Huawei's latest Porsche Design flagship comes with a massive 4000 mAh battery, which enables phone to run through-out the day even while rocking that big WQHD+ display. Phone supports fast charging up to 4.5V/5A and Huawei claims you can charge your phone from 0 to 58 % in 30 minutes. Being a glass back phone, it also supports Qi wireless charging, which should come in handy when you're listening to music while charging your phone as there's no headphone jack. According to Huawei, it's 80% faster than wireless charging offered by Apple iPhone X.
During my battery drain test, phone gave me around 8-9 hours of heavy usage on a single full-charge. While it's not as great as what you get on other phones rocking a 4000 mAh battery, it certainly is good enough for a phone having a big WQHD+ display. Still, there are many software options to save battery life as you can lower down your display resolution in settings. These software tweaks plus a huge battery combines to give you a pleasant battery experience on Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design.
Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design has an identical camera setup to that found on Huawei P20 Pro and honestly, this camera setup delivers best handheld ultra-low light photos you can get from a phone. It is a triple camera setup with a combination of 40 MP main camera with OIS, 20 MP Black and White camera and 8 MP Telephoto camera with an aperture of f/1.8, f/1.6 and f/2.4 respectively. Huawei developed this special triple camera setup together with Leica Optics and this is one of the few cameras to support 3x optical zoom on a smartphone.
Beyond low light, camera is solid across the board. Despite boasting a 40MP main sensor, default shooting resolution of phone is 10MP. Using a technique call pixel-binning, camera combines pixels to make a lower resolution image that looks better. Camera also implements some heavy Artificial Intelligence to identify what you're shooting and optimize photos as it sees fit. For example, if you're shooting a blue sky, camera will bump up saturation making blue color stand out more. It can detect over 30 breeds of dog, automatically blur out background when you're taking a portrait shot and can crop in to reframe your macro photos. A lot of times, this heavy usage of AI can also get too much for users.
During my camera test, I found out that skies looked a bit too unrealistic using sky filters. During shots of grass, unfiltered photos looked more natural, while filtered ones made greens in grass look saturated, and sometimes filmy. Luckily, it can be switched off in settings, under 'Master AI' option, though if you have some patience, you might want to leave it on. Huawei has tuned this feature to get to know its user over time. Phone automatically judges user behavior using camera app activities to deliver photos to user's preference on the long run. For example, when Grass is given greenery filter, which displays in words on screen after a small delay, if you don't want to use it, then simply hitting "x" to the corner of auto-selected mode, it will be disengaged. If this happens a lot for a given mode, phone will learn that you don't appreciate that particular mode and begins to not use it in all given scenarios.
Phone's main 40MP sensor and a secondary 8MP 3x zoom module also combine to deliver best combination hybrid optical/digital zoom I've ever seen on a smartphone, even beating Samsung Galaxy S9+ in poor lighting. Low light shooting in night mode is where this camera jumps ahead of competition, with Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design able to extend shutter speed for up to four seconds, still keeping everything steady for a crisp long exposure shot. Better still is the fact that you can shoot in full manual mode across resolutions and save photos as RAW files as well. As a result, whether you're a novice or an expert, Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design can probably strike your balance.
Phone can shoot videos up to 4K at 30 fps and slow mo videos at 720p up to 960 fps. Videos from this camera setup are also exceptional, and with Full HD stabilization, even zoomed in videos look amazingly good. AIS (Artificial Intelligence Stabilization) is turned off in 4K and 1080p video at 60 fps for heat management and battery saving reasons, though. As for 960fps slow motion video, this is terrible in bad light, great in good light. That said, Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design exposes slow motion clips less than Samsung Galaxy S9+, resulting in generally darker videos.
With such a feature rich rear camera setup, one might think that Huawei might have paid less attention to front camera but that isn't the case as phone comes with a massive 24MP front camera with an f/2.0 aperture. Camera takes excellent selfies, which are well lit, and due to heavy megapixel count, there's a lot of detail captured. Videos can be shot up to 1080p which look pretty good, thanks to Leica Optic's technology.
To sum it all up, Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design's camera delivers photos in which detail is excellent, unadjusted colors are accurate, and low-light performance is very respectable. Night mode is particularly handy if you're only shooting static subjects, taking a series of exposures over a 6-second period. As compared to its competitors, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Apple iPhone X, this camera setup is arguably the better one.
Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design runs Android 8.1 Oreo with Emotion UI 8.1 on top. Software experience is virtually identical to Huawei P20 Pro's and having latest version of Android onboard is a great start. This means optimal future-proofing and latest security updates.
Emotion UI, or EMUI, supplements this software experience with a host of customizations that can be found everywhere, from home screens to settings menus. Android applications tray is missing by default, but can be restored easily. Home screen grid sizes, transitions, color themes and always-on display information can also be tweaked, leaving you feeling fully in control of your phone.
My favorite software feature on Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design is 'Private Space'. Private Space supports multiple users, each with their individual, biometrically secured set of apps and files. Using a different fingerprint to log into each user profile, this is a smart way of separating work and play or sharing your phone without fear of sensitive content being stumbled upon by someone else. It even supports two versions of same app across spaces, YouTube for example, with one space logged into a UK account and the other logged into a US account. It's just like having a completely different phone for different users.
There's plenty more that this phone offers. Knuckle recognition, scheduled powering on and off, native screen recording, fingerprint scanner gestures, AirDrop style file sharing features, and this is only scratching the surface here. While older versions of EMUI crammed much of this stuff in without perfecting basics, namely stability, speed and style, EMUI 8.1 manages to improve a lot when it comes to the first two. Porsche Design theme helps soften effect of an interface which can be a little overbearing, especially for those used to stock Android. Heavy or not, if you want a great out of the box experience, Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design delivers.
You also get Face Unlock, which works snappy but isn't as secured to rear fingerprint scanner or in-screen scanner on device. With three biometric unlocking options, you get plenty to choose from, something you would expect from a Porsche Design flagship device.
Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design is available in market for 1600 Euros for 256 GB variant and 2000 Euros for 512 GB variant. Phone is available in black color for international market and if you're a Chinese consumer, you also get a red color. It is a luxury smartphone that doesn't just bank on its looks to stand out. Thanks to world first technology inside, its sleek design is complemented by authentic geek factor. It's also helped along by the fact that this is 2018 and idea of spending over $1000 on a phone is much less uncommon than it once was even Apple iPhone X 256GB costs $1,149. With Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design 256GB coming in at around than $300 more, it's not a total stretch to imagine this phone appealing to a wider audience than any luxury phone before it.
Despite falling short in power as compared to 2018's flagships, its sports car credentials and fact that it excels in other areas ensure this phone is still loaded with appeal. From a tech point of view, users will love the fact that Huawei Mate RS's wireless charging is 80% faster than that of Apple iPhone X. Its battery also lasts longer and its screen is bigger and sharper. Phone also packs a more flexible camera system than any competing smartphone other than Huawei P20 Pro, and world's first in-screen fingerprint scanner is just plain cool.
Question remains, is this phone for you? If you want a top phone but you have a modest income, this phone might not be for you. However, if you have a lot of money and want shiniest, geekiest smartphone that money can buy, which you can rock with your Porsche-branded watch, and maybe even the car, having cutting-edge technology in a smartphone currently available, then Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design will definitely deliver to your needs.