Tonino Lamborghini Antares review

Is the Tonino Lamborghini Antares a raging bull of a smartphone?

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Build quality

  • +

    Solid camera

  • +

    Good battery life

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Doesn't feel worth the money

  • -

    Bulky and heavy

  • -

    Tiny 4-inch display

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This pricey handset might share the same logo as the famous car brand, but it's an entirely different company. Check out our Tonino Lamborghini Antares review

The Tonino Lamborghini Antares smartphone has an uphill struggle before its engine block of a case lands purposefully on your desk.

Whereas before a luxury smartphone could be identified by its build quality and the sheer power of the specs inside, a huge dip in chip costs and advances in manufacturing techniques mean that smartphones like the iPhone 5s and the HTC One are truly cutting edge.

So how can a luxury phone stand apart then? Well the Vertu Constellation went for a mix of build quality and user experience turning the phone into a membership card that gives you access to a world of exclusivity.

What then can Lamborghini offer at a price point that is well beyond the reach of most of us yet not quite as far as Vertu.

Tonino Lamborghini Antares: Size and build

Pick up the Antares and immediately it's clear that this is a phone designed to make a statement, both to the eye and in the hand.

Built mainly from stainless steel, leather and plastic the Antares is not what you'd call a light phone, in fact at 13mm thick it weighs 170g, which means that even the strongest hand may tire after some time.

WATCH: Tonino Lamborghini Antares smartphone unboxing video

The design is pretty devisive. Some in the office see it as an extension of the same design used in the Lamborghini cars, others see it as just plain ugly. We'll be honest it's not a looker, taking on the same garish design cues we've seen in gaming PCs over the last few years.

That's not to say it isn't built well, despite our confusion at plastic even appearing on a £2,500 phone, the handset is incredibly well put together.

Tonino Lamborghini Antares: Features

Oddly this section of the review is going to be kept remarkably brief, and we say oddly because honestly, we were expecting more, a lot more.

The Antares comes running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and while that in itself isn't too much of a problem it has been given a Lamborghini overlay. It's not ugly but it's certainly not in keeping with the rest of Android's design so what you have is a weird clash between the parts which have been changed and the menu screens which have been left as default Android.

That's about it, the phone comes with a few extra apps including a Yamaha app to take advantage of the Yamaha audio hardware built inside.

We were expecting at the very least some exclusive extras like a case, or an app that gives you access/discount at certain stores.

Tonino Lamborghini Antares: Screen

The news doesn't get any better when it comes to the screen either. The Antares comes with a tiny 4-inch QHD display at 274ppi. While the resolution itself is OK, for some reason the interface has then been shrunk down to fit resulting in tiny icons and even tinier text.

The main issue though is that a 4-inch display simply won't cut it anymore. If the Motorola Moto G can pack in probably one of the best 4.5-inch displays on a phone that costs a little over £100 you expect a lot better from a phone that costs over £2,000.

Tonino Lamborghini Antares: Camera

Negativity will take a short recess here as the Antares actually has a very good camera. While the interface itself is a tad sluggish, the 13MP sensor performs incredibly well with images appearing sharp and full of colour.

On top of that Tonino Lamborghini has popped a 5MP sensor on the front, which means that while you may not be able to see them very well, video calls are going to look great for the person on the other side of the line.

Tonino Lamborghini Antares: Performance

The Antares has at the very least kept up with the fast-paced of hardware in smartphones as it comes with a powerful 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage with microSD, which can add an extra 32GB as well.

Unsurprisingly, this means ití' pretty nippy and generally we found it was able to whizz through most apps and games, although when under heavy usage we did find the bottom got a bit warm although this can be quite common in powerful smartphones.

Tonino Lamborghini Antares: Battery

This is where you can thank that tiny 4-inch display. Because the phone only has to light such a small area the battery life is remarkably impressive.

Even with a 1,500mAh removable battery we still managed to get a good day's mixed use out of the Antares, whether it was texting, watching YouTube or simply checking social feeds the phone coped well making it through from 8am-7pm.

Tonino Lamborghini Antares: Verdict

There seems to be this well held belief by luxury smartphone makers that if you coat something in enough metal and leather than actually it doesn't matter if the phone underneath is any good or not.

With smartphone components dropping in price every year it seems almost laughable that manufacturers can coat a phone in diamonds but not then include a Full-HD screen, or NFC. It's not like cost can be the excuse, if you're already charging a person £2,500 for a smartphone, the likelihood is they're not going to mind spending a little more to get something that's covered in diamonds AND can actually do all the same things an iPhone can.

Vertu is clearly making an effort, by improving its phone's specs and creating tailored apps which truly open doors it is realising that it has to adapt.

The Antares feels slightly old fashioned. Yes it has a quad-core processor and 2GB RAM but what's the use if the screen isn't then capable of showing off what it can achieve. The build is heavy and while the finish is exemplary it just doesn't feel like you're holding a phone that's worth the money (we blame the plastic accents).

If by some chance you're lucky enough to be looking for a phone that costs over £1,000 weíd honestly tell you to save your money, buy an iPhone 5S, Google Nexus 5 or HTC One and then have someone coat it in whatever precious metal you want because at least then you'll know that underneath, there's a truly state-of-the-art phone.

Tonino Lamborghini Antares release date: Out now,

Tonino Lamborghini Antares price: £2,500

Thomas Tamblyn

Thomas Tamblyn studied journalism at the University of Westminster, where he was a contributing presenter at the award-winning Smoke Radio station. He then moved to as a Staff Writer where he proceeded to write news, reviews and features on topics such as phones, electric vehicles, laptops, gaming, streaming services, headphones, tablets future tech and wearables.