Porsche Design P'9521 review: Porsche Design P'9521

Typical Price: £800.00
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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Fingerprint scanner; motion sensor; good music player.

The Bad Big and bulky; no 3G; ludicrous price tag.

The Bottom Line We love the fingerprint scanner and the accelerometer features, but the lack of 3G and so-so camera are a let down. At the end of the day the Porsche Design P'9521 is simply not desirable enough to make us want to part with £800 of our hard earned cash

6.5 Overall

Would you buy a car made by Nokia? Perhaps, but what about a phone designed by Porsche? Aimed at the luxury end of the mobile market, the P'9521 certainly has some interesting features, not least of which is the fingerprint scanner on the front.

However, those tempted will have to have deep pockets because it has a wallet-bashing SIM-free price tag of £800.

Strengths
The P'9521 is actually a joint effort between Porsche Design and Sagem, but the Porsche luxury stamp is all over the phone. For example, the handset is hewn from a solid block of aluminium and mineral glass is used on the display. The screen is also double-hinged so you can rotate it through 180 degrees and snap it back against the case -- in this respect it's very similar to LG's old P7200 .

The display uses organic LED technology, so there's no backlight which helps save on power. We've seen OLED screens before that look washed out with muddy colours, but there are no such problems here. Colours are bright and vivid and the 320x240-pixel resolution means icons and text look nice and sharp.

Below the main screen sits one of the phone's key features -- a fingerprint scanner. You can set the phone up to use the scanner instead of the usual PIN lock code, or alternatively assign it to certain numbers in the phone's contact book. It also doubles as a touchpad to move through the phone's menus, but as it suffers from lag when working in this way you probably won't bother using it.

Another little trick the phone has up its sleeve is its accelerometer. When viewing pictures with the screen snapped back against the case you can change the view from landscape to portrait just by tilting the phone, just as you do with the iPod touch or iPhone.

The handset is supplied with a 2GB microSD memory card which you can stuff full of tunes to play in the music player. The sound quality via the supplied headphones is pretty good, but as the inline remote (which doubles as a hands-free kit) has a standard headphone connector, you can swap them for your own if you like.

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