The most recent collaborative project in the mobile market went on show Friday night as one of the centrepiece attractions at Sotheby's annual contemporary art sale, amidst the painted cardboard boxes, infantile abstracts and jaw-dropping price tags the Samsung Serene handset was possibly the only item not needing a second mortgage to purchase.
The Matthew Williamson clad waifs were doing their level best to show off the novel features but I thought it best not to tax them too much and stand to one side loaded with champagne and canapés to take a mini-tour of the Serene alone.
You can immediately see and feel the Bang and Olufsen part of the project on the phone's sleek casing, aluminium clasp and the timeless 80s tape deck opening mechanism which opens to reveal an upside down design where in general use the screen is at the bottom and numeric pad the top.
Using the handset for making calls is a simple enough affair with an iPod style click wheel for menu selection but texters will have to endure a workout of their fingers for anything longer than one-liners.
The handset can't really be described as an anything killer - it doesn't play music and has a paltry 0.3 megapixel camera but it does manage Bluetooth, WAP 2.0 browser and email client, perfect for ladies who lunch.
A triangular shaped docking/charging station adds to the glamour of the handset and another unit is also available to be used for synchronising your Serene with a B&O DECT system.
Overall a great effort in the design stakes, breaking some new ground and rising to the top of the mobile league table for "handsets to get noticed by" - if you have that spare £650 knocking around as loose change from your latest Warhol purchase then join the fashion parade.
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