Sony Ericsson talks about its Xperia Pureness phone being a work of art rather than a piece of technology, but — to give it its due — it satisfies both criteria equally well. This lightweight device is the first to sport a transparent, monochrome screen (through which its ghostly pixels are discretely displayed), and the illuminated buttons "vanish" when not in use.
Although lacking some of the more ubiquitous handset features (like a camera, or even a colour display), it offers a Vertu-esque, 24-hour concierge service without the hedge funder price tag, together with an excellent MP3 player made all the more appealing by the wireless Bluetooth earphones included in the box. £600 from Selfridges, Oxford Street.
Words by Fiona Madden