Vertu has released a new Android smartphone for $21,900

With Vertu finally offering an up-to-date luxury phone, we naturally had to check out the Signature Touch up close and personal. After all, it’s not everyday that one gets to play with a $21,900 phone for free. For those who haven’t caught up with the announcement, we’re looking at a 4.7-inch 1080p display, a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip, 64GB of storage, 13MP/2.1MP cameras, a 2,275mAh battery, Qi wireless charging, NFC and a handful of LTE bands. With the exception of the battery, these are all very decent for an Android 4.4 device.

Within 10 hours of receiving my loaner unit of the Vertu Signature Touch, I almost dropped it on a marble floor. It would have been bad. It would have been really bad. You see, the Vertu Signature Touch starts at $10,300 (£6,750). That’s hard to ignore, even if the phone actually is pretty good. The cost is practically part of the phone’s feature set; Vertu says the Signature Touch is for “high-net-worth individuals,” those who value exclusivity and standing out above all else. The one I tested was the bargain-bin version; there are versions that cost as much as $21,900 (£13,000). It’s a luxury car, a luxury watch, a luxury handbag. Normal consumer logic does not apply. If the phone had hit the floor, it may well have survived the impact. Its 4.7-inch touchscreen is coated with a pricey sheet of sapphire crystal glass, making it nearly impossible to scratch. It can take anything short of a diamond to the screen and remain unscathed, but it can shatter just like normal glass if you drop it. There was some weight behind that sapphire crystal glass too — the Signature Touch has a heavy-duty titanium frame. Prior to my reflexes kicking in, I took a nanosecond to appreciate how beautiful the phone looked floating in midair. Sapphire and titanium glistened, rotating in zero gravity, unbefouled by human touch. Maximum luxe.

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