It’s not often we get to engage with high-end fashion here in the Expansys office, but we’ve been dipping our toes into the growing world of luxury smartphones this week with the Jil Sander Mobile.
Previous fashion handsets have tended to focus on looks rather than quality hardware, but the Jil Sander phone comes with a decent spec sheet; can it combine style with substance?
Jil Sander is known for pure understated, minimalist designs, becoming famous for a clean-line aesthetic. The choice of Windows Phone 7 as a platform is a perfect match, with the square tiles of the Metro UI suiting the Sander style perfectly.
The phone is a refresh of the LG Optimus 7 from last year (hence the very similar model number, LG-E906), but with a textured rather than smooth surface and new buttons. At 11.9mm thin this isn’t supermodel skinny, but does have a solid feel and a balance that sits well in your hand, if a little plastic heavy. Sander is also noted for a adding a signature electric blue stripe to her designs, and this is also here on the phone - indeed the entire internal plastic frame is blue.
This styling carries through to the software with a matching electric blue ‘Jil Sander’ theme added to Windows Phone 7’s usual list of colours - and very good it looks too. Of course all the beauty of the Windows tiles would be lost without a good display, and the 3.8 inch WVGA screen (with an 800 x 480 resolution) here is bright, vibrant and shows off the blue brilliantly.
The phone comes with the Mango update for Windows Phone 7, offering multitasking and a whole bunch of other improvements. The 5MP camera with LED flash is decent enough in the test shots we’ve taken. It can capture 720p HD video at 24 frames per second and works well with Mango’s panorama shot app.
There’s also a special Jil Sander app where you can browse the latest catalogues, shop and find your closest store, or enjoy ‘vivid interaction with the brand’ as the press puts it.
Of course with a phone like this it’s not about the specs, it’s about how the phone looks and how it fits into a ‘fashionable’ lifestyle, and the Jil Sander phone seems to do a great job - this is a good looking, fun smartphone.
With a 1GHz processor it snaps along at a fair rate and the choice of Windows Phone 7 Mango means the phone not only looks plush and as chic as Sander’s clothes but also has deep Twitter and Facebook integration plusgood browsing with Internet Explorer 9. Completing the package is a rather lovely electric-blue leather Jil Sander case and some blue and black headphones.
Thanks to its clean lines and unique styling the Jil Sander phone does look different from the pack of dark slabs available and seems to let you communicate in style - a quality alternative choice for you fashionistas out there it's available now, exclusively SIM-free with Expansys.