Luxury smartphones can be real let-downs. Sure, there’s the occasional model like the Porsche Design P’9981 BlackBerry, which while it costs $2000, is still essentially a Bold 9900, probably the best BlackBerry around when the P’9981 launched. On the other hand, there seem to be far too many of these boutique phones that, when you get down to brass tacks, just aren’t that impressive as smartphones, with surprisingly lower-end specs. That’s the vibe we’re getting from the new Vertu Android, the Vertu Ti.
Vertu used to be a division of Nokia, but it’s since gone its own way, and this Ti is a new original design from the company. The cheapest configuration of the phone sells for €7900, which works out to about $10,625. Now, for that kind of money you do get some pretty nice features, like a screen constructed entirely of synthetic sapphire, rendering it nearly scratch-proof. But underneath that tough exterior, there’s some hardware that leaves a lot to be desired.
The Ti has a dual-core SoC (though one running at 1.7GHz, granted), only a single gigabyte of RAM, and runs Ice Cream Sandwich, rather than Jelly Bean. Perhaps we’re being picky, as that could make for a decent mid-range Android, but you think you’d get a whole lot more for ten grand.
Then there’s the screen, a 3.7-inch WVGA model. We realize that’s about as high a resolution as most 3.7-inch displays go, but even the iPhone 4 manages to do better. Would it be too much to ask for a four-inch 720p display? Suffice it to say, we’re underwhelmed.