Honor Magic unveiled in China: 5 things you should know about the new phone and its global release

The front of the Honor Magic smartphone. Photograph:( WION )

WION Shenzhen Dec 17, 2016, 10.37 PM (IST) Ankit Tuteja

Celebrating its third anniversary, Huawei-owned Honor unveiled the much-anticipated Honor Magic smartphone at an event in Shenzhen. The Magic is currently the most expensive Honor smartphone - with new features on both the inside and the outside. While a lot has been said about the Magic since its launch on Friday, we bring you 5 significant things that we believe you should know about this newest Honor phone.

1. Design and display: A plethora of Honor phones have been released over the last three years, but the Honor Magic is the most handsome Honor phone yet. Talking about its design, the Honor Magic features a 3D curved glass design on both the front and the rear, which makes it comfortable to hold and grip. And the rounded edges of the phone make it more user-friendly. The glass on both the sides of the phone give it a premium look and a thin strip of metal in Rose Gold running along it adds to its elegance.

The Honor Magic is the most expensive Honor phone yet. (WION)

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Quite like its design, the 5.09-inch 2K (1440x2560 pixels ) AMOLED display on the Honor Magic is pretty impressive. It offers vibrant colors and a good contrast ratio.

Apart from the curved design and the high-resolution display, another key highlight of the Magic’s hardware is the dual-camera setup with 12 megapixel sensors at the back. Given that the Magic is the newest flagship Honor phone with an exorbitant price tag, its camera performance is likely to be pitted against its brother (the Huawei P9) that features a similar camera setup - but with a pair of Leica lenses. This is more so because, firstly, Honor works closely with Huawei and secondly, the two phones fall in the same price category. This comparison, therefore, becomes inevitable.

The tiny SIM card tray in the Magic phone is something that catches attention. It supports two SIM cards.

The bottom panel of the Honor Magic houses a speaker, USB port, SIM card tray and a headphone jack. (WION)

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2. Software: It appears that Honor is pulling up its socks to emerge as a key contender in the smartphone race. The company, in its attempt to make the user-experience on Honor phones better and richer, is integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into its line of phones. And the Magic is one of the first examples.

The Honor Magic Live system in the phone is said to anticipate users’ needs and facilitate their daily lives by offering a host of predictive information. As explained by Honor, “the Honor Magic Live system is able to formulate a range of customised recommendations based on users’ social conversations via instant messaging apps. For instance, conversations revolving around movies will trigger blockbuster recommendations.”

The FaceCode intelligent recognition feature, on the other hand, is claimed to ensure total privacy by only revealing message notifications to the pre-registered face.

The company may be making serious attempts to enhance user experience with the use of artificial intelligence, but how well this new technology from Honor fares in real-life tests is something only the time will tell.

3. Price: This newest flagship phone is the most expensive Honor phone yet. Currently released for the Chinese market, the phone is priced at CNY 3699 (approximately $532). This price tag  indeed looks high for the Honor brand, which until now has been known for introducing budget and mid-range phones. But is the Magic worth its price tag? Well, it’s too early to comment on that. We suggest you to wait for some time.

4. Competition and global release: The Honor Magic may be a great phone and could go well in the home country, but with such a high price tag, it is unlikely to woo consumers in other parts of the world including India. This is because Honor, as a brand, is yet to create a strong identity for itself in other countries outside China. Moreover, the presence of a large number of competitively-priced phones from other reliable and better-known OEMs makes it all the way tougher for Honor.

The rear panel of Honor's new Magic smartphone. (WION)

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Having said that, it may not require Honor to be on its toes immediately and figure out a way for the Magic to be a success globally. Reason being, the company may just not launch the Magic smartphone in countries other than China.

A day after the Magic launch at the Shenzhen event, Honor president George Zhao, in an interaction with the global media, said that the company will first take feedback on the Magic from users in China before it plans to roll it out in other countries.

5. Key tech specs: While we have already shared with you details of the Magic's camera and display, there is more to know about the phone to ascertain where it stands out  - at least in the tech spec comparison. The key specifications of the Honor Magic include an 8 megapixel rear camera, HiSilicon Kirin 950 processor paired with 4 GB of RAM, and an internal storage space of 64 GB. Moreover, the proprietary speed-charging technology Huawei Magic Power is touted to charge 70 per cent of its battery in 20 minutes, and 40 per cent in 10 minutes.

(WION)