Until recently, the vast majority of mobile phones had been priced between £100 and £300 with only Vertu, a division of Nokia, manufacturing uber-premium phones. With prices starting at around £4,000 Vertu phones are only for the filthy rich and the super famous.
However, Vertu’s monopoly of the luxury phone market is coming to an end with the launch of several new luxury mobile makers including Gresso, Mobiado and GoldVish. A load of other mobile phone manufacturers are also working up partnerships with luxury brands get a piece of the action. We’re beginning to see premium mobile phones emerge from couplings such as LG and Prada, D&G and Motorola, and now Tag Heuer and Modelabs. Finally, there are the ridiculous, super-expensive one-offs made purely for headline grabbing such as Goldvish’s “Le million”, worth a cool $1,000,000, see below for details!
1. Goldvish “Le million” = $1,000,000 (£540,540)
A PR stunt it may be and they surely can’t be expecting to sell any, but the Goldvish “Le million” is officially the most expensive mobile phone in the world, according the Guiness Books of Records. There has even been talk of a $1.3million phone, but this has fewer diamonds than the Goldvish so I can’t see where the extra expense comes from! The “Le million” is a one off piece featuring a blinding 120 carats worth of VVS-1 grade diamonds, according to designer Emmanuel Gueit. If $1 million is out of your price range the Geneva-based Goldvish also offer several other diamond-encrusted 18k gold models in your choice of rose, yellow or white starting at a much more reasonable $25,600 (£13,837).
2. Vertu Signature Cobra = $310,000 (£167,567)
Vertu is now taking orders for the Signature Cobra which is designed by French jeweler Boucheron, but you had better be quick as only 8 are being made. The Cobra will feature one pear-cut diamond, one round white diamond, two emerald eyes and 439 rubies. Vertu will also be offering a “cheaper” version, ruby free at $115,000 (£62,162).
3. Sony Ericsson Black Diamond = $300,000 (£162,162)
Apparently the Black Diamond will be available in 2007, not from Sony Ericsson but by a company called VIPN. Initially only 5 unique numered pieces will be available for the unbelievable price of, wait for it… $300,000.
With regards to the specifications, don’t expect anything remarkable for your money. It will have Quad-band with Wi-Fi, an Intel 400Mhz processor running Windows Mobile 5 and a touch sensitive 2″ screen. It will also include internal memory of 128mb and will come with a 2Gb SD card for external storage plus a respectable 4 Megapixel camera.
The designer Jaren Goh has used some pretty impressive materials for the build, featuring titane with polycarbonate, mirror-finish cladding and diamonds.
4. Vertu Diamond = $88,000 (£47,567)
The Diamond is Vertu’s premium range of high-end mobile phones. As the name suggests the handsets in the Diamond range are diamond-encrusted handsets made from platinum. Only 200 of the handsets are being produced, the most expensive believed to be worth an estimated £50,000.
5. Motorola V220 Special Edition = £28,000 ($51,800)
Austrian designer Peter Aloisson has taken a standard Motorola, studded it with 1,200 diamonds and added a keyboard inlaid with 18 carat gold. The outcome is a £28,000 handset, suitable only for footballers and film stars!
6. Gold Edition Nokia 8800 Phone = $2,700 (£1,459)
If you have $2,700 to spare, you can now buy the Nokia 8800 in 24K gold. However, be warned if you think you’ll be getting a better phone for your extra cash, you wont! The features found on the Gold Edition are the standard 8800 features which are pretty basic. It includes a 0.5 Mega pixel SVGA camera, 64 MB of internal memory, 64 voice polyphonic rigntones, FM Radio, Mp3 Player, video recording and 180 mins talktime. However, the Gold Edition does includes a special edition box and charging dock!
7. Mobiado Professional EM (wood) = $1,900 (£1,027)
The Mobiado Professional EM is a wood-clad upgrade of their earlier Nokia-based phone that includes a 1.3 megapixel camera, music player, FM radio, Bluetooth and according to Mobiado it’s the first production phone with Titanium buttons. Only 200 are being made and each one has its limited number engraved on the back. At $1,900 however, you’re still paying an awfully high premium for a fairly basic phone encased in wood!
8. Bang & Olufsen (Samsung) Serene = $1,250 (£675)
Bang & Olufsen hooked up with Samsung to design the sleek but unconventional Serene. It’s not a bad looking phone and even has a built-in motor to assist you in opening and closing the phone. It’s not very practical however, requiring a special screwdriver to access the battery and the SIM card and the circular keypad will take some getting used to. Also for some strange reason they have positioned the camera lens on the side of the device, which will make it difficult to align snapshots via the viewfinder on the display.
9. Lamborghini 8800 Sirocco from Nokia = $To be announced
The Lamborghini Nokia 8800 Sirocco is another special edition, like the previously launch Aston Martin branded Sirocco. It will ultimately be a standard 8800 Sirocco but with the addition of the famous Lamborghini logo engraved on the font and the back, plus ball bearings from the auto company to in the slider phone mechanism. The Lamborghini phone will be a limited edition with only 500 being made. It will also feature Lamborghini graphics as wallpapers, screensavers, ringtones and even has a short documentary video.
10. Gresso Luxury Phone = £expensive
The Russia based Gresso, is a new entry into the luxury phone market. Their aptly name “Gresso Luxury Phone” is made of gold and African Blackwood. Apparently they will be releasing a collection of five models called the Black Aura collection, and the designer is a “well known” Italian designer. Currently there are two versions of the African Blackwood phone, one with pink gold highlights named the Gresso Blackwood Gold Edition and one made entirely of African Blackwood. In addition to the two African Blackwood phones Gresso also make a phone made entirely of pink gold named the Gresso Gold phone. Initially, the phones will be on sale only in Russia.