Honor Magic 2 blends the look and power of P20 Pro and Mi Mix 3

It’s got six cameras on board!



Photo by Ayano Tominaga | Twitter: @AyanoTDO

Remember the Honor Magic from 2016? We can’t blame you if you don’t because the phone didn’t exactly become popular. After almost two years, Honor brings its Magic series back to life with the Honor Magic 2.

Honor made sure that their new premium phone has all the flagship specs starting with the bezel-less AMOLED display that’s 6.39 inches big. The panel has a Full HD+ resolution, which is the sweet spot for today’s smartphones. The phone is powered by the powerful Kirin 980 chipset from Huawei’s arsenal with up to 8GB of memory and 256GB of internal storage.

Like with the Mi Mix 3 from Xiaomi, the Honor Magic 2 employs a pull-down display mechanism which they call Magic Slide to hide the dual 2-megapixel 3D scanning cameras and the 16-megapixel selfie shooter. If facial recognition is not your thing, the phone has an in-display fingerprint reader, too.

Borrowing some cues from its cousin, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the Honor Magic 2 also sports three rear cameras, but with a different configuration. It’s got a main 16-megapixel RGB sensor and a 24-megapixel monochrome one. The third shooter on the back has an ultra wide-angle lens and a 16-megapixel sensor.

Another main feature of the Honor Magic is the 40W fast-charge for its 3400mAh battery. This promises 50 percent of power in just 15 minutes, and 85 percent in 30 minutes. The powerful charging feature adopts the latest high-voltage, low-voltage current design and is certified by TÜV Rheinland for safety.

The phone runs Magic UI 2.0 which is based on Android 9 Pie. Instead of Google Assistant though, the Honor Magic 2 has it own personal digital assistant named YOYO. Honor’s own assistant is China-centric, so the phone is not meant for the international market — at least for now.

The Honor Magic 2 will initially be available in China starting at CNY 3,799 (US$ 545) for the 6GB+128GB variant. The 8GB memory model comes in two storage options: CNY 4,299 (US$ 615) for 128GB and CNY 4,799 (US$ 690) for 256GB. Pre-order is already open and actual selling will start within the first week of November.


Qualcomm announces 5G variant of the Snapdragon 8cx

In partnership with Lenovo



5G on smartphones is already established by multiple manufacturers, but how about laptops? Qualcomm and Lenovo collaborated to push next-generation connectivity on notebooks.

Last year’s Snapdragon 8cx chip has been upgraded this year to have 5G connectivity and it’s aptly called the Snapdragon 8cx 5G. While current laptops can have cellular connectivity, it’s not as efficient as Qualcomm’s solution. Essentially, notebooks running on Snapdragon’s 8cx 5G chip are always connected to the internet just like a smartphone, but without the compromise in battery life.

5G means super-fast speeds which will enable Snapdragon 8cx 5G devices to load online files like it’s from local storage. Also, 8K streaming and AR/VR applications will connect seamlessly.

Since Qualcomm’s new 5G SoC is based on its previous version, it still has the key features including multi-gigabit connectivity and multi-day battery life with support for enterprise applications and security. The 5G modem used here is Qualcomm’s own Snapdragon X55 5G. 5G is not yet widely available, but the chip also sports Category 22 LTE with peak speeds of up to 2.5Gbps.

The chip is yet to come to purchasable consumer devices, but we expect it to become available first with Lenovo. Qualcomm promises to showcase more in early 2020 or when 5G is already accessible globally.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 855’s official AnTuTu benchmark score beats the competition

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Computex 2019

AMD announces faster 12-core Ryzen chips

Coming in July



The processing war is starting up again. Fresh out of the oven, AMD has announced a variety of new chips for launch this year. In a recent press conference, Dr. Lisa Su, AMD’s chief executive, presented the company’s future — 12 cores and 7 nanometers.

First up, the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X CPU will boast a boost clock of 4.6GHz and a base clock of 3.8GHz. It will also sport 70MB of cache memory. Notably, AMD’s new chip will go up against Intel’s Core i9-9920X. Su demonstrated her chip’s performance against Intel’s driver. In comparison, the Ryzen 9 3900X performs more efficiently and cooler than Intel’s chip. Most impressively, AMD’s chip will retail for only US$ 499, a far cry from Intel’s US$ 1,199 price tag.

Likewise, the 8-core Ryzen 7 3700X touts the same improved efficiency. According to Su, the new chip will have a boost clock of 4.4GHz and a base clock of 3.6GHz. It will churn out 15 percent better efficiency than its predecessors. It will also produce only 65 watts of heat when active. The Ryzen 7 3700X will retail for only US$ 329, compared to its rivalling Intel Core i7-9700K’s US$ 385 price tag.

For more power, the Ryzen 7 3800K boasts more performance. Demonstrated on stage, the chip can play modern games remarkably well: 34 percent higher frame rate on League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive; 22 percent higher on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds; 21 percent faster on Overwatch; 15 percent faster on Dota 2; and, 14 percent faster on GTA V. Similarly, it performs 37 percent faster on multi-threaded tasks. It will retail for US$ 399, compared to the Intel Core i9-990K’s US$ 484 price tag.

Besides the iconic Ryzen series, AMD also teased a new initiative: the Navi architecture. Unlike the company’s other offerings, the Navi team will build chips based on the new 7nm architecture. According to Su, the new architecture will ship with the upcoming Radeon RX 5000 series. Compared to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070, the upcoming Navi chips will tout higher clock speeds and more efficient power usage. AMD is motivated to do everything better with the Navi architecture.

Unfortunately, AMD has not released a lot of details surrounding the upcoming chip. AMD is delaying a more detailed launch for June’s E3 show. However, the company has confirmed an appropriate July 7 release date for the new 7nm chips.

SEE ALSO: AMD reveals next-generation 7nm graphics card

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 receives global Android Pie update

More features coming up



The ZenFone Max Pro M1, which had been a mainstay on our Best Smartphones list, is officially seeing its Android 9 Pie update roll out internationally.

This comes a little over a year after the phone’s original launch. According to ASUS’ official online forum, the update is targeting model ZB602KL, which is the international unit. The update’s version number is 16.2017.1905.053.

The update is about 1.5GB in size and can be accessed by checking the System Updates option under System in the main settings menu. ASUS says that the update’s push is happening in batches, so it may take longer for some users to receive it.

The hefty update includes all the features that are bundled with Android Pie, along with the latest security patch from ASUS and some bug fixes.

Last month, only the Indian version of the ZenFone Max Pro M1 could be updated to Android Pie.

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