Honor unveils MagicOS 8.0 with Android 14 and a generous serving of AI

Honor MagicOS 8.0 launch
(Image credit: Honor)

What you need to know

  • Honor showed off its Android 14-based MagicOS 8.0 in China.
  • The UI has an 'intent-based' design that suggests recommendations based on the actions you undertake.
  • AI is a key tenet of the UI, and Honor showed off interesting use cases.
  • The interface is rolling out to Honor devices in China, with no mention of a global release just yet.

Honor makes some of the best mid-range phones you can buy now, and the Magic V2 foldable is right up there with the best the category has to offer. The only thing holding Honor back is the software; MagicOS 7.2 still looks too similar to EMUI, and the interface doesn't feel polished.

The Chinese manufacturer is making amends by introducing MagicOS 8.0, its take on Android 14. The interface leans heavily on AI, and Honor notes it is using an "intent-based" design that predicts user behavior to recommend services proactively. If you're making plans with a friend about meeting up later in the week, the interface will offer to add the event to your calendar, or offer cab suggestions to the agreed-upon location.

Honor MagicOS 8.0 launch

(Image credit: Honor)

It definitely sounds intriguing, and we'll have to wait and see how it holds up in real-world testing. Honor is rolling out a feature called Magic Portal where these recommendations will live, and it is teaming up with the likes of Baidu Map, Amap, Didi, Bilibili, Douyin, Youku, and Alipay in China at launch.

Honor is partnering with Qualcomm to launch an on-device large language model with seven billion parameters, dubbed MagicLM. The brand says the LLM offers a "platform-level AI" that can analyze and understand various interactions, from text to audio and more.

Honor is also making a slew of changes around privacy and security, including tweaks to the private space hidden folder, introducing Parallel Spaces — the ability to run two instances of a service — on additional phones, and a shake-to-block feature that's designed to deal with pop-up ads.

The design has picked up a fresh coat of paint as well, and MagicOS 8.0 clearly has a lot to offer. What's unclear at this time is when the UI will start rolling out globally — Honor didn't reveal any additional details about the rollout.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.