a special app from which certain elements of your ride can be controlled, whether you’re in the front seat or the back. It’s possible to adjust the climate control, from the temperature to the air-flow direction, switch presets on the electric seats, and even operate the rear window blinds, all from the app. There’s a Bentley information screen showing current speed, location, and distance travelled, plus all the controls for the in-car entertainment system. Relaxing in the back of a Bentley no longer means you’re simply a passenger.
A second Bentley app installed on the phone looks similar to Vertu’s Life app (which lists the events and offers available to Vertu owners) but instead of exclusives, it suggests amazing journeys along stunning roads, from all over the world. It’s an interesting addition, and not only is it well presented, but it seems like fun, and in the spirit of the car — something often missing from the result of a partnership like this. If I owned a Bentley, I’d always be on the lookout for routes which suited its strengths, and this app would make it easy to plan an afternoon, or weekend excursion in the car. Naturally, Vertu’s Concierge service, included with the phone, would help me book hotels or restaurants along the way.
The phone itself is based on the Vertu Signature Touch, but with the normally smooth titanium sides replaced by beautiful and very Bentley-like engine-turned panels. The effect is wonderful, and repeated on the SIM cover round the back. A Bentley logo can be found below the display. For the ultimate in flashiness, you can match the leather on your Vertu for Bentley phone with the leather in your Bentley car.
It was impossible not to smile when sitting in a gorgeous Flying Spur, clutching a matching Vertu for Bentley phone. If one resides in your garage, then Vertu’s phone is the ultimate accessory to one of the ultimate toys.
Thankfully, it’s also way beyond the reach of the Joey Tribbiani’s in this world.