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Honor Magic officially launched, but you can't have it

The Honor Magic has been much-rumored for the last several weeks, and today the 5-inch handset has been officially unveiled by the company. It brings with it a great spec list and interesting features, but there's some potential upset ahead for anyone not based in China. 

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Honor Magic release date and price

The Honor Magic's launch brought a whole lot of interesting features, but what it didn't bring is a firm arrival date and price. Right now, Honor says that the handset is only going to go on sale in China but we'd hope to see that change if it's received well. 

Honor Magic design and build quality

As predicted with the leaks ahead of the launch, the Honor Magic uses the curved edge approach made popular by the Galaxy Edge on the front and rear, making it easier to hold than a square-edged handset. 

Officially it measures up at 146.1 mm x 69.9 mm x 7.8 mm and weighs in at 145 grams. For comparison, a 4.7-inch iPhone 7 weighs 138 grams, and a Galaxy S7 Edge weighs 157 grams.

It's available in Golden Black and Porcelain White. 

Honor Magic
The Honor Magic with a 2K display. / © Honor

Honor Magic display

With a curved 5.09-inch 2K (2,560 x 1,440 pixel, 577 PPI) display, Honor has taken a smart halfway-house route between a 1080P and full 4K panel, which would inevitably drain the battery more. 

We'll have to test it out for ourselves to see how it performs in the real world though.

Honor Magic software and special features

Where the Honor Magic aims to differentiate itself from the rest of the alternatives is with its software. At its core, it's based on Android 6.0 rather than the newer Nougat build, but the OS is actually called Honor Magic Live, and it brings a whole lot of previously unseen features to Honor devices by focusing on contextual relevance. 

For example, picking up the phone will switch the screen on, and putting it in your pocket will lock it. It also uses the front-facing camera to identify whoever is holding the phone and only shows notifications if its the owner. 

Other contextual examples given by the company include automatically suggesting you use the flashlight by placing it on the lock screen if you're in a dark room. 

Honor's also removed the back and overview buttons and replaced them with a home button that responds to gesture commands. There's also a fingerprint sensor buried in that home button too. 

Given the contextual nature of the OS' suggestions, we'd expect the true extent of how deeply they've been integrated into the core user experience to become clearer over time.

Honor Magic battery and performance

Without using one, we're going to have to take Honor at its word when it says that the 2,900mAh battery will get you through a typical day. However, what's more interesting is the fast-charge system that Honor says can replenish 70 percent of the battery in 20 minutes or 40 percent in 10 minutes. That's pretty speedy. 

Honor Magic tech specs

Other key Honor Magic specs include 64GB of onboard storage, 4GB of RAM and a Huawei Kirin 950 Octa-Core processor, which is a pairing of 4 x 2.3 GHz and 4 x 1.8 GHz chips. 

It uses MicroUSB rather than the newer USB-C standard for charging and connecting to other devices and, as is common in China, offers dual SIM slots. 

Honor Magic technical specifications

Dimensions: 146.1 x 69.9 x 7.8 mm
Weight: 145 g
Battery size: 2900 mAh
Screen size: 5.09 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 2560 x 1440 pixels (577 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 6.0 - Marshmallow
User interface: Huawei EMUI
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 950
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Honor Magic camera

The Honor Magic features a 12 MP wide aperture (f/2,2), auto-focus camera on the rear that's capable of capturing up to 1080p HD video and has a 120 frames-per-second slow motion mode. 

On the front you get an 8 MP (f/2.0) snapper for selfies and video calling. It can also record video up to 1080P. As you'd expect, there are a whole bunch of different camera modes for both front and back cameras, including wide aperture mode, professional mode, night mode, beauty mode, panorama, HDR, and many more. 

What do you think about the Honor Magic? Would you buy it if it came to your country?

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