Geek Hands-On: Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS

Huawei is a popular contestant to stand up against industry mainstays like Samsung and Apple, and they have clearly demonstrated their potential with the P20 series. Where the dual-lens camera system was, and still is, the norm, the Chinese giant introduced the world’s first-ever triple-lens model, and changed up the playing field.

Apart from the P20 Pro, the other proud owner of the three-camera set-up is the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS, first announced in Paris, alongside the launch of the P20 siblings. Following an international release in selected countries, the phone is finally coming to Singapore’s shores – a mere month later.

While two variants of the Mate RS were showcased during the Paris reveal, only one is making its way to the local market. Decked out in a sleek, thin body with a classy black finish, it features a bezel-less front that curves into a transparent glass back. Boasting that same design and specs is its gaudy red counterpart, which remains exclusive to China; both come armed with an 18:9 screen aspect ratio of 1,880 x 1440 resolution.

It’s come to the point that the notch and 3.5mm ear jack have become mandatory mentions. The answer for this? No and no. Deviating away from the notch trend, the teams have decided to do away with the small indentation at the top and make full use of the OLED display for a more complete viewing experience. Hell yeah. Pity about the headphone port, though.

As usual, the volume rocker and power button sit on the sides of the phone. In a similar fashion to the P20 Pro, the rear is equipped with the much-touted three-camera system that’s situated above a fingerprint scanner. Barring the signature brand logo of the Porsche-Huawei team-up, the back is very reminiscent of its P sibling.

In fact, the observation rings true even beyond the surface. Under the hood, both are almost completely identical as well, running on a Kirin 970 chipset and 4,000mAh battery charge. Each camera set-up comes with 40MP RGB, 20MP monochrome, and 8MP telephoto lens, alongside the same string of capabilities, including the widely-lauded Night Mode. The only difference lies in the additional 128GB storage space in the Mate RS (256GB in total), which can be further upgraded to 512GB.

For all that they are similar, however, the Mate RS naturally possesses extra features due to its higher price. Like the Vivo X21, it has a futuristic on-screen fingerprint scanner, but unlike the former, it’s not fixed at one spot, which would certainly be nifty for drivers on the road.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to see it in action before the proper set-up, though it does sound cool on paper.

Considering how users typically listen to music and watch videos on the go with their phones, the next move by Huawei is strategically-sound. The Mate RS packs higher audio quality by means of dual SLS (super linear system) speakers with Dolby Atmos technology, allowing for surround sound anywhere and anytime.

Wireless charging is increasing in popularity, so it’s only a matter of time for the Chinese giant to adopt the concept. Their latest luxury phone finally supports this, making it the first handset by the company to do so.

Retailing at S$2,298, the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS is certainly not for those with a lean wallet. With around a hefty S$1,000 more than the P20 series, it’s probably meant to appeal more to individuals in the luxury circles. Judging by how quickly the last Porsche-Huawei iteration got snatched up, it’s not too far of a stretch to assume that the same would happen again, especially with the sophisticated, cutting-edge fingerprint technology, when the model drops on May 26, 2018.

Series Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS
Operating System Android 8.1 (Oreo)
CPU Huawei Kirin 970
Octa-core (4 x Cortex A73 2.36GHz + 4x Cortex A53 1.8GHz)
Display 6.0″ /538ppi / 2880 x 1440
Memory 256GB Storage / 6GB RAM
Expandable up to 512GB
SIM Card Interface SIM 1: nano SIM card
SIM 2: nano SIM card / microSD
Size 72.5mm (width) / 152.9 mm (height) / 8.5 mm (depth)
Weight 162g
Camera Front: 24MP (f/2.0)
Back: 40MP (f/1.8)+ 20MP Monochrome (f/1.6) + 8MP Telephoto (f/2.4)
Battery 4,000mAh
Colour Black
Retail Price S$2,298