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Review of GSM-handset Vertu Constellation
With the advent of Vertu brand on the market, the segment featuring very exclusive handsets coming in at the price of 4000 Euros plus surprisingly emerged and has proven that it’s worth the hype. And Nokia’s intention there is quite unsophisticated: if there is a stable demand for luxury, like cloths and accessories, why shouldn’t handsets be a part of it? The major goal was taking mobile phones out of the niche of technological devices and shifting them into the category of Swiss watches-like accessories with own “history”. That was the reason why Vertu was established and its design department was headed by Frank Nuovo, considered to be the father of Nokia-branded exclusive handsets. At any rate, together with a couple of other men, he was at the cradle of the company’s premium-devices.
Speaking about Vertu as an all-round successful company having no black spots in its history would be totally wrong. During the first years of existence the company was getting on its feet, trying to find an own unique face and conquer the hearts of a target audience; in their turn, consumers were getting themselves familiarized with an all-new market player. This has resulted in a price drop of entry ticket to the world of Vertu, down to 4200-4500 Euro for the most unsophisticated model and renewal of the entire range, as well as the now missing possibility to pick certain options on buying a phone – for example at present there is no way to replace keyboard on a production model, whereas the first collected allowed for doing so. Long ago we wrote a few words about the first device going by the name of MMII Stainless Steel, however even back then it was clear as the daylight that functionality-wise the handset was everything but a monster. Nevertheless nobody demanded an impressive feature-pack from it.
The very unique thing about all Vertu handsets is Yamaha audio system used for all playing back all tunes – basically, no other phone can boasts something similar. As a result Vertu’s ringtones can be easily recognized, while quite limited pool of tunes makes identifying a phone orally a breeze. Popularity of such tones among ordinary handsets’ users indicates that the approached picked by the company does work out. Even though a cheap phone might sound more or less the same as the original Vertu, there are some crucial differences, so that only a couple of model can dream of reaching the Vertu’s level sounding-wise (for example, Nokia 6233).
The life cycle of a Vertu-branded model is defined as two years – the manufacturer sees the longest time span for keeping a handset in this figure. No doubt, users are free to change handsets more often, if they want it so badly, but such purchases won’t be able to claim the title “the most ration buy”. You may believe me or not, but in Vertu’s boutique located in New York one of the glass cases says that the lifetime of a handset is 20 years. I am in some doubt about us making use of countless GSM-networks in 20-years’ time, and changing the gear leads to giving up on using the old casing, which is the difference between handsets and other luxury goods.
Similarly to the watches manufacturers or jeweler, over at Vertu they introduce whole collections rather than stand-alone offerings and each of them exists exactly two years on the market. Functionality-wise over these two years the handsets would not change a bit and remain the same until they get replaced. Keeping the sales up to the bar after a year since the release, when they naturally fall down, is done by offering more trims called “Editions”. For example, the Ascent got Pink Edition target at female audience, while men received Vertu Azure in turquoise. As a rule new color schemes for the core collection get “Special Edition” title.
Apart from variety of trims, the company launches Limited Editions (don’t confuse them with Special Editions), showing off slightly different casing’s curves and materials used. As you might have already guessed it, these are phones produced in very limited amounts – up to 1000 units. And your handset’s casing will feature the serial number within this thousand. In reality, however, the number of devices arriving in the market is slightly less than 1000 – 997 devices as a rule.
A striking example of such collection is Racetracks Legends presenting 6 phones, differing in color of the leather framings and engraved racetrack on their backs. The top part of the device is covered with tread-looking piece of rubber.
MotorSport is a strong point in the Ascent Collection as well, where we saw MotorSport Edition, where the back cover retained carbon plate instead of rubber.
It’s clear that at the start the manufacturer launches a mass product (“mass”, as used here, should be referred to Limited and Special Edition by Vertu, rather than ordinary phones). The Constellation collection is not an exception, as it initially features 6 handsets (Vertu’s homepage contains a mistake in indexing, telling that there are 7 devices). All in all, these solutions come down to two model, differing in material used – stainless steel for the unsophisticated version and 18 Carat Gold for the most expensive one. Here is the full list of these casing designs:
That is how these trims look. As for me, the most practical solutions are handset coming with black or dark-brown leather on them, as they are more likely to maintain the original forms and looks for quite a while. Basing on the experience of Ascent collection, especially Pink Edition, we can state that dirt doesn’t make any difference between cheap and ultra-expensive handsets and seamlessly settles down on Vertu as well. Another thing of note is that the leather-covered area in Constellation phone has increased, but as the manufacturer claims, it is impregnated and scratch-resistant. During day-to-day activities without using carrying pouches or casings, you are not likely to encounter problems with scratches or worn-out leather – moreover, in order to damage the surface, you will have to do your utmost and literally wish it to get scratched; otherwise you will be beating the air. The fear of leather surfaces being exposed to wear and tear originates rather from stereotypes and has nothing to do with the real facts. The only thing left to say is that all leather framings on Constellation handsets are mounted manually by a craftsman (I cannot really call this man a “worker” even though it’s a routine operation). The pink-colored handset comes included with a corresponding casing, which is the major difference as compared to other metal models (the gold-coated casing features a pouch made of dark smooth leather in the box).
The handset weights pretty much – be sure, you will feel it lying heavy on your arms – yet it is still a very portable device (109õ45õ17.5 mm). As compared with the Ascent, the brand-new handset looks like it has been on a diet, as now its thickness is 17.5 mm against those 22 mm feature by the previous collection. However, the manufacturer gives the utmost maximum here, as the Constellation measures this much in height only because of the ceramic plate near the loudspeaker, whereas the rest of the casing is 15.5 mm thin. Hence we are at liberty to say that the Constellation is quite handy dimensions-wise.
Falling into a lyrical digression, I would like to note that in the premium-segment, weight is usually considered by consumers not as a shortcoming, but rather as a factor making the handset feel solid and well-built, stressing the phone’s advantages and character.
The build quality of Vertu Constellation is truly brilliant – be it the metal or gold-coated edition, the casing is well-made, all parts are tuned with extreme precision. Basically, “gap” is non-existent in the Vertu’s dictionary, which adds a lot of points to its image. Should you shake the handset, you will hear the side keys shifting in their slots, though it is a vital necessity, as otherwise it would be impossible to press them and it’s definitely not a drawback or a real issue.
The collections design was developed by Frank Nuovo, his inspiration comes from the 50s, when journeys were surrounded by glamour and were not such a common thing. Leather, as he sees it, is associated with a suitcase, while the phone’s design has much in common with turbo-props. The flap covering the microphone retains the shapes of a propeller, the sides and the rear house rivets similar to those found on an aircraft’s wind. Take a look at the sketches made by Frank – they are worth examining. On release, however, the marketing held an upper hand, so that all leaflets are now featuring business-jet instead of an outdated and fossil turbo-prop.
The very unique design elements include the catch gear of the back cover, used in all models. The information provided by the company says that the looks of the rotary latch for the Constellation was in development for two years, as they were setting out to get close to watches, which have own trademark trinkets. The sales package features back cover release key, allowing you to turn the latch and detach the cover, however any other item will do, except for nails – you might end up breaking them.
Number of materials used in the casing’s design is a thing to be admired – apart from the skeleton and surfaces made of stainless steel, the handset is armed with a sapphire glass, preventing the display from getting scratched or damaged. The shell’s edging, as well as several other parts, is made of Liquid Metal, boasting light weight and incredible durability that exceeds that of titan. The ceramic plate on the loudspeaker and tailored shockproof pads on the casing’s gears are on board as well.
The metal keypad features buttons arranged in benched rows and possessing moderate click sensation. Being quite bulky, the keys are easy to work with. Furthermore, they buttons were perforated with laser pointwise, which becomes evident while the white backlighting is on – the rest of the time the buttons feature nothing special.
Unlike the Ascent range, the up-to-date collection makes use of a four-way navigation key with centre select, simplifying interactions with the handset. However it’s pretty tiny and won’t suite everyone, while the OK button is even smaller and should be pressed only with a nail – trying to push it with your finger pads leads to touching the navi-key as well, which is not too convenient. And this moment has been coming for quite a while – the only flaw concerning the handset’s design – the OK’s head is made of metal, but unlike other keys, it is glossy and thus gets scratched and worn out literally within first three days, even though the photos don’t expose that.
The worst thing is that there is no way to avoid that problem – due to being tiny the button will keep forcing you to press it with your nails and, thus, scratch it. The only way-out is a ceramic-coat key, which manages to resist wear and tear for a longer period.
Vertu Constellation handsets tailored for local markets carry keys retaining the first row of symbols of the local language – Russian, in our case. The Roman letters are represented only with the first letter of each symbol pool – on the face of it, such layout is not easy to master, however any man who keeps in mind the standard layout can seamlessly handle the phone.
The left side houses dedicated Concierge key, while the right plate holds volume rocker key. It’s a curious fact that the volume control’s place has always been on the left – different layout scheme has been caused by double-faced (handset-camera) phones. However, for Vertu-branded handsets the meaning of Concierge has always been far beyond any layouts, so the key eventually ended up on the left side. Another thing of note is that is service can be called up even during a call – what other proofs do you need to believe in its importance for the manufacturer? Generally speaking, it’s one of the handset’s most exclusive features that is included into its price.
Concierge. Pressing dedicated Concierge button calls up a tray-shaped icon, allowing you to call the corresponding service. This call is classified as an international one and is paid for in accordance with your carrier’s tariffs (the service has the headquarters in London). The Concierge service works on a twenty-four hour basis – the language the operator will speak depends on where you call from and whether your number is in the database. One year of free Concierge subscription comes included with any brand-new Vertu handset – on registration all you have to do is state date of purchase, the number engraved on the back cover and your Last Name.
The operator (called a secretary) might help you in solving various problems – from booking aeroplane tickets to arranging a hotel, car reservation, buying flowers, searching places of interest or just required information etc. For some of these operations you will need to have your credit card registered in order to pay for purchases – the price for all items is premium, which is equal to “dear” here. Undoubtedly, owners of Vertu phones have some coins, but saving up to 30 percent on a single transaction feels good as well. The services offered by Concierge live up to the price – it would be strange if they didn’t. Nevertheless your own secretary is more likely to take care of the same issues equally fast (or a bit slower), without hurting your wallet that badly.
Not pretending to adequacy or reliability of the experiment, I asked my acquaintances holding Vertu-branded phone, how often they turned to this service and whether they were aiming to renew subscription as soon as the free one had expired. Eleven people participated, at that six of them called Concierge only once just in order to find out what it actually was, without making use of its services ever again. Three men asked Concierge for help while they were abroad for locating a good restaurant or a shop they needed. Two answered that this service acted as “Yellow pages” for them, providing the information on the things they wanted to know more about. And only one out of eleven has continued subscription for Concierge service after the free one-year ticket got expired. In my opinion the total number or subscription renewals doesn’t exceed 10 percent of all Vertu owners at best, but the experience acquired in related markets shows that this figure might be even lower. Speaking of my personal experience, I got tired with using Concierge in a month, although I didn’t feel such vital need in using its services in view of certain reasons.
Those willing to re-subscribe will be offered two tariffs – basic and VIP. Considering the locating of the company’s headquarters, all prices are listed in pounds sterling.
Basic tariff – implies that you will be calling on the service occasionally – the limit of requests in not publicly available, but it makes around 20 calls a month or so. The price is 60 pounds or 89 Euro a month, which gives use 1068 Euro a year – by the way, it’s a quarter of the handset’s price paid for an extra service. Subscription can be renewed only for six months and more.
VIP-tariff – you get a personal secretary, this tariff is highly recommended to everyone who calls Concierge from 10 to 20 times a month. Your secretary will be on the line for 9 hours every day, at night all calls will be handled by other operators. All this will cost you 200 pounds or 300 Euro a month, in other words 3600 Euro a year. Subscription can be renewed only for six months and more. All newcomers can obtain the VIP-tariff at cut rates – at a price of 150 pounds a month, so doing simple calculations reveals that buyers of Vertu phones get a 15% discount for the first year’s basic tariff. Quality-wise, these two tariffs are equal – response time, databases used and service providers are the same.
Unlike the looks, brand or the handset’s design, Concierge service amplifiers the user’s image, but isn’t recognized so seamlessly by others. Similar services are run in every country by all local operators. If we are talking about the global players, they have pretty much the same services as well, but the price is much higher, as well as the level of service, though.
We tested out the service and tried to find two tickets for a morning performance for two five-year old boys in Moscow. At first, we called Concierge: setting the task took us about 1 minute, and then the operator promised to call back before the following morning (the call was made at 15.50, local time). Right after hanging up, we dialed the number of the pay-directory-inquiry service (short number of the carrier). Setting the task took the same time – 1 minute, the operator asked us to leave the phone number so that their expert in leisure could call back since he had already been occupied by that moment. Within the next five minutes we got a call-back from that expert (incoming calls are free of charge, no fee is charged for consultation) and a clear explanation of what we needed to do – namely he asked us to tell him the sex and age of the kids one more time, and after that offered the list of possible places to go, that would be easy to reach. In five minutes or so, he spoke of 10 options (when we asked him to stop), tickets for three of which could be reserved in advance (at a price higher by roughly 20 percent). The best thing about such service is that the expert does have an insight in which performances appeal to different ages, what is worth watching and what should be passed by (may be it was just basic luck, but the operator turned out to be an experience man).
No doubt, such comparison is out of place, as the information provided by Concierge aims more towards lifestyle in general rather than some particular fields, where the Vertu’s service is more likely to be a runner-up. For example, the local services don’t allow for reservation of tickets, which is a major drawback, while doing that via a personal secretary won’t bring about too many hardships. I should express a doubt, though, that an owner of a Vertu-branded handset isn’t likely to have no assistant – it would look really strange, although such people exist as well. The service is worth looking at when you already have certain demands but lack the level of income or service required to get what want. But in that case, do you really need a Vertu?
After speaking so much on Concierge, I got a seditious though that if the manufacturer didn’t include it into the sales package, this service would be left out in no time due to lack of users. All in all, Concierge is a very specific kind of service aiming at a very thing class of people using Vertu phones. As for its being in the standard kit, the explanation is quite simple – the service is destined to boost the handset’s image, prove its premium-class and, if you wish, be the price to pay for the brand. Let the manufacturer emphasize the importance of this service and lack of anything similar, offered by other phone maker – we do realize that it is not the handset’s main trump.
Hardware features. The concept empowering Vertu-branded handsets lies in the fact that these devices are ought to deliver good receiving quality due to being phones-for-calls only, rather than tools for maintaining active lifestyle. The platform Vertu runs on cannot show off any know-hows or exclusive top-notch features. On release all Vertu handsets are slightly behind the flagships in the sense of technological prowess and offer less functionality. As for the Constellation, it is powered by the same “engine” as Nokia 8800 (the original model, not the Sirocco Edition), which means Vertu Constellation relies on the S40 3rd with a small number of custom functions.
The screen has been adopted from Nokia 8800 without any changes. It runs on a TFT-matrix (262 K colors) with the resolution of 208x208 pixels at physical dimensions of 31õ31 mm. Being tiny in size, the screen displays very smooth and eye-candy picture. The screen can hold up to five text and two service lines at a time. Font size can be adjusted – with the biggest one you will have 4 slightly more readable lines on the screen, while the smallest size increases number of lines to 6. The display handles the sun in a convenient fashion, however tiny font are almost impossible to distinguish. Higher resolution has brought about the necessity to change the font size, get it smaller. Indoors the screen is easy to read, while in the sun it might fade due to the matrix’s size. On top of that, the settings found on the phone provide poor brightness, combined with dark-skinned themes, that makes you think the picture lacks colors and vividness. Regrettably there is no way to counter that – brightness settings are non-existent in the handset.
The phone makes use of the BL-5V, which is a 860 mAh Li-Ion battery. As the manufacturer claims, it remains good for 2,5-5,5 hours in talk mode and up to 250 hours in standby mode. Should you be heavy on calling (more than 1,5 hours a day) and easy on other handset’s features, the Constellation will last about a day; on the other hand, one hour of calls enables running the handset for roughly two days. Making a comparison with ordinary solutions, like pretty much the same hardware-wise Nokia 8800 Sirocco, the Vertu’s offspring puts up 75 percent more of lifetime. It takes the battery approximately 1,5 hours to charge from empty to full (as compared to the Ascent, the charger has been altered in the sense of current strength, leading to better charging time figures).
The Constellation carries 14 Mb of memory onboard, with about a half of that volume being available for user, which is not much for own tunes, even if they are AAC-coded. The default ringtones, though, are quite appealing and home something in common with those found in Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition. However they are nowhere near a breakthrough.
Just like any typical S40 3rd edition-based handset (lacking Feature Pack – in fact, it’s quite outdated first generation device), the Constellation boasts a standard feature-pack. On top of that you are at liberty to apply themes taken from other Nokia-branded phones, in case the resolutions match, of course, furthermore, the appearance of the main menu’s icons is also very manageable – the manufacturer has nothing against that.
The main menu’s design is something special indeed, as it has much to do with aviation. I don’t think you will be greatly surprised to find the Constellation housing a whole bunch of themes – 4 of them are somewhat connected with aviation, while the rest – with traveling (there are up to 20 different themes in sum).
Phonebook. Up to 1000 names, which is the maximum possible number, can be saved into the phone's memory. Amount of data submitted to entries makes no difference – the total of 1000 contacts is invariable.
Each contact may have up to five assigned phone numbers of the following types: main, mobile, home, office, fax. The first entered number becomes a default one and can be then edited to your liking. When entering data for the first time, you can submit only name (merged first name and last name fields) and one general number, and the rest of editing can be performed from the corresponding menu. Many will find this way of entering data inconvenient; however, I’m most positive some of you set only one telephone number for each contact. Both groups will be right, and considering that all Nokia phones come with such phonebook, it should cause no problems.
As additional information to each number, you can enter e-mail, homepage, mail addresses, text note, company and job title.
You can bind up any contact with an image or a video clip. Priority-wise video clip is higher than picture therefore it will be played back instead of a photoon all occasions (each name can have both and video clip assigned). However, when viewing details on the contact, you won't see the picture outright, as it resides in its own section. On the other hand, in the general list you can enable pairing of a contacts and a corresponding image. In this mode the icon is rather small and gives a little notion of the actual image. Other view modes are quite common - only names, names with the general number. The general list can display contacts stored on SIM-card and bundled phone’s memory.
On outgoing call the image gets reduced to a small thumbnail, while at incoming call it occupies the entire screen. Contact’s name is displayed next to number type icon.
Each contact can be bound up with a personal ring tone (any file) – in case you choose video clip instead of picture, the sound will be taken from the clip, rather than from a music file.
And traditionally buttons 2-9 stand for speed dialing.
There are no preset groups available in this phone, thus you’ll have to create them yourself. The great advantage of this model is that you can create up 25 contact groups. Each of them can have personal tune and image set. The photo, bound up with a certain group member entry, has the highest priority and will be displayed instead of the picture applied to the group. One entry can be a member of various groups.
In the general list of entries groups are displayed in one raw with single entries, but marked with their own icons. Search is executed in both group names and stand alone contacts at the same time. This arrangement can be confusing for the first time, but later on you realize all the advantages, as you don’t have to look up for a special item on the menu to access the groups list (besides, it’s accessible only from the main menu, using the soft-key or shortcut numbers, you’ll get to the list itself without any options).
Search in the general list can be executed by entering several letters – it doesn’t cause any nuisances and works as it always does. Pressing the “*” button results in fast switching to entries on a foreign language (in case you have contacts in both Russian and English languages for example). When browsing the phonebook, pushing “#” key calls up detailed view featuring the general number – to access full data on a contact use the corresponding menu (two presses).
MS Outlook synch module of the Constellation is worse than that found on the modern models due to First Name and Last Name fields being merged. From the phonebook menu you are at liberty to send any entry as a Business Card to another device with the aid of a SMS, MMS or a wireless protocol.
There is no way for sending the entire phonebook off.
Messages. You can always change input language while typing in any menu, this solution is identical to the one applied on Nokia smartphones and is quite handy.
The settings pool for messages is quite standard – up to 150 messages regardless of type, support for emoticons and long messages.
There are message counters available, so that you can check out amount of incoming or outgoing messages at any type and even reset them.
MMS. Each message can be up to 300 Kb big. The way MMS system works in the Constellation doesn’t give one a chance to nag at something.
The handset boasts a built-in mail client handling POP3/SMTP/IMAP4-protocols. However it hasn’t got much to offer – all attachments other than JPEG-files (which get scaled to fit the size limit) are not supported, on top of that there is only one Russian encoding available – the C1251. Thus any letter written in the KOI8 will be impossible to read, just like any re-coded mail. Also, tight constraint on size of files transferred – 195x156 pixels – is somewhat out of place, as even VGA images cannot be sent. This mail client is not capable of uploading headers only and every time you check mail box downloads a letter’s body as well. Taking account of the very limited storage place for mail (60 messages big), for business-users presence of such mail client is not crucial at all. In fact, it’s an outdated version of this application that has been left out on Nokia’s phones for quite a while now and replaced with another program.
Call logs. There are three lists in the phone. Each list may contain up to 20 entries. It might seem pretty standard, but the best thing about the logs is that date and time of a call are displayed in the list outright. Pressing the Call button in the standby mode will call up the list of last dialed numbers. That is inconvenient sometimes.
Profiles may be activated from this menu or switched by pressing On/Off button. Each profile may be activated for a period of time and after which phone turns to the default one. Sound alerts may be adjusted for all the events. All in all, profiles implementation on Nokia’s phones is one of the best on the market.
Settings. All the settings found here include power saving mode selection, shortcuts management and drawing up of GoTo list. Auto key lock feature is also onboard, as well as Bluetooth (ver. 2.0, enabled A2DP, however why it is here is obscure).
Alarm clock. The Constellation carries only a single alarm clock with adjustable tunes, Snooze feature and manageable weekdays.
Organizer. Calling up this item unveils calendar, to-do list, notes, calculator, countdown timer and stopwatch.
Calendar. You can submit from 100 to 250 entries, though the final number strongly depends on length of each note; automatic cleaning up is onboard (time-wise).
Monthly, weekly (with hourly grid) views are available in the Calendar. The handset offers five various types of events: meeting, call, birthday, memo, and note. Each event regardless of its type can have an alert configured, and be recurrent
The To-do list enables you to make up events with three types of priority (high, normal and low), setting due date and time for each event.
Notes - each note may contain up to 3000 characters. That is more than enough even for the most demanding user. Two font-sizes are supported, just like in messages.
Gallery. This item provides access to properly-labeled folders with various contents – list view, as well as list with captions and thumbnail modes are available. Naturally, you can always create your own folder and sort files, but at the end of the day the Gallery has not much to offer and cannot even pretend to be a replacement for an unsophisticated file manager, which would really be of some use here
Media player – application serves for listening to music tracks, yet it’s only a simplified version, which means all you are able to do is open a file and then play it back via the loudspeaker or a headset – playlists are disabled on the Constellation, while the equalizer resides in a separate item, affecting all music-related applications found on the phone. Another bad thing about the media player is that it doesn’t display full titles of mp3-tracks.
Voice recorder provides up to 60 minutes of recording, with clip’s duration being customizable through the settings. The app tapes both phone conversations and sounds while the handset rests in the standby mode. Number of clips is limited only to volume of free memory on-board.
WEB. The handset carries a WAP 2.0 browser enabling you to view xHTML-page, however I cannot think of some things that should be added here.
Connectivity. The Constellation can be seamlessly used as a modem for it supports both GPRS and EDGE data transfer protocols. Bluetooth may serve as a medium for PC connection.
Travels. This WorldMate’s application allows for checking out weather in a selected city, flight status, world time and currency rates. But to make use of all these features, GRPS-connection is a must.
Vertu Constellation collection arrives the retail stores in November (in Russia the release is scheduled for the beginning of 2007) at a price of 4500 Euro for the most unsophisticated model, while a gadget in gold will more likely to strip a buyer’s wallet of 15000 Euro. But do these handsets live up to such price? Looking at them as just mobile phones – definitely not. However Vertu-branded products are rather luxuries meant to amplify and emphasis the owner’s status of a man capable of spending that much money for such device once in a year or two. Generally speaking, the holder of a Vertu needs nothing but demonstration of his status – the handset supplements already owned limousine or a business-class car, top-notch suit, you name it, in a nutshell everything that surrounds this man. Using a Vertu handset in any other case won’t make much sense, as the phone simply won’t go with its carrier’s image. On the other hand, having all other attributes of “fabulous” life, such phone is not of much use either. A kind of vicious circle, isn’t it?
Basing on my personal researches, I can rightfully state that Vertu is gotten hold of mainly by the creative people, like artists, actors and others. Though, businessmen don’t mind getting one to show off their status. All in all, these are the products perfectly fitting for the Russian middle class. No doubt, there are countless definitions for that “middle class”, but the most precise one, to my thinking, defines it as a group of people who can purchase a flat for their spare money outright, which means there actually is the middle class in Russia, yet not so broad, just like Vertu-labeled handsets are. In Europe, however, the point is slight different, but getting at the root of that reveals pretty much the same state of things over there (the criterion might be not a flat – luxury car or a country-house would do as well).
As for competitors, Vertu doesn’t have any at all and being backed up by the mother brand of Nokia it is twice as strong. That is why the company’s products are going to be in demand on the market with the functionality taking a back set, the manufacturer’s image is what everything is all about. An indirect proof of that opinion can be obtained by checking out the price for previous collections of Vertu, which hasn’t gone done at all, or even increased as against the figures at the release. At that their hardware filling seems hopelessly outdated today and a year of free Concierge subscription has already expired. Here, people buy status and they are ready to pay for that – rationality of price has nothing to do with that, the motives are totally different in the world of Vertu.
SAR value for this model – 0.53 W/kg
P.S. What is going to become of Vertu now? Basically, price-drops are improbable, whereas release of more line-ups within Constellation range is only a matter of not too distant future. But the most significant leap up is camera that will be embedded in next-generation solutions – special editions are where it will make all the difference. For example, look Nokia N93 Golf and the feature pack implemented specially for gold-players that completely relies on the handset’s camera. Another step towards consumers will lie in launch of 3G-enabled devices, however it’s a trend that cannot be avoided or ignored. Moreover, release of a Vertu-branded smartphone isn’t as far-out as many might think – it will arrive in the market it two-three years’ time.
Published 23 November 2006
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