£6,700 Vertu Signature Touch Promises To Encrypt Communications

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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British-manufactured Vertu Signature Touch targets luxury consumers with sapphire-protected handset

British luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu has unveiled its latest flagship device, the £6,700 Vertu Signature Touch, which promises to protect its owners’ sensitive communications with Silent Circle encryption.

Vertu says the Signature Touch blends best in class technology with “superior” handheld materials, such as a grade 5 titanium casing, a 118-carat sapphire protected 4.7-inch HD screen and hand-finished calf leather.

The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.4 KitKat and 64GB of storage, while it also boasts a 12.1 megapixel Hasselblad rear camera and a 2.1 megapixel front facing lens. Audio is boosted by Dolby Digital Plus and Bang & Olufsen speakers and the handset includes support for Near Field Communication (NFC).

Vertu Signature Touch

Vertu Signature Touch manufacturing (1)Like other Vertu handsets, the Signature Touch features a concierge service tailored to a users’ needs and Vertu LIFE, which provides access to exclusive members’ clubs and events, but it also has Vertu Certainty, which encrypts calls, texts and video with Silent Circle-developed protection.

Vertu also claims the device will work anywhere, with support for “virtually” more 4G bands than any other smartphone, and worldwide access to Wi-Fi through iPass.

“We are in the fortunate, perhaps unique position of being able to draw upon an excess of 15 years’ in-house expertise and we have invested in, and relentlessly interrogated, the latest insights from the luxury sector,” says Massimiliano Pogliani, Vertu CEO.

“In Signature Touch we have created a phone that exceeds our customers’ expectations and that we believe will cement our position as leader of the luxury mobile category. Its bold design exhibits classic Vertu styling elements, such as the raised ceramic pillow and strong V forms; these flourishes immediately set the phone apart from mainstream manufacturers.”

Established by Nokia in 1998, Vertu has produced some of the most expensive phones in the world as it prides itself on using precious metals, leathers and gemstones in its products. Its phones can only be purchased from 500 retailers, including 70 of its own boutiques, and there are believed be more than 300,000 Vertu owners around the world.

Nokia sold Vertu to Swedish private equity firm last year in a transaction believed to be around £162.5 million and the company hopes its  handsets will appeal to more frugal oligarchs and millionaire: its most recent handset, the Vertu Constellation, launched last October for the somewhat cheaper price of £4,100.

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Vertu Signature Touch

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Vertu Signature Touch