Nokia vertu phone. Vertu may be dead, but it was a remarkable company

Nokia vertu phone

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Vertu Phones: A Landmark in Premium Mobile Phones

Ever since the inception of the mobile phone in everyday life, an instance always seems to appear showcasing a blur on both excess and premium quality. You know what we’re talking about – you may have encountered ads or articles on certain phone models that have a massive price tag!

And one particular mobile phone company associated with these expensive price tags is none other than Vertu. Let us learn more about this group below:

Extravagant Take on Mobile Phones

Originally established by then mobile giant, Nokia, Vertu was founded mainly to produce luxury and bespoke mobile phones. Nokia sold the brand to a private equity group, EQT VI in 2012. The company then enjoyed a great following from the upper class market, mainly because of its unique and expensive take on mobile phones.

Vertu then shifted management the next following years, until the company, unfortunately, filed for bankruptcy in 2017. The company relaunched the following year, releasing a new line of phones that weren’t made in the United Kingdom (this time around, it’s in China).

Related Other Finnish Wireless Handheld Device Full List of Nokia Phone Models

Although expensive, Vertu is a good example of how mobile phones can be packaged and marketed in a different manner. The luxury approach did attract a fair share of consumers (those who can afford to spend twice as much as a typical individual). And yet, with the Rapid evolution of technology on telecom devices, Vertu needs to constantly race on how to offer premium features and tech.

Some Vertu Phone Models that You May Want to Know About

Here are some standout releases from the luxury mobile phone brand:

Vertu’s flagship handset, this collection showcases the extravagant feeling one can experience when using these models. Additionally, the Signature line popularized Vertu’s unique mobile experience: personalized concierge service by simply pressing a beautiful ruby Vertu key.

The Signature collection is renowned for making use of premium materials, with a touch of English craftsmanship for a truly unique aesthetic. Additionally, a Linux engine powers the phone, making connectivity an awesome experience. Vertu also offers signature handcrafted leather cases for a stylish look.

Stainless Steel Black Leather

The polished stainless steel and black leather finish of this model brings about an executive touch.

The matte finish of the PVD stainless steel of this phone offers a minimalist appearance.

Pure Chocolate

Match your brown leather accessories with this amazing pick. Made out of polished chocolate brown PVD stainless steel.

Clous De Paris Stainless Steel

Elegance like no other. With Clous De Paris key towers, it’s all in the details when it comes to this excellent choice.

nokia, vertu, phone, company

White Mother of Pearl

This phone has White Mother of Pearl inlays integrated on it, making it a rare and exquisite take.

Red Gold Ultimate Black

Beauty like no other. This phone has 18 carat red gold detailing.

Vertu has been able to reach the age of smartphones, and has also been able to release a line of excellent Smart and stylish Smart devices as well. The Signature Touch combines the excellent English craftsmanship and the best in smartphone tech as well.

Almond Alligator

This titanium shelled smartphone matches well with the almond tan shade of the alligator leather finish.

Teal Fluted

The stylish blue goes really well with the gull-wing doors of this smartphone.

The contrast stitching on this jet calf leather smartphone introduces a whole new level of style.

Pure Jet Lizard

The black PVD titanium of this smartphone combines with the stylish and striking appearance of Pure Jet Lizard skin.

Clous de Paris Alligator

The elegant Clous de Paris guilloché titanium (grey and coated with DLC) is a great tandem with this smartphone’s stone grey alligator skin.

Pure Jet Red Gold

Bring in the bling. The red gold detailing of this smartphone is polished to perfection. The Jet Black PVD Titanium combines perfectly with the Quilted Jet Calf Leather finish.

Ingenuity, British craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technology. These are all balanced to create the amazing Vertu collection, Constellation. Global connectivity has been boosted with these phones, with the dual SIM configuration. Additionally, security has been improved, with the biometric safety feature.

In terms of processing power, the Constellation collection is managed by the reliable Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. This allows the device to run multiple apps with ease. The global connectivity feature is best experienced by travel bugs, with the device able to provide support for 34 bands. Additionally, data in the phone is encrypted, a crucial step in securing one’s identity. Android Marshmallow powers the device’s OS.

Aside from being large, the AMOLED display used in the Constellation collection also comes with a nice advantage – sapphire crystal protects the screen as well! For consistency, the sapphire layer has also been coated with special anti-reflective and anti-fingerprint tech.

As the first Vertu phone made out of the United Kingdom, the Aster collection needed to make an impressionable mark with its target market. Making the most out of innovative tech and elegant leathers and skins, this collection hopes to make Vertu a leading phone when it comes to upper class clients.

This limited edition (just 100 has been manufactured) smartphone comes with an elegant raspberry leaf leather design. Additionally, an engraved leaf design can be seen on the titanium shell.

Orchid Calf

The beautiful pink hue of the Orchid Calf leather is just perfect with the smartphone’s titanium shell.

Quilt Black

Get a stylish executive look. The titanium sides and back plate of this smartphone patterns really well with the exquisite black leather finish.

Stingray Blue

Another limited release (280 models have been created), the unique Stingray leather pattern is as elegant as it is with the PVD titanium.

Diamonds Black Alligator

The bling is strong in this one. This beautiful black alligator leather and titanium smartphone also has 22 white diamonds and 33 black diamonds integrated in it!

High Class Phones

It may not be for everyone, but it can’t be denied that Vertu phones are truly unique. But more than just its looks and price tags, Vertu phones do have nice security features – ideal for its market, considering individuals able to purchase these phones truly need all the security they can muster!

Here is the Complete List of All Vertu Phone Models:

Photos of Vertu Different Types of Phones Image source:

Other Vertu Phone Resources:

Vertu Signature Touch review

Following the split from Nokia two years ago, Vertu came back with the TI, a striking device that demonstrated how the company was evolving. It was followed up by the Constellation, a far less visually challenging smartphone with more consumer appeal.

The third phone from the newly invigorated Vertu is the Signature Touch. It combines several design flourishes from both the TI and the Constellation, with a more modern look, and matches them with some high-end technical specifications.

It is, when described that way, the perfect flagship phone. It’s prettier than the TI, more capable than the Constellation, and still stays true to its heritage ensuring it’s recognizable as a Vertu smartphone. Vertu’s really proud of this one, so let’s find out if it’s justified.

Striking design uses only the best materials

The Signature Touch is hand built in England, made from grade 5 titanium, and the chassis is covered in your choice of leather. It’s immediately obvious that Vertu has calmed the design down from the Vertu TI. The titanium side panels are now smooth, and broken up only by tiny screws and precision crafted buttons.

Experience pays off when dealing with sapphire crystal, and the glass on the Signature Touch is truly beautiful.

A 5.1-inch piece of fifth-generation sapphire crystal covers the 4.7-inch display. It’s almost impossible to scratch, and extremely strong. We’ve been hearing a lot about sapphire crystal recently, and Vertu has been using it for more than a decade. Experience pays off when dealing with such a fickle material, and the glass on the Signature Touch is truly beautiful.

Real thought has been put into the way the phone feels when you hold it. The leather stretches round the sides just enough to cushion the device in your palm, while your fingers naturally grip the titanium edging. It’s cool to the touch, but never slippery, and pleasing to cradle in your hand, so much so that I’d often find myself absentmindedly running my fingers over the leather and titanium.

The leather on our phone is an option called Damson Lizard, which gave the body more texture than the smoother Jet or Claret leather. We’re often told leather only improves with age, and for once, this isn’t just marketing guff. I got the chance to see a six-month old Signature Touch in Claret leather, and it had taken on a deeper, richer tone that only made it look classier.

All this encouraged me not to wrap the Vertu up in a case, because not only will exposing it to the air make it look better over time, but also because this is far from a delicate phone. It feels almost indestructible, although I’m sure it’s not, and throwing it into my bag came more naturally than it did with an iPhone or any other Android smartphone. I simply didn’t expect it to suffer any damage due to the materials used in its construction. At 192 grams, the Signature Touch isn’t light, but it never feels too heavy, just solidly built.

There are a few unwelcome additions, including a pointless About Vertu app with videos showing what makes the phone special. Along with apps recommended by Vertu. They can be removed from the Home screen, but not deleted from the device.

When it was behaving, which was 98 percent of the time, it was super smooth, and as fast as any other top-end smartphone.

Most capable Vertu smartphone yet

Vertu has used a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.3GHz to power the Signature Touch. It’s the same chip used in the majority of flagship phones from late 2013, and naturally, performance on the phone is excellent. It’s not noticeably slower than the Snapdragon 801-powered LG G3, and it made a fine games machine, handling Contra Evolution and (shudder) Kim Kardashian: Hollywood perfectly.

It’s by far Vertu’s most attractively designed smartphone, and it’s a real joy to pick up and hold.

The screen measures 4.7-inches and it has a 1080p resolution, giving an impressive 473ppi pixel density. Viewing it in direct sunlight can be a pain, but with the brightness turned right up, it’s still legible. A total of 64GB internal storage space is yours to fill, but there’s no memory expansion slot to up this figure any further.

Below the screen you’ll spot a pair of stereo speakers, which come with Dolby’s Digital Plus software enhancements, and they sound glorious. Putting them up against the LG G3’s loud 1 watt speaker, the Vertu sounded controlled and precise, while the G3 was more raucous. The impressive audio isn’t relegated to music either, and phone calls sound crisp and super clear, a trait carried over from the original Signature phones produced by Vertu several years ago.

nokia, vertu, phone, company

It’s also the first Vertu phone to come with 4G LTE connectivity, and thanks to supporting a wide range of bandwidths, it’ll work pretty much anywhere you take it in the world.

Solid, if underwhelming, camera

Equipped with a 13-megapixel camera, the Signature Touch is perfectly capable of taking good pictures. Vertu has collaborated with camera legends Hasselblad on the software, but there’s little evidence of their involvement. Images taken outside in the sunshine are rich and full of color, but could appear washed out if shooting too close to the light source. Low light pictures inside are acceptable, but there’s no image stabilization, making a steady hand, or patience to take multiple shots, essential.

HDR mode, a panorama setting, and can shoot 1080p video. Around the front is a 2.1-megapixel video call camera.

Enough power to last the day, barely

Vertu phones have often suffered with low standby times, and while the Signature Touch still won’t last a whole day under heavy use, it’s an improvement over the TI. Again, comparing it to the LG G3 – which also can’t keep up if you use it hard – it had enough juice to keep going for a few hours longer, primarily due to the smaller, lower resolution screen. If the phone used the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, it’s battery life could be up to 40 percent better and on par with the best devices available.

The best Vertu phone to date

The Signature Touch is a very interesting device. It’s by far Vertu’s most attractively designed smartphone, and it’s a real joy to pick up, hold, and for the most part, operate. There’s something so pleasing about its solidity, the way it thunks down on a table. It has real heft, making it feel like no other smartphone on the market. Even the metal-bodied HTC One M8 can’t compete.

As a piece of engineering, or even a piece of art, it’s nothing short of brilliant. Because of this, forming an emotional connection to the Signature Touch is a real possibility, just like a much-loved item of jewelry or a favorite watch. It’s something I’ve felt with every Vertu phone I’ve used, but it was stronger with the Signature Touch, thanks to the comfort of knowing its vastly improved specification could handle anything I asked of it.

No, it still can’t match the 2014 flagship Android phones, but it’s up there with those released in late 2013, and if we’re all honest, that’s more than enough power and ability for 90 percent of smartphone owners.

Despite all this, it’s still impossible to justify the whopping price tag – it starts at £6,750 (11,500) — but then, that’s not the point. If you’re worried about money, then you buy a phone that’s within your budget. If money is no object, and you’d prefer something more exclusive that matches your car, tailored suit, and watch, then the Vertu makes sense.

If you’re in that enviable situation, then the Signature Touch is the best phone Vertu has produced to date, making it very easy to recommend.


  • Solid spec sheet
  • Incredible build quality
  • Truly premium materials
  • Exclusivity
  • Worldwide 4G LTE
  • Superb audio

Vertu Signature Touch Review

Made of premium materials with a solid design, the Vertu Signature Touch is an impressive piece of hardware with some cool services to back it up. But it’s hobbled by inconsistent performance that hurts the value proposition.

  • Sapphire screen, titanium and leather body
  • One-touch concierge access
  • Nearly stock Android
  • Frequent lagging glitches
  • Still a normal smartphone inside
  • Poor camera performance
  • 4.7-inch HD display
  • 1920×1080 resolution (473ppi)
  • Sapphire crystal cover
  • 16MP, Hasselblad certified
  • 2.1MP front-facing camera
  • 2275 mAh battery
  • 15 hours talk time, 380 hours standby
  • Qi wireless charging
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • Quad-core 2.3GHz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • 24/7 concierge: phone, email, or chat
  • Vertu Life curated privileges and services

Just what does 9,000 get you in a smartphone?

Vertu Signature Touch Full Review

Hey, what phone is that? Normally conversations I have with friends about phones come down to why I carry two at any one point or why those two are constantly changing. But it’s rare that a just any phone sitting on a table prompts conversation like that. But the Vertu Signature Touch isn’t just any phone.

Truth be told, this wasn’t the first time I’d had this very conversation. I’d only had the phone for a few days and had gone through the process of explaining it a few times over. So I did it again, starting by casually handing them the phone.

This is the Vertu Signature Touch.

He turned the phone over in his hands, This is really nice. How much is it?

Well … I pointed at the display, The screen is covered with sapphire crystal. The body is made out of titanium, I turned the phone over in his hand, And real calf leather. I took the phone back, hooked my thumbnail into the D-ring on the back, It was handmade in England. A twist of the D-ring popped open the metal SIM card door, and I pointed at the inside of the door, And that’s the signature of the guy who put it together.

Whaaaaat? He leaned in close to inspect the engraved mark.

I snapped the SIM door closed, turned to the right side of the phone, and tapped my finger right next to the transparent red button by the power button And this button is a ruby; it opens a 24/7 concierge.

He looked down at the phone, up at me, back at the phone, and then back up at me, Seriously?

I handed the phone back to him, Seriously. Now how much is it?

He flipped the phone over in his hands, running his fingers over the stitching in the leather back, A thousand dollars.

Okay, for comparison: your iPhone is really a 650 phone.

Higher. I let a bit of a smirk show on my face.

Five-thousand? I shook my head back and forth, prompting a Good lord, how much is it?

I smiled, Nine-thousand dollars.

He shouted, What? A few people around us turned to see what the commotion was about, finding a guy holding a phone. He gingerly set it on the table, Nine-thousand dollars? How the … wha t… He picked it back up and said softly, That’s a really nice phone.

About this review

We’re writing this review after about two weeks using the Vertu Signature Touch. Ours was the jet black calf leather model. During this time we had the phone connected to a Moto 360 smartwatch over Bluetooth.

The Vertu Signature Touch was released in summer 2014, but with the solid gold Apple Watch Edition making waves in luxury technology, we thought it was time to take a look at what Vertu has to offer for users of a certain tax bracket.

Titanium, sapphire, leather …

Vertu Signature Touch Hardware

Your standard flagship phone in 2014 is made out of one of a few materials: chemically-strengthened glass, plastic/polycarbonate, and/or aluminum. There are a few outliers, like the wood backs available on the Moto X or the leather on it or the LG G4. But no phone you can buy from your local carrier store is made of materials as nice as the Vertu Signature Touch.

We’ll start with the display, which is a 4.7-inch 1080p LCD. It’s not a large display, but it’s flanked by substantial bezels on all sides. The screen itself offers true colors and a bright enough backlight, but it was easily overpowered by direct sunlight. Overtop of that LCD panel is a sheet of sapphire crystal, inset slightly on all sides. Sapphire is used here for the same reason it’s used in luxury watches: it offers better optical clarity and stronger damage resistance than glass, even of the Gorilla variety. Sapphire is remarkably difficult to scratch, sitting at 9 on the Mohs hardness scale (with moissanite (9.25) and diamond (10) as the only minerals that rank as harder).

MORE: The science behind smartphone glass, in our Smartphone Futurology series

Sapphire is also notoriously hard to manufacture in mass quantities. Apple reportedly intended to use sapphire as the covering material for the iPhone 6, and spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get the factory to make sapphire covers up and running in time. In the end, the company they were contracting with couldn’t deliver at the scale and price Apple needed and went bankrupt.

On either side of the Signature Touch run Grade 5 titanium rails, polished on the front, sides, and back with a light brushed finish on the large bezels. The left side houses the headphone jack, which sits at the top and sticks straight out the side. It’s a frustrating positioning, making it awkward to slide the phone into your while using headphones, though the included Bang Olufsen-tuned earbuds have a 90-degree plug. Below the headphone jack is a pair of silver volume buttons. On both sides you’ll also find three exposed screws, lending a bit of an industrial look to the phone.

The right side includes the Micro USB port (like the headphone jack, it sticks out to the side), a power button, and a small, red, trapezoidal button: that’d be the ruby button that’s dedicated to launching the Concierge app. Each of the three silver buttons offers a decent click, though there’s a disappointing amount of wiggle with each for the overall construction of the phone. The ruby button, however, is firmly placed and actuates with an audible click. Far too often, though, I found that I had pressed either the power or ruby buttons in my and managed to unlock the phone.

Turn the phone over and it’s as much of a visual feast as on the front. The lower half of the phone is dominated by soft black leather with a quartet of stitch lines running down the middle. The titanium frame cuts back on the sides, letting the leather wrap over a bit, while on the lower corners the metal cuts in, offering a hard response to any damaging blows (we’ve seen the leather corners on the LG G4 suffer from visible damage after just a few weeks).

Up on the top half of the back you’ll find the camera module and SIM card door. While these would be ho-hum design elements on a normal smartphone, Vertu makes them elements of design flourish. The camera sits on the right with a dual-LED flash on the left, both set behind glass and surrounded by a black metal frame with screws on either side.

Below that is the brushed metal SIM card door, which is etched with the Vertu wordmark, the words Handmade in England, and the phone’s serial number. The door is large, about an inch wide, and is secured by a D-ring latch to the right. Pop up the ring, twist it counter-clockwise, and the latch releases to let the door pop loose. Flipping it open you’ll find a Micro SIM slot (Vertu helpfully includes a Nano SIM adapter in the box), and on the inside of the door an attached plate bearing the name and signature of the worker that put the phone together. Mine was assembled by one H. Nguyen, and he or she did a fine job.

Making all of this run is a built-in 2275mAh battery. That’s not a substantial cell in by any measure, in fact it’s right about the size of the battery in the Moto X (which isn’t exactly highly-regarded for its battery life). That might be forgivable if this phone was as thin as the Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6, but at 10.6mm it’s more than 50 percent thicker. That there’s not a more capacious battery inside the Signature Touch, especially at this size and price, is something of a travesty.

The phone does offer Qi wireless charging through that leather back, though (take that, LG and Motorola), and though you can buy a Vertu-branded Qi charging pad, it’ll work with any other Qi charger as you’d expect. Though it’s worth looking at their charger: it’s an aluminum wedge with a leather pad on which you can rest your phone and get the inductive charge flowing. It’s 530, and it’ll charge the Signature Touch just as well as a 20 Qi puck will. Though it’s certainly more fancy.

Stock Android, with a nice glass of chianti

Vertu Signature Touch Software and Performance

As the above specifications show, once you peel away the titanium and leather and sapphire, you get a device that’s pretty much a standard smartphone. To go one step further in the standard, it runs close to stock Android 4.4. Vertu’s made a handful of customizations in the form of their own navigation buttons (they’re more square than the squat rectangles Google provides) and building in support for Concierge and Dolby tuning of the speakers. There’s also a turn-off animation that replaces the winking-out CRT with a Vertu V that closes in from the top and bottom and blinks out with a small flash. But all-in-all, it’s a pretty light touch to the customizations.

That Vertu took a mostly hands-off approach to customizing Android on the Signature Touch is appreciated, except that it also appears that the mostly hands-off approach went towards performance optimization as well. As we said earlier, this phone is packing a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, a chip that’s been more than up to the task in its contemporaries. But in the Signature Touch we find ourselves afflicted with annoying lag that comes and goes, at times seizing up the entire phone for seconds.

Press the ruby button and the Vertu Concierge app smoothly slides in from the left, offering buttons to access Vertu Life, Vertu Certainty, and Vertu Concierge. Vertu Life is all about providing access to exclusive experiences, be they spas or dinners or concerts. We’re talking high-end experiences here, like having a private tour and tea in the penthouse of Diane Von Furstenberg (designer of the DVF wrap dress, apparently) … for just 5,250 per person. Or dine at Marc Forgione’s American Cut steakhouse in New York and get priority booking, complimentary dessert and sparkling wine, and a tour of the kitchen. It pays to know people, and Vertu knows people.

Vertu Life also has a widget on the second home screen (right now it’s telling us about VIP tickets available for the Glastonbury Festival in the UK), plus notifications when new things are available. Vertu Life has nine broad interest categories with which you can register your tastes: arts and culture, fashion and style, business intelligence, champagne and fine wine, elite world sport, fine dining and gastronomy, VIP entertainment, travel, and technology and gadgets.

nokia, vertu, phone, company

Vertu Certainty is part support and part security. The support aspect comes in the form of 24/7 service support via phone or email, plus remote assistance (used in the aforementioned battery life issue). Under security it simply offers to install a variety of tools, some more useful than others, to ensure the integrity and safety of your data, including Kaspersky Mobile Security, secure calling and messaging from Silent Circle (makers of the Blackphone), and iPass Open Mobile global Wi-Fi. These too will prompt you to install them, though you only have to dismiss each once and be done with it.

Lastly there is Vertu Concierge, the marquee app and service of Vertu. Concierge starts with a phone call scheduled while you’re setting up the phone with a Vertu staffer — mine was scheduled for 4 p.m. the day the phone was received, and Karina from Vertu called at exactly 4 p.m. to introduce herself, explain the service, and get an accounting for the kind of things I regularly do, what sort of entertainment I do, how often I travel, any kids or significant others I need to keep in mind, and other info that would be useful for such a concierge. I must have bored poor Karina with my anything goes taste in food and otherwise homebody lifestyle. Maybe a Vertu phone isn’t for me.

I used the concierge service a few times in my time with the Signature Touch, though it always felt weird to use it. Perhaps it comes from always doing these sort of things myself, but it was nice to be able to ask for a tailor recommendation to repair a ripped jacket and shortly thereafter get a list of well-reviewed tailors in my area.

Concierge works in three modes: you can call and have a phone conversation right then and there, you can send an email and get a response back, or you can have a text chat through the app. It’s a service that’s wasted on somebody like me, I suppose. But I can see it being useful for the busy executive that forgot their anniversary was coming up and needs to book a flight for two to Paris immediately and get exclusive restaurant reservations at places that have months-long waiting lists. Or you can ask for a veterinarian because your dog is behaving more weirdly than normal and the concierge will find the best vets in your area.

Concierge is promised as a 24/7 service with staffers all around the globe ready to take your call at any time. During regular working hours in your area there’s an assigned concierge for your account (Karina, in my case), though if I called in at 3 a.m. and she’s not there I’d get another equally capable concierge. The global distribution isn’t just for time zone coverage — if I’m planning a trip to Istanbul, for example, I could be transferred to a concierge with knowledge of the area to help set things up for me.

Services like Vertu Life and Concierge are what help to justify the price tag of a Vertu phone. The question is if they’re worth it to you. Concierge is included with the first year of the phone, and is then 3,000/year afterwards — so you best use it.

like Hasselbad

Vertu Signature Touch Cameras

Vertu is quick to tout the Hasselblad-certification of the 13-megapixel rear camera on the Signature Touch, though it’s not exactly clear what that entails. Hasselblad is a strong name in quality imaging, offering cameras that run upwards of 40,000 and lenses at 50,000. So their stamp of approval on the Signature Touch’s camera should mean something.

But using the camera wasn’t all that great of an experience. For starters, it’s painfully slow to load, taking up to five seconds on most loads to offer a preview, and then around a second of lag from the time that you tap the shutter button to the moment the photo is captured. And don’t turn on HDR if you want quick photos — those took 3 to 5 seconds to process before you could take another photo, even though the three exposures were generally captured in Rapid enough procession to not be tripped up by movement. Even the viewfinder preview was afflicted with lag. We installed a few other camera apps just to be sure and they were hit with the same performance issues as well.