Shakespeare once wrote “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, pondering the influence of a name on the character of something.

One wonders if, in the rapidly transforming world of gadgets and gizmos, we are more influenced by a brand name or the functionality of the product. You could argue that, yes, a brand’s name holds weight (who really needs a phone that unlocks using facial recognition but, hey, it’s Apple and so we bought the iPhone X) but so does the price of items. As technology advances, prices increase.

Huawei launched the Porsche Design Mate RS last week. With its hefty price tag and name-drop status, we wondered is this simply a cellphone by any other name or is it actually worth it?

The newest Porsche version of their flagship P20 series is slicker and blacker than its counterparts. It still has the back-camera system seen on the P20 Pro but instead of having it in the “SLR” position at the top left of the phone, the three cameras are in the middle – apparently the more symmetrical design is prettier.

Three cameras are in the middle, not the top left as it is on the P20 Pro
Three cameras are in the middle, not the top left as it is on the P20 Pro
Image: Supplied

The new, somewhat extended, bevel on the 6 inch 2K screen appears to hark back to a Samsung-like design - somewhat ironic considering that the P20 series sported the iPhone’s notch – which, rumour has it, Porsche designers vetoed hard on this iteration.

There is a fingerprint scanner on the screen, and although Huawei claims it is the first to have it here, Vivo’s Apex beat them to it by 2.5 months. Oddly, you get a back fingerprint scanner, just in case.

Fingerprint scanner on the screen
Fingerprint scanner on the screen
Image: Supplied

The Mate RS costs a pretty penny - R26,459 – exclusively on the MTN network. That’s a full R10,960 more than the P20 Pro. But is it worth it?

As a fashion writer in my former life, I understand the weight behind brand names. Why there are more zeros on the swing tag behind the name of Prada than that of Mr Price? In terms of material budgets, hiring the best and brightest minds to design and create a vision regardless of whose nimble hands make the end product. But to drop an extra 10K on a phone that, for all intents and purposes, is the same as the amazing P20 Pro – minus high-speed wireless charging and an additional shiny logo - makes little sense.

If you don’t already own the wheels, and really want to own a something designed by Porsche that badly, perhaps go to Takealot and buy a Bburago Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 die-cast toy for R815 and be done with it.

The Porsche Design Mate RS is now available exclusively available at MTN for R26,459

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