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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tag Heuer unveils LINK: Luxury, Precision and Android (, Auckland, New Zealand

Not all phones are created equal and we don't just mean hardware or software here. There are those phones that market themselves to the 'elite', usually toting a mix of expensive materials, hand built and precision manufactured parts and a four to seven figure price tag (such as these fine examples) that would make your eyes water.
Tag Heuer have already stepped into the phone market with their Meridiist line of handsets, all precision engineered and designed to reflect Tag's strong design language, but now they're bringing a new device to market, one that actually offers more than just a platinum back plate or a sapphire screen. The Tag Heuer LINK smartphone is a premium/luxury handset that right off the bat proves that you can have a luxury and everyday functionality, strangely a combination that has been sorely lacking in this market so far (excluding custom built iPhone 4's and so on).
Tag Heuer LINK phone Tag Heuer LINK phone Tag Heuer LINK phone Tag Heuer LINK phone
The Tag Heuer LINK smartphone: Avant-garde communication
The LINK still ticks the boxes for the elite purchaser with material combinations that include steel, 18k rose gold or titanium paired with rubber, alligator skin or leather trim. As the video below shows the LINK also strongly maintains its watchmaker roots as well, with the SIM, USB and memory card ports hidden behind a hinged body panel locked in place by what appears to be a crown (the bit you would usually pull out to set your watch).

What makes the LINK so much more appealing than its luxurious brothers and sisters however is that it comes running a skinned version of Android Froyo 2.2, which although a little long in the tooth now still gives the LINK full access to the Android Market's 250,000+ apps as well as a lovely looking UI with lots of room for customization and improved functionality. The spec list itself is lengthy but promises more of that solid functionality previously lacking from such luxury phones. For a start the LINK has a 3.5" TFT LCM display, protected by Gorilla glass® outputting at a resolution of 800x480 pixels with 16 million colors and on the back you get a 5MP camera with auto focus and video as well. The internals are a mixed bunch with highlights being Stereo Bluetooth, AGPS, WiFi, EDGE and HSUPA 3G and an 8GB SD card but on the downside, internal memory clocks in at a measly 256MB which in this day and age just doesn't cut it.
Although the LINK gets Froyo out of the box, chances are that as long as Tag Heuer want to keep their clientele sweet, they'll throw in an update to Gingerbread further down the line. Of course as the video showed the Froyo on the LINK isn't stock, Tag Heuer have had it modified and it will most likely include exclusive apps, widgets, wallpapers and ringtones not available on any other device.
One other key issue that Tag Heuer have addressed is that such finely crafted phones usually lack the durability that they really require, after all they're still just as likely to get dropped on your gravel drive or whilst you walking across the runway to you private jet, so they need the be able to withstand the rigors of a busy 5-star lifestyle. The LINK promises a rugged, solid design and build quality that goes beyond the addition of the Gorilla glass®, not yet seen on a luxury device. But really what does this all mean? It's certainly a step in the right direction for luxury phones everywhere but one key aspect remains, how much? Tag Heuer state that prices start at a cool €4700 or $6700 but of course based on your choice of trim, materials and finish, that's only the start.

This post is sponsored by:Dr Mobiles Limited
1 Huron Street, Takapuna, North Shore 0622Tel: (09) 551-5344 and Mob: (021) 264-0000Web - Map - Email - Posterous - Twitter - Blogger - Flickr
**BUYER BEWARE**  Dr Mobiles Limited is the only professional phone repair lab that DOES NOT charge inspection fee for checking up faulty or water damage phones!

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