The mobile phone is now considered an essential part of daily life, being used to keep tabs on work schedules, up to date with social networking and even catching up on your favourite TV shows. In short, your phone is a great tool to help you through the day.
But what if your day includes a cocktail party in St. Tropez? Or a movie premiere in Manhattan? Your Huawei Blaze probably won’t cut it amongst the glitterati, so we have compiled an update to our top ten list of the world’s most desirable handsets to showcase the ultimate mobile status symbols…
10 – Ulysse Nardin The Chairman Diamond Edition (£83,000)
The understated Chairman Diamond Edition from Swiss manufacturer Ulysse Nardin features a subtle combination of over 2000 diamonds, 18-carat white gold and a quite frankly ridiculous self-winding kinetic charge mechanism. The handset does have decent enough smartphone credentials though, with 32GB of storage, a 3.2-inch touchscreen and Android running the engine room. You’ll need to hurry if you are thinking of bagging one though, as only 100 will be produced.
9 – Sony Ericsson Black Diamond (£162,000)
Coming from the workshop of Singaporean designer Jaren Goh, the Black Diamond is actually an impressive looking handset. Assembled from ultra-exclusive materials such as titanium with polycarbonate and featuring mirror-finish cladding, the phone can certainly walk the walk. But the specification, including a 400MHz processor and 4 megapixel camera does seem slightly under-nourished on a device that costs the same as a semi-detached house.
8 – Vertu Signature Cobra (£167,567)
Vertu, the brand of choice for Russian billionaires, has really gone to town with the Signature Cobra. In a tie-in with French jeweller Boucheron, this handset is all about the bling and features one pear-cut diamond, one round white diamond, two emerald eyes and 439 rubies. This somwhat hideous concoction is limited to 8 handsets so we do not expect to be carrying out a full review any time soon (thankfully).
7 – Goldvish Le Million (£640,000)
For a long time considered the world’s most expensive mobile phone, the Le Million has even found its way into the Guinness Book of Worlds Records. Made in Geneva from 18-carat white gold with 1800 VVS-1 grade diamonds totalling 120 carats, you could say that this device is aimed at exhibitionists, albeit very affluent ones. The tech spec does leave a lot to be desired though, with only a 2 megapixel camera and no 3G capability.
6 – Gresso Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot (£641,000)
Much like its hotel namesake, the Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot from Gresso is said to combine the treasures of ancient Egypt and the aesthetics of modern Las Vegas. Which basically means lots of gold, diamonds and wood. Yes, wood. The handset features a back-panel that has been produced from 200-year old African Blackwood, with a case made of pure gold, 45.5 K of black diamonds and 17 laser etched sapphires. Classy.
5 – Diamond Crypto Smartphone (£834,000)
Another handset that held the mantel of the world’s most expensive mobile for a short time, this tie-in between Russian company JSC Ancort and celebrity jeweller Peter Aloisson is an evolution of the Swiss Crypto Smartphone. Much more important than the tech though is the fact that the phone is made of platinum and has a navigation key made of 18-carat rose gold which is also encrusted with 28 round cut diamonds. The handset does only run Windows CE though, so you’ll probably struggle to update your Facebook status from it.
4 – Peter Aloisson iPhone 3G Kings Button (£1.5 million)
Another creation from the Austrian-based Aloisson, the iPhone 3G Kings Button is a garish handset the likes of which Steve Jobs never envisaged. The Apple-based smartphone is made of solid 18-carat yellow, white and rose gold all encrusted with 138 brilliant cut diamonds. The real piece de resistance, however, is the ultra-rare 6.6-carat diamond that acts as the phones home button and apparently carries “rare beauty with history”. We are fairly sure you can still double-tap it to bring up your open apps.
3 – Goldstriker iPhone 3GS Supreme (£1.9 million)
Next up is another iPhone, this time from luxury goods specialists Goldstriker International. Commissioned by an anonymous Australian gold mining magnate, the Supreme contains 136 colour F flawless diamonds, 271 grams of 22-carat solid gold and a navigation button made from a single-cut, 7.1-carat diamond. The Goldstriker website claims that the phone comes fully unlocked, so at least the new owner can get a good value SIM-only deal for the phone.
2 – Stuart Hughes iPhone 4 Diamond Rose (£5 million)
Another iPhone makes an appearance at number 2, this time from the studio of UK designer Stuart Hughes. The 32GB Apple handset is decked out with 500 individual flawless, 100-carat diamonds around the sides, plus a rose gold Apple logo with 53 more diamonds. Once again, the centre piece is the navigation button, which is made up of a single cut 7.4-carat pink diamond. Evidence has remained elusive as to whether the 554 diamonds on the handset actually improve reception more than a rubber case.
1 – Stuart Hughes iPhone 4S Elite Gold (£6 million)
Topping our somewhat ostentatious list is yet another iPhone, this time a 4S, coming again from the hands of diamond and gold fanatic Stuart Hughes. The handset features (rather unsurprisingly) 500 white diamonds, which total more than 100 carats, with 53 of these diamonds making up the Apple logo. The base is made of 24 carat gold and the home button is a 2.6 carat solitaire surrounded by smaller diamonds that can be swapped out for the additional 7.4 carat single cut pink diamond should the mood take you. A diamond tiara for Siri is, as far as we are aware, not included.