You’re probably not going to buy a Huawei Porsche Design Mate RS. It costs thousands of Euros and is only available on a limited run, but it looks snazzy, so we took it for a spin at Huawei’s P20 launch in Paris this week.
Specs-wise, the Porsche Design Mate RS is more or less the same as the P20 Pro. You get that new tri-lens camera configuration, octo core Kirin 970 CPU and all the software perks that come bundled with EMUI 8.1.
On top of that, the OLED screen is bumped up to 2K resolution (from 2,240 by 1,080 to 2,880 by 1,440) and the phone has a hefty 256GB or 512GB of internal storage. Yes, five hundred and twelve gigabytes of ROM.
The price? If you need to ask, you probably can’t afford this, but for what it’s worth, it will cost a cool €1,695 ($2,100, £1,482) for the 256GB version and €,2095 ($2,600, £1,830) for the 512GB edition.
Perhaps the best feature of the Porsche Design Mate RS is what you can’t immediately see; an in-screen fingerprint scanner. While we couldn’t test this out on any of the display models we saw—they were already assigned to staff members’ fingerprints—this is a good sign that Huawei has figured out how to successfully integrate this technology, meaning we very well may see it on future versions of Huawei’s Mate and P series of phones.
Nobody at the P20 launch event could confirm this, but given the interest surrounding this tech—Samsung was rumored to have been working on it for the S9, Vivo gave us a demo at CES, Doogee sort of demonstrated this at Mobile World Congress—you’d expect that Huawei wouldn’t just sit on it, after going to all the trouble of adding it to a luxury phone.
The advantages of having an in-screen scanner are obvious; you can extend the screen all the way to the base of the phone, breaking up one of the trickier frontiers in the war against bezels. If only integrating front-facing cameras—thereby killing off the pesky notch—was as easy.
Huawei sells most of these phones in China (where the red version is an exclusive) and Middle Eastern markets, with a handful of wealthy buyers in Europe (mainly Switzerland and Norway) snapping up the remainder. The last Porsche Design phone—a limited-edition version of the Mate 10—apparently sold out very quickly. Huawei spokespeople declined to provide specific figures, but there should be enough phones to go around for every oil baron and merchant banker out there. The poor dears.