TAG Heuer, the popular Swiss luxury watch maker (a subdivision of Louis Vuitton, in turn owned by luxury goods group Christian Dior – see where I’m going here ?) is known for providing a unique balance of build material quality and precise technology… in watches. You can only imagine how surprised we were to learn that they have recently announced the TAG Heuer Racer, a luxury Android smartphone that will be available for purchase starting this July, at a starting price (I really wonder what that really means, since we’re talking about a smartphone!?) of roughly $3600 / 2800€.
No, that is not a typo, it’s no research error: the TAG Heuer Racer will cost almost six times the price of an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note… and the producers didn’t even bother to detail the specs! The only thing I could get out of the official presentation (spec-wise) is that it will probably ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The exact version was not specified, but that’s what “the latest Android software” should mean, right? There is also a reference to a “high speed processor”, although I wouldn’t bet that they are talking about a quad-core processor or anything like that.
It seems like TAG Heuer put the most effort into creating the smartphone’s GT Car-inspired design. Granted, the Racer’s outer shell is built out of the same materials as a GT car, but I wouldn’t be caught dead packing a $3600 smartphone that is as thick as the TAG Heuer Racer appears to be in the official presentation video:
I wouldn’t go that far out to claim that the very concept of a luxury Android smartphone is an insult to the whole idea behind Android, but I am a firm believer that the TAG Heuer Racer, just like some of the other luxury smartphones that have surfaced in the past (such as the LG Prada, the Nokia Vertu, or the gold-plated BlackBerry Porsche) is intended to appeal to snobs, people who are not passionate about bleeding-edge technology, and just want to show off their status.