This new Android phone promises satellite communication — and it goes way beyond the iPhone

The Honor Magic5 Pro's display, propped up against a wall, from the side
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Honor CEO Zhao Ming has revealed some details about the Honor Magic 6 Pro. And apparently this phone will have a revolutionary new satellite connection feature. 

According to a report in MyDrivers, Honor has developed its own satellite communication technology and has "overcome the three major technical problems of antenna size, call endurance, and communication experience," said Ming. "Honor provides consumers with the smallest size, the most stable signal and the most reliable service. So what you're getting is a power-saving mobile phone satellite communication experience."

Satellite communication on mobile phones is not new. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 have Apple's Emergency SOS via satellite, although Apple has focused on using the feature primarily for emergencies. Honor wants to broaden the appeal and allow users to make phone calls and send text messages over the satellite connection. This would be a first for smartphones and could be a precursor of things to come.

Using a satellite connection has several advantages to using mobile networks. The main advantage is that it allows the phone to make contact in even the most remote locations. This is a great advantage in emergency situations or where cellular service isn't available. Outside of emergencies, it could also be used while on vacation to avoid roaming charges, depending on the cost.

What's not clear is whether the Honor Magic 6 Pro will offer satellite communications outside of China. However, this is a great time to announce given the cancellation of Snapdragon satellite. The ending of Android’s SOS satellite solution has left the market open for something else to challenge Apple. 

The Honor Magic 6 Pro is also rumored to pack the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip for increased performance and graphics power, as well as a 200-megapixel telephoto lens with a sensor in a 1/1.5 format. This hardware could place the Magic 6 Pro at a similar level to the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S24, which is tipped for a January launch. The Honor Magic 6 Pro is set to release at some point early next year.

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.