We spoke to Gabriel Roth, who took the Aster for a test drive at one of Vertu’s upscale boutiques and wrote about the phone for Fast Company, "The
Cadillac Bentley of Cell Phones." The Aster starts at a meager $6900 for the 'entry-level' calf leather model and rises to $9700 for a bright pink ostrich skin model. There is also the option of personalization that pushes the phone's price to a number that would be gauche to mention in a web post. Take away the supple leather and exotic skin cases and what are you left with? A very nice touch screen smart phone on par with an iPhone 6 or one of Samsung's upper end models. So is it worth the money? We'll let you decide.
Well, it is true that the phone has some impressive features:
- Your choice of 7 different types of leather or exotic skin that wrap around the phone. Exotic skin does not sound appealing. Oh whoops. Inadvertent pun.
- The phone has a 13 mp Hasselblad camera. Hasselblad is known for making high end photography equipment, and they were responsible for making the first camera to be used by NASA in space. So having a Hasselblad on your phone is kind of like having a SPACE PHONE.
- This is a direct quote from their website: "The high-performance Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 2.3GHz quad core processor makes every task smoother and faster." We have no idea what that means, but it sounds really, really great.
- The ring tones were specially created by renowned composers and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. It's like having an orchestra in your pocket! Imagine the recording session for the ring tones:
"Ok, that was good, but horn section, I need more feeling. This could be the most important phone call this person has received in their life. Imagine if they just got word that the stock they're most heavily invested in...just split. What does that sound like? And you back there, yeah you triangle, that performance was an abomination. Pull it together. Ok! Once more from the top. And a one and a two..."
Gabriel also mentioned that an added value to the phone was the option for a variety of levels of concierge service. It's hard to imagine someone who buys this phone taking advantage of that service. We think Vertu should offer a few additional add-ons to drive up the phone's cost.
- A one year subscription to the Caviar of the Month club. Each egg is hand selected to ensure the highest quality caviar. Each shipment comes with a disposable, solid gold spoon.
- A personal screen smudge cleaner. This person will silently follow you around and every hour, on the hour, painstakingly remove the smudges from the glass with an artisanal, lint-free, free trade polishing cloth.
- Own the snake that shed it's skin to make your phone! Housed in a sapphire encrusted terrarium, this snake will ensure that you can always replace the one of kind skin on your phone from the exact same snake.
The full audio from Virginia's conversation with Gabriel is below.