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7 Feb, 2019 14:24

Meet the luxury, Orthodox-friendly Russian phone dubbed ‘Tsar Vladimir’ (No, not THAT one)

Meet the luxury, Orthodox-friendly Russian phone dubbed ‘Tsar Vladimir’ (No, not THAT one)

A Russian company has revealed a gold-plated phone dubbed ‘Tsar Vladimir,’ complete with an Orthodox Christian cross symbolizing “transformation from violence to mercy.” The device hasn’t exactly received a royal welcome online.

Those hoping for a fresh Vladimir Putin reference will be disappointed, as the brand-new ‘Tsar phone Golden Vladimir’ in fact refers to a 10th-century ruler credited with bringing Christianity to Russian soil. The phone not only features a massive cross on its back, but is also meant to resemble the sword of Vladimir the Great – as well as the exuberant finery of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In a somewhat cartoonish crash course in history, the manufacturer Caviar explains that the concept was inspired by “Vladimir’s unique spiritual transformation from paganism and violence to Orthodox Christianity and mercy.” The three-nines-fine, gold-plated device sells for 279,000 rubles ($4,240).

Meanwhile, the ‘Tsar phone’ itself is in fact a button phone with a rather frugal set of features, including a 2MP camera, Bluetooth and 3G-internet.

It appears that the Orthodox-friendly device has failed to impress the Russian internet, with many ridiculing its pretentious design and inflated price online. “Looks like a coffin of some rap idol,” one of the top comments in a discussion thread on social network Picabu said.

“What about seven deadly sins, greed in particular,” one person asked, while another wondered when “Jesus is finally going to drive all the traders from the temples.”

A lone comment noted that “demand creates supply,” while one cheeky user suggested that it’s an emerging “iPhone competitor in Russia.”

It is unknown whether the Russian Orthodox Church plans to purchase the ‘Golden Vladimir’ phone for its clergy. Back in 2012, Patriarch Kirill’s luxury watch provoked a social media storm after he was spotted wearing an expensive timepiece in one photo. Worse still, the watch disappeared from the official image of the Patriarchate’s website in an apparent Photoshop attempt, causing public outrage.

Caviar grabbed a few headlines in Russia back in May 2018, after releasing a fabulously expensive phone to commemorate President Putin’s inauguration. A device made of gold and featuring 95 diamonds was available for 1.9 million rubles (around $29,000). The design looks somewhat familiar.

Also on rt.com Titanium phone with golden Putin-Trump carving issued ahead of historic meeting

The company apparently strives to stay relevant, as it commemorated the July 2017 meeting between Putin and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit even before the meeting took place.

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