Best of the Best 2007: Personal Electronics: Bang & Olufsen Serene Cell Phone

<< Back to Robb Report, June 2007

Bang & Olufsen Serene Cell Phone

Few technology products  are used as frequently as the cell phone—but few also are so drab and disposable. Manufacturers put most of their efforts into incorporating the latest features. Design is usually an afterthought, because most phones are discarded after 18 months of use.

From this bleak scenario, a beautiful product finally has emerged: Bang & Olufsen’s Serene cell phone. The appearance alone of the $1,275 Serene sets it apart; it displays the subtle curves and tapers that are characteristic of classic Danish design. A nudge to the edge of the phone cues an internal motor to open it for you. When the Serene sits in its charger, it opens automatically whenever it receives a call.

 

On the inside upper half, a keypad encircles a control wheel that provides access to the phone’s various features. The circular keypad takes some getting used to, but the control wheel makes scrolling through options as easy as it is with an iPod. The display is positioned on the lower half of the phone, a configuration that seems logical but differs from the typical flip phone, which has its display on the top. The sound quality is exceptional, as one might expect from a company known for innovation in home audio.

The optional EarSet 2 Bluetooth earpiece ($350) is just as distinctive as the Serene. Its adjustable, curved ear clip—a design borrowed from B&O’s A8 earphones—keeps the EarSet comfortably in place and positions the speaker element for the best sound quality.

The Serene is no technological showpiece; it does not double as a web browser, personal digital assistant, or camcorder, and its side-mounted internal camera produces relatively low-resolution, 0.3-megapixel images. If you are someone who chases every last technical doodad, the Serene might not appeal to you. It is intended more for those who appreciate great design and want to carry it with them everywhere they go. 

Bang & Olufsen
847.590.4941
www.bang-olufsen.com

German engineering from Leica meets Italian styling from the legendary coachbuilder Zagato…
As digital audio formats become more challenging to navigate, here are some key factors to consider…
The creator of some of the world’s most beautiful speakers adds to its 3-year-old Venere series…
Digital audio has become increasingly complex, but the new dCS player and DAC epitomize ease of use…
With captivating colors and hyper-rich resolutions, these top TVs put on quite a display…
The multidisciplinary dream team at Constellation Audio has done it again…
The state-of-the-art converter plays nearly any audio format…
The sleek amplifier utilizes proprietary circuitry to ensure the cleanest possible sound…
The distinguished audio manufacturer has put big amplifier technology into a small package…
The new Bluetooth music pod stands out as an innovative leader of compact luxury audio systems…