Vertu TI: Bizarre luxury smartphone with old Android and crazy $20k price

Chris Davies - Feb 12, 2013, 9:32am CST
Vertu TI: Bizarre luxury smartphone with old Android and crazy $20k price

Desperate to get on the Android bandwagon but refuse to accept any of the tastelessly-cheap handsets on the market today? Vertu has the device for you: the new Vertu TI, finally ditching Symbian but bizarrely swapping it for an old version of Android. The ridiculously priced – from $9,600, but as much as $19,900 – TI puts Ice Cream Sandwich on a 3.7-inch handset wrapped in sapphire crystal, titanium, and leather.

Those aren’t cheap materials, but we get the feeling that – as has always been the case – Vertu is more concerned with outward appearance than it is functionality. Your near-$10k gets you an 8-megapixel camera with a twin-LED flash, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, and a 1.7GHz dualcore Snapdragon S4 processor, in addition to 64GB of internal storage.

ti handset front rear str wh i

There’s also the dedicated Vertu button, which shunts you straight into the company’s “concierge service” for helping you find luxury hotels, luxury entertainment, luxury food, and – as you’ve probably guessed by now – luxury in general. Now, the Vertu service has also thrown in Vertu Certainty, to back up the TI in the cloud, and Vertu Life, which appears to be a news stream service with content tailored for the monied.

NFC and ridiculous levels of durability – you can drop a 110g ball bearing on the display, and it won’t smash, for instance – are great, but they don’t really make for a cost-effective device. Vertu will charge you $9,600 for the “entry level” TI in titanium with black leather, or $11,500 for the “titanium pure black” versions. The black alligator model will be $12,800, while the line-up tops out at $19,900 for the “Black PVD Titanium Red Gold Mixed Metals” version.

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