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Same same but different, the Huawei Mate RS

May 27th, 2018 | by Wilson Wong
Same same but different, the Huawei Mate RS
Cellphones
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PHOTO: Handout

Don’t blame yourself if you did a double take on the Mate RS, the latest Huawei phone co-branded with the German Design House, Porsche Design.

Yes, it has the same profile as last year’s Huawei Mate 10 Porsche Design and the front has remained largely the same with Porsche Design logo proudly emblazoned across the bottom screen’s bezel.

If looks matter to you, then maybe it’s good news that the Mate RS maintains the same design language as before.

When holding it, you’ll notice it has a thinner profile than the Mate 10 Pro and its front screen is curved at the sides much like the Samsung Galaxy S9. The build is also top notch, akin to the phones that Huawei has produced in the last 2 years.

A similar curve screen to the Samsung Galaxy S9. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

The good thing is that Huawei didn’t just take the Mate 10 Pro, give it a new fresh of paint and stop there. There is a good deal of improvement underneath the notch-less 2K 18:9 OLED screen.

It still runs the same Kirin 970 processor with the same amount of RAM at 6GB but Huawei has beefed up the internal memory to 256GB, a welcome addition since this phone does not have a microSD card slot.

Unlike its siblings, the Mate RS can be unlocked in three ways. There’s the fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone, the face recognition system using the front facing camera and lastly, the under-display fingerprint sensor similar to Vivo’s X21.

I did not have the chance to really test the under-display fingerprint sensor at a launch on Friday, so that’s something I have to look into later.

Like with the Vivo X21’s under-display fingerprint sensor, you just press your thumb against the screen at the designated space to unlock the phone. PHOTO: Handout

When it comes to battery capacity, the Mate RS maintains the same 4,000mAh as other Mate 10s and I predict that it shouldn’t be far off when compared to the P20 Pro in terms of usage duration.

One new feature that is definitely welcome is wireless charging, so you don’t need to poke in the USB cable every day. Huawei says it’s phone can juice up faster than an Apple iPhone as well.

Huawei is late to the game on wireless charging but the feature is a welcome addition on the new Mate RS. PHOTO: Handout

Avid photographers will definitely be happy with this phone. The camera system is similar to the one inside the P20 Pro with the excellent handheld long-shutter-speed night shot mode.

It has the same three-sensor setup – a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor (f1.6, wide-angle lens), a 40-megapixel colour sensor (f1.8, wide-angle lens) and a 8-megapixel sensor with 3x optical zoom lens.

The control mechanism is the same as well and I expect the picture quality to be similar with the P20 Pro. I will update with a review later on.

Both are shiny and definitely fingerprint magnets. The Mate 10 Pro is actually more eye-catching with the bronze colour and the Porsche Design black feels underwhelmingly simple. The same three-camera system is also on the Mate RS. PHOTO: Wilson Wong

The sound system is definitely better than the one on the P20 Pro. It has a linear sound system that won’t be muffled if I cover the speaker at the bottom of the phone.

The surround sound Dolby Atmos effects will also kick in once the accompanying earphones are plugged in. Unfortunately, those who have great headphones already will be dismayed that there isn’t any 3.5mm stereo jack in sight.

I am definitely not surprised by the price tag of $2,298, going by the past prices I have seen with the other Porsche Design phones. The difference now is that all the three major telcos will make this available for purchase with a phone contract so it will be more affordable.

The more eye-catching red colour for the Mate RS won’t be coming into Singapore. The black is classy on its own but can be boring after a while. A leather half-case that comes with the phone will make it look fancier. PHOTO: Handout.

The high price tag aside, Huawei’s new phone only comes in black and the more eye-catching red won’t be shipping here, which is a pity.

Despite the nice design, the phone is not outstanding enough on its own and is even outshone by the cheaper P20 Pro’s attractive Twilight colour. The saving grace is that the phone will come with its own unique leather half-case so the phone will be nicely protected.

The Huawei Mate RS is certainly attractive but I’d readily choose the Huawei P20 Pro over this new model. I guess I’m pragmatic. If having an expensive-looking phone floats your boat, the Mate RS will not disappoint.

PHOTO
GALLERY

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