Vertu CEO bans 'nice phones with lousy technology'

Vertu CEO bans 'nice phones with lousy technology
The new Vertu, now less lousy

Vertu has admitted that in the past it's produced handsets which not only had an over-the-top design, but were also rather limited when it came to specs.

TechRadar sat down with Vertu CEO, Max Pogliani, who explained that since taking over a year ago the Hampshire-based British firm has seen a dramatic shift in its dynamics.

"I don't want to see any more nice phones with lousy technology inside" Pogliani told us.

"The luxury world has changed, having a showy object to display your wealth is no longer key. There's now a more discreet and understated approach to luxury."

This rings true in the company's latest handset, the Vertu Signature Touch, which dials down the crazy we've seen on previous devices while still retaining premium features such as Sapphire glass, a titanium frame and a hand stitched leather rear.

Bum-clenchingly expensive

The Signature Touch is still bum-clenchingly expensive at £6,750 (around $11,000, AU$12,000), but with a 4.7-inch full HD display, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 13MP rear camera, NFC, 10 band 4G and Android 4.4 KitKat it means those who can afford to drop several grand on a mobile are getting a slightly better deal than before.

It does of course come with a one year subscription to Vertu's concierge service, providing you with your own dedicated Lifestyle Manager ensuring you always speak to the same person who gets to know what you do and don't like and thus can provide better recommendations as well as reminders.

Basically it's a living, breathing version of Siri you can hold a proper conversation with.

Vertu Signature Touch

Vertu isn't trying to compete with the mainstream manufacturers, instead it's content with leading in the niche of luxury smartphones - a market it basically created on its own.

"We don't want to be the phone for everybody. We don't want to be in the hands of everyone. We don't want to sell millions of smartphones," Pogliani said.

"We want to satisfy a specific category of people who never settle for ordinary in their lives...We are not comparing ourselves to others and thus we're not better or worse, we're just different."

Still a bit pricey though.

  • The Android running Vertu Ti was disappointing on the tech front
John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.