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Bringing the bling: HTC outs £2,750 gold One handset for MOBO awards

HTC's UK arm is joining the gold rush with the release of an 18ct HTC One smartphone, with the extremely limited-edition phone will be presented at next week's MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards in Glasgow.

The most exclusive and expensive smartphone ever created by HTC, the company has produced only five gold HTC One devices, valued at £2,750 each. With the help of Goldgenie founder Laban Roomes, the HTC One's innovative unibody casing is plated in 18ct gold with the MOBO 18 logo etched onto the back.

"MOBO turning 18 is a huge achievement and a special time for us," awards founder Kanya King MBE said in a statement. "The 18ct Gold HTC One phone is a great addition to our coming of age celebrations and helps add MOBO glitz to proceedings!"

A golden version of HTC's revamped smartphone was leaked in September, three days after Apple unveiled its new gold iPhone 5S. At the time, the photos highlighted a gold-coloured front panel similar to HTC's new blue model.

It turns out the phone is worth a little more than its coloured counterparts. But the golden device doesn't lose any of the HTC One's power and performance; it includes HTC BlinkFeed, Zoe, and BoomSound.

"The best artists have always been given gold discs to celebrate their success, but today most people listen to music on their phone. We wanted to celebrate that fact," Phil Blair, president of HTC Europe, Middle East, and Africa, said in a statement. "The award winning HTC One is the gold standard in mobile design and innovation, so it was an obvious choice to make it even more special."

Everyone is invited to vote for the winner of Best Newcomer and the recipient of the Gold HTC One. Visit the MOBO website to choose from a list of 10 candidates, including Daley, Etta Bond, Jacob Banks, Krept and Konan, and Stylo G.

"We're sure the winning MOBO artist will love their unique phone," Blair said, adding that HTC will give a lucky member of the general public the chance to get their hands on a golden phone soon. He offered no further details.

HTC unveiled the One smartphone in February. It sports a 4.7in Full HD (1080p) display with 468 ppi, packs a 1.7GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, and runs Android as augmented by HTC Sense 5.0. The phone supports NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and DLNA for wireless streaming to a TV or computer. There is also a microUSB 2.0 port with a mobile high-def video link for USB or HDMI hookup.