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Honor Magic 2 Goes Bezel-Free with Sliding Camera

BERLIN — Huawei’s millennial-focused brand Honor is hyping up its latest smartphone, the Honor Play, at the IFA consumer electronics trade show this week.

But the company also used its press conference to give a sneak peek at a device it’s working on right now: Honor Magic 2.

The new phone, which has no release date, price or many details beyond its name and chipset, the next-gen HiSilicon Kirin 980, is a follow-up to 2016's Magic 1. The Magic 2 will feature a true full-view display, with a front-facing camera that slides up, making the device almost completely free of bezels. Honor President George Zhao said the company settled on the sliding camera because it felt natural to slide up on the display to open the camera.

Honor isn’t the first smartphone company to embrace the sliding design — Oppo’s Find X was the first, but it’s only available overseas. Other companies are trying to figure out how to eliminate bezels without embracing the controversial notch; the Vivo Nex S takes a slightly different approach with a lens that snaps up on top of the device when you open the camera app.

An A.I.-Powered Future

Zhao only gave a peek at the phone on-stage.

Zhao only gave a peek at the phone on-stage.

In 2016, Honor was one of the first brands to emphasize artificial intelligence in the form of its Magic Live assistant. The assistant learned how you used your phone and then began showing you the apps you used most at the times you usually used them.

The Magic used an infrared camera and face-tracking algorithm to detect when you looked at the phone, and it would then show you notification, instead of popping up randomly when you weren’t looking at the screen. For anyone concerned about privacy, it was the perfect solution.

The Magic 2 will also include the Magic Live assistant, but Zhao is keeping its abilities under wraps. In an interview, he declined to divulge how the Magic 2 will be more intelligent than its predecessor.

That was cutting-edge technology in 2016, and combined with a unique eight-sided curved display, the Honor Magic was a rarity in the smartphone industry. Unfortunately, the device never landed in the U.S.  It’s unclear if the Magic 2 will ever arrive stateside, either — Honor’s phone rollout in the U.S. has been patchy, at best. But based on the preview we saw at IFA, our interest is piqued.

Credit: Tom's Guide