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What’s the thing that sells luxury smartphones: Internal features or the bling factor?

Luxury is really a mindset these days and affluent millennial’s, (one of the more important buying groups) are shying away from the bling and are being more practical with their smartphone dollars.

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Luxury brands do their best to create exclusive and highly crafted products. A car company like Bentley could easily differentiate itself from other brands by employing proprietary technology and craftsmanship in their autos.

Which other car maker will allow you to travel st 200 mph swathed in rare leathers and sheep’s wool carpeting?

And while design and colors schemes can also create high demand for a marque, one cachet of products is at the whim of technological limits.

Luxury smartphones saw the height of their popularity in the mid-2010’s as phone makers such as Gresso and Vertu created out of this world housings and cases for what was traditionally, mass market technology and platforms. Aside from shiny diamonds and reptile sourced leathers, there really isn’t much difference in performance than what you would find off the shelf at your local wireless provider.

So the real question is, where does the smartphone experience lie? Is it more important to have a case that feels luxurious to the touch or is the ability to scroll through Snapchat / Facebook and Instagram with ease while watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones more of a priority when it comes to mobile technology?

Gresso and Vertu are two of the largest luxury smartphone makers. Vertu focuses on the Android platform while Gresso has an iPhone and Android luxury solution.

Gresso’s top model is it’s iPhone 7 Diva D4 model which does come with 11 brilliant diamonds, an 18K gold case and stamped number indicating its place in the limited edition collection. The smartphone includes 2.34 GHz quad-core processor and is available in any iPhone 7. Is a blingy case like that worth the extra money? As long as we can play Candy Crush and use Tinder at the same time, we’re good!

luxury smartphones

Credit: Gresso

Vertu’s flagship Constellation line suggests not only are you getting premium housing, but you are getting premium technology too. The luxury brand spotlights the device’s ability to make encrypted calls and its enhanced security features.  Being on the ‘other’ platform has its advantages with the vast array of mobile apps from the Google Play Store including security and antivirus apps for Android that will rival any in-house software that Vertu can offer.

luxury smartphones

Credit: Vertu

The Constellation is handbuilt in England which does offer some cache and also explains the price tag. It doesn’t explain why you get an older model Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at 2.2 GHz. Bentley’s are never slower than their competition.

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Luxury is really a mindset these days and affluent millennial’s, (one of the more important buying groups) are shying away from the bling and are being more practical with their smartphone dollars. Luxury smartphone makers need to shuffle their resources to the development of new and unique internal technologies instead of focusing on the bling factor and embedding free antivirus apps on their devices.

A faster more intuitive experience is what affluent smartphone users are interested in but that’s not to say alligator skin isn’t really nice.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Doron Levy is a Toronto-based business consultant and journalist. During his 15 year tenure working deep in the operations and marketing sides of the retail industry, Doron was impressed at the resilience and dynamics of the luxury category and began covering the industry through trade articles in 2010., That same year, he launched TheTopTier.net as a web magazine dedicated to covering all aspects of the business of luxury. The portfolio of informational websites has grown under the umbrella brand, TheTopTier Digital Media. Doron is still in the consulting business delivering training, marketing and operational solutions to up and coming elite and luxury brands.

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