Vertu Constellation

The new-look Vertu phone

Image: Hugh Threlfall

For a special-occasion mobile that looks sleek and impressive while you’re calling the babysitter – or your chauffeur – from a party, it has to be Vertu. The pioneering luxury mobile company, newly in Swedish hands but still very much British, is forging ahead, albeit with changes.

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Vertu’s second phone of the new era is a brave move – indeed, its internal name at Church Crookham HQ was “Gambit” – since it looks a lot more modern and less fancy than other Vertus, and doesn’t automatically come with what is, for some, the brand’s best feature, its Concierge service, which effectively gives users a free PA. With the new Vertu, the service can be added – so long as you’re an existing Vertu owner; just to confuse everyone, Vertu’s trademark Concierge button is still there on the phone, even if newbies can’t use it. Vertu has taken another slightly eccentric step, calling it the Constellation, to differentiate it from a quite different Vertu phone called the, er, Constellation. Whether these factors, plus the fact that everyone will know you’ve got the entry-level model, will make it rather like a 99 minus its Flake to new Vertu users will be interesting to see. However, this remains a superb-looking Android device with all the toughness and handcrafted quality of Vertu, and I particularly like this snazzy orange leather-backed version.

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