Vertu Constellation hands-on: A thing money can buy
Design and construction
The materials and technologies used in these phones are nowhere else to be seen on the mobile phone market. We are talking about the ceramic laser-etched keypad and the sapphire crystal protective layer. And don't say that Nokia 8800 models already have that as we are talking about the whole phone this time, not just the display.
Another unique Vertu handset feature is that ruby bearings are placed under each of the keys of the keypad to improve the precision, smoothness and longevity of their action. At least the manufacturers say that it does so and after a short time spent with this keypad we have no reason to disbelieve them.
The frame of Vertu Constellation series phones is made of the Liquid metal, which is twice as hard as the stainless steel and yet lighter than that. Still don't get us wrong - these babes are surprisingly heavy for their dimensions. Standing 103 x 44 x 15.7, they weigh anywhere between 140 to 163 grams, depending on the material used for their finishing. This however is not necessary bad as this makes them look far more solid and durable.
The battery cover is opened by a specific mechanism. The round lock on the back panel is meant to be opened and closed with the key included in the retail package but in practice any suitably shaped object will do the trick. In all fairness we have to admit that this looks like a little improvement to the Siemens ME45's lock mechanism which we saw back in 2001st, or at least to us.
The last really impressive thing about the Vertu phones is the built-in Yamaha speaker, optimized for real Hi-Fi performance. It gives the handsets really distinctive sound that can hardly be confused with another phone. After all if you are a Vertu owner, showing off is what you surely like to do once in a while and the loudspeaker really facilitates that.
The 256K TFT square display with a resolution of 208 x 208 pixels is identical to the ones found on Nokia 8800 and is surely not something to boast about. We do believe that a phone of this class deserved something better, not to mention larger.