Porsche Design made its first smartphone in 2007, before partnering with BlackBerry (then RIM) in 2011 on the P'9981. Jump to the present day and we have the Porsche Design P'9983, which is based on the BlackBerry Q10.

In the words of BlackBerry and Porsche Design, who introduced the new smartphone at Harrods, it's a handset designed for the "power professional". 

As a typical smartphone user, you might think that the Porsche Design handsets are without purpose. This is, in its crudest form, a BlackBerry Q10 in a new coat. The Q10 costs £497; the Porsche Design P'9983 costs £1400, launching exclusively with Harrods.

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BlackBerry's focus on the "power professional" is all about productivity, ensuring that those professionals "achieve what they need to achieve." At the same time, Porsche Design wants to give them exclusivity and luxury, even if it is something of a niche market.

This isn't just craziness: the Porsche Design P'9981 has sold 170,000 units and for Harrods it was one of their most successful technology products. The P'9983 wants to repeat this trick, even if it's a far cry from the 10 million iPhone 6 handsets sold in the first weekend.

Porsche Design

Although the P'9983 is based on the Q10, you wouldn’t really know it. It's had a makeover, although the form factor remains the same. There's the same 3.1-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a 720 x 720 pixel resolution, with a keyboard beneath it. 

The layout of controls and connections is familiar and it's undeniably a BlackBerry. In the hand it brings back memories of the BlackBerry greats of the past - the Bold - where it's all about the keyboard experience.

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Porsche Design has used a stainless steel frame, however, nicely chamfered at the front. That sits nicely with the curve of the polished glass fiber weave rear, so the P'9983 sits nicely in the hand. 

It's not going to win any prizes for slimness or weight: it measures 67.1 x 119 x 10.55mm and weighing 140g. 

But it feels like good quality and that's important: this is a luxury smartphone and it feels like it. We prefer Porsche Design's focus on simplicity and quality materials over some of the other luxury devices we've seen recently: it's more a practical design than the likes of the Tonino Lamborghini Antares for example.

The top bar sporting Porsche Design branding is a nice touch, but the BlackBerry name looks a little squashed beneath the keyboard. It feels like an after-thought, an addition that jars with the rest of the design.

A "glass effect" keyboard

The keyboard on the P'9983 is lovely. Porsche Design are calling it a "glass effect", because it looks like glass, and has a smooth polished finish - although it's not actually glass, it's plastic.

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There's the normal tapering in the edges - something BlackBerrys have had in various forms over the years - here a little more angular to reflection Porsche's tighter design.

The keyboard feels extremely solid, however. There's no slop to it, no lateral movement in the keys, just a great positive action. This is pared with the predictive suggestions of BB 10.3, so you can type and touch.

The action of this keyboard is very much what we expect from a BlackBerry, so kudos to Porsche Design for keeping that important experience authentic. 

The P'9983 back door

Around the back of the P'9983 Porsche Design has opted to polish the glass weave cover to a high shine. We loved the rear of the Q10, with it's matte, grippy, glass weave rear. In fact we'd go as far as to say we prefer it to the finish of the P'9983.

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The glossy back is a fingerprint magnet, but you do at least get a polishing cloth in the box. To keep the P'9983 looking its best, you're going to need to give it a regular rub down. 

There is some relief, however, as there will be accessory rear covers too. Porsche Design is calling them "back doors" and befitting the price of the phone, these will cost £70 a pop.

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These are finished in coloured leather and feel lovely, making things a lot more grippy, as well as letting you match it to your mood, the interior of your Ferrari, or just your Hermés handbag.

The hardware

We've mentioned the display already, which offers very much the same experience as the BlackBerry Q10. Sitting within the P'9983 is a 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 dual-core chipset, with 2GB of RAM.

The internal storage gets bump, with a healthy 64GB, as well as support for microSD cards up to 128GB.

There's a 2100mAh battery - that comes with Porsche Design branding - but it's swappable, so you can change it for a new one when you run out of juice. 

BlackBerry 10.3

The Porsche Design P'9983 launches with BB 10.3, the latest software from BlackBerry, bringing with it a range of tweaks over previous iterations. There are some UI tweaks, with a new central button on the action bar to highlight the most common function, as well as a flatter design, a touch more modern.

There's now a homescreen - sort of - so if you close all your apps, you'll get the wallpaper behind. Previously when all the apps were closed, the apps menu would move across to fill the space.

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There's also the new BlackBerry Assistant, that will let you give voice commands with natural language processing, as well as let you type, as you always could with universal search.

You also get some tweaks to the camera app - the 8-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front camera are the same as before - but it will now throw up suggestions of different shooting modes when you come to take a shot, like HDR, for example. 

There's a whole load of other features in BB 10.3, which we'll be pulling out and detailing as we spend more time with BlackBerry's latest OS.

Where do I sign up?

The Porsche Design P'9983 is available from Thursday 25 September, launching exclusively in Europe in Harrods. It can be yours for £1400, if you're a power professional.

Of course, it's worth reading our BlackBerry Q10 review to see exactly what you're letting yourself in for.