Porsche Design P'9521 mobile phone
Porsche styling and a fingerprint scanner
- Fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, double-hinged display, in-line remote with 3.5mm headphone jack, OLED
- No 3G connectivity, cumbersome and slow user interface, block design is heavy and uncomfortable, mediocre keypad, poor camera
It’s an interesting concept, but given its asking price the P'9521 lacks some basic features. An uncomfortable, boxy design, a lack of 3G connectivity and a slow user interface mean this handset is best avoided.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
Boasting a fingerprint scanner, an accelerometer and a double-hinged display, the Porsche Design P'9521 is an interesting concept to say the least. Although it may look and feel like an expensive handset, the exorbitant asking price for a phone lacking 3G connectivity and plenty of other features means that many people will steer clear of the P'9521.
Manufactured by Sagem but designed by Porsche, the P'9521 is built entirely from a solid block of aluminium, with the external display made from mineral glass. Although some may be intrigued by the design, its blocky shape and sharp edges make it uncomfortable to hold in your hand and it also digs into your ear when held against your face. It definitely looks unique, but the overall squarish design reminds us of a device stuck at the start of the new millennium, rather than a handset designed almost a decade later.
The flip handset has a double-hinged design, meaning you can rotate it 180 degrees and flip it back over against the casing — ideal when using the digital camera. Despite the solid aluminium design, the flip feels far from sturdy and exhibits a far amount of slack when opening and closing. The boxy shape also means the P'9521 is almost impossible to flip open with one hand. A small display on the front of the handset shows incoming caller ID, time and other important information without having to open the handset.
Another feature is the display technology. The P'9521 uses an OLED meaning there is no backlight, helping to save battery power. Despite the lack of a backlight, the screen is bright and clear and has a respectable viewing angle. We were particularly impressed with the crisp text displayed. Like the M2A-HV HDMI, the P'9521 also boasts an accelerometer. When the screen is rotated and flipped back, you can switch the view of pictures from landscape to portrait by simply tilting the phone.
Unfortunately, the keypad is mediocre. The keys are small, squashed and almost completely flat. The design means they require a firm press to activate and we struggled with messaging speeds.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the P'9521 is the fingerprint scanner. You can use this function instead of entering a PIN when your turn on your phone, as well as use it instead of a number of other passwords and unlock codes. It also doubles as a navigational touch pad to browse through menus, though using this isn't really intuitive and you're best sticking with the regular five-way navigational pad. The fingerprint scanner is really little more than a novelty, adding almost nothing to the overall user experience.
The user interface of the P'9521 is fairly intuitive but its main issue is speed. Scrolling through lists or menu items is a painstakingly slow process and quickly becomes frustrating. Combined with the poorly designed keypad, these issues make the device quite cumbersome to operate.
Considering the asking price, the lack of 3G connectivity is simply inexcusable. Bluetooth and USB connectivity are both present, however, and a proprietary USB cable is included in the sales package. The 3.2-megapixel camera features autofocus and a dual-LED flash but the quality of pictures produced is quite poor, so we can't recommend it for more than a few happy snaps.
The P'9521 doesn't include a 3.5mm headphone jack, but an adapter with in-line playback and volume controls has a 3.5mm jack so you can use any regular pair of headphones with the device.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- 3 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 4 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Fake heads and robot probes: testing smartphones prior to launch
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
- Xiaomi's Mi6 has the Galaxy S7’s looks, the S8’s power, and iPhone 7’s camera for half the price
- Samsung DeX turns your Galaxy S8 into a shockingly good desktop PC
- Find My iPhone helps nab a thief at Coachella with 100 phones in his backpack
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Data Warehouse ConsultantNSW
- TPProject Support AnalystNSW
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsWA
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)WA
- FTGraduate Technical ConsultantACT
- FTBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCGIS DeveloperQLD
- FTMid-Level .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTTelecommunications Installation ManagerSA
- CCSecurity Specialist - NV1ACT
- FTIT/Digital Project ManagerNSW
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsQLD
- FTC# DeveloperQLD
- TPProgram Manager - 12 month contractQLD
- FTHelpdesk SupportNSW
- FTOracle Database Administrator (DBA)SA
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTICT Contract AnalystWA
- FTMobile Studio Lead/ Mobile UX LeadNSW
- FTHealthcare Application Integration SupportQLD
- CCNetwork EngineerQLD
- FTTester AnalystACT