Huawei, the Chinese multinational company, has outdone its recently released flagship phone, the Mate 9. The Mate 9 is the latest release that capitalized on the huge Samsung Note 7 fiasco.
This time, the third largest mobile maker has partnered with the German automobile manufacturer Porsche AG which resulted in a beast of a smartphone compared to the previous Mate 9 release.
Here are some of the things you need to know about the limited edition Mate 9 Porsche Edition:
Although they are named the same and came from the same Mate family, they are made differently. The limited edition Porsche Design Mate 9 has a sleeker more premium build which is lighter and smaller. While the standard Mate 9 comes in a variety of color which includes Moonlight Silver, Space Gray, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, Ceramic White and Black color options, the Porsche design is only available in the elegant Graphic Black. Even the fingerprint sensor is placed in different locations, while the Mate 9’s circular sensor is situated or located at the back, just below the camera, the Porsche Design’s sensor is integrated with the front button of the device; the back panel is used for the distinguishing Porsche Design Logo.
The manufacturer has pulled out all stops and doubled the price of the stock Mate 9 to $1500. It is a fairly decent phone with several updates from the previous model, but the price may seem on the steep side since you need to pay for the designer brand name.
The two phones are a solid competitor in its class with the latest Android technology, the 7.0 Nougat covered with Huawei’s Emotion 5 User Interface that has been making a lot of noise. Even though there is no app drawer which old Android users might find odd, dragging apps into the home screen compensates for this loss.
Both smartphones are equipped with Huawei Kirin 960 octa-core processor under their hoods, coupled with Mali-G71 MP8 GPU, and the only difference is that the Mate 9 comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GigaByte of storage, while the Porsche Design Mate 9 comes with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Both have a USB Type C connection, but the Porsche Design does not have MicroSD support which could pose as a downside.
The Porsche design has a smaller screen with 5.5 inches compared to the 5.9 inches of the Mate 9. The Porsche Design compensates the difference in screen size with a Quad HD display compared to the Mate 9’s full HD. It also has sharper and crisper images with a pixel density of 534 ppi compared to the Mate 9’s 373 ppi. Another yet big difference between the two is the screen display, and both have AMOLED screens but the Porsche Design sports a curved edge design like another top of the line phones which makes it a little bit more exciting than the regular Mate 9.
When both phones are turned over, the Leica name can be read at the back which represents the Leica partnership for both the Mate 9 and the Mate 9 Porsche Design. The cameras on both phones are identical down to the dual sensors found at the back. The phones have one monochrome sensor and the another RGB sensor. They have an 8-megapixel front-facing camera that has a f/1.9 aperture, with a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor plus 12-megapixel RGB sensor main camera. The camera set up has a f/2.2 aperture with 4K video recording capabilities and optical image stabilization. The best thing about them is the 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus that combines phase detection, laser, depth, and contrast focus.
Regarding branding, Ferrari is more famous, not only for cell phones but also with laptops. However, Porsche is no slouch in trying to deliver a message. The Porsche brand is amongst the most recognizable brands in the automotive industry. It brings this marketing strength to bear on a cell phone.
The result is a beast of a machine. The compromises which resulted from the changes are not trivial. However, they are debatable. The absence of the microSD slot, for instance, is not a compromise. It frees up a lot of internal space which would have been occupied by the microSD card. For another, the base machine already has 256GB storage.
The camera is another stroke of genius. The 8MP front-facing camera has an aperture of f/1.9. This is good for low light, and also for short focal distances. The dual sensor monochrome/RGB is a welcome feature. Leica is famous for their monochrome digital cameras. This may explain for the dedicated monochrome sensor. The RGB sensor delivers 12MP digital images. This is nothing to scoff at, especially if it can take pictures at f/2.2. The presence of a 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus may seem like overkill.
However, it makes sense to throw everything at the image to ensure that it is properly focused. Camera phones do not have the same sharp focus and bokeh as digital cameras like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. However, with the 4-in-one autofocus, it is expected to deliver better pictures. Even the best images from camera phones are a lot more blurred compared to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
Porsche has made a gamble, and it seems to be something which might pay off. The Porsche brand name still does have gravitas with the top of the line electronic products, specially priced at a premium.Google+