Vertu Aster: Snake-skin Android smartphone

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Vertu the company that builds phones covered in snake skin has release it new Aster is its latest mid-range offering, setting buyers back a cool US$9100.

CAPE TOWN - While Apple might make gorgeous premium-level phones for its adoring customers, it can’t hold a candle to British-based manufacturer Vertu, which assembles snakeskin-covered cellphones. The company’s latest offering, the Aster sets back buyers a cool $9,100 (R99,700).

Built mostly from spaceship-grade hardened titanium and sporting a 117 carat sapphire screen, the phone seems virtually unbreakable.

For stylish geeks, there’s plenty of beauty under its skin. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 SoC is at the heart of the phone from which the company claims console-level gaming graphics. We’re not so sure.

64GB flash storage is also present, while there’s a 13MP camera at the rear with dual LED flash.

A 2.1MP camera and Dolby Digital stereo speakers join the 4.8″ (12cm) screen. Users will also appreciate a 1,080p display with a pixel density of 473ppi. Customary connections include Bluetooth, wi-fi and NFC — these standards are paired with LTE and Qi wireless charging.

For the fashion conscious — a group that probably will be Vertu’s first and foremost consumer base — there’s an array of embellishments from which to choose, including ostrich leather to snakeskin.

Considering that the Aster is around 10 times the price of an iPhone 6 Plus, this is not a phone to buy for performance nuts or those looking for bleeding-edge technology.

It is, however, something users will buy to accompany their Bentleys on a Monte Carlo holiday. And that’s exactly what Vertu’s hoping for.