When Huawei released the Mate RS in collaboration with Porsche Design, more than one person complained about the price tag. Now, Apple has released a smartphone that justifies the Mate RS pricing.
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Apple recently released their new iPhones, with the top model, the iPhone XS Max, costing 1 659€. This is close to the price of the Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design, with the 256GB version costing 1 695€ officially, and the 512GB costing 2 095€.
Now, the real price of the Mate RS Porsche Design on Porsche Design’s webstore is 1 550€ for the 256GB version, and the 512GB version is China-only. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max comes with 512GB of internal storage, but still costs 1 659€. There’s a 256GB version costing 1 429€, but we’ll ignore it for now. So, what else do you get for the price?
The iPhone XS Max is rated IP68, while the Mate RS is only IP67. The display is 6.5”, while Huawei’s is only 6”. The resolution of the Mate RS is higher though, at 2880*1440 pixels and around 538 ppi density, while the XS Max is only 22688*1242 pixels, and around 458 ppi density.
The chipset coming with the XS Max is newer and uses TSMC’s new 7nm process, while the Kirin 970 is already a year old and uses a 10nm process, although it comes with a dedicated NPU for AI. On top of this, Apple’s software is a lot more optimized than Android and EMUI. As a mention, Huawei’s Mate RS comes with a customized version of EMUI. Both smartphones lack a MicroSD card slot. The European Mate RS, as previously mentioned, comes with 256GB of internal storage and 6GB of RAM, while the iPhone XS Max we are looking at comes with 512GB of internal storage and only 4GB of RAM.
The rest of the differences between software and hardware specs are rather negligible. The Mate RS has a 4 000mAh battery, the XS Max is limited at 3 174mAh. Both devices support wireless charging. The Mate RS offers facial recognition unlock, back fingerprint sensor and under the display, while the XS Max ditched the fingerprint sensor and only offers facial recognition unlock (and password, although that comes on all smartphones at this point…).
Finally, the camera. Definitely, the triple-lens Leica camera is still superior overall.
We can come back to pricing for a minute and look at the 256GB version costing 1 429€. Some months ago, when Porsche Design launched the accessories for the Mate RS, we concluded the real price of the Mate RS is not 1 550€ but 1 401€, as the included leather case cover is sold separately for 149€. So, even comparing the 256GB Mate RS to the 256GB iPhone XS Max version, the Mate RS is 28€ cheaper and still better overall.
Let’s not forget the accessories included in the box. The Mate RS comes with a leather case cover, which can also be bought separately for 149€, two fast chargers (one for EU and another one for UK plugs), a USB-C to 3.5 mm Jack adapter and some USB-C earphones. Meanwhile, Apple still doesn’t include a fast charger, forcing the customer to buy it separately, doesn’t give an adapter anymore either and doesn’t give a case cover (and especially not a leather one).
Even the unboxing experience is rather mediocre, with the XS Max coming in the usual smartphone box most manufacturers use, from low to high end (Huawei uses it from the 199€ P Smart to the 899€ P20 Pro). Meanwhile, Huawei uses a nicer box on their Mate line-up, and the Mate RS box is even more elaborate, making the unboxing experience special too, which, taking in account the price paid, should be the bare minimum.
True, the iPhone XS Max is available on contract from most big carriers, so basically the consumer can get it on a 24 to 36-month credit. But this credit, you have to obtain it from specialized lenders who do not have a very good reputation (such as Cetelem in Belgium with Orange). If your income allows you to take a 24/36-month credit for an iPhone from a specialized lender, then your bank will also gladly lend that sum, although with higher interests. So, one could easily go to the bank, request a 1 550€ credit for “electronics” and spread it over 24 months (or less), and get a more premium, better and more exclusive device rather than the new iPhone that half the people out there now own.
Or wait for the Mate 20 Pro. It’ll be better than Apple’s iPhone XS Max which already feels outdated.
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