• Bentley and Vertu Release Special Edition Smartphone

    Would you spend $17,000 for a Bentley cellphone?

Bentley’s aggressive expansion plan apparently isn’t limited to just its automotive lineup. It’s also diving into the world of smartphones with the launch of its first ever handset built in collaboration with luxury cellphone maker Vertu.

The phone is named the "Vertu for Bentley" and is the first joint product release between the two British luxury brands since announcing its five-year partnership back in July 2014.

The two brands are also planning to follow up the "Vertu for Bentley" luxury phone with four more iterations, each one carrying “authentic and iconic Bentley design elements and exclusive lifestyle services.” Sounds like these two brands have a full schedule lined up for the next five years.

So what else can I tell you about the "Vertu for Bentley" phone that’ll make you want to have one?

Well, it’s limited, which is always a good thing for collaborations like this. Only 2,000 units are going to be made and each one is going to cost prospective buyers a pretty penny. Depending on what currency you’re going to use, the phones will be available in selected Vertu Boutique stores worldwide from October 2014 and will be priced at $17,100 in the U.S., £10,700 in the UK and €12,500 in other European countries.

Click past the jump to read more about Bentley-Vertu new smartphone.

Bentley-Vertu Smartphone In Detail

Bentley and Vertu Release Special Edition Smartphone Products
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There are a lot of nice details with the "Vertu for Bentley," as expected considering that one unit is the price of more than 10 iPhone 6 Plus models. The first thing you’ll notice is how luxurious it looks. The quilted calf leather plays a huge part in that. It comes in the classic Newmarket Tan color Bentley’s famous for to go with diamond-pattern stitching.

You also won’t see any plastic casings on these phones. Instead, Vertu opted to use a lightweight Grade-5 titanium that even has tactile diamond knurling. The devil’s in the details on this phone, and if you look a little closer, you’ll notice the detailing on the side rails and how it’s heavily complemented by an engine-turned pattern on the phone’s titanium back plate. This plate opens to show an engraved signature of the Vertu craftsman who constructed this phone from the ground up. Talk about personalized details, right?

Bentley and Vertu Release Special Edition Smartphone Products
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Another unique design detail of the phone is the sleeker ceramic pillow trim, a nod to the elegance and sophisticated style of the British automaker. Bentley’s "B" wings insignia is also prominently displayed on the face of the handset while another Bentley mark is embossed on the Newmarket Tan calf leather that makes up the phone’s complimentary slip case.

In addition to the phone itself, the Bentley-Vertu collaboration also includes the development of a "Vertu for Bentley" app that delivers exclusive Bentley-related content directly to the device, including official Bentley articles, recommended routes, and local chauffeur and dealer information.

Why It Matters

As far as luxury mobile phones are concerned, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as exclusive as the Vertu for Bentley phone. It’s astronomical price tag isn’t so much about its cutting edge technology, even though it does carry an Android 4.4 (KitKat) software, as well as acoustics from Bang & Olufsen and imaging from Hasselblad.

These phones cost as much as an entry-level car because they were born from a collaboration between two companies that live and breathe luxury. The materials used on the phone speak to the level of class and sophistication Vertu and Bentley constantly strive to achieve.

The question now is if you’re willing to spend that much money on a phone? I’d pass on this one personally, but I certainly won’t begrudge anybody who buys one. Just let me touch it once so I know what a $17,000 luxury phone feels like in my hands.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Bentley today unveiled its first handset created in collaboration with Vertu, the manufacturer of luxury mobile phones. The ‘Vertu for Bentley’ handset, with its combination of audio performance and curated services, delivers a unique sensory experience. It is the first joint product release from the new five-year partnership of the two British luxury brands, which was announced in July.

Bentley and Vertu Release Special Edition Smartphone Products
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The partnership

At the headquarters of Bentley in Crewe, Kevin Rose, Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing of Bentley Motors, said: “The partnership between Bentley and Vertu allows customers to experience the Bentley brand while out of the driving seat. The look and feel of the handset is a consequence of a strong collaboration between the Bentley and Vertu creative teams. The handset’s design and materials, when coupled with its exclusive services, integrated Bentley content and high-performance technology, embody what both Bentley and Vertu stand for, and deliver what our customers are looking for.”

Vertu’s Chief Executive Officer, Massimiliano Pogliani commented: “The new ‘Vertu for Bentley’ handset captures the essence of both our brands. It combines English handcraftsmanship, contemporary elegance, outstanding performance and cutting-edge technology.

“Our collaboration with Bentley unites both companies’ proud British heritage, as well as unrivalled expertise in the luxury and technology markets, to create a handset which exceeds the expectations of our mutual customer base. The result is ‘Vertu for Bentley’, a device which not only reflects sophistication and discerning taste, but also performs to an undeniably high technical standard to deliver an effortless, intuitive luxury mobile experience.”

The Design

Bentley and Vertu Release Special Edition Smartphone Products
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The ‘Vertu for Bentley’ smartphone is swathed in quilted calf leather, in the classic Bentley shade of Newmarket Tan, and stitched with a diamond pattern.

The supple leather is encased in durable, yet lightweight, titanium, which features tactile diamond knurling. This detailing on the side rails is complemented by an engine-turned pattern on the handset’s titanium back plate, which opens to reveal the engraved signature of the craftsman who meticulously constructed the phone, from start to finish, at Vertu’s headquarters in Church Crookham, England.

The traditional ceramic pillow, synonymous with established Vertu handsets such as the Signature and Signature Touch collections, has been subtly remodelled to feature a sleeker pillow trim, to reflect Bentley’s elegant and sophisticated style.

Each and every ‘Vertu for Bentley’ phone celebrates the new partnership by sporting a discrete, metal Bentley ‘B’ wings motif on the face of the handset. The complimentary slip case which accompanies every ‘Vertu for Bentley’ handset, also depicts the Bentley logo, embossed on the Newmarket Tan calf leather.

The Services

Bentley and Vertu Release Special Edition Smartphone Products
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The ‘Vertu for Bentley’ handset comes with the full spectrum of exclusive services which the luxury mobile phone manufacturer has become renowned for - comprising a dedicated ‘Vertu Concierge’ service, curated events and experiences via ‘Vertu Life’, and security services from ‘Vertu Certainty’ – alongside a unique ‘Vertu for Bentley’ app, which delivers exclusive Bentley content directly to the device.

This bespoke application provides customers with access to official Bentley articles, exclusive experiences, recommended routes and local chauffeur and dealer information, as well as a shortcut to the Touch Screen Remote features for Bentley Flying Spur drivers. Exclusive Bentley experiences and the latest Bentley content for owners and enthusiasts, plus Bentley dealer and service centres is also offered. In addition, the ‘Vertu for Bentley’ smartphone will feature custom start-up animation, 3D clock, 3D wallpaper and Bentley wallpapers.

The Performance

‘Vertu for Bentley’ is a high-performance smartphone using best-in-class technology with superior handcrafted materials, including grade-5 titanium, solid sapphire crystal which creates a virtually scratch-proof screen and hand-finished calf leather.

Mirroring the performance of the Vertu Signature Touch, the ‘Vertu for Bentley’ handset incorporates the full breadth of the company’s expertise. The acoustics, tuned in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen, feature Dolby Digital Plus virtual surround-sound processing and stereo speakers. As for imaging, which is such an integral part of the smartphone experience, Vertu has continued to work with Hasselblad, the world’s most renowned professional photography brand, to perfect the image-tuning of the camera.

Bentley and Vertu Release Special Edition Smartphone Products
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Alongside the sterling performance of the audio and imaging, ‘Vertu for Bentley’ features wireless charging, NFC and Android™ 4.4 (KitKat) software.

The Future

This inaugural ‘Vertu for Bentley’ model is planned to be followed by a further four distinctive, luxury smartphones, each of which will encompass authentic and iconic Bentley design elements and exclusive lifestyle services.

Limited to just 2,000 pieces, the new ‘Vertu for Bentley’ smartphone is available in selected Vertu Boutiques worldwide from October, and priced from £10,700 / €12,500 / $17,100.

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