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8
Jan

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!

Next:

Honor 6X review

5 days ago

8
Jan

Avoid motion sickness in VR with comfort ratings!


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Here’s how to avoid motion sickness in VR before buying!

Although many developers are trying their hardest to avoid motion sickness, it’s still a huge problem for virtual reality. Even with accurate head-tracking, fully body experiences and specially designed games, some experiences just don’t work out for those prone to motion sickness.

If you’re one of the many who suffers from motion sickness, finding games that work for you is half of the problem. Here’s how to find suitable games on your virtual reality platform!

Read more at VR Heads!

8
Jan

Nokia’s first Android phone is the Nokia 6, but there’s a catch


HMD Global, the company behind the rebirth of Nokia smartphones, has announced its first Android smartphone, the Nokia 6, which we’d expected to launch at Mobile World Congress 2017.

In a surprise move, the company has launched the Nokia 6, giving us a good insight into what the new Nokia will see as important. HMD goes to some lengths to tell us that the body takes 55 minutes to machine from a block of 6000 series aluminium, that it’s double anodised and polished five times.

It’s obvious that the focus is on craftsmanship, but the specs of this metal-bodied phone aren’t quite flagship. It has a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution display and it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, seeing the Nokia 6 slip into a sub-flagship space. The 4GB RAM and 64GB storage are generous, however.

There’s even been a promo video unearthed on YouTube thanks to MyNokiaBlog.

The phone launches on Android 7 Nougat, but HMD has given no insight into other software customisations, other than to say that it offers a custom camera app, for the 16-megapixel, F/2.0, phase detection AF camera on the rear and 8-megapixel F/2.0 camera on the front. 

There is, however, a play to audio with the mention of Dolby Atmos, and although the Nokia 6 comes equipped with twin amplifiers, we don’t see how it could create a Dolby Atmos effect with any great competency.

So the Nokia 6 looks like it’s going to offer compelling design and quality of build, some unique features, but a hardware loadout that’s not at flagship level. Although this phone has been announced, that’s all we have on it, raising more questions than answers.

Putting this into context, it appears to be the handset that was previously being called the Nokia D1C, as these confirmed specs match many of the rumours that we previous saw, and the design fits that of the leaks too.

  • Nokia D1C Android phone: What’s the story so far?

That does at least leave us with the Nokia P1, which was claimed to be the flagship device.

The catch, sadly, is that HMD Global is launching this phone as an exclusive to JD.com in China, with no word on plans for the rest of the world. 

There’s still a lot we don’t know about this phone – so we’ll keep our eyes peeled.

  • Nokia P1 Android phone: Release date, rumours and specs
8
Jan

ICYMI: Voice integration in your fridge and car


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Today on In Case You Missed It: It’s our final show from CES so we’re taking you on a quick tour of some of the voice integration in cars and appliances available at the show. Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai and the rest all have integration deals with either Amazon Alexa or Google, and sometimes, both. For the home, Samsung and LG both unveiled smart refrigerators that use Alexa. LG’s Smart InstaView uses webOS to run Amazon Alexa to let you play music, control the temperature of your fridge, pull up recipes and more.

As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.

8
Jan

Toyota’s futuristic Concept-i, and more in the week that was


After years of anticipation, Faraday Future unveiled its “Tesla-killer” FF91 electric car this week — and it’s even faster than a Model S in ludicrous mode. Meanwhile, Nissan announced that its next-gen Leaf EV will be able to drive itself on the highway, and Toyota debuted a futuristic concept car that takes the wheel when drivers get sleepy. China is making a huge investment in high-speed rail to the tune of over $500 billion, and Israel is testing electric roads that wirelessly charge electric vehicles as they drive.

Costa Rica has invested heavily in alternative energy, and it’s paying off in spades: The nation 1.5 million electric vehicles a year. Israel is building the world’s tallest solar tower, which will power 130,000 households once it’s complete. A company in India has developed a groundbreaking new technology to transform carbon pollution into harmless baking powder. And China just announced plans to invest $361 billion in renewable energy projects by the year 2020.

NASA just unveiled its vision for a habitat on Mars, and it’s wrapped in an icy shell that provides protection and views of the surrounding world. In other design and technology news, Amazon has filed a patent for flying warehouses in the sky that could deliver products using drones. Architects in Iran developed a bowl-shaped roof that harvests rainwater while providing natural cooling. And Inhabitat visited an off-grid village in the Middle East that is taking advantage of game-changing green building strategies.

8
Jan

Every ‘Golden Girls’ episode is coming to Hulu


They might be a little late to the Betty White party, but Hulu is adding a little bit of Miami warmth to its winter lineup. According to the streaming service, The Golden Girls will be available on Hulu starting February 13th so you can spend your Valentine’s Day at Blanche Devereaux’s house.

You will see the biggest gift will be from us when The #GoldenGirls comes to Hulu 2/13. Thank you for being a friend. pic.twitter.com/vP7kAr0Eum

— hulu (@hulu) January 7, 2017

According to Hulu’s Head Of Content Craig Erich, the show is an important addition as the service tries to round up fan favorite series and nostalgia mines that may also have appeal with new fans. Hulu scored a big win by snagging up the streaming rights to Seinfeld in 2015, but the company has recently been adding mountains of new streaming and live TV content from a diverse range of partners including Disney and CBS. Hulu is also finally rolling out individual profiles so all that Golden Girls binging doesn’t have to mess up your whole family’s show recommendations.

Source: Hulu

8
Jan

Immersit Vibes puts a rumble pack in your sofa


Sitting down: it’s such a passive activity. Immersit wants to shake that up, all too literally, with its “vibes” sofa accessory. We’ve seen Immersit before, when it debuted a much more intense (and more expensive) 4D motion kit. That one actually raised the sofa off the ground for added impact. Vibes, on the other hand is meant to be more accessible, and at around $350, it’s something much more within most consumers’ reach.

The kit consists of two pads that you slip under the feet of your sofa. They’re designed so that they shouldn’t affect your seating height or comfort. The pads connect over bluetooth to a transmitter plugged into a TV (or, as it has both digital and analog connections, any audio source, theoretically). The transmitter picks up any low frequencies and peaks from the audio feed and converts them to, well, vibes that you feel in your butt and back.

I enjoyed a quick demo, and it certainly adds something to the cinematic experience. If you’ve ever been to a so-called “4D” movie, you’ll know more or less what to expect. But if you haven’t, imagine a sofa vibrating along with the action, and you’re most of the way there. You control the level of intensity of the rumble via a button on the pods under the feet of the sofa, so there’s no app to get in the way.

I’ve tried both products Immersit makes, and while the 4D Motion is fun, the Vibes feels a little more accessible. The rumbling sensation might not be for everyone, but it definitely adds an extra sensory element to the movie experience. I imagine gaming is particularly well suited to the Vibes, and the same goes for VR. With VR your primary senses are overwhelmed, so the vibrations would add a welcome tactile element.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.

Source: Immersit

8
Jan

Iran censored porn so hard it broke the internet in Hong Kong


If you had trouble visiting explicit websites in the last few days, the fault may have come from an unexpected source: Iran. According to a new report from The Verge, a recent attempt to block pornography websites in the country’s borders hampered access in Russia, Hong Kong and other nations in the region. What happened? Apparently, Iran’s national telecom abused the honor system.

The issue is an ancient, insecure and essential part of the internet called Border Gateway Protocol. It’s a commonly used method service provider use to exchange and distribute routing information — the insturctions your computer uses to find web addresses. The only problem is that BGP kind of works on the honor system: there’s no standard in place to stop someone from putting forth a false routing path and taking a site down. It happened in 2008, when Pakistan accidental blocked YouTube. Turkey once filtered the majority of traffic from Amazon, Microsoft, CNN and other sites through its own servers. When Iran used BGP to spoof traffic away from a few hundred porn sites, the false routes spread — blocking users as far away as Hong Kong.

It’s not clear if it’s an honest mistake, or if the wider blocking was intentional, but it also wasn’t a careful solution. Iran’s networks are a major routing center for the region, and it’s easy for malicious or false BGP data to spread from Iran’s sources. The issue is mostly resolved down, with exterior networks blocking the false routes — but the event serves as a good reminder: the internet is fragile, and open to attack. Browse carefully, my friends.

Source: Verge

8
Jan

Size of Apple’s New ‘High End’ iPad Pro Model Said to be Between 10 and 10.5-Inches


Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report underlining his expectations for the future of Apple’s iPad line-up, with slightly revised predictions for a new “high-end” middle-size tablet to be released later this year.

According to Kuo, Apple is planning to introduce three iPads in 2017: a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a “low-cost” 9.7-inch iPad, along with a new bezel-free, mid-size model in the range of between 10 and 10.5 inches.

We note the 12.9″ model will be the second generation of the existing 12.9″ iPad Pro, the 10-10.5″ model will be the high-end model equipped with a narrow bezel design, and the 9.7″ model will be the low-priced option. The former two models will have an A10X chip manufactured by TSMC (2330 TT, NT$183.5, N), while the latter comes with an A9 chip made by Samsung LSI. Although we estimate iPad shipments in 2017 will drop again YoY to 35-37mn units, we except the decline to narrow to 10% from 2016’s roughly 20%, given that the 10-10.5″ model may see more demand from commercial/enterprises and tender markets, while the low-priced 9.7″ model may have a greater shipment contribution and likely account for 50-60% of total shipments of new iPads.

Last August, Kuo’s expectation for Apple’s mid-size model was a more definite 10.5 inches. His latest revised prediction of 10-10.5 inches suggests Apple is still testing multiple tablets and has yet to settle on a final size. Interestingly, Japanese site Mac Otakara released two separate reports last year stating that the tablet will be 10.1 inches and 10.9 inches, so while the former size falls into the lower end of Kuo’s revised range, the exact dimensions remain unclear.

Market-wise, Kuo believes “the worst has passed” for Apple’s iPad as he predicts a narrower year-on-year shipment decline in 2017. The analyst puts this down to an improved product mix, decreasing exposure to the iPad mini, and an improved cost structure due to an increasing number of suppliers of touch-module lamination and display panels, with Samsung being “the biggest winner” in joining previous monopoly-holder Silicon Works to supply the latter.

Mac Otakara and Barclays Research have both predicted an early 2017 launch for the new iPads, perhaps in March or April. However, if a radical bezel-free redesign is planned, it is unlikely that Apple will upstage the 2017 iPhone 8 that’s expected in September with an edge-to-edge iPad launching earlier in the year.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, iPad Pro
Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo
Buyer’s Guide: 9.7″ iPad Pro (Caution), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Caution)
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8
Jan

Nokia’s first Android smartphone is now official in China


HMD Global isn’t waiting until MWC to launch its first Android phone.

In a low-key affair, HMD Global — the Finnish company that snagged exclusive rights to Nokia’s branding — has launched its first Android smartphone. Dubbed the Nokia 6, the phone will be exclusively offered on China’s JD.com for ¥1,699 ($245).

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The phone itself is crafted out of aluminium, with HMD Global describing the process thusly:

It takes 55 minutes to machine a single Nokia 6 from a solid block of 6000 series aluminium. It then receives two separate anodising processes, taking over ten hours to complete, with each phone being polished no less than five times. The end result is an aluminium unibody with the highest level of visual and structural quality.

In terms of hardware, the Nokia 6 offers a 5.5-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass, Snapdragon 430 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, microSD slot, dual-SIM connectivity, 16MP camera at the back with PDAF, Dolby Atmos sound with stereo speakers, Bluetooth 4.1, LTE, 3000mAh battery, and a fingerprint sensor. The phone runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

With 552 million smartphone users, China is a “strategically important market” for HMD Global, which is why it is launching its first handset in the country. The brand is set to launch six phones under the Nokia name this year, so we should hear more about its plans at Mobile World Congress. If the Nokia 6 is any indication, it’s going to be an exciting year for the brand.

See at Nokia

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