Porsche Design Mate 30 RS

Wenn man die Funktion einer Sache überdenkt, ergibt sich die Form manchmal wie von allein.

If you analyze the function of an object, its form often becomes obvious.

Prof. F. A. Porsche, Designer of the legendary Porsche 911 and founder of Porsche Design

We’re used to seeing Porsche Design special editions at Huawei Mate-series launches, as the company unveiled the third generation Porsche Design Mate phone at the Mate 30 launch event in September. After the original Porsche Design Mate RS, and the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS, the current-generation Porsche Design Mate 30 RS pushes the envelope further.

Box and contents

Porsche Design Mate 30 RS
On the outside, the Porsche Design Mate 30 RS box looks like the predecessors’

You instantly recognize this is an exclusive Porsche Design smartphone by the black box with the usual company branding, and probably your bank account statement. After all, it goes for €2,095. But this is not money spent on a phone. It’s an experience you’re purchasing, as you’re buying into an elite lifestyle, with other fellow fans of the Porsche Design philosophy.

Little to nothing has changed on the outside of the box, compared to previous models, but almost everything is new on the inside.

Porsche Design Mate 30 RS
Inside the box: phone, snap-on case, wall charger, car charger, headphones, a pair of cables, authenticity card, literature

As you open it up, the phone greets you dead center, staring at you with the four camera lenses. In case you were wondering whether you bought the real deal, there’s an authenticity card at the top testifying that this is a genuine Porsche Design Huawei smartphone.

While in previous years, Huawei shipped the phone with two wall chargers, one with European, and one with a UK plug, this year we have a UK wired SuperCharge charger, and a SuperCharge car charger, which was also introduced this year.

You have not one, but two cables, and a pair of headphones, all of which are black, to match the phone, and stand out from, you know, the rest. You don’t get the flip cover, like you did with the previous two models, and you don’t even get the premium leather case with the leather strap. Instead, you get a snap-on case to protect the redesigned camera hump.

The spruced up Mate 30 Pro

Compared to the standard Mate 30 Pro, the Mate 30 RS takes the amount of memory from 8GB to 12GB, and storage from 256GB to 512GB. This particular unit we have here is the 5G version, and it also clocks a tad faster on the Kirin 990. Everything else is the same, but at the same time, different, and that’s as deep as we’ll get into specs.

Porsche Design Mate 30 RS
Left: Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS. Right: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

This is not a review of the device, per se. You can check out our Mate 30 Pro review here, as we go in depth on every aspect of the phone. This, however, is a look at how Porsche Design took Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro and made it its own. It’s a phone for die-hard fans of the brand, and this review is here to tell you all about why it’s so misunderstood.

The Porsche Design philosophy

Porsche Design’s minimalistic fingerprint is all over this phone. The company never really liked camera humps; if you remember, the Mate 20 RS featured a flat leather back, compared to the shiny glass on the regular Mate 20 Pro, with its square – squircle (sic!) – camera hump. This year, Porsche Design did something similar with the Mate 30 Pro’s round camera protrusion. 

The premium leather embraces the glass strip on the back, and, for the first time with Mate RS phones, that back isn’t flush. Porsche Design took the circular camera hump and turned it into an elegant piece of glass running almost from top to bottom, with the company logo shining in the center of it like a badge of honor, a statement if you will, that this is an exclusive product. As exclusive as it gets.

Anton D. Nagy Porsche 981
Anton D. Nagy and his 2014 Porsche 981

As a Porsche owner myself, I was self-educated on the design philosophy the company has. Porsche Design strongly believes that the point of design is to have as little design as possible. This can be found in their luxury sports cars, from retaining the general design lines over decades, to the simplest philosophy of having just one function per button on the dash or on the steering wheel. Just think of the 911, and how it evolved over the years. This could easily sum it up in its essence: it’s not change, it’s evolution.

You won’t find anything fancy on the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS. It’s as simple as it gets, and it’s that simplicity, combined with the premium material selection, that is mesmerizing. Looking at it alone floods your brain with dopamine, but holding it, like a piece of fine jewelry, is an exceptional sensorial reward.

Porsche Design Mate 30 RS
Porsche Design Mate 30 RS with its racing stripe theme that applies to sadly only Huawei apps

The attention to detail also extends to the software. While you can fully customize the device to your liking (it’s an Android phone, after all), it comes with Porsche Design’s fingerprints all over the user interface. From the Porsche font on the clock, or Always On Display, to the racing stripes on the wallpaper, all the way to the app icons which follow the same theme. You also get exclusive ringtones, alarms, and alerts, so you instantly recognize a fellow Mate 30 RS owner.

Porsche Design Mate 30 RS
Porsche Design Mate 30 RS and the Porsche Design ringtones and alerts

It’s that feeling, when you drive a Porsche by another Porsche, and the drivers acknowledge each other.

Is this a phone for the masses? Absolutely not! Even though it usually sells out pretty fast, Huawei and Porsche Design decided to keep volumes low. Why? It’s the exclusivity and scarcity of a product, in this case, the Mate 30 RS, that makes it so valuable and desired.

It’s that acknowledgement you get when people see it in your hands and ask you questions, it’s the pride you answer with “it’s a Porsche Design phone”. 

More Porsche Design Mate 30 RS pictures

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