Given that Switzerland has a rich history in craftsmanship, it’s not surprising that two Swiss companies producing premium, luxury handsets have made their way onto our list. Geneva-based Savelli has positioned itself exclusively as makers of luxury smartphones for women, with each device handcrafted as a piece of jewellry - decorated with 18-carat gold, diamonds, sapphires, or emeralds. You can also add other luxury finishes like ostrich or python skin. Like Vertu, Savelli also offers a concierge service with its devices and with its Perpetuity service, Savelli pledges to upgrade your phone to ensure that your device always has the latest hardware.
Based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Goldvish created the most expensive mobile phone in history back in 2006 - the Le Million was a solid gold and diamond-studded handset that sold for, as its name would suggest, €1 million. Its latest handset, the Eclipse, came out earlier this year. Each Goldvish Eclipse is handmade by experienced craftsmen and is made from a space-grade aluminium frame finished with a choice of calf or alligator skin, with some models also offering over 300 diamonds set into a polished stainless steel strip on the back of the handset.
Handmade in Holland, the Belleperre Touch is made out of 316L stainless steel for extra robustness and sports a high-quality sapphire screen. It is offered in a palette of 60 colours, with customers able to choose from a wide range of leathers, including buffalo, ostrich and alligator. The leather strip at the bottom of the screen also allows for touch controls such as the home button in what Belleperre call “Touch Through Leather Technology”.
Whilst US-based Gresso may take a more minimalist approach compared to some of the companies above, with their Gresso Regal range you'll still be getting one of the ultimate luxury smartphones. Each phone is constructed from a single plate of titanium and expertly machined by their engineers using state-of-the-art techniques, resulting in one of the slimmest luxury smartphones on the market. The back of the phone is then finished off with either a white or yellow gold insert, imprinted with the phone’s unique serial number.
All of the smartphones mentioned so far use the Android operating system to power the device. But if you’re a die-hard iPhone fan and want something a little more special and unique than the standard options Apple offers, several companies offer ways to create an upgraded, luxury experience.
Gresso modifies the iPhone by strengthening the standard iPhone aluminum body with titanium plating, and using a 18k gold or titanium insert for the back panel. You can even get a model with 11 diamonds on the rear.
UK and Dubai-based GoldGenie customises iPhones with a 24 karat gold or platinum plated finish, and you can opt for opulent materials such as Swarovski crystals, mother of pearl, calfskin and other exotic skins (it also offers customised Samsung, HTC and Huawei phones). Gold & Co offers a very similar customisation service, and has collaborated with the ultra-luxury Burj Al Arab hotel to design unique yellow and black gold iPhones.
About the Author: Shahrum Gilani is the founder and CEO of HandsetExpert, the ultimate recommendation and price comparison service for Pay Monthly and SIM Free phones, and SIM Only deals in the UK.