A Porsche That Runs On A Battery: The P'9521

Luxury mobile phones.
A growing category in the market of mobile communications.

We have the Prada cell phone by LG, the Armani-Samsung Phone, the Goldvish diamond encrusted Vertu cell phone, the Bang & Olufsen Samsung cell phone, diamond studded cell phones, gold plated cell phones, even Ferrari and Lambourghini additions to the luxury mobile market.

So, what's next to enter this market of luxury communication devices? The Porsche of cell phones. Or rather, the Porsche Cell phone. Below are pics and an in-depth is a review of this newly released collaboration between the Porsche Design Studio and Sagem Communication.

Reviewed by JULIAN PEH

An instrument wrought out of aluminum and glass, the Porsche Design P'9521 phone is an intriguing new entrant to the burgeoning luxury mobile phone market.

A collaboration between Porsche Design and Sagem Communication, the phone’s features include a fingerprint scanner and accelerometer, a music player (with a 2GB memory card) and a 3.2-megapixel camera.

However, as we have observed in the past, companies attempting to break into this market often emphasize on build quality, materials and design, rather than engage in the more-features-is-better specifications war.

It is within this context that we shall review the Porsche Design P'9521.

The P'9521 is undoubtedly a striking phone. With its glossy mineral glass cover and brushed metal skin, it is instantly distinguishable from other clamshells.

As befits an established design house, Porsche Design did not choose to integrate cues from Porsche sports car design into their phones but adopted a futuristic yet minimalist design theme, consistent with its other products.

The phone is made rather thick and heavy for a clamshell, but these traits are a forgiveable trade-off, considering the company's innovative use of materials in the design of the phone.

The phone's casing is milled out of a solid aluminum block. The use of aluminum gives a unique sensation of quality to the phone – the hinges turn with satisfying mechanical resistance and the brushed aluminum has a texture that delights the fingers. The mineral glass used on the cover is simply gorgeous and possesses a sheen that plastic simply cannot replicate.

The only letdown in the phone's construction is the battery cover, which is a simple piece of rubber-coated plastic. For a phone that exhibits excellent build quality everywhere else, the design of the battery cover is somewhat incongruous and puzzling.

Start the phone, and an animation simulating the view from the cockpit of a speeding Porsche rolls on the phone's screen. The display utilizes AM-OLED technology and the colors are extremely vivid and the images sharp from all but the most extreme viewing angles.

The menu interface is beautifully designed, and its use of a light-on-dark color scheme and Porsche Design's trademark typography exudes functional elegance.

A unique feature of this phone is the fingerprint scanner located just under the display. The scanner can also be used to scroll through the menu like a vertical touchpad if one does not wish to use the keypad. The keypad itself is almost totally flat and the keys do not have much travel. However, this is something we got used to easily after a few hours of use.

The P'9521 boasts excellent sound quality for both voice calls and music.

Save for the fingerprint scanner, the Porsche Design P'9521 does not really contain any groundbreaking technical features. However, its elegant design and high build quality enables it to stand out in a sea of clamshell phones. A guaranteed conversation piece.

The new P’9521 cell phone from Porsche Design blends purist style with the latest in communication technology from Sagem.
Available from spring 2008 in North America. Not available in Korea and Japan.
Specs below:

General functions
- Photo/video camera: 3.2 Mpix, autofocus camera with flash and digital zoom
- Screen rotates through 180 degrees
- Sensitive touch/fingerprint reader [phone security, direct calls, menu navigation]
- Dimensions: 91 x 48 x 18.4 mm
- Weight: 139 g
- Charging time: 3 hours
- Communication time: 3 hours 30 minutes talk time/240 hours standby
- MP3 playback: 7 hours
- Phone materials: Mineral glass and aluminum
- Screen: AM-OLED 262,000 colors QVGA 320x240 pixels, 2.2"
- Second screen: AM-OLED 65,000 colors 128x96 pixels, 1.15"
Data transmission
- Bluetooth: v1.2 with AADP, AVRCP & FTP profiles
- USB: USB2.0, USB Data Cable
Network standards
- GSM: GSM-GPRS/EDGE: 900 – 1800 – 1900 MHz
- Automatic frequency transfer
Messages: SMS / EMS / MMS
- Email: e-mail on internet
- Internet: Mini-Opera[tm] / browser WAP2.0
Video & photos
- Camera: 3.2 megapixels
Image formats: BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG
- Zoom: digital [photo & video]
- Flash
- Video recording: MPEG4
- Video player: H264, 3GP, MPEG4
- Video streaming
- Recording
- Playback: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, stereohttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif
- Formats: iMelody 1.2, Midi, Wave, AMR NB [recorder and player] and WB [player]
Background mode
- Playlists: automatic, by theme/interpreter/most played/download date
- Fast forward/rewind/play/pause
- Visual effects: bar display, equalizer
- Special FX sounds : 3D, reverb, chorus, flanger

For more information, click here.

To see seriously luxed up cell phones; gold-plated, gem-encrusted etc, visit the following sites:

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