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Vertu launches world's most expensive Android: Meet the €4,900 'handmade' Constellation

For anyone who cares about style over specs and has cash to burn, the Hermes of smartphone makers, Vertu, has launched its second sapphire-screen device.

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1 of 4 Liam Tung/ZDNet

The Constellation

Vertu, formerly Nokia's luxury brand of smartphone, has launched Constellation, one of the world's most expensive Android smartphones with prices starting at €4,900 ($6,690).

The company, which left Nokia last year, is hoping materials and craftsmanship will appeal to well heeled buyers. The device takes its cue from luxury watch makers, Vertu said, and was handmade in Hampshire, England.

The entire face of the 5.1-inch device is covered with a layer of sapphire crystal (pictured) weighing more than 100 carats, according to Vertu. So owners won't have to worry themselves about marks on the 4.3 inch 720p display — unless a diamond ring brushes it.

Its casing is made from polished titanium which, besides being lightweight and tougher than stainless steel, is expensive.

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2 of 4 Liam Tung/ZDNet

Raw hide from the Alps

The Constellation's hardened face is counterbalanced by a backplate that's covered with a soft strip of calf leather, which says Vertu, comes from hides in the Alps. The backings come come in cappuccino, black, orange, mocha (pictured), and raspberry colours. 

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3 of 4 Liam Tung/ZDNet

The Ti, Vertu's first Android phone

Despite the high price tag for the Constellation range, it actually comes in at less than its predecessor, the Ti, which and was Vertu's first Android smartphone when it launched earlier this year.

Under Nokia, Vertu devices ran Symbian, but the Finnish handset maker sold the brand to private equity group EQT VI in late 2012 amid its massive restructure. 

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4 of 4 Liam Tung/ZDNet

The black Constellation with 13MP rear camera.

The Constellation's specs aren't too different to the Ti, but there are a few improvements.

The Constellation comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, 32GB onboard storage, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, full HD video, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth and NFC, but no LTE support. 

The Ti came with a Qualcomm dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 64GB of onboard storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera and ran Ice Cream Sandwich.

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