[Update: Livestream link and more info] Honor’s first smart TV will have a pop-up camera like the Honor 9X
Over the last year or so, pop-up cameras have become a common occurrence on smartphones. Starting with the Vivo Nex, the trend has come to be seen on not just premium or flagship devices but also a variety of others in the mid-range such as the Realme X and the Honor 9X. Interestingly, while the trend has been limited to smartphones and is still alien to tablets or laptops, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is taking a giant leap and adding a pop-up camera to its upcoming smart TV.
Honor recently announced that it will be entering the smart TV segment next month with its TV set to be unveiled on August 10 during the Huawei Developer Conference. Last week George Zhao (Ming), the president of Honor, hinted key details about the upcoming smart TV, including the onboard processor as well as its capabilities.
Honor’s smart TV, christened simply “Smart Screen”, is powered by a Hongjun 818 chip which is developed by Huawei in partnership with Baidu. The chip is specifically designed for smart displays and aimed at providing high-quality audio and visual output. The chipset runs on an octa-core architecture and supports 8K video playback at 30fps or 4K at 120fps max – although that may be different from the specification of the display. Additionally, the chip supports 64MP image decoding, HDR, noise reduction, MEMC, DCI, local dimming among some of its features.
Baidu’s participation in the development of this chipset confers it with AI capabilities. As per Honor’s announcement, the chip supports far-field voice commands and this means that the Honor Smart Screen is most likely to come with support for a voice assistant and the feature should work without any remote controller with an inbuilt microphone.
The Honor display is already listed on Chinese e-commerce website JD.com and the listing page reveals some key information about it. This includes a graphic which shows a rising camera above the smart TV. The exact purpose of this elevating camera is unclear – in fact, even though it looks like a camera, it could be a motion sensor for commands using gestures and motion-controlled apps and games. We’ll have a clearer idea about the utility of this camera when Honor announces the Smart Screen in August.
As for the specifications of the TV itself, we doubt there’s only little that we know and since the JD listing comes with a disclaimer that these details are subject to change with the official announcement. For now, the only aspect of the TV that seems convincing is its size, which is 55-inches, but that’s not finalized either. We expect to know more with the official announcement on August 10.
Update: Possibly Runs Hongmeng OS
Most people assume when a company that makes Android phones starts making TVs they’ll turn to Android again. However, it looks like Honor may go with the in-house Hongmeng OS instead. Hongmeng OS is the OS we’ve been hearing about as Huawei/Honor’s contingency plan if they can’t use Android. There have been a lot of rumors and inaccurate information about it.
Hongmeng OS may be revealed during the Developer Conference going on this week. This is also when Honor announced that they would announce their first “smart display” products. The company has already started taking reservations for two different 55-inch models. All will be revealed very soon.
Update 2: HONOR Vision smart display launches tomorrow
Honor will be revealing the HONORVision smart display in China tomorrow i.e. August 10th at 2 PM China time (2 AM ET). You can watch the live stream of the event below.
Honor says the smart display is their “bold attempt at something new and exciting, a sign of the future” and will introduce us to an “unprecedented category” of displays.
Honor Smart Screen exposure –
55 inch 4K HDR screen + Honghu 818 chip + independent NPU + AI popup front camera + YOYO assistant + Magiclink & also the 1st to use Hongmeng OS pic.twitter.com/Uj0tY6C2Cv
— Huawei Club (@ClubHuawei) August 8, 2019
Meanwhile, we have some leaked images of the HONORVision, courtesy of Twitter account Huawei Club. According to them, the smart display will measure 55-inches and support 4K HDR viewing. The leaked image also prompts that there’s Huawei’s Hongmeng OS onboard along with support for Honor Magic-Link.