What is a Luxury Phone?If you think your iPhone or Android device is the creme de la creme in mobile phone style, you’re wrong. In fact, when it comes to the world of wealth and fashion, these phones are little more than cheap consumer candy. For the 1% out there, luxury phones are the real deal.

Take one of the leaders in the luxury phone market, Vertu. You won’t find an iPhone or some cheap plastic knock-off in this high-class mobile line. Gorilla Glass? Not a chance. Screens on Vertu’s phones are made of sapphire crystal grown specifically for mobile phones. You also won’t find many luxury phones running Android or iOS, either. These phones often run on a modern version of Symbian, which achieved a great deal of success in the late ’90s.

Aging operating systems and a lack of third-party apps aside, these phones made by companies like Vertu, Goldvish, and Mobiado have the most value in the materials used to build the device along with additional services provided for owners of the phone.

Vertu, for example, offers a 24/7 concierge service to owners of its phones. This service, unlike Siri and Google Now, includes actual human beings going out of their way to make your life easier. It’s sort of like having your own personal hotel concierge with you wherever you are. Useful? It could be.

Some luxury phones have materials that stretch far beyond sapphire crystals and 24 karat gold accents. Golvish makes a phone with over 1,600 quality diamonds embedded in the device. That’s over 11 CT in diamonds on a mobile phone! Sure, you might be thinking your iPhone’s brushed aluminum edges are sleek, but that’s nothing compared to what the wealthy are carrying around in their pockets.

Luxury phones give the phrase “status symbol” a new meaning. They don’t do anything spectacular, feature any breakthrough OS that you couldn’t find on cheaper devices (made a decade ago) or have any real benefits other than being expensive. Luxury smartphones range in price from $400 to $10,000+ depending on which features you have added. What features? Nothing technical. It comes down to how many diamonds you want encrusted on the buttons or what type of hand-worked leather is used on the backside.

Finding apps for these phones is almost impossible. Most of what you need to interact with Facebook, Twitter, and email comes included and there really aren’t any independent app developers still working on the mobile Symbian platform. You also don’t get the benefit of other features like photo sharing and apps made for social networks other than Facebook or Twitter (unless you use the browser to do so).

I’m not going to say they’re a waste of money, but for us mere mortals here in the 99%, Android and iOS phones are more than sufficient to meet our needs. If you really want to make your cheap phone look fancy, just get a BeDazzler or one of those annoying Hello Kitty jewel-covered ones at a mall kiosk. Chances are, you’ll enjoy the phone a lot more and spend a lot less that way.

Image: Goldvish