Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design Launched: Curved 5.5-inch 1440p, Kirin 960, 6GB/256GB, $1300, non-USby Ian Cutress on November 3, 2016 9:31 AM EST
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
|Dimensions||156.9 (h) x
78.9 (w) x
7.9 (d) mm
|152 (h) x
75 (w) x
7.5 (d) mm
|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
with EmotionUI 5.0
2.4 & 5GHz
|SIM Size||NanoSIM +
|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.