Luxury car maker Bentley and smart phone counterpart Vertu have just released the latest fruit of their long-standing collaboration. It’s called the Signature Touch for Bentley, and it’s the third handset to come out of the Bentley-Vertu partnership. That’s the gist of it, but the more important question you should be asking is this: at the price it’s going to cost - reportedly over $9,000 - is it even worth it to buy one?

To give you an idea on why the Signature Touch for Bentley costs that much, let’s take a look at the physical tale of the tape of this fancy new Android-powered smartphone. It features a two-tone Beluga and Hotspur Bentley leather with Hotspur stitching. Sounds pretty fancy, right? In addition, it also has knurled side keys, a pillow rail and sound bar, and a 3D Bentley logo. All these components have the feel of exclusivity to them, but there is one problem. Vertu actually released the exact same phone in 2015, except that those models didn’t come with the leather and the 3D Bentley logo. So basically, you’re paying for those things, in addition to what Vertu says is a unique Bentley app that “delivers exclusive content to customers”.

On the technical side, the Signature Touch for Bentley smartphone is powered by Android’s 5.1 Lollipop operating system and has Dolby Digital Plus virtual surround sound capabilities. It also comes with a new Lost Phone service, which allows owners to remotely lock and wipe the phone in the event that it gets lost or stolen. Something tells me that it functions the exact same way as the iPhone’s “Find my iPhone” app.

And as an extra treat, Vertu is offering customers a chance to personalize their Signature Touch for Bentley phones by offering a choice of eight leather and 16 stitching options. It may not be the smartphone for regular folks like you and me, but for those who can afford it, the new Signature Touch for Bentley smartphone is the perfect embodiment of status and exclusivity.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Vertu And Bentley Launch New Signature Touch Smartphone
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Here’s where I’m at with this thing. I get it that Vertu knows who its market is. The luxury smart phone builder has never been shy about knowing that. It’s always intended its phones to be used by people who have no problems dropping close to $10,000 on a new phone. In a lot of ways, it’s a brave business model that’s to be admired. But from the looks of things, the Signature Touch for Bentley is a recycled phone that only differentiates itself because of the 3D Bentley logo and the offering of all those leather options.

The technical features are really nothing to get too excited about because you can get the same software and systems from phones that are significantly cheaper than the Signature Touch for Bentley. Think that Android Lollipop 5.1 operating system works differently on my Samsung Galaxy S6? It doesn’t. It’s the same thing. Even that exclusive Bentley app is of little use to anybody who doesn’t own a Bentley. Maybe if you do own a Bentley, you can double up on the exclusivity by buying this phone, but other than that, there’s really no point at even looking at the Signature Touch for Bentley.

Even if i did have the money to buy one, I wouldn’t do it for the simple reason that I don’t need a $9,000 smartphone when I can get a lot of what I need from a phone that costs a tenth of that. I know it’s easy to get lost in the hypnotic appeal of owning a Vertu, but if you do find yourselves in a tempted position, tread carefully because you might end up regretting it in the future.

Press Release

The new Signature Touch for Bentley smartphone signals a new step in design and technology for the two brands’ long-term partnership. The powerful, modern smartphone is the latest collaboration in communications technology, building on the success of Signature for Bentley.

Featuring two-tone Beluga and Hotspur Bentley leather, with Hotspur stitching, the phone also features knurled side keys, a unique pillow rail and sound bar and a 3D Bentley logo. A unique Bentley app delivers exclusive content to customers, bringing the world of Bentley alive through tailored events, VIP access and special features designed to integrate the Signature Touch with the range of Bentley models.

Based on Vertu’s latest, high-performance smartphone, Signature Touch for Bentley balances high-performance technology, dedicated services and peerless build quality and materials and boasts Vertu’s most vibrant display ever.

This clarity of image is complemented by the extraordinary sound experience featuring Dolby® Digital Plus virtual surround sound. It is Vertu’s highest ever technical performance smartphone. Android 5.1 Lollipop promises improved speed and clarity and Vertu’s full portfolio of services, which comprise Dedicated Concierge as well as Vertu LIFE and Vertu CERTAINTY packages ensure a seamless user experience. The phone also features the new Lost Phone service, which allows owners to remotely lock and wipe the phone if lost or stolen.

Kevin Rose, Bentley Board Member for Sales and Marketing, commented: “The partnership between Vertu and Bentley is a superb example of two global brands working together to make extraordinary products that complement the lifestyle and aspirations of discerning and sophisticated customers. The Vertu for Bentley phones are designed and hand-made in England, personifying style, elegance and the modern perception of bespoke, underpinned by world-class technology and luxury performance.”

Gordon Watson, Vertu VP Sales and Marketing, said: “The Vertu for Bentley products have been a phenomenal success. This is a partnership that has really sparked the imagination of luxury consumers and the models released so far have proved very desirable among our existing global customer base. However, nearly 40 per cent have been purchased by customers new to the Vertu brand.

“We are confident that the new Signature Touch for Bentley smartphone, with its unique design, powerful technology and exclusive content and services, will do equally as well.”

Following on from the success of the previous Vertu Signature S for Bentley, Vertu’s Made to Order option has also been made available on this new model. This allows each Signature Touch for Bentley to be personalised with the choice of eight leather colours and 16 stitching options.

This is the third phone of a five-year partnership: the first was a Vertu for Bentley Signature Touch smartphone launched in October 2014, followed by a Vertu Signature for Bentley ‘voice-centric’ mobile launched in September 2105.

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