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

    QHD didn't catch on. It's not like 4K has 4,000 pixels in any dimension, either. People know what both means though.

    I don't quite see the point in 2K though; no content is produced in that form, and you can't see the pixels on a 1080p phone used at the normal distance. It's not really enough when used in a VR headset either.
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    "It's not like 4K has 4,000 pixels in any dimension"

    Sure it does.
    4K (DCI) = 4096x2160
    UHD (what you're thinking) = 3840x2160
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    2K (DCI) = 2048x1080
    FHD = 1920x1080

    Cinema DCI is wider than consumer screens.
    Reply
  • ikjadoon - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    Back in the day, we had HD (1280x720) and FHD (1920x1080). And nobody disagreed. Reply
  • TheFlyingSquirrel - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    It was so much easier when everyone just said wrote out the resolution. Then all the marketing departments for phones decided to start using those acronyms and TV's followed so now for the past like 3 years there's always some mini arguments in the comments over what the acronyms really even represent. Reply
  • Meteor2 - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    Porsche Design and Porsche the car company aren't really related; the former was founded by a member of the Porsche family after he worked for the car company, and both are owned by the Porsche family's holding company, but that's about it. They've not done work for each other or shared employees. Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    You're wrong. F. A. Porsche is a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche who founded Porsche company and designed the 911. In the beginning Porsche Design only designed interior and accessories for Porsche cars but over time Porsche Design became more and more important for the cars as well so they were integrated into the main company.

    There're are actually many services you can acquire from Porsches subsidiaries nowadays apart from "just" cars: design, engineering, financial, business consulting and even the most competitors in the car business are happy customers...
    Reply
  • lilmoe - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    I don't blame them for copying the GN7 design. That thing looks nice. Sammy has presented that design on a golden platter for all OEMs to copy after their failure... Reply
  • SpetsnazAntiVIP - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    No fingerprint sensor? What year is it again? Reply
  • warisz00r - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    It's there, at the front Reply

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