Earlier this year, former Huawei subsidiary Honor wowed us with its excellent Honor Magic 5 Pro flagship, and the company’s next major phone release – the Honor Magic 6 – has the makings of being equally impressive.
Where innovative display technology was the focus of the Magic 5 Pro, the Honor Magic 6 will (surprise!) place AI at the heart of its offering. By harnessing the power of Qualcomm’s newly announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset – which we know has the potential to bring useful AI functionality to smartphone users – Honor says its upcoming device will utilize an on-device large language model (LLM) to “usher in a new era of generative AI.”
What does that mean, exactly? Well, at Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon Summit, Honor gave us a sneak peak at some of the exciting new features made possible by this built-in LLM. And one of them – Magic Capsule – appears to take its cues from Apple’s Vision Pro mixed reality headset.
Honor describes Magic Capsule as an “eye-tracking based multimodal interaction,” which, in layman’s terms, means you’re able to navigate certain parts of the Honor Magic 6 interface using only your eyes (in a similar manner to Apple Vision Pro).
We say ‘certain parts’, because it looks as though Magic Capsule refers to a Dynamic Island-like digital cut-out at the top of the phone’s display. Presumably, this eye-tracking technology will be limited to that cut-out, but it’s still exciting to think that a consumer smartphone may soon offer this type of hands-free functionality.
At Snapdragon Summit 2023, Honor shared a render of Magic Capsule in action. In the short clip (above), a woman can be seen opening the Uber app by changing the direction of her gaze, so it figures that all manner of apps could make use of the feature in the Honor Magic 6.
Beyond Magic Capsule, the Honor Magic 6 will also feature a virtual assistant, YOYO, that utilizes Qualcomm’s on-device AI to respond even when you’re offline.
Honor says this assistant can answer questions specific to you, as well as “create short videos featuring photos and footage stored on [your] device.” Sure, that all sounds a little creepy, but this seems to be the general direction in which the entire mobile industry is headed at the moment.
Honor hasn’t provided a time frame for the Magic 6’s release, but given that the company debuted the Magic 5 Pro at MWC Barcelona 2023, we’ll likely see the new phone unveiled at MWC Barcelona 2024.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.