This week, Huawei unveiled Harmony OS, a new operating system that will be used across a number of IoT devices, in addition to offering deep collaboration with Huawei and other devices running Android. The OS has been under development for an extended period, and similar to Samsung’s Tizen that has since been relegated to TVs and wearable devices, Harmony is said to subjectively serve as a second option should things with Android go south – which they did in the recent past based on Trump’s directive that, for a short time, banned American companies from conducting business with the Chinese corporation.
Basically, after the announcement, we expected some hardware, and Huawei was right on time. Honor Vision smart TV is the device that is equipped with the OS, and it appears to offer more than what ordinary TVs have in place. The set is powered by a robust set of specifications that are as modern as they come and costs quite less than what the competition offers besides ultra-premium solutions that ship with the best of OLED technologies in the business. Still, at around KES 70,000 for the pro model, the Honor Vision, which is christened in line with Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is a win in so many ways, and here are some of the best features we have picked.
On paper, the Honor Vision checks all the boxes that you would want ticked in a television. For instance, there are two versions of the TV, a basic and pro model for those who want more features. The pro model costs approximately KES 15,000 more.
Both measure 55-inches at 4K. They have IPS panels as is the case with other televisions that are priced higher; they even include a blue-lighter filter (unheard of TVs). It has also shrunk the bezels significantly to achieve a 94 percent screen to body ratio, which is not a small feat. At its thinnest, the telly measures under 7 mm.
Huawei’s TV is equipped with an Octa-core chipset named Honghu 818. The chip matches its performance to some of the higher-tier mobile CPUs and accompanies the power prowess with admirable features. For instance, it prides itself with cutting-edge technologies such as HDR imaging, noise reduction, and contrast improvement, to mention a few. These are some features that are not packed in your ordinary and are even echoed further with a dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5HHz HiSilicon Hi1103 chipset that actually supports 160 MHz bandwidth for up to 1.7Gbps download speeds – if you will ever need that. Quite admirable, indeed, and more than what your basic television can achieve.
But there are some disturbing features…
Well, this is one of the TVs that has a selfie snapper or a camera for that matter, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. The camera is hidden under the TV’s frame, meaning it rolls out as is the case with Huawei Y9 Prime 2018, among other similar smartphones. The camera has AI capabilities, which is not surprising considering artificial intelligence is now a thing, and manufacturers are going an extra mile to make it sound posh. Anyway, the camera for groups that want to make video calls – besides leveraging its AI capabilities to track your postures, face recognition, and body tracking.
The operating system
The aforementioned features are powered by Harmony OS, which makes sense because any other TV maker out there has an in-house solution, such as the aforementioned Tizen and webOS for Samsung and LG set, respectively, to mention a few.
Huawei says it will expand the services of the OS to IoT products, smartphones, computers and cars: the possibilities are endless. Harmony OS is equally flexible with support of several programming languages such as Java, C++, and Kotlin. For the moment, however, users will experience the platform on the Honor Vision.
Honor Vision incorporates a hub referred to as HiLink, which will serve as a smart home and IoT platform for your smart home products and services, which we guess will be better with Huawei devices. Huawei adds it has made connections between the TV and Huawei phones/tablets a seamless exercise, so sharing media and managing the TV remotely should be easy. There is an NFC coil on the TV to ease connections too.
This is one of the feature-rich TVs we have seen for a while, and it even costs less than we expected. While sales may be limited to China, we are looking forward to a broader rollout, and since the Honor sub-brand does not receive scrutiny in Western markets like primary Huawei devices, we are glad Huawei chose that path that will eventually see the set in many homes. Lastly, considering its specs, the Honor Vision will be a performance champ, unlike Android TV that is resource-intensive.