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Hands-on: The HONOR Magic looks out of this world
We saw the launch of a couple of concept smartphones from Chinese OEMs at the tail end of 2016, with one being the bezel-less Xiaomi Mi Mix, while the other was a part of the HONOR series by HUAWEI. Here at CES 2017, we got to spend some time with the latter. Here is a closer look at the HONOR Magic!
The first thing that will stand out to you about the HONOR Magic is its design. The device features curved glass on both sides as well as the top on the front and back, and with a metal frame to go along with it, the design and build quality of the Magic is absolutely top notch.
HONOR is known for their great designs, but it’s safe to say that the Magic is the most beautiful and distinct looking of the lot, and is bound to turn some heads. While the curved glass makes for an extremely thin profile, the device is thick enough to include a headphone jack, along it a USB Type-C port, single speaker unit, and a SIM card slot.
The HONOR Magic features some impressive hardware as well. Up front is a 5-inch display with a Quad HD resolution, which some may consider overkill for a screen of this size. Under the hood is an in-house 2.3 GHz octa-core processor backed by 4 GB of RAM. You get 64 GB of internal storage, and keeping everything running is a 2,900 mAh battery. On the back is a 12 MP dual camera setup, and up front is a 8 MP shooter.
Apart from the fantastic and unique design, another big feature that sets the HONOR Magic apart from the rest is the built-in artificial intelligence that works by taking advantage of existing sensors like the proximity sensor. Additional sensors include an infrared sensor, and even the metal frame itself works as one.
There is a lot the AI can do with this package of sensors, such as have the device automatically wake up and turn on the display whenever you pick up the phone. The device also has the ability to scan your face using the infrared sensor in order to recognize you, and it will only show you notifications on the lockscreen if it knows that it’s you that has picked up the phone. It’s a great way to avoid other people being able to see snippets of your messages and emails on the lockscreen, and the impressive part is that it can be set up to work with or without spectacles.
On the software side of things, the HONOR Magic is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but instead of the regular Emotion UI that you may be familiar with from other HONOR smartphones, the Magic is running what HONOR is calling the Magic Live UI. This is what allows a lot of the AI to work, and it is quite a different experience not only from HUAWEI’s own user interface, but any software experience you may be used to.
It is a lot cleaner and much more simplistic take on Android, and it doesn’t feel cartoon-ish or intrusive. There are some useful features baked in of course, including some Google Now-esque actions. For example, a tracking number for a package you are waiting for, or a boarding pass for a flight you have to catch will pop up on your phone when the time is right.
So, there you have it for this quick look at the HONOR Magic! As is stands right now, this smartphone will not be available outside HONOR’s home market of China, which is really a shame. It is still a very interesting smartphone nevertheless, and it’s always cool to see a company try and push the boundaries of smartphone technology and offer something different.
What do you think about the HONOR Magic? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below, and stay tuned with Android Authority as we continue to bring you more great coverage from CES 2017!