Mobile Reviews

Caviar unveils the Origin concept – a Vertu-inspired phone that runs Android

Caviar is usually content with taking an iPhone or Galaxy and putting enough gold and gemstones on it so that it looks like it came out of King Tut’s tomb. However, it wanted to do something outside the (gilded) box with the Caviar Origin concept, which is something fairly unique.

The phone takes inspiration from the now-defunct luxury phone maker Vertu. That is the classic Vertu phones, the ones before the unsuccessful attempt to transition from Nokia S40 software to Android. Speaking of, what OS do you think runs on the Origin?

The Caviar Origin looks like a classic Vertu phone, but runs Android
The Caviar Origin looks like a classic Vertu phone, but runs Android

The Caviar Origin looks like a classic Vertu phone, but runs Android

If you guessed “Android” you’d be right. However, Android was chosen mainly for app support – WhatsApp emerged as highly important among Caviar users, other apps will be featured as well. Android’s touch-centric interface was not a consideration.

In fact, we’re not even sure whether the Origin has a touchscreen or not. Caviar redesigned the interface to use soft keys like in the good old days. And, of course, there’s a standard phone keypad for number and text input.

Well, as standard as a gold-plated keypad can be. Speaking of, the company hasn’t decided what materials to use with this phone, the unit you see in the photos and in the video is just a prototype.

The company says that the Caviar Origin will be available in the fourth quarter of this year and that prices will start at $1,000. There’s no upper limit, of course, because the cost of the precious metals and gemstones far outweighs the cost of the electronics.

By the way, this isn’t the first Android phone with a keypad – there are a few previous examples, but all of them are flip phones like the LG Wine Smart, for example. Is there a niche for Androids with an old-school form factor like that? And would KaiOS have been better suited?


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