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Spend & Save

Scrimp or splurge?: Mobile phones

Diamonds are a girl's best fiend, as everybody knows. So to please the rich and famous, Vertu – the specialist in ultra-deluxe cellphones — has launched a new mobile in 18-carat white gold, covered with 429 diamonds (923 precious stones in total). And for the most demanding of ladies, the handsets of the latest Vertu models include a button that connects them directly to a 24-hour global concierge (free of charge for one year). More than a phone, it's jewellery, an accessory for exquisite parties.

But is it really worth spending £39,000 on a phone? For a fraction of that, you can still pick up a phone that is both chic and easy to use.

Thinner, lighter and very elegant, the Samsung Tocco has a five-megapixel camera and a built-in video recorder. It can read Microsoft Office and Power-Point documents, and has a touch-screen. For £315 or free with a monthly plan (with Orange, Vodafone or T-Mobile), you might as well save the £39,000 and buy yourself a sports car or a barn in the French countryside and still have a phone. The bling era's over, anyway.