VERTU WAS DEAD, to begin with. The British luxury phone manufacturer went belly up last year, filing for bankruptcy after racking up debts of some £138m. Just over a year later, it's back to its old tricks: selling blinged-up, under-specced phones to people with more money than sense. This time in China.
Introducing the Vertu Aster P. It starts at $4,200, for people who didn't want to cheap out on an iPhone XS Max.
Given that video told you precisely nothing (except that Vertu seems to have kept some cash aside for flashy promo videos), let us fill you in on the specifics.
The Aster P is a 4.9in smartphone encased in lizard or crocodile leather. The screen is 133-carat sapphire crystal glass, with a grade-five titanium edge. There's also a dedicated button to call a butler - and I don't mean Alexa, Cortana or (God forbid) Bixby: I mean an actual, living breathing butler who will be at your beck and call with invites to exclusive events and so forth.
You probably could treat him or her like Alexa if you really wanted - it just might take slightly longer for your lights to get switched off.
So far, so good if you like your possessions to ostentatiously flaunt your wealth, but tech reviewers and moralistic children's TV characters agree on one thing: it's what's on the inside that counts. Here, the Aster P cheaps out big time. You're looking at a Snapdragon 660 processor with 6GB RAM, 128GB onboard storage and a 3,200mAh battery. That makes it about level with the BlackBerry Key2 and Nokia 7 Plus.
Even that 133-carat sapphire screen is just a 1,920x1,080 affair, although there is a 20MP front-facing camera for you to spam the #richkidsofinstagram hashtag with. There's a 12MP snapper on the back, too, for taking photographs of lesser people with more functional smartphones.
To be clear, those specifications are fine, but not in a phone that starts at $4,200. And that's only the start - if you want the black jade or white handsets, you're looking at $5,100. If you want to be really obnoxious, there's the gold version which goes for $14,120.
It's available to pre-order now in China now, if you really have more money than sense. For everyone else, just use it as a way of convincing yourself that the 512GB iPhone XS Max is the value option. µ
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