Honor showed up at IFA 2018with a surprise this year – Magic 2
Honor Magic 2 to come with a ‘Magic Slide’ camera
The smartphone will be powered by a Kirin 980 SoC
Magic 2 also comes with the 40W Magic Charger
Honor is jumping on the sliding camera bandwagon with its Magic 2 smartphone. During its event at IFA 2018 in Berlin, the Huawei sub-brand teased a smartphone called Honor Magic 2 that is claimed to come with a bezel-free display by leveraging a sliding camera functionality. The handset is a successor to the Honor Magic that was launched back in 2016 with display curves and AI-based features. The Magic 2, meanwhile, comes with a ‘Magic Slide’ feature that enables the phone to have a nearly 100 percent screen-to-body ratio.
At the IFA trade show, Honor only showed the Magic 2 briefly onstage. The successor to Magic phone did not get a proper announcement, but Honor President George Zhao teased some of the key features. However, the company did not provide too much information regarding the price, specifications, and availability of the smartphone. A zoomed-in image from Honor’s event shared by GSMArena, showcases the interesting-looking device that lacks any bezels or notches.
The most interesting feature in the Honor Magic 2 is its FullView display. There are no display notches or any significant chin at the bottom. It resembles the Oppo Find X that was launched earlier this year. Xiaomi has also recently teased a Mi Mix 3 with an “all-screen” display that moves the frontal paraphernalia to the slider behind the screen. Interestingly, as per the images, unlike the Find X, the Honor Magic 2’s camera slider appears to open manually. However, it may also be due to it being just an engineering sample and not a final product.
Additionally, the Honor Magic 2 will be powered by a Kirin 980 processor. At the same event, Huawei had launched the HiSilicon Kirin 980 as the ‘world’s first commercial 7nm SoC’. Compared to the previous generation 10nm process, the 7nm process is said to deliver 20 percent improved SoC performance and 40 percent more efficiency. Also, the Honor Magic 2 will come with a 40W ‘Magic Charge’ fastcharging technology. It is claimed to be very fast and safe. Honor, in a press release, said, “to further ensure safety, 15 layers of protection are also embedded in the smartphone. The phone can automatically identify the battery, cable and charger and only when all of the three parts are identified as safe, the Super Charger will start.”
“The launch of Honor Magic two years ago introduced the concept of the AI smartphone to consumers”, noted Zhao. “The first-generation Honor Magic was an era-defining smartphone that transformed the industry. In addition to AI-features that make the phone truly smart, Honor Magic’s ground-breaking all-curved panel design and powerful 40W charging support have reshaped smartphone design and become a benchmark for all smartphones. The developments of these futuristic flagship devices are closely followed by the smartphone and AI industry, and now the Honor Magic 2 has arrived.”
OnePlus is challenging users to match images with respective handsets
Winners stand a chance to get a free OnePlus 6
OnePlus 6 is just days away from launch and the company has already revealed several features and specifications of its upcoming flagship. However, not much has been known about the OnePlus 6 camera and its features, apart from the fact that there will be a dual camera setup. The latest teaser put out by OnePlus hints at a camera that will be able to compete with the best smartphone camera offerings right now. OnePlus seems to be fairly confident about the capabilities of the OnePlus 6 camera, as it has pitted it against the likes of Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Google Pixel 2.
The company posted some images via its Twitter handle, alongside the caption “The OnePlus 6 Dual Camera takes on the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Google Pixel 2. Can you match the shot to the phone?” The new teaser is a part of OnePlus 6 Blind Test, which the company has put up on its site. It challenges users to match pictures captured to their respective smartphones. The options, of course, are the premium smartphones that have been mentioned. Notably, these smartphones have cameras that have been regarded by many people as some of the best in the market. With this move, OnePlus is clearly taking the competition head-on.
In the OnePlus 6 blind test, the company has posted four sets of images. There is one set that shows photos of architecture and another one is a set of low light images. The other two sets have portrait images in good light and low light. It is up to the fans to match the photos with the smartphones by replying to the tweet.
OnePlus wants users to take the blind test as well as refer friends to it. While the top three scorers on the leaderboard have been promised a free OnePlus 6, the company will also give out other gifts.
When it comes to optics, previous rumours have suggested that the OnePlus 6 will come with a vertical dual camera setup at the back and might bear a 20-megapixel primary and a 16-megapixel secondary sensor. The front camera of the OnePlus 6 is rumoured to get a 16-megapixel sensor for selfies and video calling. To recall, the OnePlus 6 launch is expected in London on May 16, followed by events in Mumbai and Beijing on May 17.
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NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has now marked 2,000 days on the red planet.
That’s 2,000 days by Martian standards. A Martian sol, or solar day, is equivalent to 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds. So 2,000 days on Mars equal 2,055 days here on Earth.
Either way, it’s a big milestone this week for scientists eager for Curiosity to begin drilling again, this time into potentially clay-rich rocks on the slopes of Mount Sharp. The six-wheeled rover has traveled 11.6 miles (18.7 kilometers) since its arrival in 2012.
The rover Opportunity, though, has Curiosity beat.
Last month, NASA’s busy Opportunity surpassed its 5,000 day on Mars. It’s been exploring Mars since 2004. NASA plans to send another robotic geologist to Mars in May. Named InSight, the lander will stay in one place as a heat-measuring device burrows deep into the Martian terrain.
Curiosity’s flight controllers, meanwhile, are testing a new drilling method. The rover’s drill stopped working properly in 2016, and so engineers devised another way to bore into Martian rocks and get the pulverised rock samples into the rover’s lab instruments.
We’re not sure whether we’ll get a Gear Sport 2 or a Gear S4 next from Samsung, but one of them is probably in the works, and we’re starting to hear about what it might feature.
You’ll find all that below, along with thoughts on the likely release date and price, and we’ll keep this article updated as we hear more.
But while we wait for the leaks and rumors to properly start rolling in we’ve also come up with a wish list of what we want from the Samsung Gear Sport 2, as the previous Gear Sport is a capable but overly familiar wearable, so we’re hoping for some big changes for the next model.
Cut to the chase
What is it? Samsung’s next smartwatch
When is it out? Probably sometime in 2018
What will it cost? Likely upwards of $299 / £299 / AU$499
Samsung Gear Sport 2 release date and price
There aren’t any release date rumors yet, but with the Samsung Gear Sportbeing announced in August 2017 (before hitting stores in October) there’s a fair chance we’ll see the Samsung Gear Sport 2 in or around August 2018.
Samsung also launched the Gear S3 and Gear S2 in August of previous years, so it’s very likely we’ll get some kind of smartwatch this August, though whether it will be called the Gear Sport 2, Gear S4 or something else entirely is currently unknown.
As for the price, that will probably be at least as high as the Gear Sport, which launched for $299 / £299 / AU$499.
Samsung Gear Sport 2 news and leaks
While we haven’t seen any news or rumors that mention the Gear Sport 2 by name, we have seen a handful of Samsung smartwatch patents, so it’s possible that some of their features will be included in the Gear Sport 2.
One of them talks about having a battery built into the strap, which could provide extra life to the watch or could simply replace the battery that would otherwise be built into the watch body, leaving extra room there for new features.
Another details a blood pressure monitor, which could use a light source and a light receiver to monitor your bloodstream, somewhat similarly to how heart rate monitors work.
Patently Mobile has also shared a patent (pictured above) which talks about a screen built into the bezel of the watch, which could potentially tell you things like the date and the weather, leaving the main display free for other functions.
And another patent, this time spotted by 3Dnews, shows a watch that strangely has a camera built into the middle of the screen.
The camera sports optical zoom and while it leaves you with less screen, that could be made up for by the strap, which also has a screen on it, shown in the patent as offering shortcuts to apps and functions.
We wouldn’t count on any of these features making their way to the Gear Sport 2, especially as many seem ambitious or impractical, but anything’s possible.
What we want to see
We don’t know much about the Samsung Gear Sport 2 yet, but we have plenty of ideas for what we want from it.
1. Better exercise tracking
Although the Gear Sport can track some things well, we found in our review that it had real issues tracking certain exercises, such as star jumps and lunges.
Not only that, but it doesn’t provide training plans, so for example you have to manually set how many of each exercise you want to do each day, rather than the wearable gradually increasing the number over time on its own.
We want to see some serious improvements for the Gear Sport 2. At the very least we want it to accurately track all the exercises that it claims to be able to, but ideally we also want it to push us to do more.
2. More accurate heart rate monitoring
Although the Gear Sport has a heart rate monitor it’s really not a very good one and it gets even less accurate in cold weather, so we’d like to see some major improvements here. Given that the Gear S3 also has a poor heart rate monitor though we’re not optimistic that the Gear Sport 2’s will be much better.
3. Improved GPS
Although not as bad as the heart rate monitor, the GPS performance of the Gear Sport also isn’t always great, proving slightly erratic in our review.
Given that GPS is likely to be a key feature for many buyers it really needs to perform well. Hopefully it will do for the next model.
4. Better battery life
The Gear Sport is actually a downgrade from the Gear S3 when it comes to battery life, offering around two and a half days where its predecessor offered up to four.
That’s still not awful, but it’s disappointing, especially when the watch looks to track your sleep as well – something you won’t be able to do so much if you’re regularly having to plug it in at night, so for the Gear Sport 2 we want to at least see a return to the life of the Gear S3.
5. A slicker strap
Not a big deal, perhaps, but the Gear Sport’s strap can be awkward to get through the holding loops, and what with the regular charges needed it is a watch you’ll be taking on and off quite a lot, so we hope that for the Gear Sport 2 Samsung gives the strap some thought, and makes it faster and less fiddly to put on.
6. More apps
While the Gear Sport has some apps, including notable ones like Spotify and Swim.com, there isn’t a huge selection overall, even compared to other smartwatch platforms like Android Wear and watchOS.
This is likely a side-effect of the Gear Sport using Samsung’s Tizen – an operating system which is less popular than rivals. We doubt Samsung will ditch Tizen for the Gear Sport 2, but hopefully it will convince some more big names to support the platform.
7. A bigger screen
The Samsung Gear Sport has a decent quality Super AMOLED screen, but at 1.2 inches it’s quite small, and a reduction in size from the 1.3-inch display on the Gear S3.
We don’t want a massive screen on our wrists, but a return to the 1.3-inch displays of old could be desirable, as that small difference makes it slightly easier to interact with and means you can see more on your wrist at once.
These are the best smartwatches available right now
Related product: Samsung Gear Sport
Samsung’s Gear Sport does seem like a limited upgrade, but new features including support for Spotify offline and swim tracking means this could be a great new watch for very particular sport lovers.