Does anybody remember Vertu?

I bought one of these things once, bear with me on this

34w ago

Vertu, formerly owned by Nokia, is/was a British-based luxury phone manufacturer that specialized in ultra-expensive phones for the mega rich. Their phones were built using high-end materials like titanium, carbon, gold and platinum and came with a cool feature called Concierge, which was essentially an earlier attempt at creating a Siri-style personal assistant.

The Concierge service, which was free for the first year and then around $3k every 12 months, was very easy to use. You'd use the Concierge button, usually located on the right-hand side of the phone, and the assistant would answer and help with you anything from hotel reservations to weather forecast.

Founded in 1998, Vertu's popularity peaked in the late 2000s / early 2010s but the brand inevitably declined because it became increasingly difficult to justify the atrocious price tag of their phones.

Technology moves faster than anything else and this is especially true with mobile phones. Today we're using our smartphones to do everything and anything and yet, just over twenty years ago, most people didn't even have a mobile phone. It's astounding when you think about it.

Vertu phones used Nokia interface, which means they went from being okayish to downright useless very quickly and the Apple iPhone was the nail in the coffin because the only thing that the 99 % and the 1% have in common in terms of customer buying habits is they both use iPhones. Vertu even tried producing handsets in partnership with Ferrari and Bentley but these phones were too expensive to make sense, usually ranging from $20,000-40,000 on average, and they depreciated faster than overripe oranges.

That's probably the reason why I was able to buy one a few years ago. I'd been thinking about it for a while and I eventually found a pre-owned Vertu Constellation on eBay for €200. It was based on the Nokia S40 UI's interface, which means it was barely usable, but it was a nice item. It came in a big box that for some reason also had a pleasant smell and it was made using leather and titanium. After sitting in the closet at home for about two years I eventually sold it in 2015 for €275. At least I was able to walk away financially unscathed from this ordeal.

Vertu was an interesting project and stylish ideas but let's face it, it was doomed to fail from the get-go.

Have you ever heard of this brand or have you ever had any experience with it?

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Comments (25)

  • Damn you. I’d just forgotten about them

      7 months ago
  • Yep, knew these existed and were WAY out of my price range. Been rocking cell tech since 98. Was in IT ...

      7 months ago
  • I know Nokia.Not this brand.Well,the first phone my family brought was a Nokia

      7 months ago
  • The game has changer. It is no longer hardware- It is now a game of software.

      7 months ago
    • True. The hardware is same except a few things but software experience defines the success of a smartphone these days. Apple has lagged behind android in features list but the wholesome experience has allowed the Iphone to be the most...

      Read more
        7 months ago
    • While the Pixel's software is amazing but n the Hardware side, they are pretty crummy.

        7 months ago
  • Seems like the concierge service offered is like siri/google assistant... ahead of its time, but was not marketed for the masses, only for the 1%...

      7 months ago
    • yup. When it comes to technological advances, being too early is the same as being late

        7 months ago