Vertu is a name that had been around for many years before the company filed for bankruptcy about a year ago. The problem for Vertu is that it catered to a crowd of wealthy individuals that could drop $10,000 on a smartphone with specifications that were often mediocre; and that is a very small market. Vertu is back with a smartphone that is much cheaper than its past offerings called the Vertu Aster P.
This device is on pre-order in China right now for 35,800 Chinese yuan, which works out to a bit over $5,100 when converted, with a ship date of October 30. That is a lot of money in a world where people complain about an iPhone selling for over $1,000. Apple is famous for its design and style, and this is where Vertu tries to outshine everyone, including Apple. Vertu devices don’t roll off some Chinese manufacturing line by the thousands; these devices are handmade in England by a single craftsman.
The frame of the Aster is constructed of grade-5 titanium, and the display doesn't use something as plebian as Gorilla glass as a cover; the Aster P uses a single piece of 133-carat sapphire crystal glass. The combination of a titanium frame and giant sapphire glass should mean impressive durability and scratch resistance; sapphire is close to diamond in hardness rating. The parts of the phone that are touched are covered in exotic leather, including crocodile and lizard skin, and offered in several colors. Since this device aims at the wealthy, it does have a red concierge button that directly links you to your butler.
Aster P assumes that the wealthy buyer will be a world traveler and supports dual nano SIMs under slick gull-wing doors on the back of the device; under the door is the signature of the craftsman who built the smartphone. The hardware is firmly in the mid-range with a Snapdragon 660 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The screen is a 4.9-inch AMOLED FHD panel, and the front camera has a 20MP f/2.2 sensor with the rear packing 12MP resolution.
Vertu uses Android 8.1 Oreo as the operating system, and the battery is a 3,200 mAh unit that supports Quick Charge 3.0. Charging is via a USB-C port and features like NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, and dual-band WiFi are integrated. Color options include Ink Black, White, and Dazzling Gold. The Dazzling Gold version has a much higher price tag equating to roughly $14,000. If you want something even fancier, Vertu will let you customize your device with gemstones or designs of your choice.