Is the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS considered a luxury smartphone? That depends.

When you get into an argument with someone opposed to luxury or even the term “luxury”, chances are he or she is likely to spout this cardinal line of reasoning – “But you don’t need a (bag/shoe/wallet/watch) that costs $3,000! Mine has the same functions for a tenth of the price!” Sure, it’s a valid point but it doesn’t excuse what luxury is meant to do – one-up the basics. In the tech industry, luxury is a term that’s not thrown around just as much. However, spending over S$1000 for a flaghip smartphone seems to be the norm now and if that isn’t mildly bordering on luxury, we’re not too sure what is.

Wireless charging is available on the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS

With just about every mobile phone company raising prices to tag on to Apple’s increase, the term “luxury” is slowly getting used in the arena. The glory days of brands like Vertu, a British luxury mobile phone maker, that worked with Bentley and Aston Martin are behind us which means S$50,000 phones are as well. The brand’s decline was an eventuality, given the lack of modern technology or operating systems that went into its phones.

That is the crux of the mobile phone market however. As much as one may adorn his or her smartphone case with diamonds or have it made in gold, the functionality of the phone needs to be the biggest draw. We played around with Vertu’s line years ago and found it lacking in the fundamentals of a phone. Sure, it invited looks and as promised by a Vertu executive back then, “made us look rich.” Carrying a Vertu phone today would only invite any sane person to question how we use a phone.

 

So how then can one “flex” (as the millenials are calling it) on his or her peers with their smartphones?

Option A is decking out your case. High fashion brands like Gucci have been making their own cases for some time now (check them out here) in leather or if brands aren’t your thing, go the crazy route and purchase one of those phone cases with diamonds embedded in them or something.

Option B (or one we’d like to call the sane option) is to purchase something like the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS.

Yes, we can hear the technologically-inclined gnashing their teeth. Yes, the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS takes essentially the best points of Huawei’s new flagship killer, the P20 Pro, and one-ups it with German design but this “design” isn’t really as oblivious as some might want. It’s a subtle and minimalist approach, with Porsche Design taking lead with the software themes (that honestly, looks as well-balanced as a theme that’s both utilitarian and stylish can be) as well as the accessories that accompany the phone.

Technology-wise, the PD Huawei Mate RS is pretty darned impressive. The P20 Pro’s best feature, the triple Leica camera setup, sees a “40MP RGB sensor, 20MP monochrome sensor and 8MP telephoto lens, along with a 5x hybrid zoom, and an AI image stabilisation system” – effectively working as a professional camera. (DXOMark rates it ridiculously high)

The phone also boasts an in-screen fingerprint sensor that makes it easy to access it

We were a little miffed to hear that the phone would not come with external storage but given the 256GB internal storage capacity, it might be overkill to have even more. Huawei has also opted to remove the headphone jack, a trend that AUGUSTMAN absolutely disagrees with in the industry, but seems to be increasingly more futile to argue against. One of the marketing points for the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS has been the in-screen fingerprint sensor (on top of the fingerprint sensor at the caseback) but the tech didn’t seem as necessary as we thought it would be.

AUGUSTMAN has been fans of Huawei’s Kirin processors and the 970 doesn’t disappoint. The constant data-learning that it does isn’t the sorta technology that can be appreciated in one weekend but after a month or two, becomes integral to daily use. Fans of wireless charging will be happy to know that the PD Huawei Mate RS is the first Huawei phone to feature the technology.

So, is the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS a luxury phone? Damn straight, it is. If you’re looking to outshine the plebeians around you with their mass-market iPhones and Galaxys but still maintain a semblance of self-respect, it’s a good choice. Paired much better with an actual set of Porsche car keys, of course.

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