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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  • asfletch - Thursday, November 03, 2016 - link

    The subtle 'pd' logo on the back is nice; why'd they have to spoil it with the shouty front one? Reminds of Porsche Design status symbols yuppies used to brandish in the 90s (sunglasses etc).
    Now more impressed that ZTE didn't splash "BMW DESIGNWORKS" all over the Axon 7.
    Reply
  • azrael- - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    Much more sensible phone than the regular Mate 9 ...until you see the price. I think even Apple afficionados might choke on that one. Reply
  • Lolimaster - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    Where can I find Porsche designed waifus?

    I want Mikumo.
    Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    I feel this is one of those products for which we should keep a global purchase register.

    If anyone actually buys one, that person would be referred to a research institute for rare diseases of the brain.
    Reply
  • Gunbuster - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    For perspective this is 50 times what you can get a smartphone for. Tech suckers are even better than the ultra wealthy, It's like buying a $185K Porsche 911R for $641K Reply
  • fanofanand - Friday, November 04, 2016 - link

    $1300?????? My oh my I needed a good laugh this morning, thank you Anandtech, thank you Huawei! Reply
  • Ethos Evoss - Sunday, November 13, 2016 - link

    6gb version has 3,.0 type-c .. wow.. first smartphone with that !! Reply

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