The first AI-centric smartphone from Huawei’s more affordable brand will cost about $460 U.S.

Honor — the affordable offshoot of Chinese manufacturer Huawei — tonight at CES announced that the new Honor View 10 will see international release starting January 8 in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Honor previously announced U.S. availability back in December, but we don’t have details just yet.

The View 10, as you’ll recall, is the global version of the Honor V10 that launched in China. It’s Honor’s first phone to launch with Android 8.0 Oreo and is powered by Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor — the first with built-in AI via a Neural Processing Unit. On top of that, it’s got 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, all pushing a 5.99-inch display at 2160×1080 resolution.

Read our full Honor View 10 preview

Honor also announced that the venerable Honor 7X will get a limited edition launch in red. Only 20,000 units will be available, and you’ll have to snag them in either United States, Russia, India, or Western Europe (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain). Honor also says the first 100 people to purchase the red model in each of those countries will get red co-branded Honor-Monster AM15 headphones as a special gift.

HONOR DELIVERS THE FUTURE OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGY WITH THE AI-POWERED HONOR VIEW10

Las Vegas, United States, January 7th, 2018 – Honor, a leading smartphone e-brand, today announced, on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), that the AI-powered Honor View10 will go on sale in overseas markets from January 8th, 2018 and released a limited edition Honor 7X Red. This follows the successful launch of the Honor 7X and Honor View10 in London last month.

In 2017, Honor was the number one smartphone e-brand in China by sales, and its sales grew significantly on Black Friday in the United States and Europe.

“As a leading e-brand, Honor aims to become the most loved smartphone brand for people young and the young at heart,” said Mr. George Zhao, President of Honor. “With a unique Internet-powered business model, unrivaled product and unbeatable value, we are taking our successful business model from China to the global market. Our aim is to become a top-five smartphone brand by 2020.”

As part of the strategy to bring a better experience to users, Honor works with partners such as Microsoft, Monster and Snapchat to optimize applications and services for its smartphones.

Honor View10: Revolutionary AI and ultimate performance appeal to consumers worldwide

As part of a drive to make AI technology accessible to consumers worldwide, Honor is among the first to power a smartphone with a Neural-Network Processing Unit (NPU) to deliver AI features and performance that far surpasses any CPU/GPU powered architecture. Integrating with the dedicated NPU, Kirin 970 chipset enables Honor View10 to deliver up to 25 times better performance and 50 times greater efficiency.

For the Honor View10, Honor worked closely with Microsoft to optimize Microsoft Translator. The AI Accelerated Translator software in Honor View10 delivers instantaneous translation without the need for an internet connection. The new Kirin 970′s powerful NPU makes the translation 500 percent faster than other smartphones running the same app.
Mr. Xuedong Huang, Microsoft Technical Fellow in AI and Research said, “Microsoft is thrilled to be collaborating with Honor to bring the benefits of AI, through Microsoft Translator, to more users through the Honor View10. Together, we will continue to work towards building a more integrated and connected world.”

During China’s “Double 12″ Shopping Festival after its launch in China for a week, the Honor View10 became the top selling smartphone product priced over RMB 3,000 (US$ 460). Consumers in India and Western Europe (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) can purchase Honor View10 starting from January 8th online at: http://www.hihonor.com/global/products/mobile-phones/honorview10/index.html. The new smartphone will also be available in Malaysia and Russia later this month.

Honor 7X: Unmatched price-performance makes it the ideal gift for the loved one

As the first smartphone to feature the Honor FullView Display, the Honor 7X 18:9 screen delivers an impressive visual experience, especially to the gamers in the midst of the action. The smartphone also doubles the efficiency and fun with its Screen Split function. The dual-lens 16MP + 2MP rear camera with large aperture (F/0.95 – F/16) and Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) ensures professional photo quality and a professional shooting experience. Users in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and India have given the Honor 7X a 4.2+ star review on Amazon.com since its global launch in London on December 5th, 2017.
In addition to black, blue and gold phones, a new limited edition Honor 7X Red of 20,000 units will be available for Valentine’s Day in the United States, Russia, India and Western Europe (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain). Honor 7X Red can be ordered soon at the Honor online store: http://www.hihonor.com/global/products/mobile-phones/honor7x/index.html.

Honor 7X Red with Honor-Monster AM15

Honor is partnering with Monster, one of the world’s largest headphone manufacturers, to give the first 100 purchasers of Honor 7X Red in each country/region the red co-branded Honor-Monster AM15 headphones as a special gift. In addition, from this year, Honor is bringing the partnership with Monster to a new strategic level. More details will be announced later.




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Best overall

Fitbit Charge 2

See at Fitbit

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the best Fitbit for more people (and the best fitness tracker in general) because it does almost everything well, and is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Like all Fitbit products, it tracks steps, sleep and, if you want, workouts, but the Charge 2 does it in style. Not only does it improve upon its predecessor with a relatively high-density OLED display, but because it’s not a touchscreen, it will operate properly when wet or sweaty. Its always-on heart rate sensor is accurate and doesn’t eat into the battery, which, in our tests, lasted longer than the advertised five days. And it’s relatively inexpensive at just $130.

Bottom line: The Fitbit Charge 2 strikes the right balance of style, performance, accuracy, features, and price, and is the best option for those who don’t require smartwatch features.

One more thing: It may not be a smartwatch, but the Charge 2 can display incoming call and text notifications from an Android phone.

Why the Fitbit Charge 2 is the best

The best Fitbit is the one you’re most likely to wear.

I’ve often heard that people love their Fitbits — until they break or stop working. It’s often something to do with the band or the charger or both, and with the Charge 2, Fitbit is addressing those two major issues.

The Charge 2 tracks steps, sleep, workouts, and food through its excellent Android app, automatically adding them to the cloud through a sustained Bluetooth connection that, like the heart rate monitor, doesn’t seem to negatively affect battery life. But the main improvements in the Charge 2 come from the replaceable straps, which range from sporty rubber to elegant leather and stainless steel, along with the much more robust claw charger — of which I was admittedly skeptical at first.

It also lasts more than the company’s advertised five days of battery life, going as long as seven days in my tests. And while it’s not totally waterproof, it never balked at my sweaty fingers or wrist after a workout, and a damp cloth cleaned the top and bottom of the core charger with no ill effects. And how ’bout those workouts? The Charge 2 accurately detected walking, running, and biking, and let me easily correct it when it couldn’t tell my downward dog was a poor attempt at yoga.

For most people, the Charge 2 will be sufficient on its own, but for those who want to dress it up, the leather bands are lovely and not too expensive.

Best for athletes

Fitbit Ionic

See at Fitbit

The Ionic is Fitbit’s first smartwatch, and it gets a lot of things right. From notifications to payments and a few apps, Ionic has a beautiful OLED touchscreen that makes navigating a breeze, and tracking workouts even breezier. At $270 it’s not cheap, and Fitbit still has a long way to go to mastering the smartwatch experience, but with a GPS radio, plenty of battery life, waterproofing, and personal coaching sessions, it’s an excellent value.

Bottom line: At twice the price of the Charge 2, it’s not twice as good, but it’s an essential tool for athletes.

One more thing: Ionic comes in three colors and has interchangeable bands for any activity or function.

Best for beginners (and swimmers)

Fitbit Flex 2

See at Amazon

The Flex 2 is Fitbit’s sequel to its most popular fitness band ever, and it’s a huge improvement in almost every way. It still doesn’t have a display — five LEDs, now colored, convey the number of steps taken during a day — but it is waterproof, allowing (for the first time) a Fitbit to be used while swimming.

While the Flex 2 is still a tiny module that fits into a small “pouch” in a replaceable band, Fitbit has augmented the standard rubber sports bands with metal bangle and necklace options, giving the wearable an aesthetic diversity it lacked in the previous version. And then there are the standard features: step and exercise tracking; sleep tracking; reminders to move every hour; and automatic synchronization to an excellent iOS app, along with ample five-day battery. All it lacks is a heart rate monitor.

At just $60, the Flex 2 is a great way to get indoctrinated into Fitbit’s excellent ecosystem and popular social network and is comfortable to wear all day. Even better, even though it supports call and text notifications (though without a screen you can’t see who it is or what they’re saying), it can be worn alongside another smartwatch or analog timepiece. Best of both worlds.

Bottom line: A fantastic entry into the fitness wearable world, and one of the best deals around.

One more thing: Flex 2 is the first Fitbit that’s completely waterproof, so you can wear it in the shower or take it swimming.

Best for fashion

Fitbit Alta HR

See at Fitbit

The Alta HR is sleek and attractive and fits in with any outfit. That’s essentially how Fitbit is marketing the tracker next to the larger, more feature-filled Charge 2. The Alta HR gets a nice boost from the original thanks to all-day heart rate monitoring, but it also lasts over five days on a charge and arrives with a bevy of strap options, from leather to glamor, that keep it both unassuming and fashionable. At $130, it’s excellent value.

Bottom line: It’s the same price as the Charge 2, but the Alta HR is much smaller and more attractive.

One more thing: The Alta HR’s leather and metal replacement straps are of very high quality and are definitely worth a look.

Conclusion

These days, there are no bad Fitbits. The company has overcome many of the hardware quality issues and software bugginess that plagued early models, and newer hardware like the Ionic prove that Fitbit can properly compete with the Apples and Samsungs of the world when it comes to smartwatches. But fitness tracking and guidance is still Fitbit’s bread and butter, and no ecosystem does it better. The best Fitbit for most people is the Charge 2 because it does most things well but doesn’t overachieve — and it’s affordable. The Flex 2 is stupid simple and lasts forever, while the Ionic has an overwhelming number of features.

Best overall

Fitbit Charge 2

See at Fitbit

The Fitbit Charge 2 is the best Fitbit for more people (and the best fitness tracker in general) because it does almost everything well, and is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Like all Fitbit products, it tracks steps, sleep, and, if you want, workouts, but the Charge 2 does it in style. Not only does it improve upon its predecessor with a relatively high-density OLED display, but because it’s not a touchscreen, it will operate properly when wet or sweaty. Its always-on heart rate sensor is accurate and doesn’t eat into the battery, which, in our tests, lasted longer than the advertised five days. And it’s relatively inexpensive at just $130.

Bottom line: The Fitbit Charge 2 strikes the right balance of style, performance, accuracy, features, and price, and is the best option for those who don’t require smartwatch features.

One more thing: It may not be a smartwatch, but the Charge 2 can display incoming call and text notifications from an Android phone.

Update, January 2018: These are still the best Fitbits you can buy — now with more accurate information and pricing




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Everyone should be able to have fun with VR and AR!

If you like squishy foam and having fun with either VR or AR, the folks at Merge have been serving up goodness for a couple of years now. Following the success of the AR-based Merge Cube and the recent availability of the Merge VR headset in every color under the rainbow, Merge is at CES this year with two new goodies.

For the AR-focused among us, the new Merge Blaster turns your phone into a futuristic shooter for tons of new games. For VR fans, the new Merge Mini takes the original squishy VR headset and shrinks it down to be better suited for smaller heads. Here’s a quick look!

Merge Blaster

This is augmented reality at its most accessible. The Blaster is, as the name suggests, a simple gun-shaped controller for feeling like you are a part of the game. Put your phone in the slot, and use your screen as your Heads-Up Display for multiple games. When you see incoming fire through the screen, dodge out of the way in the real world.

It’s a simple setup, something anyone of any age can do, and super easy to feel like you are a part of the game. Merge plans to start shipping the Blaster later this summer.

Merge Mini

Take everything that makes the Merge VR headset cool, including the super-durable construction and comfortable fit on your face, and imagine it redesigned for ten year olds. The lens adjustment buttons, have been moved to make it easier for smaller hands to get the perfect fit, and the spacing is better suited for smaller faces.

Merge plans to make this headset available later this summer for $30, making it one of the more affordable VR headsets out there on top of being the only one specifically aimed at kids.


It’s been clear for a while now the Merge lineup has been aimed at kids. The Merge Cube has tons of interactive and educational purposes, and has been advertised like crazy on channels like Disney over the last holiday season. Expect these new accessories to be a big hit with kids later this year.




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With the doors of CES scheduled to swing open on Tuesday morning, HTC released a vague teaser on Twitter which hints that an updated version of the HTC Vive will be unveiled. For now, the only real clue HTC has given … Read More




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 | Posted by | Categories: HTC |