Vertu Aster: the $9100 snake-skin Android smartphone for poor rich people

Vertu Aster 1

Although Apple will stake a claim in making gorgeous premium-level phones for its adoring customers, it can’t hold a candle to British-based manufacturer Vertu. You know, the company that builds phones covered in snake skin? Speaking of which, the company’s new Aster is its latest mid-range offering, setting buyers back a cool US$9100.

Okay, so not that mid-range then, but the quality of design and internals is second to none.

Built mostly from spaceship-grade hardened titanium and sporting a 117 carat Sapphire screen up front, the phone seems virtually unbreakable — that’s peace of mind should the owner act upon a sudden rock-climbing adventure.

For stylish geeks, there’s plenty of beauty under its skin. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 SoC is at the heart of the phone from which the company claims console-level gaming graphics. We’re not so sure.

64GB flash storage is also present, while there’s a 13MP camera at the rear with dual LED flash. A 2.1MP camera and Dolby Digital stereo speakers join the 4.8″ screen. Users will also appreciate a 1080p display with a pixel density of 473ppi. Customary connections include Bluetooth, WiFi and NFC — these standards are paired with LTE and Qi wireless charging.

For the fashion conscious — a group that probably will be Vertu’s first and foremost consumer base — there’s an array of embellishments users can choose, from ostrich leather to previously mentioned snake exterior.

Considering that the Aster is around ten times the price of an iPhone 6 Plus, this is not a phone to purchase for performance nuts or those looking for bleeding edge technology.

It is however, something users will purchase to accompany their Bentleys on a Monte-Carlo holiday. And that’s exactly what Vertu’s hoping for.

Andy Walker, former editor


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