Along with the Mate 9 launch, Huawei's event in Munich today featured a second higher-specification variant with branding tied in with one of the world's premium automobile and design brands. The Mate 9 Porsche Design is a dual-curved 5.5-inch display running a '2K' (2560x1440) resolution smartphone using the latest Kirin 960 SoC, featuring 6GB of DDR4, 256GB of storage via UFS 2.1, and come in at a hefty $1300 price tag. The device is intended for EMEA/APAC markets, not the US.

Despite sharing the Mate 9 name, only a few parts are shared in common between the regular model and the Porsche Design (PD). There's a move down in screen size (5.96in to 5.5in), a curved screen, an increase in resolution (1080p to 1440p), 50% more memory, 2x more storage, and 2x the price. The underlying SoC is the same, as well as battery size, software, audio, fast charging and other features.

Huawei Mate 9 Series
  Mate 9 Mate 9 Porsche Design
SoC HiSilicon Kirin 960
4x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1.8 GHz
4x ARM Cortex A73 @ 2.4 GHz
ARM Mali-G71MP8 @ 900 MHz
RAM 4 GB LPDDR4-1800 6GB LPDDR4
NAND 64/128 GB UFS 2.1 256GB UFS 2.1
Display 5.96" 1080p LCD 5.5" 2560x1440p
Modem 2G/3G/4G LTE Cat 12
w/CDMA
Dimensions 156.9 (h) x
78.9 (w) x 
7.9 (d) mm
152 (h) x
75 (w) x
7.5 (d) mm
Weight ~190g 169g
Camera Dual Rear Camera
#1 20MP RGB w/OIS, f/2.2
#2 12MP B/W w/EIS, f/2.2
Front: 8MP w/AF
F/1.9
Battery 4000 mAh
OS Android 7.0
with EmotionUI 5.0
Connectivity  802.11a/b/g/n/ac
2.4 & 5GHz
BT 4.2,
GPS/GNSS,
DLNA, NFC
USB 2.0 Type-C

3.0 Type-C

SIM Size NanoSIM +
NanoSIM (microSD)
Launch MSRP 699 Euro 1359 Euro

The link up with Porsche, we're told, is more than just a brand. Apparently Porsche are on board with the device design, hardware and software, as well as marketing and distribution (I have a feeling it might be sold alongside vehicles). This is part of Huawei's recent brand strategy, linking devices with known names such as Leica, Harmon/Kardon, and now Porsche to show that it can be a major player in the premium smartphone space. This goes along with their goal to be the #1 smartphone brand in due course.

One thing to note about the Mate 9PE is that the battery is the same as the Mate 9, meaning that at a higher resolution I would expect the battery life of the 9PE to be lower than the 9. With the curved edges, there are more software adjustments that have to be made on top of the OS, which is going to be an interesting look compared to how current curved displays operate. The recent removal of a popular curved smartphone from retail has offered an opportunity that Huawei wants to take to appear as a premium smartphone brand - I'm not necessarily sure a $1300 device is the way to do that, but we will see.

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  • Meteor2 - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    Oh you meant where in Europe. Quite... Reply
  • Murloc - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    yeah the idiom "where on earth" can be pretty ambiguous in this context XD Reply
  • V900 - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    Monaco... I think it's also 0 in Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino and the other little mini-countries. Reply
  • TesseractOrion - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    Also oil-rich Gulf states have no VAT AFAIK. Malaysia only introduced one last year, leading to protests over its excessive 6% (!) impact LOL... Reply
  • WithoutWeakness - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    The giant PORSCHE DESIGN across the top is ugly as hell. Manufacturers need to stop putting branding on the front of their phones. Looks horrible.

    Other than that it looks like an HTC A9 which was already an iPhone 6 clone so I don't know why Huawei wasted their money paying Porsche to design a 2-year old phone. I actually like Huawei's industrial design on most of their phones. Shame.
    Reply
  • frenchy_2001 - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    Actually, with dual curved screen and front and back curves, this looks much closer to the Note 7.
    Also, just wondering if they are reusing the Note 7 screen, provided the model was removed from the market, but Samsung had big plans for it. Sounds too short for that though...
    Reply
  • Peskarik - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    How otherwise you would know that this is Porsche design and charge 1300 for bill of goods worth 100 bucks? This is phone for brand-crazy Asians and poor people from other parts of globe (only poor try to show off with an electronic appliance). Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, November 05, 2016 - link

    It looks a lot like my HTC One (m7) which apple copied with the iPhone 6 so that would even make it a 3 year old design ;-) Reply
  • Rocket321 - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    OMG that horrendous P O R S C H E D E S I G N splattered at the top of the display had better be one of those peel off stickers! Reply
  • Amandtec - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    You have obviously never tried to pick up chicks in a bar before. Reply

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