There have always been luxury phones, but the most famous company in this space was Vertu, which started its life as a premium division of Nokia.
The company sold Nokia phones covered in luxury materials aimed at the wealthy, but it faltered in the era of smartphones. Since then, a number of competitors have tried to release premium phones, but none has been a great success.
Now, Xor, a company co-founded by the former Vertu design chief, and with several former employees, is trying to restore its former spirit.
Hutchison – who is the co-founder of Xor, head of design and previously held a similar position at Vertu, said a group of former Vertu clients called him, and they still love the company’s phones long after they disappeared. Many of them were wealthy enough to fund a company like Xor, which would make beautiful phones for the wealthy elites.
The company launched its first phone, the Xor Titanium, which was named because of its titanium body. Instead of trying to beat Apple, Google and Samsung in terms of specifications, the phone is nothing more than a traditional phone. It is limited to providing voice calls over the 2G and 3G networks, in addition to short text messages. There are no advanced features except for an air quality sensor, plus Active Noise Cancellation for calls, and support for wireless charging.
The phone also has the advantage that its battery lasts for five days of moderate use. Hutchison says: The program based on the Linux system for the phone has limited capabilities.
Cybersecurity is a big part of Xor’s sales plan, as the phones feature reliable communications. If two people have an Xor phone, they will be able to exchange calls and text messages using end-to-end (AES256) encryption at the hardware level. The phone will also use a different ringtone to indicate whether the call is encrypted or not. Each phone will also contain a secret remote key that will allow users to delete their data remotely.
Similar to the Vertuo phones, the Xor phones were handcrafted in England. Although the Xor Titanium is poor on specifications, it is sold at a price equivalent to 3,942 USD. So it is believed that this phone is designed for people who spend their extra money on luxury watches, or luxury cars, more than the average consumer. Historically speaking, Vertu’s largest market is not the United States and Europe, but Asia and the Middle East.
Xor expects to use its device as a second phone for business people who still use voice calls to do most of their work. The phone will be launched during the first quarter of 2021.