Tue, Dec 2, 2014

Unisex luxury smartphone is ‘quintessentially English’

Luxury mobile phone manufacturer Vertu has launched a new, “quintessentially English” smartphone model called Aster.

Handmade and finished by craftsmen, using the most luxurious materials, in a palette of colours, Aster can also be personalised with a monogram or engraving.

Its beauty of design and simplicity of use belie the cutting-edge technology at its heart, which facilitates its seamless operation almost anywhere on the globe, according to the UK manufacturer.

The new handset features Dolby Digital Plus virtual surround sound and Hasselblad certified imaging, as well as Vertu’s full portfolio of services, which comprises Classic Concierge, Vertu Life and Vertu Certainty packages.

Vertu says that together these features combine to create in Aster “a rare and indispensable lifestyle accessory”.

Descried as more of a unisex model compared to Vertu’s more masculine Signature Touch, Aster delivers a very contemporary version of some of the signature elements found in Vertu phones.

For example the traditional V pillow is made of titanium and uses clean horizontal lines and a simple geometry. The strong vertical sides are created by cutting a scoop into the titanium and using different finishes to bring the profile to life.

Edges are much softer to create a less masculine aesthetic. The soft, almost fluid lines of the handset are enhanced by the use of a grade 5 titanium casing, featuring a mix of brushed and polished finishes that sweep the sleek lines of the handset and contrast with its textured, natural grain leather, sourced from the finest tanneries in Europe.

A single 117 carat, 5.1-inch piece of solid sapphire crystal protects Aster’s 4.7-inch HD display and 13 mp camera lens from scratches.

Aster comes in a palette of six colours across seven product executions: Onyx Calf, Blush Calf, Lagoon Calf, Caviar Karung, Tangerine Karung, Cognac Ostrich and Raspberry Ostrich.  

A range of eleven Aster cases, in three different styles, have been designed to complement the collection.

Aster is hand-bound in leather sourced from tanneries that supply the world’s leading fashion houses. Each piece of leather is unique meaning no two Vertu Asters are completely identical.

The new phone delivers exceptional connectivity via its optimised antenna which enables access to high-speed data through quad-band GSM, 3G and LTE 4G capability. 

Aster’s facility to connect to 4G networks means that web pages load instantly and downloading a song takes mere seconds.

It comes with six months’ complimentary access to unlimited global wi-fi at over 13 million hotspot locations.

Aster’s exceptional acoustic profile delivers flawless sound through Dolby Digital Plus virtual surround sound. Call quality is assured via noise cancelling uplink and downlink and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3 GHz 801 Quad-core processor delivers stunning speed.

High quality, front-facing stereo speakers are tuned for a pure and rich acoustic experience without distortion in any environment.

In addition to promising exceptional sound via its hands free speaker, Aster can be effortlessly linked, via Bluetooth v4.0 + LE and using CSR aptX high quality encoded audio support, to the Vertu V speaker (SP-1V), a powerful wireless speaker.

Vertu has once again worked with Hasselblad, the world’s most renowned professional photography brand, to perfect the image tuning of the Aster camera.

The Hasselblad-certified 13mp rear camera has a sapphire crystal lens and anti-reflection coating, while the front facing camera facilitates video calling. The 4.7-inch full HD display has a resolution of 473 ppi and is protected by the sapphire crystal screen.


Aster ownership includes six months’ complimentary Classic Concierge service from a team of lifestyle managers available 24/7. Vertu Concierge is accessible via voice, email or live chat from anywhere in the world.  

Vertu Life offers customers a personalised selection of exclusive privileges and unrestricted access to elite events, available directly on device. Features include complimentary entry to the most exclusive private members’ clubs, spas and gyms around the world, access to invitation-only events and closed-door shopping experiences as well as recommendations based on one’s tastes and location.

Vertu protects the phone and its data through best-in-class technology and expert partners. This includes encrypted communications, comprising voice calls, text and video, delivered in partnership with Silent Circle and complimentary to owners for 12 months.

A six-month complimentary service provided by iPass offers unlimited access to secure wi-fi globally via 13 million secure wi-fi hotspots across 123 countries.

Complimentary 12 month’s access to Kaspersky mobile security, including anti-virus and anti-theft protection protects the phone itself.

Coinciding with the Aster launch, Vertu has unveiled a new digital presence at the heart of which is e-commerce platform. From early next year, customers will be able to purchase directly from vertu.com anywhere in the world.

A key part of this on-line experience is the customer’s ability to select, configure, monogram or engrave their Vertu phone before placing their order directly via Vertu.com.

Prices for the new phone start at £4,200 ($6,575).

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