Vertu’s first ever smartphone to run Android, the Ti, has now gone on sale. Hong Kong is the first market to get it, and, as you’d expect, it’s not cheap. Not only that, but it turns out to be quite a bit more expensive in Hong Kong than the suggested retail price that Vertu announced last month when the device became official.
The Vertu Ti can be bought in Hong Kong for 75,000 yuan, which turns out to be $12,061 or 9,272 at the current exchange rates. Yet we were previously told that the Ti would retail for 7,900. But maybe that was a price before taxes sort of thing. We’ll never know.
What is certain though is that this is the most expensive Android smartphone ever made. In fact, it may also be the most expensive phone ever made. And it’s also the first handset released by Vertu since shedding its Nokia roots (the luxury phone maker was sold by the Finns last year). It’s interesting to see that immediately after that ownership transfer occurred, the company started working on an Android device.
The Vertu Ti isn’t a high-end phone in terms of hardware specifications, but makes up for that (or so its maker hopes) with the materials used for its construction, as well as the fact that it’s manually assembled. The Vertu Ti has a 3.7-inch 480 800 touchscreen, an 8 MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, a 1.3 MP front-facing camera, a dual-core 1.7 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 64 GB of built-in storage space, all the usual connectivity options (except LTE), and acoustics tuned in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The handset is made from titanium, and the screen is made out of sapphire crystals, and the device’s ability to withstand impact is four times more than other smartphones (though we assume the comparison isn’t made with rugged competitors). The titanium makes the Vertu Ti’s chassis five times more sturdy than those of other phones. And there’s some leather in there too, for good measure.
But the materials are just half the story. The Ti comes with a Vertu button, which opens up an app that allows you to, among other things, be instantly connected to a virtual concierge service that will always be available to you 24/7, no matter where you are. You can call, email, or have a live chat session with your concierge, and behind this is a team of actual humans looking to cater to your every need. If you’re into such things, this alone may make the huge price tag of the Vertu Ti a lot more palatable.