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
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
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
Battery 4000 mAh
OS Android 7.0
with EmotionUI 5.0
Connectivity  802.11a/b/g/n/ac
2.4 & 5GHz
BT 4.2,
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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  • Daniel Egger - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    Funny how little people know about Porsche. The company has their own design studio amongst other things and you cannot simply buy the permission to use their name and/or logo (unlike say Ferrari) but you have to let Porsche do the industrial design. There're actually plenty of Porsche Design phones out there, most of them in cooperation with Blackberry, though.
  • Hyper72 - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    I had an electric kettle from Porche Design, it was very fast.
  • mohammad Saif - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - link

    Newly i bought that phone its awesome
  • WinterCharm - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    There's even Porsche Design hard drives.
  • FrozenGiraffe - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    1359 Euro == $1500
  • xype - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    Euro prices usually have VAT included, compared to US prices. So $1300 sounds about right.
  • V900 - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    That doesnt really make sense, since VAT in Europe is anywhere from 0 to 25%

    So "Euro prices usually have VAT included" can mean that the phone costs anywhere from 1359€ to 1698€...
  • V900 - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    Whoops, anywhere from 1087€ to 1359€ obviously!
  • digiguy - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    where on earth VAT is 0? Here in Switzerland VAT is 8% and it's the lowest in the World with Japan. In Europe it's rather 15 to 25%
  • Meteor2 - Thursday, November 3, 2016 - link

    Possibly in the US? I think over there VAT is 'sales tax' levied by states. Could be wrong though.

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