In the world of fast cars, fast women, summer beach houses, jets and caviar there’s just one thing that completes the picture for any self respecting jet-setter – a Vertu Mobile. Nokia’s luxury brand of mobile handsets is the very last name in style, class affluence and status when it comes to the mobile industry. Their Ascent Ti Ferrari Nero Limited Edition, designed after the car, is available in India in a few select outlets and only in very limited quantities. In fact only 2009 handsets were built and distributed to retailers the world over. We managed to get a sneak peak at the device at one of the stores so here’s a closer look.
There are but two words that came to mind when I set off to describe this handset - stunning and hardcore. The Ferrari Limited Edition is encased in Black finished titanium with knurled rubber, titanium side panels, Nero leather (straight from the car’s seats) for the rear cushion and space grade ceramics for the ear (speaker) portion. The keypad consists of precision engineered stainless steel buttons and each and every one of the 2009 keypads are handmade with ruby bearings underneath to ensure longevity of use. It doesn’t get more exclusive than that. The 2.2-inch display (240 x 320 pixels, 262k colors) is completely scratch resistant thanks to it being ‘carved’ from a Sapphire Crystal. There’s no memory card slot as the handset is loaded with 4GB of user memory.
On one side is a camera button for the 3.1MP AF camera (LED flash) and on the other side is a dedicated key to access Vertu’s exclusive Concierge service. A universal proprietary-like mini USB port is at the bottom of the device can be used to connect a handsfree kit (not included), USB cable and the charger (both included). Even the rear panel battery cover (that requires a key to unscrew) is designed to mirror the distinctive bonnet detailing you’d find on the Nero and the sides of the Ascent Ti are also sculpted to reflect the louvers, found on various other Ferrari cars.
It’s a brilliantly constructed phone that I’m told, can stop a bullet. The black titanium body takes its overall sex appeal to new standards even if it does weigh in at 160g. Incidentally the ‘Ti' in the name is actually the chemical symbol for Titanium.
Features and Performance
Do not expect too much from this or any other Vertu model in terms of features like you’d find in today’s average smartphone. The Vertu brand offers simplistic mobile functionality with a few exclusive features that only Vertu users have access to. It’s a status symbol. The UI is a variation of Nokia’s Symbian S40. It’s vibrant, colourful and easy to navigate.
The Ferrari Ltd. Ed. Handset sports a pretty standard music player that reads MP3 and WAV files. It also supports full screen video playback of MPEG4 and 3GP file types. Java based games can also be downloaded and played. The built-in 20mm speakers have designed by Yamaha to provide the best possible audio. In the ringtone section you’ll find engine sounds of the Nero and other Ferrari automobiles.
Some editions of the same model are equipped with 3G connectivity while others are restricted to EDGE/GPRS. You’ll be able to download email and surf the internet as much as you would on any other EDGE capable handset. Bluetooth and USB 2.0 are also part of the handset’s connectivity features. There seems to be a bit of conflict as to whether or not the handset supports A2DP. While I was told it supports Mono and data transfer, the official website doesn’t mention A2DP. The handset can be used as modem though.
One of the reasons to own a Vertu mobile is data security. The 'Vertu Fortress' technology allows for remote synchronization of contacts, calendar, notes etc. and backs up all of your stored data to a high security server maintained in an ex-military bunker at a secure location in the English countryside. Perhaps that was too much information. Customers can access their private data via a personal account on vertu.com. If you happen to lose your phone, aside from the tremendous loss of money you’ll feel rest assured at least all data can be quickly reinstated to a new mobile phone.
The second special service that’s available to Vertu mobile users is ‘Vertu Concierge’. A single button press from the handset (key on the side) will put you through to lifestyle operatives. These executives are at your beck and call 24/7 and can do everything from make hotel bookings, reservations at restaurants to having a limo some pick you up for meetings. The service, like Fortress, is free for the first year but needs to be paid for after if you wish to continue using them.
According to one site, one request that come through on the Concierge service was to have Dinner with Queen Elizabeth. Outrageous no? However, it seems that although it could not be a one-on-one dinner, the Concierge service did manage to get tickets to one of her appearances at a Dinner function. Now that’s outrageous!
Not that this really matters and I didn’t get to test the battery life real time so I can’t be certain, but the handset is capable of 4.5 hours of talk time.
The Bottom Line
And finally, all of this exclusivity will cost you no less than Rs. 5, 78,000. If you still want a Ferrari edition but can’t afford that price, you could opt for the slightly cheaper Ascent Ti Ferrari Special Edition that’s priced at just Rs. 4,93,000. The Nero Limited Edition Ascent Ti comes with a leather pouch though.
For most of us, this is not a handset we’d own, but one we’d covet with a vengeance even if it does absolutely nothing but sit in the palm of your hand making the world turn green with envy.
The phone was sourced from Popley La Classique, located at Level 1, Popley & Sons, Junction of Turner & Waterfield Roads, Bandra West. The handset along with others in the Vertu range are available here.
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