It was not all about the Mate 9 in Munich, Germany, as Huawei unveiled its latest high-end smartphone to the world. As the rumours had intimated in the run up to the launch event yesterday, there was definitely going to be another “more premium” version of the Mate 9. That turned out to be the Porshce Design Huawei Mate 9.
As the name insinuates, the device is a collaboration between the Porsche Design and Huawei teams.
Drawing comparisons with Porsche’s legendary 911 car lineup, Huawei CEO Richard Yu says that the company is keen on having its flagship products associated with the kind of speed and reliability that users of the 911 have come to expect from the brand.
This is not the first time that Porsche Design is being looped in by a phone maker to contribute its legendary design on one of their smartphones. Porsche Design phones were, after all, popularised by BlackBerry.
The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 differs from the standard model in various aspects other than just the design and looks.
Up until yesterday, Huawei had stuck with having a fingerprint sensor at the back of its devices. In fact, even the new Mate 9 keeps up that tradition while maintaining a clean front look. The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 breaks with that tradition and goes for a cleaner back, instead. That means that the fingerprint sensor shifts base to the front and there’s only one place where it can thus be located, at the bottom on what is supposed to be the place where the physical home button is located on other devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S7 or Apple’s iPhone 7, products of the most notable brands in the market that have stuck by physical home buttons. Huawei is now joining them too.
Not yet done with the firsts, the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 scores yet another first, it is the first Huawei smartphone to ship with a Quad HD display.
The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 also has more internal storage space (256GB) and RAM (6GB) compared to the standard Mate 9’s 64GB onboard storage and 4GB RAM. With that much onboard storage, the lucky few that will buy the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 won’t be able to slot in microSD cards to expand that storage. Only the standard Mate 9 model supports memory expansion using microSD cards.
Nowhere will the Porsche Design really stand out from its sibling the standard Mate 9 than when one looks at its display. The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 has a 5.5-inch AMOLED display that is curved on the sides a far cry from the larger 5.9-inch IPS LCD 2.5 display on the standard Mate 9.
You won’t likely find the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 everywhere you go since it will be a limited edition and it won’t be until near the end of the year when it eventually starts shipping to a few select markets in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
Unlike the standard Mate 9 which comes in several colours (Mocha Brown, Champagne Gold, Metallic Silver, Ceramic White and Space Gray), the Porsche Design Mate 9 will only be available in Graphite Black.
Just like those smartphones it partnered with BlackBerry to bring to the market, the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 doesn’t come cheap. It will go in the record books as one of Huawei’s most expensive mobile devices of its time. The device goes for EUR 1,395 or just a little under Kshs 160,000 (local taxes included), an insane amount by any standards but then again, the technology behind the device has been blended with impeccable designer tones and that doesn’t come cheap anyway.
Porsche Design will sell it at its shops in the markets where it will be available.