Honor unveils Magic4 Pro phone and thermometer earbuds at MWC
Image credit: Jack Loughran
Former Huawei-subsidiary Honor has had its first showing at Mobile World Congress (MWC) since it became an independent company. It revealed its latest flagship smartphone – the Magic4 Pro, alongside a new smartwatch and post-pandemic earbuds that can take the users’ temperature.
In 2019, Huawei was added to the US entity list by President Donald Trump which effectively blacklisted American firms such as Google from working with it. This hamstrung both Huawei and Honor’s smartphone business in the West as they could not run the Google Play Store or other key Google services, such as Maps and Gmail. This inevitably led to some rickety smartphone launches, such as the Honor 20 in May 2019 which made no mention of what operating system it would be running.
Last year, Honor separated from Huawei, allowing it to once again work with Google and other US firms. This year’s MWC in Barcelona is the firm’s first major in-person event since going it alone and it is taking the opportunity to showcase devices that are yet again compatible with Google services.
The Honor Magic4 Pro smartphone comes with a 120hz curved screen and Qualcomm’s latest chip – the somewhat confusingly named Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 5G. The Magic4 Series comes also equipped with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, as well as “AI capabilities” that should improve its gaming performance by boosting framerates while lowering heat output.
Honor focused on the device’s powerful photography abilities at the MWC reveal, which include a triple camera setup featuring a 50MP wide camera; a 50MP ultra-wide camera, and an 64MP periscope telephoto camera. Using the device’s AI capabilities, the cameras can work together to produce images that make use of all its lenses simultaneously.
The Magic4 Pro also comes equipped with a dual-front facing camera cutout in the top left corner of the display.
Elsewhere, the device features cutting-edge 100W charging that works both wired and wireless – enabling a 100 per cent charge in just 30 minutes – alongside other premium specs such as Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, dual-SIM support and a stereo speaker system.
While UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, the Magic4 Pro was given an RRP of €1099 (£920) in Europe.
Honor also announced the launch of its Earbuds 3 Pro which are equipped with a dual-driver design including an 11mm diameter dynamic driver and a high-resolution piezo-electric ceramic tweeter.
The buds' main differentiating feature is the inclusion of a body temperature measuring sensor ostensibly aimed at athletes and runners to keep a closer eye on their health. One can’t help but appreciate the potential utility of such a feature in a post-pandemic world where an elevated temperature can often be the first sign of a Covid infection.
The buds also feature a degree of waterproofing with an IP54 certification and around six hours of continuous playback, with an additional 24 hours available when factoring in the case.
Finally, Honor took the opportunity to introduce its latest smartwatch – the Honor Watch GS 3 which supposedly takes inspiration from traditional mechanical watches. Made from 316L stainless steel, the watch weighs around 44g and measures 10.5mm across.
Like the Earbuds 3 Pro, this watch is aimed squarely at fitness enthusiasts and comes with a new eight-channel PPG (Photoplethysmography) sensor module that detects precise optical signals to measure circulatory function.
Honor says that when combined with the watch’s AI heart-rate monitoring engine, it can achieve a higher degree of accuracy by cancelling out noise during exercise.
The Honor Watch GS 3 also provides precise route-tracking capabilities and benefits from built-in L1/L5 dual-frequency GNSS ('Global Navigation Satellite System') when running, cycling or hiking outdoors.
The Honor Watch GS 3 will come in three colours: Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, and Classic Gold. Pricing has not yet been revealed.
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