Think an iPhone is expensive? Try a $4100 TAG Heuer Meridiist?


It looks like every prestigious manufacturer wants to own a share of the cellphone pie. For people that consider the BlackBerry Bold and iPhone "bland" and "too standard", they usually have to settle for a manufacturer such as Bang & Olufsen [co-op with Samsung], Vertu [Nokia’s posh brand] or a limited edition such as Samsung Armani, LG Prada and the like.

TAG Heuer decided to go the other route and manufacture the phone in-house. The company decided to use exactly the same Swiss precision procedure as they use in the production of their watches. But at a price of $4,100, you can’t exactly call your iPhone or a Blackberry "expensive".

There are two displays on the cellphone: a small OLED screen on the top of the phone, showing the time, stopwatch or who’s calling/texting you. Second screen is the conventional 320×240 pixel [QVGA] one, while the camera is a 2 MPixel one.

The quality of materials is what makes the difference between a consumer and high-tech products. Meridiist is built out of metal parts, with no plastic: keyboard, TAG Heuer navigation key.. everything is manufactured with top quality metal, same material as most of TAG Heuer watches. The backside is a very interesting crocodile skin, but the display of luxury fells short when it comes to usability.

The only difference from the cheapest, pre-paid ones phones is build quality. The Operating system is baseline, and if you expected a touchscreen, you’ll be disappointed.

What is probably going to damage the market potential is the fact that the Vertu comes with a Concierge service, which ranges from booking a flight to sending a taxi if you get lost in a forest far, far and away [it actually happened to a friend of mine]. All in all, yet another player on the high-end phone market.

In short, if you have the money, perhaps getting a platinum-clad iPhone or a BlackBerry. It will be more usable, yet "special" enough.