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The Honor Magic just might be the most magical smartphone of CES 2017

Posted: , by Joe M.

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The Honor Magic just might be the most magical smartphone of CES 2017

Earlier this week, we talked about the Honor 6X - the latest smartphone from Honor that was announced at the company's press event here in Las Vegas. The 6X certainly is a great-looking handset, and for a price tag of just $230, it's packing a pretty mean punch. The all metal build and dual camera setup are both great touches to have, but with the CES show floor now officially open, we were able to swing by Honor's booth to check out another smartphone of theirs that launched in China a few months back - the Honor Magic.

The Honor Magic is somewhat of a concept phone with some pretty unique AI technology baked inside of it. The model of the phone that we got to play around with has no current planes to launch anywhere outside of China, but Honor has confirmed that a global version will be coming at some point in the near future. The Honor Magic doesn't look or feel like anything else the company has launched so far, and with that being the case, we simply couldn't pass up a chance to go hands on with it.

Design

Without a doubt, the Magic is the best designed phone that Honor has made to date. The back of the phone is made entirely out of glass, and while this does make the Honor Magic a bit of a fingerprint magnet, the look here is absolutely stunning. The dual-camera system is housed underneath this glass panel, and the aluminum frame around the phone makes it easy to hold on to. The Honor Magic isn't thick by any means with a measurement of just 7.8-millimeters wide, but because of the way that the glass on both the front and back flow over the edges, an illusion is created to make the phone appear even thinner than it already is.

Below the display is where you'll find the Honor Magic's physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner, and the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, nanoSIM tray, USB Type-C port are all present on the bottom of the phone.

The Honor Magic just might be the most magical smartphone of CES 2017

Display

In regards to the display that's being used here, Honor decided to keep things nice and compact with a screen size of just 5.09-inches. While the screen may be small though, the resolution is not. The Magic comes equipped with a 2560 x 1440 Super AMOLED panel, resulting in a display that looks absolutely gorgeous. Colors are tremendously bright, text is razor crisp, and during my time with the phone, viewing angles and overall brightness looked to be quite solid as well. That curved nature of the glass also adds a lot to the display situation here, as home screens and menus appear to flow off and on of the sides of the screen. It's a truly stunning effect, and it's the little details like this that go so far to create for a much more enjoyable experience when using a phone.

The Honor Magic just might be the most magical smartphone of CES 2017

User interface and processor

As if the Honor Magic already wasn't creating a good case for itself, here's where things get even more interesting. Before we get into the software side of things, it's worth mentioning that the Honor Magic is powered by the Kirin 950 processor and 4GB of RAM. This horsepower combination means that the Honor Magic flows like butter when navigating through the UI and various apps, and while this is great on its own, things really start to get interesting and exciting when you take a look at the software that the Honor Magic is bringing to the table.

The software that the Honor Magic based off of is Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but the skin that's layered atop of it is unlike anything we've seen yet. Honor is calling it the Magic Live UI, and although it's a great departure from stock Android, everything moves along at an incredibly smooth pace, and the aesthetic that Honor is going for with Magic Live UI is consistent throughout the entire phone.

This isn't even the coolest part about it though. Honor has baked some sort of artificial intelligence throughout the phone, and the AI that's present here is aimed at making your experience with the phone more personalized as you continue to use it. This is a feature that's rather hard to demonstrate and capture after just playing around with the phone for a few minutes, but essentially the AI in the Honor Magic will be able to do things such as only display the content of text messages if it recognizes your eyes viewing the screen, automatically turn on the LED flash to act as a flashlight when you walk into a dark room, and automatically turn the screen on and off when you pick the phone up or set it down.


Camera

Just like the Honor 6X and Honor 8, the Honor Magic is utilizing a dual-camera setup. The system here consists of two 12MP sensors, along with a dual LED flash system. The great part about all of this is that it's housed entirely under the glass back, meaning that there's no sort of camera hump to be found here at all.

Battery

A 2,900 mAh battery keeps the Honor Magic alive and kicking, and while it does seem a bit on the small side, the AI in the Magic is also supposedly able to identify your use habits with the phone to then adapt things to create for better battery life the more you use the phone. It's an interesting concept for sure, but just like with the rest of the AI features that are present here, it's something we can't really demo unless we're able to get more use-time with the phone.

Pricing and availability

For the time being, the Honor Magic is only available in China. The cost that it's selling for there comes out to the equivalent of around $530 USD, and after getting up close and personal with the Magic, we think it's pretty safe to say that it's worth the asking price. There's no word as to whether or not the global version of the phone will remain entirely the same of if some changes will be made, but then again, this isn't all that surprising considering that this still considered to be a form of concept phone from the company. 

The Honor Magic is a truly beautiful piece of tech with a lot of interesting software tricks under the hood, and even in its current form, it's still one of the best phones we've seen from the company yet.

29 Comments
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posted on 07 Jan 2017, 03:29 2

1. ibend (Posts: 6610; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


ugly black camera, weak processor, and small battery...
sell it for $250 and it will be magical, lol...

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 03:49 4

2. Bondurant (Posts: 572; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


Google pixel with 2770 mAh and iphone 7 1960mAh while the huge iphone 7 plus 2900mAh. lol.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 04:32 4

4. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3359; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


I think he missed the part where PA said the phone had a 5.09in screen lol.

posted on 08 Jan 2017, 22:01

28. ibend (Posts: 6610; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


yeah, but Huawei Y6 Pro, redmi 4 and other phones nowadays can fit 4000mAh in 5inch screen size :-/

posted on 09 Jan 2017, 02:11

29. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3359; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Yes they can but yet phones like that still manage to have worse battery life that phones with smaller cells. I would bet neither of those two phones you mentioned can touch the 7 plus or S7E when it comes to on screen time.

posted on 09 Jan 2017, 07:58

30. TheOracle1 (Posts: 428; Member since: 04 May 2015)


Wrong at least as it pertains to the Xiaomi's. It's not even close.

http://www.gsmarena.com/battery-test.php3

posted on 09 Jan 2017, 10:00

31. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3359; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Not wrong, gsm doesn't have the phone he mentioned and the ones they do have, well the batteries are larger than 4000mah.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 04:31

3. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3359; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


It should be cheaper, say $449 but I don't agree with the other things you've said.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 07:59 6

7. jellmoo (Posts: 1973; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


The 950 isn't a weak processor though. It's pretty capable and compares will with a SD 820. Now, the GPU on the thing, that's another story...

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 18:35

18. deleon629 (Posts: 69; Member since: 04 Oct 2014)


The gpu is all the reason why the price tag is so cheap

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 11:22

12. DGxumbreo7 (Posts: 63; Member since: 27 Nov 2016)


I think the back cam looks weird cause we got used to it having a little bump of some sort. but it still doesn't look bad. the processor isnt too bad. but the battery could been a bit bigger

posted on 08 Jan 2017, 03:10

19. SmartPhoneMobiles (Posts: 85; Member since: 16 Oct 2016)


Bcos u stupid naive little kiddo not grown up.. viz your avatar pic :D dat's you.
Ugly is you, and u weak too, and u have s**t stamina as well.. :D does anyone cares? That's is the question..
U think women care about your pointles cpu or gpu? Pleeease it's time you to grow up..

posted on 08 Jan 2017, 21:57

27. ibend (Posts: 6610; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


yeah, your word show how adult you are..
and you think this phone is only for women? and you think all women didn't understand about CPU or GPU? lol...
this kids know nothing..

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 05:28 8

5. TheHeartBreakKid (Posts: 102; Member since: 07 Jul 2015)


So basically, if there is a killer trying to kill me, and i hide in a dark room, it will automatically turn on the led flash and get me killed.
Thanks AI for your help.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 05:42 1

6. Bondurant (Posts: 572; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


What it does actually is flash light shortcut shows up on the lockscreen. Based on location awareness, different shortcuts show up on lockscreen. When driving, the drive mode app shows up, etc. One of the AI features.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 08:00 2

8. belovedson (Posts: 1052; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


It looks ugly and cheap looking. The reviewer has an annoying whiney voice

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 09:05 1

9. TheOracle1 (Posts: 428; Member since: 04 May 2015)


It's taken iPhonearena about a month to report on this phone. Every other major phone site carried the announcement. I even sent a tip to them. As for the phone, make it 5.5 and I'm buying it.

posted on 08 Jan 2017, 03:15

20. SmartPhoneMobiles (Posts: 85; Member since: 16 Oct 2016)


They probably been paid by Huawei only now :D.. Didn't expect suc ho positivity from dis site :) so defo they been waiting for some cash from brand of phone ;)

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 09:53

10. k9luvr (Posts: 110; Member since: 17 Oct 2016)


Why take a step backwards. The 6X has a metal body. This a "glass" (plastic) back?

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 10:20

11. TheOracle1 (Posts: 428; Member since: 04 May 2015)


Because the 6X is midrange at best. I would rather buy the upcoming Redmi Note 4 SD version before the 6X. The Honor Magic like the Mi Mix has the wow factor too.

posted on 08 Jan 2017, 03:17

21. SmartPhoneMobiles (Posts: 85; Member since: 16 Oct 2016)


It's not any mid range u num nuts..
Just bcos it isn't crappy iphone or samsung it must be "mid range" which stupid usa idiot invented such pathetic, misleading word?

posted on 08 Jan 2017, 07:30

23. TheOracle1 (Posts: 428; Member since: 04 May 2015)


Lol. You're a moron. I have never owned an iPhone and stopped using Samsung about 4 years ago. Proud owner of a Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro and Asus Zenfone. The Xiaomi is the ultimate midrange phone and I intend to buy the sd version of the Note 4 when it comes out. The 6x IS midrange. Sorry to burst your bubble.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 11:28

13. KingSam (Posts: 538; Member since: 13 Mar 2016)


No mention on the UI. It doesn't look like EMUI.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 11:32

14. cnour (Posts: 1396; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)


Nothing important in this CES concerning smartphones. The next important smartphone will be the Sambomb S8 which surely will be a new bomb and then the iPhone 8 which will change the game as usual.

posted on 08 Jan 2017, 17:11

25. aegislash (Posts: 1018; Member since: 27 Jan 2015)


Not sure what you're smoking, but Apple/iPhone hasn't done a single groundbreaking game changing thing since 2007.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 12:34

15. ECPirate37 (Posts: 220; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)


Did anyone else find it a little confusing that he kept calling the company Honor instead of Huawei? Isn't it the Huawei Honor Magic? When he stated, "Honor has confirmed...." or "Without a doubt, the Magic is the best designed phone that Honor has made to date".

Maybe it is just me, but reading this article, made it seem like the writer didn't know that it was the Huawei Honor Magic. Orrrr did Huawei spin off Honor without me noticing.

posted on 08 Jan 2017, 03:18

22. SmartPhoneMobiles (Posts: 85; Member since: 16 Oct 2016)


Dos it matters? Just call it ohonor or huawei it is completely same.

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 13:16

16. dmitrilp_ (Posts: 330; Member since: 12 Sep 2016)


It ain't that bad but it ain't magical either

posted on 07 Jan 2017, 14:32

17. kerginaldo17 (unregistered)


Size just 5'09 inches made me desists from him

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