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Tag Heuer's €4,700 Android phone lacks polish

Noted watchmaker Tag Heuer has announced its intention to branch out into the world of smartphones with what it claims is the first luxury Swiss Android phone. Initial indications, however, suggest that the company might be out of its depth.

From its initial appearance, it's easy to fall in love with the Link phone, which is designed to complement the company's luxury watch line of the same name. Built from the same materials as the watches, the steel body is complemented with alligator leather and real diamonds.

The watch-like appearance is helped by the presence of a winding knob on the side of the smartphone, which actually triggers an 'autolock' system designed to hide the microSD slot and USB port from view.

Delve beneath the shiny exterior, however, and you'll find distinctly average hardware. An unnamed processor is backed up by a pitiful 256MB of RAM, while Tag Heuer has opted to provide the last-generation Android 2.2 'Froyo' operating system rather than the latest Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' release.

The 3.5-inch touch-screen display isn't the greatest in the world, either, but it's the camera that caught our eyes: offering a resolution of just five megapixels, it's easily bettered by many mid-range and even entry-level handsets.

By way of comparison, Samsung's flagship Galaxy S II might be made from plastic, but it includes an eight megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, a larger screen, and the latest version of Android. These discrepancies in specification could be overlooked if it weren't for the price: Tag Heuer, positioning the device as a luxury product despite its entry-level specifications, is asking for €4,700. That's around ten times as much as the Galaxy S II.

While such a device may sell well to those who concentrate more on status than performance, we can't help but feel that Tag Heuer is wide of the mark here.

That said, it does look extremely shiny in the company's official video, reproduced below. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.