In a world where we were only just starting to see the emergence of $999 flagship phones, Huawei and Porsche Design go and break the barrier by marketing their new device at €2095, which without tax and after conversion comes to the pricely sum of US$2220. At this price there has to be something more than just a simple P20 Pro under the hood, and it can’t all be brand name, right?

The first thing to notice is that unlike previous Porsche Design models of Huawei phones, this new ‘Mate RS’ edition seems to be built completely differently to the P20 Pro. The biggest giveaway is the camera placement – rather than being on the top left corner as in the P20 Pro, it is placed in the center at the back, which is much more akin to the Mate series of smartphones. However, this unit has Huawei’s new tri-camera implementation, featuring the 40MP RGB sensor, a 20MP monochrome sensor, and an 8MP telephoto lens. What the astute might recognize is that the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS is basically an updated Mate-style designed device, but with the new P20 Pro internals, plus a bit more. This is why the PD device is called a Mate, rather than a P-series. The 'RS' bit is for Rally Sport, a common nomenclature on cars that are a bit sporty.

For the fistful of dolla-dolla bills, prospective owners are set to get the best that Huawei has to offer. The $2220 model comes equipped with 512 GB of storage, the most we have ever seen in a smartphone, while the $1800 model has 256 GB. Both storage variants are matched everywhere else in the design: a 6.0-inch FullView OLED display with a 2880x1440 resolution (538 ppi, 18:9), 6 GB of DRAM, a Kirin 970 processor with its NPU, the tri-camera setup with support for AIS, 5x Hybrid Zoom, and 960 FPS video recording, and Dual SIM capabilities with dual LTE and dual VoLTE. This model has the same battery size as the P20 Pro, coming in at 4000 mAh.

Huawei P20 Pro and Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS
  P20 Pro PD Huawei
Mate RS
SoC HiSilicon Kirin 970
4x Cortex A73
4x Cortex A53
HiSilicon Kirin 970
4x Cortex A73
4x Cortex A53
Display S 6.1-inch
R 2240x1080 2880x1440
Dim H 155.0 mm 152.9 mm
W 73.9 mm 72.5 mm
D 7.8 mm 8.5 mm
+ microSD
256 GB / 512 GB
+ microSD
Battery 4000 mAh 4000 mAh
10W Qi Wireless Charging
IP Rating IP67 IP67
Front Camera 24MP f/2.0 24MP f/2.0
Camera #1
20 MP BW
20 MP BW
Rear Camera #2 40 MP RGB
1 um
10 MP Mode
102400 ISO
1 um
10 MP Mode
102400 ISO
Rear Camera #3 8 MP f/2.4
5x Hybrid Zoom
8 MP f/2.4
5x Hybrid Zoom
Modem Cat 18 / 13 LTE
5CA / 2CA
Cat 18 / 13 LTE
5CA / 2CA
SIM Size Dual Nano SIM Dual Nano SIM
Wireless 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO
Connectivity USB Type-C USB Type-C
Features Fingerprint Sensor
AI Assisted Video Capture
Pixel Fusion
4D Predicative Focus
960 FPS video (720p)
Master AI
AI Image Stabilization
P20 Pro +

Wireless Charging
In-screen Fingerprint
Aerospace Cooling

No Notch
OS EMUI 8.1 EMUI 8.1
Price 128 GB: 899€ / $952 256 GB: 1649€ / $1800
512 GB: 2049€ / $2220

There’s also an ingress protection rating of IP67, and Huawei states that they are using their aerospace cooling technology with microcapsule phase change materials inside, similar to what was advertised with the Matebook X released in 2017. Also on the cards are dual fingerprint sensors – one on the back as standard, and one embedded into the display. This is a new in-screen fingerprint sensor from Goodix, rather than the Synaptics one seen earlier this year. The Mate RS will also support 10W wireless charging, making it the first Huawei high-end device to support wireless charging.

So this is a Mate 10 Pro with the P20 Pro internals, the P20 Pro cameras, a higher resolution display (up from FHD+), more storage, IP67, wireless charging, and an integrated fingerprint sensor. For those wondering, there is no notch.

Porsche Design calls this new smartphone ‘the 911 GT3 RS of smartphones’, and plan to offer a range of high-end accessories for the discerning buyer who wants them. The new devices will be available from April 12th, and will be available in red and black.

All being said, and price aside, that red version looked very nice up on stage, better than these pictures. Time to request a sample.

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  • inighthawki - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - link

    Legitimately curious: Anyone who would use >=256GB on their phone, what do you use it for?
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - link

    I'm at 80 GB of my 128GB phone. Though about 20 GB of that is the latest Formula 1 qualifying and race - about 10 hours of 1080p50 video. Also have another 10 GB saved on Amazon Prime to watch when I'm on the road.
  • jballen - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - link

    I’d use it for lossless music, but I’d need >500GB for that, and with streaming I’m not sure that’s even necessary any more. But with the UK’s outstandingly patchy coverage, I’d still go for it if available on my preferred brand of phone. Upgrading phones would be a real PITA, though.
  • Speedfriend - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - link

    jballen - living in the UK I can't help but agree about the UKs patchy coverage. It is crazy that even in central London, you can often not get a signal inside a shop and I can't get Vodafone inside my house. And you cant even get data coverage all the way up the M1 to Sheffield. Pathetic for a supposedly first world country...
  • Yuriman - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - link

    Since I generally only listen to music when driving OR near WiFi, my solution was to load a $20 128GB flash drive with FLAC files and plug it into my head unit, rather than spend $300 more for the space in my phone.
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - link

    I do, on my phones and tablets. For media of course, I got 100 ebooks/comics, 4k songs, 50 movies and 10 TV series on there.
    I'm frequently out of data coverage in cars/trains/plane/metro, shit always seems to happen to my ADSL/Fiber (last summer, a fire cut us off for 10 days, then a cabin had it failing for 4 days out of 5), there are storms... Iv'e got guests (or worse: kids !) to entertain, whether in a plane or for a rainy week-end. I don't want to micro-manage what's on there, so I just throw in a few hours of stuff for everyone once a year (for me: my reliable comfort faves plus whatever new stuff I want to look into).
    I tried to make do with 64GB+64GB, I can't. I need at least a 128GB SD, and will be getting a 256GB probably for the summer holidays.
  • inighthawki - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - link

    Very interesting. I did not realize people carried around quite that much media on them, but that makes sense. Thanks (to all three of you) for explaining.
  • aryonoco - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - link

    Linux ISOs.

    Oh wait...
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - link

    My phone has a 128GB SD card in it and between books, music, photos, and videos (all 480-720p), I'm down to 38GB free. I'm waiting for the cost of 256GB cards to come down a little before buying one since there's quite a bit more I'd like to store on my phone, but keep on my laptop and an external drive. My phone is a non-contract handset so while it's inexpensive (~$7 USD per month) if I don't use it heavily, if I start burning up bandwidth moving data from someplace that isn't local, it'll get really costly really quickly. That's the biggest reason why I keep lots and lots of data on SD.
  • p1esk - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - link

    I videotape family activities in 4k@60, typically 2-5 min clips, several times a week. My 128GB iphone gets full every ~3 months, I have to transfer everything to a NAS, and clear the phone. Pretty sure next fall I will go for 512GB model.

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