Huawei’s Porsche Design Mate 20 RS arrives (a little late)

Like the Mate 20 Pro, but prefer a design that potentially matches your car? The Porsche model has arrived.

If you have a little more money that you like to spend on a mobile phone, and want that to be something unique, luxury phones are on the return.

In the past, they’ve largely been unimpressive, but now that Vertu has moved over from its unusual button-based phones and let big smartphone makers take the glory with ties to specialty design houses, the luxury phone is back, and back with a vengeance.

Luxury phones are often just that — luxury — arriving with special features ahead of major consumer releases or working with major design houses for something a little different. It also helps that smartphone pricing can get quite expensive for the model alone these days, and so luxury phones are finding a new place, especially since some people are willing to pay over the $2,000 mark for a handset by itself.

This week, one such device is on its way to Australia, only a few months late.

Last year, Huawei launched its Mate 20 Pro, which didn’t take long after launch to see release locally in Australia. At its launch, there was a slightly more spec’d version with leather trim released in the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS, but Australia has since missed out, until now that is.

From this week, select retailers will get that phone priced at $2599, with the Leica Store in Sydney and Melbourne getting units, as well as the online stores for JB HiFi and Mobileciti.

The phones are largely what you might have seen in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, offering a Huawei Kirin 980 processor, three cameras, wireless charging, water resistance, and more, but the main difference here is you get more memory and storage to 8GB and 256GB respectively (from 6GB and 128GB in the Mate 20 Pro), while the back comes with leather stripes flanking the glass design in the middle.

Yes, that’s real leather, with a design that is there to add to the grip and feel, as the Mate 20 Pro — like all glass-encased phones — can get a little slippery at times.

“Functional design is the DNA of Porsche Design, and every iteration of the Porsche Design Huawei Mate Series sees a natural evolution of that principle. The latest novelty exemplifies through the use of leather, which is simultaneously steeped in tradition and innovative design,” said Jan Backer, CEO of Porsche Design Group.

Aside for the leather trim, you also great a leather flip case in the box, handy because if you’re spending $2599 on a phone, you’d hope to be getting something nice in the box.

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