Aster is the new, quintessentially English smartphone from Vertu, the English manufacturer of luxury mobile phones. Handmade and finished by craftsmen, using the most luxurious materials, in an exquisite palette of colours, Aster can also be personalised with a monogram or engraving. Its beauty of design and simplicity of use belie the cutting edge technology at its heart, which facilitates its seamless operation almost anywhere on the globe. The new handset features Dolby® Digital Plus virtual surround sound and Hasselblad certified imaging, as well as Vertu’s full portfolio of services, which comprises Classic Concierge as well as Vertu LIFE and Vertu CERTAINTY packages. Together these features combine to create in Aster a rare and indispensable lifestyle accessory.
Massimiliano Pogliani, Vertu’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “There has always been significant consumer desire for Vertu products that make a lifestyle statement. Many of our consumers not only appreciate rarity and craftsmanship in the goods that they choose to own, but desire products that reflect modern styling and trends in their colour palette and material. They expect a statement piece that not only performs to the utmost standard technically, but is also beautiful as an object as well.
In contrast to Signature Touch, which has seen its popularity soar amongst our more traditional and corporate customers and is very masculine in design, with hard, straight, edges and classic lines, Aster is a more unisex offer and appeals to a different customer; someone searching for something a little more glamorous. In Aster we looked to create a handset that was not only engineered to perform to the highest standard, but one that would complement our customers’ lifestyles in its capacity as a fashionable accessory. For those desirous of luxury and understated elegance, but unwilling to compromise on performance, Aster is the ultimate lifestyle handset.”
He continued, “Over the last two years we have expanded our product range with specific consumers in mind. Powerful technology now runs throughout all Vertu devices and there has been tremendous opportunity for us to tailor designs, materials and service suites to meet differing consumer needs and desires. Today, we have a coherent, segmented product portfolio in which every model delivers Vertu’s unique combination of craftsmanship and materials, services and technology, enabling our global consumers to choose from distinctly different flavours of our brand whilst still receiving the ultimate Vertu experience. We will go further with our segmentation strategy over the next 18-months, expanding at either end of our current range through elements such as higher end materials and services or a wider variety of personalisation options, for example. Importantly, all future products will continue to be true to the Vertu spirit.”
Aster delivers a very contemporary version of some of the signature elements found in Vertu phones. For example the traditional V pillow is made of titanium and uses clean horizontal lines and a simple geometry. The strong vertical sides are created by cutting a scoop into the titanium and using different finishes to bring the profile to life. This creates a surface that is a pleasure to hold. Edges are much softer to create a less masculine aesthetic. The soft, almost fluid lines of the handset are enhanced by the use of a grade 5 titanium casing, featuring a mix of brushed and polished finishes that sweep the sleek lines of the handset and contrast with its textured, natural grain leather, sourced from the finest tanneries in Europe.
A single 117 carat, 5.1” piece of 5th generation solid sapphire crystal protects Vertu Aster’s 4.7” HD display and 13mp camera lens from scratches. Vertu has been using sapphire for luxury mobile phones since the late 90s and has continuously developed the technology for this precision application. Now, with more than a decade’s experience of growing, cutting, polishing and bonding, Vertu has become the foremost expert in sapphire crystal screen technology for mobile devices. Impervious to anything less than diamond, solid sapphire crystal is strong, highly scratch resistant and optically perfect.
Vertu’s Creative Director, Ignacio Germade, said: “In Aster we have created a phone that, whilst softer in its lines, remains unisex in essence. Key Vertu design cues are incorporated, however we have chosen to significantly soften them in the Aster design. We have selected rich colours, across three different leathers, Calf, Karung and Ostrich, which each lend character and personality, adding depth to the textural contrast of the beautifully finished titanium and hand crafted leather.” Aster will launch in a palette of six, rich colours, across seven product executions: Onyx Calf, Blush Calf, Lagoon Calf, Caviar Karung, Tangerine Karung, Cognac Ostrich and Raspberry Ostrich. A range of eleven Aster cases, in three different styles, have been designed to complement the Aster handset collection.
Aster is hand-bound in leather sourced from tanneries that supply the world’s leading fashion houses. Each piece of leather is unique meaning no two Vertu Asters are completely identical and owners can further customise their Aster with Vertu’s personalisation service.
Vertu Aster delivers exceptional connectivity via its optimised antenna which enables access to high-speed data through quad-band GSM, 3G and LTE 4G capability. Aster’s facility to connect to 4G networks means that web pages load instantly and downloading a song takes mere seconds.
Six months’ complimentary access to unlimited, global Wi-Fi, at over 13 million hotspot locations, further enhances the Wi-Fi experience on your Aster. Aster’s exceptional acoustic profile delivers flawless sound through Dolby® Digital Plus virtual surround sound. Call quality is assured via noise cancelling uplink and downlink and the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 2.3GHz 801 Quad-core processor delivers stunning speed. High quality, integrated front facing stereo speakers are tuned for an extraordinarily pure and rich acoustic experience without distortion in any environment. In addition to promising exceptional sound via its hands free speaker, Vertu Aster can be effortlessly linked, via Bluetooth® v4.0 + LE and using CSR aptX® high quality encoded audio support, to the Vertu V Speaker (SP-1V), a powerful room filling wireless speaker.
Vertu has once again worked with Hasselblad, the world’s most renowned professional photography brand, to perfect the image tuning of the Aster camera. The Hasselblad-certified 13mp rear camera has a sapphire crystal lens and anti-reflection coating, while the front facing camera facilitates video calling. The 4.7” full HD display has a resolution of 473ppi and is protected by the 5.1” sapphire crystal screen.
Aster ownership includes six months’ complimentary Classic Concierge service from a team of lifestyle managers available 24/7. Vertu Concierge is accessible via voice, email or Live Chat from anywhere in the world. Vertu LIFE offers customers a personalised selection of exclusive privileges and unrestricted access to elite events, available directly on device. Features include complimentary entry to the most exclusive Private Members’ Clubs, spas and gyms around the world, access to invitation-only events and closed-door shopping experiences as well as recommendations based on your tastes and location.
Vertu CERTAINTY protects their Vertu phone and their data through best-in-class technology and expert partners. This includes encrypted communications, comprising voice calls, text and video, delivered in partnership with Silent Circle and complimentary to Aster owners for 12 months. A six month complimentary service provided by iPass offers unlimited access to secure WiFi globally via 13 million secure WiFi hotspots across 123 countries. Complimentary 12 month’s access to Kaspersky mobile security, including anti-virus and anti-theft protection protects the phone itself.
Coinciding with the Aster product launch, Vertu will also unveil a new digital presence at the heart of which is e-commerce platform that will begin to roll out globally from October 2014. From early next year, customers will be able to purchase directly from vertu.com anywhere in the world. A key part of this on-line experience is the customer’s ability to select, configure, monogram or engrave their Vertu phone before placing their order directly via Vertu.com. These latest steps see Vertu continue on its journey to deliver a dynamic digital presence which will link the Boutique, on-line and on device environments into one seamless consumer experience.
The Vertu Aster campaign is the third incarnation of the VERTU EXTRAORDINARY theme which celebrates Vertu’s English heritage, use of fine materials, hand craftsmanship, technology and the brand’s unique service offering. Shot by internationally renowned fashion photographer, Miles Aldridge, the campaign imagery focuses on both the meticulous craftsmanship that goes in to the creation of a Vertu phone and the privileged world to which ownership of a Vertu phone gives access.
Vertu began working on a luxury mobile phone concept as early as 1998 and four years later the company shipped its first product, the Signature, from its headquarters in Hampshire, England. Today, Vertu still leads the market that it pioneered, with a range of phones available: Vertu Signature, Vertu Signature Touch and Vertu Aster. Each product in the range delivers an unrivalled synergy of hand craftsmanship and materials, unique design, latest technology and curated services. Every Vertu phone is handcrafted by a single craftsman whose signature is engraved inside the back plate compartment.