Y’know, as long-term readers of this blog doubtless worked out ages ago, I’m nothing if not predictable. I see a phone I like, I bang on about it incessantly (yes, like the X1, before I got one, or the HTC HD2 I’m currently mithering about). I see a phone I don’t like, I tear it a new one. And if I see a phone that’s clearly made exclusively for people who have more money than sense, it gets NO mercy. Well, prepare to be shocked, folks, because the unthinkable’s happened.
I’ve seen a luxury phone I think looks really nice…
According to Gear Diary, it’s called the Vertu Ayxta (and yes, part of me liking it could well be that its name sounds like a minor race from Babylon 5), and while it’s quite clearly as underpowered as every Vertu in history has ever been, ever, I’m a little taken with its looks. That’s probably because it doesn’t look like a Vertu, since Vertu phones always, without fail, go for ostentation over style.
However, what it does look like is a cross between a Motorola V3 and a Samsung E700, and since I always had a bit of a soft spot for those two phones, that’s probably why I like the look of it. But, you know me, I firmly believe in substance over style and brains over beauty, so let’s look past the Ayxta’s looks, and tear it a new one, just like every luxury phone that crosses my path…
So, first up, features… and here we go, here’s something to pick on: it has a web browser. That may seem an odd thing to condemn a phone for, but consider that, according to Vertu’s own site, it has a web browser and a complete lack of 3G or WiFi. So, you’ll be doing web browsing on a 2G connection, so loading web pages will take somewhere in the region of 9 years. Which is just stupid in this day and age, and I know some people will defend it, saying it’s more about being an actual phone than browsing the web, but why even have the web browser on there if you’re going to cripple it? Also, it has a camera, but don’t ask me what resolution it is, because it doesn’t say on the phone itself, on any promo material, or on Vertu’s own website, like they’re saying, “Oh, but camera resolution doesn’t matter, people don’t buy it for that.”
Again, why include one at all, then?
Oh alright, fine, yes, it’s got GPS navigation built-in. That seems to be the only well thought out feature, though, as it includes the ‘City Brief’ option, which spots where you are using the GPS, and updates your phone with local info, local plays, restaurants of venues, and local business practices. Of course, the Ayxta also has the Concierge feature, for people too lazy to find out information themselves, or do something so taxing as booking an airline ticket.
That sums it up, right there, the exact thing I hate about luxury phones. It’s not really about the stupid looks or the exorbitant price tags (the Ayxta’s around £4500, if you were wondering). It’s the people who use them. The oil barons. The uber-rich. Newspaper tycoons, Hollywood moguls. You know the type: the people who’ve probably reached the point where they can’t fend for themselves any more, having attendants and staff for every conceivable action.
Anyway, I’ll stop there, lest this turns into a socio-political rant of epic proportions. But yes, that’s why, despite me thinking it does look pretty, I hate everything the Vertu Ayxta stands for. Get a proper phone, like the HD2 I’m getting, or the HTC Desire. They’re vastly cheaper; they do so much more; they’re properly gorgeous, powerful phones; and you won’t be a greedy capitalist scumbag for using one…
[EDIT: TechnoLiz here! Sorry for confusing people but it seems TechnicalMarkus is on to something with his love of HTC. The Desire is already proving to be a favourite on MobileShop - read more about it's explosion on to the market here.]
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