Consumers accept that collaborations between manufacturers and fashion or lifestyle brands often result in more expensive, premium products. However, the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 takes the cake for the sheer audacity of its brand-name price mark-up.
First, the obvious: This smartphone is designed for exclusivity, from its limited worldwide supply to its US$2,399 (S$3,376) price tag that can get you almost three flagship phones, including Huawei's own US$898 Mate 9.
The love-child of Huawei and Porsche Design, the lifestyle arm of the German sportscar brand, is essentially a remodelled Mate 9 Pro - a phone that's not officially available in Singapore - snazzed up in a cool carbon black with some hardware upgrades.
However, these upgrades aloneare nowhere close to justifying the price tag of the Porsche Design.
Read also: Huawei unveils V9 aimed at game lovers
To its credit, the phone looks and feels amazing, but in a very understated manner. It's not flashy save for the large Porsche Design stamp on the top of the phone - the only obvious indication of its exclusivity.
The hardware differences between this phone and the regular Pro are tiny. It comes with 256GB of onboard storage, compared with the Pro's 128GB.
It does have a gorgeous 5.5-inch Amoled screen, which is crisper, sharper and just plain better to look at than the Mate 9's LCD screen.
It also comes with top-line specs, such as a Kirin 960 processor and 6GB RAM, that handle multiple apps and heavy usage with ease.
The dual Leica lens on the back takes fantastic pictures and might very well be the phone's strongest point. Additional features which are also on the regular Mate 9 - such as wide-aperture mode - let users take dramatic, camera-quality shots.
But, at the end of the day, there's no escaping the price mark-up that boils down to the branding collaboration between the two companies.
• Verdict: You can own one exclusive phone for the price of three if you so choose with the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9. More than half of the price goes towards branding, though, which limits the audience for the smartphone.
PROCESSOR: Kirin 960 SoC (4 x 2.4GHz Cortex A73 + 4 x 1.8GHz Cortex A53 cores)
DISPLAY: 5.5-inch Amoled, Wide-quad HD, 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, 534 PPI pixel density
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 7.0
CAMERA: Dual 20-megapixel and 12-megapixel, f/2.2, optical image stabilisation (rear); 8-megapixel (front)
MEMORY: 256GB, 6GB RAM
BATTERY: Non-removable 4,000mAh
BATTERY LIFE: 4/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 1/5
This article was first published on Mar 01, 2017.
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