For years there has been a trend for partnering designer labels and mobile phones with the idea that the flashy piece of technology you carry in your pocket will look even more stylish with a trendy label on the case. With designer handsets being produced at a much slower pace than the latest smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3, are consumers being forced to choose between looks and performance?
If you’re prepared to splash out £1,275 on a designer mobile you could get yourself a Porsche P’9981. Based on the innards of a BlackBerry Bold 9900, the Porsche features a redesigned case and is sold exclusively by Harrods.
Crafted from stainless steel and wrapped in a leather backing the Porsche looks fantastic but the device’s specs do not live up to its design. Compare the single-core, 1.2GHz processor within to the massive 1.5GHz quad-core in the brand new HTC One X and you’ll get an impression of how far behind the Porsche lags in the race. A SIM-free version of the One X can be yours for under £500, around a third of the Porsche’s price tag.
One of the most popular designer mobile phones of late is the Hugo Boss Galaxy Ace, a branded version of Samsung’s compact, budget device which can still be picked-up for around £200. We tested Samsung’s non-branded version of the Galaxy Ace last year and found it to be a reliable device with an 800MHz processor and the Froyo version of Android.
However, for around the same price you could now get yourself an HTC One V which has a 1GHz processor, a 3.7-inch touchscreen and the very latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Some designer/mobile tie-ins involve more than just slapping a logo on the handset’s outer shell, such as LG’s long-running collaboration with Prada which has seen a whole user interface being overhauled. The latest offering from this collaboration has redesigned homescreens and icons that take on a minimalist style which looks fantastic. A SIM free version will cost around £400 and the phone as a whole is a decent device.
When top designers get their hands on mobile phones the results can be brilliant. As expensive as the Porsche P’9981 is it looks great and puts a really distinctive edge on the traditional BlackBerry layout and the latest LG Prada’s user interface has a truly original, sophisticated appearance.
So it’s unfortunate that the latest phones don’t always come in limited-edition designer versions as when top designers get their hands on these devices they can come up with some great looking handsets.
This guest blog was provided by Chris Helsby of Dialaphone – The Smart Choice for the Smartphone.
Posted by Roger Martin for Stand Out.