Jil Sander smartphone: Has the fashion phone had its day?

Jil Sander has launched a smartphone – built by LG and running Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. It has the latest version of the WP software, in juicy new Mango flavour.

The phone boasts a 3.8 inch touch screen, 1GHz processor, 16GB on-board memory and 5mega-pixel camera – so over-all a pretty good spec, if not the best ever (but it does have a Jil Sander signature stripe round the outside) and a special Jil Sander app that gives users access to the latest collections, content and the brand’s social media activities.

As a former tech journo who has played with plenty of smartphones, it looks like this phone is pretty good in terms of spec and isn’t just a pretty face. The question for us is- is it pretty enough to make you want it?

Lust-have or fashion fail?

It has nice lines and a chic simplicity (as you’d expect from Jil Sander) but to us, it doesn’t look dramatically different to other high-end smartphones, although we reckon the Jil Sander designed Windows ’tiles’ on the phone’s screen probably do some cool tricks. It will cost about €300 again, pretty much in line with phones with a similar spec, which begs the question whether you’d pick it just because it’s a ‘fashion’ phone.

I was personally hoping for something a little more special and am a sucker for a fashion phone (as long as the spec is up to scratch!) but thinking about it, has the smartphone killed the fashion-phone genre? Now most smartphone just have a big screen and very few physical buttons so there is no longer scope to play with the design of buttons, the shape of the handset or make them open in a cool way, which makes me kind-of sad.

Last year, LG and French handset manufacturer ModeLabs built the ‘Unique’ Versace phone, which again married spec with a fashionable design (if Versace’s your thing). At least it was fun with its purple leather back embossed with the brand’s Medusa logo and came with the option of upgrading to an 18k yellow gold finish. While this all might seem a bit ‘much’, to be fair, the handset came with 3G, 5MP camera and Dolby surround sound. Nope, I couldn’t find out how much it sold for!

Bling that goes 'ring'!

Prada also hooked up with LG a couple of years back to produce (you’ve guessed it) the Prada phone and it actually had a really handy flip out QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen, which wasn’t bad at the time.

Hello, yes, Miuccia?

However, when I hit my late teens (at a time where it was just about affordable to change your phone every couple of years, Nokia was king and handsets were quirky), fashion phones were HUGE including various candy-coloured options with gimmicks for girls. While this sort of ‘buy it, it’s purple’ attitude that sometimes comes with selling tech to girls winds me up, the specs were in-line with more sensible handsets so it was a little fun.

Here is my favourite (I never got to buy it) but I still love this D&G jewel-like clamshell design. Yes, it’s a little tacky and not as handy as a smartphone but I bet it was so much fun to use – a chicer version of the burger phone in Juno (you know the one!)

I missed out on the Sony Ericsson D&G Jalou phone (guilty pleasure!)

Do you hanker after a fun fashion phone and if you could build one from scratch would you include? Funky buttons, fashion-tool apps, an incredibly flattering camera? We want to know!

P.S. what happened to changeable covers? We LOVED them!

Sources: The Telegraph, Epic Mobiles and own nostalgia.


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