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The HarmonyOS-powered Honor Vision is more smartphone than smart TV

Honor’s latest release is not a smartphone, it’s a smart screen called the Honor Vision, and it’s also the first to use Huawei’s newly announced HarmonyOS software. While the Honor Vision is a home entertainment center, it shares plenty of technology with the company’s smartphones.

Smart screen

You may know Honor for its smartphones, but this isn’t the first time it has branched out. It also makes smartwatches, fitness wearables, and even Honor-branded laptops. The Honor Vision is its first smart television, which it claims is also, “an information-sharing center, a control management center, and a multi-device interaction center.”

What does that mean? The Honor Vision will function as a television and play content from Huawei Video and other platforms as you’d expect; but it will also operate as a smart home control center, and link up to your phone and grab photos across a fast wireless transfer link, ready to display on the screen. It also connects to phones and tablets so they can act as control systems, with the ability to stream content.

New chipset, more phone features

All of this is managed not only by HarmonyOS, but also by Honor’s new Honghu 818 chipset. Honor worked with HiSilicon on the Honghu 818, the manufacturer also responsible for the Kirin 980 chip inside the Huawei P30 Pro and the Honor 20 Pro; but this one is designed specifically for smart screens. It comes with a wide array of image processing enhancements from HDR to auto color management, plus local dimming and noise reduction. Honor told Digital Trends and other journalists at a press briefing the Honghu 818 is also designed to deliver excellent 8K image processing, regardless of screen size and type.

It’s joined by a neural processing unit (NPU) for artificial intelligence features — just like Honor and Huawei’s phones — where it’s integrated with another feature seen on smartphones: A pop-up camera Part of the “smart” experience, the camera will use the 818’s NPU for face recognition, body tracking, and posture detection, much like the PlayStation camera does for Sony’s games console. Honor recently launched the Honor 9X, its first phone with a pop-up camera.

The pop-up camera helps negate privacy concerns about having a live camera in the living room, as it’ll be very obvious when it’s operating, and can even tilt downwards by up to 10-degrees if the screen is mounted on the wall. Finally, a super-fast Wi-Fi chipset — the first to support the 160MHz bandwidth for speeds up to 1.7Gbps.

Price and release

The Honor Vision comes with a 55-inch 4K HDR screen, surrounded on only three sides by a 6.9mm bezel on a metal frame, which Honor says gives it a screen-to-body ratio of 94%. The back of the Vision has an ambient lighting system too.

Honor isn’t releasing the Honor Vision outside China for now, where there are two versions available. A standard model with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage for the equivalent of $540, and a Pro model with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for about $680. Even the pricing and specs sound more like a smartphone than a TV.

Updated on August 11, 2019: Added all official launch details on the Honor Vision.

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