For a product to deserve the Lamborghini moniker it needs three things: high cost, style, and performance. At CES 2015, Tonino Lamborghini Mobile was showing off its new 88 Tauri Android-powered smartphone. With a price tag of $6,000, it certainly meets the first criteria. However, after getting some hands-on time with it, we're not sure if it completely lives up to the style and performance of its namesake.
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AB)|
|CPU||Qualcomm Krait 400 (4 Core) @ 2.26 GHz|
|GPU||Qualcomm Adreno 330 @ 578 MHz|
|Memory||3 GB LPDDR3|
|Display||5.0-inch IPS @ 1920 x 1080 (443 ppi)|
|Battery||3,400 mAh with Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0|
|Cameras||Front: 8 MPRear: 20 MP with AF and dual LED-flash|
|Expansion Ports||DSDA Dual-SIM, microSD slot, USB 3.0|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Cat 4 LTE|
|Size||158.6 x 80.0 x 13.0 mm, 250 g|
|Operating System||Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Lamborghini UI|
|Price||Starting at $6,000|
Externally, the 88 Tauri bears all the hallmarks of other luxury phones, such as a premium build using automotive grade stainless steel, hand-stitched leather, and the option to have it gold-plated. The leather is available in five different colors, including black, brown, red, orange, and blue, and each phone is assembled by hand. Despite the premium materials, it doesn't feel as luxurious as we'd like for its price, especially when compared to phones from the other major player in the luxury phone category, Vertu.
While most of Vertu's phones are far north of the $6,000 price of the 88 Tauri, it does have the new Aster smartphone that is in the same price range and does look to be a nicer device, at least in the very short time we were allowed to touch one.
When we asked how the 88 Tauri compared to Vertu's offerings, Tonino Lamborghini said it didn't consider them to be in the same category since Vertu's phones cost more and use "older mobile technology." This isn't entirely accurate however, since both the 88 Tauri and the Aster are powered by a Snapdragon 801 SoC.
The 88 Tauri looks like a phone that's trying too hard to be different. Rather than looking sporty, it looks a bit garish due to the unnecessary riveted grip panels and speaker grille on the back, along with the tapered sides on each corner and angled cuts to the camera accent panel shown above.
It would also be nice to see an additional luxury material like carbon fiber used for the accent pieces of the phone. Interestingly, unlike most other luxury phones, the 88 Tauri does not use sapphire glass for its display, instead using its own custom shatter and scratch-proof glass, which Tonino Lamborghini claims is better.
While the 88 Tauri falls short of our style expectations, it's still a well-made, premium looking phone. The stainless steel makes it a very heavy device though, and when combined with its large size and boxy design it becomes a little unwieldy.
We had the opportunity to talk to Robert Hatefi, the Tonino Lamborghini Mobile CEO, about the 88 Tauri, which you can see in the video below.
Along with the Snapdragon 801 SoC, the 88 Tauri sports a familiar list of hardware specs. It has 3 GB of RAM, 64 GB of expandable storage, a 20 MP rear camera (which one representative erroneously claimed used the same sensor as found in some DSLRs!) and a 3,400 mAh battery.
These hardware specs should make it a decent performing phone, but certainly not the fastest available. Frankly, we expect more performance from a device named after an iconic sports car brand. If Tonino Lamborghini had perhaps used a Snapdragon 805 or even 810 in this phone, then perhaps it would have the performance of its automotive namesake.
Perhaps the 88 Tauri's most compelling feature is the inclusion of Qualcomm's Dual-SIM (DSDA) technology, something we haven't seen before. While there are many other phones that have two SIM slots similar to what you see in the image above, what makes the 88 Tauri different is the ability to have two 4G LTE SIMs active at the same time, allowing the phone to use two different phone numbers (perhaps one for work and one for personal use) or even two different carrier networks.
As for software, it's disappointing to see that it only comes with Android KitKat when any phone launched in 2015 should really come with Android 5.0. However, we were told that it will be updated to Lollipop "soon."
The Tonino Lamborghini Mobile 88 Tauri was just launched on January 5th and is available at select luxury retailers worldwide and directly from Lamborghini Mobile. Quantity will be limited however, since there will only be 1,947 (the company founders year of birth) of each color made.
It should be noted that while the phone does carry the name Lamborghini, the company's representative stated that it's not actually related to the car company. The Volkswagen Group owns the Lamborghini car company, but the original family retains the rights to use the name and the charging bull logo.