Chunky, gold-plated phones that allow you to do nothing but call and text message are a thing of the past. Luxury cellphone makers are putting a lot of energy into creating uber-exclusive mobiles for the tech-savvy ultra-rich. Here’s a round-up of some of the best cellphones out there
Ulysse Nardin Chairman: This one’s the mother of all luxury phones. Officially the most expensive cellphone on the world – the Ulysse Nardin Chairman has a Genius Book of World Records certification – it features a capacitive touch screen, old-school keypad and a mechanical watch rotor on the back. You can get it gold-plated or if you want top-of-the-line, then encrusted with 3,000 hand-cut 17-karat diamonds. Tech-wise, besides the prehistoric keypad, it’s got 32GB memory, a 3.2″ touch screen display, a special version of the Android Gingerbread OS and an 8 megapixel camera with flash. Apps include Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps.
Price: Rs 6.93 lakh (approx) onwards
Versace Unique: A surprisingly sober design from the otherwise OTT House of Versace, this touchscreen is a stylish collaboration with LG. The ceramic/lacquered front and crocodile leather back (with embossed Medusa’s Head, of course) are accented with 18k gold or 316L grade stainless steel. The bells and whistles include a 5 mega pixel camera, Dolby Mobile Surround, 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
Price : Rs 4.5 lakh
Vertu Constellation Symbian: Vertu has ditched its old-school image with the new Constellation. The touch screen phone is all polished steel and leather – aimed at the tech-savvy CEO. The hand-built-in-England phone is also available in pink leather (for biz-savvy heiresses?) and satin steel and runs on the Symbian OS. It has an 8 megapixel camera and is loaded with the brand’s popular concierge service that provides access to members clubs, info on wines and erm… security advice.
Price: Rs 3 lakh – Rs 7.76 lakh (approx)
Mobiado Grand Touch: One of few really cool luxury smartphones, the Grand Touch is an updated version of Mobiado’s Nexus phone. Proving its cred is the Google Android technology that sits under its super-tough airplane grade aluminium case. Richer tech-heads might like the (more) luxed up version, the Grand Touch GCB , though. It’s made from solid brass and then gold-plated and inlayed with sapphire crystal. This sleek phone is fitted with a 5 megapixel camera, 4″ display as well as GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP, and EDR.
Price: Rs 1.48 lakh – Rs 1.98 lakh (approx)
Tag Heuer Link: In an age of super slim iPhones, Samsungs and Blackberrys, the Link phone is one weighty chunk of metal. It has all the hallmarks of good craftsmanship: crocodile skin case and exposed gold-plated hardware. And the technology is pretty good too: An Android OS, 5 megapixel camera, an app store and Tag Heuer branded back-up and security features.
Price: Rs 3.3 lakh – Rs 12 lakh (approx)