Vertu launches £6,700 Android smartphone

Show me the money...

Luxury smartphone maker Vertu has released its first ever Android phone - with a rather hefty £6,700 price tag

The Vertu Ti is the first Android-based smartphone from the British company and, as usual, has arrived with a price point roughly equatable to that of a small car.

So, what does £6,700 get you? Well, the Vertu Ti was handcrafted right here in the UK and boasts a titanium frame with a (supposedly unscratchable) 3.7-inch sapphire screen.

There's also a special "concierge" button that calls a team dedicated to providing localised advice and assistance - presumably for when one's helicopter is running late or Claridge's is fully booked.

However, in terms of tech specs, there's very little here. The Vertu Ti runs a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with a 1250mAh battery and an 8MP camera. There's NFC but no 4G and the OS on board is only Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

Until last year Vertu was owned by Nokia and produced handsets using the Symbian OS, but with that relationship over the company went with Android over Microsoft's Windows Phone OS.

"Your device will have to integrate with other devices. I think the Windows phone will have success but it is still a relatively small market share. At the moment it doesn't have the global reach of Android - which is about 60% of the market," said Vertu chief executive Perry Oosting.

Despite going for the global reach of Android, Vertu has never really catered for the mass market. The company has been around for a decade, but boasts only 326,000 owners worldwide.

If you've got even deeper pockets, then you can mix it up a bit and go for the Black PVD Titanium Red Gold Mixed Metals version of the Vertu Ti - that's only £13,900.

The phone is set for release this month and will be available in a select 500 stores around the world.