Held at a venue near mayfair the space was beautiful. But before I get into it I want to point out the difference between a tech company like Samsung and Vertu.
Now I was at the same venue last year for the launch party of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and like most of Samsungs events no expense was spared there were celebrities everywhere and Olympic athletes with their gold medals. Big loud and full of big personalities. Plus one of the best parties I have ever been to with Kylie a mere foot away and me with a real gold medal round my neck.
So when I was in the cab on the way to the Vertu event I kinda knew the venue and knew what to expect however the entrance was where the similarities stopped. More bodyguards than I have ever seen protected the entrance and 2 ladies controlled the flow of people. Once in the main part you see the embodiment of what makes Vertu special, its attention to detail. In the middle of the room was this huge tree and ivy decorating the walls even gorgeous chairs and sofas for relaxing in. Of course an open bar and staff distributing food and top ups.
Overall the atmosphere was far more subdued with with clientele being mainly journalists and customers. Making it feel more like being at a hybrid between an art gallery and a high end nightclub, where you grab a cocktail walk around look at the phone sitting in glass boxes with ivy all around then wander over to have a look at the accessories and a demo of the phone.
My favorite part of the night was talking to the Vertu staff who build the phone and know it inside out. Listening to them talk about the leather and that they get it from the mountains in Europe from a family run business where they inspect each piece of leather looking for the perfect piece. Talking to them also reinforces something that I do like about Vertu which is their attention to detail and everything on that device is made by people with loving care, of course you do pay a lot for this care and love.
The Fix of the big problem
Now I am going to be honest before the Ti even if I had a lot of money burning a hole in my pocket I would never have bought a Vertu phone and that is because of the software. Symbian is not a smartphone OS but now they are running Android. Plus a very stock version of Android with only the changes that enhance the experience unlike Samsung, HTC and LG with their bloated skins which in my opinion are more a hindrance than a help especially when there design lags so far behind stock android.
The Constellation runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean close to stock with a beautiful screen shut down which reminds me of my Nexus. Overall there was no lag and it really was smooth as butter even considering it is running some pretty middle of the road specs. Which is a testament to the Vertu software team that are not of the same size as the mammoths of LG and Samsung yet they have made a phone with a smooth OS with no lag that I experienced. And personally I don't care about internal specs anymore I just want a great experience if you can give me the same experience of a quadcore processor on a dual core one then good on you.
As for the hardware this phone has an almost soft and warm feeling when you hold it due to the leather back, making it very comfortable unlike the iPhone 5 and 5s with its sharp cold edges. Of course it has the usual Vertu embellishments of rubies, sapphire crystal screen and titanium but of all the Vertu phones ever made this is far more understated and one that is elegant without the harsh lines of the Signature or Ti.
With the phone costing $6,000 it is expensive but it is also the first Vertu that I would happily recommend to any rich friends with its access to the Google Play store you can now get access to some great apps and services and even play angry birds because even rich people like to play. Plus how many things can you get out there that are made with the finest materials and by a person that signs each phone they make.
The Constellation marks a new direction for Vertu a high resolution touchscreen phone that can be seen as a smartphone that stands alone not as the second phone to someones iPhone. I cant wait to see what the rest of the range will bring and maybe one day I might even treat myself.