Tecno details new HiOS 5.5 features but no word on eligible devices

HiOS 5.5

Tecno has been on a roll recently with new devices in the Camon and Spark series coming to light. The Camon 12 came first before the Spark 4 joined the party not long after, becoming the first two Tecno phones to run the new HiOS 5.5 skin atop Android 9 Pie out of the box.

We do have both devices in for review and first impression posts are already up. You can check them out below.

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Besides the hardware improvements the Camon 12 and Spark 4 come with over their predecessors, the other major talking point is the new HiOS 5.5 skin. Tecno has baked a bunch of new features in there and in a recent post in the official forums, the Chinese company has dived deeper into these features.

Interestingly, though, there is nowhere in the long post where Tecno mentions existing devices that will also receive the new HiOS 5.5 update. In fact, the company seems to insinuate that you’ll have to buy the new phones in order to enjoy the new skin, which is absurd but not surprising at all.

It’s pretty annoying that Tecno is giving fans a detailed explanation of the features in the new HiOS 5.5 skin but skips the most important part of the whole conversation. Nonetheless, we still hope that existing devices will pick up this update at some point.

HiOS 5.5 Virtual Canvas

When the update eventually arrives, some of the features to expect include an AR Virtual Canvas the company says will help users bring art to life with augmented reality by turning “fingers into sculptural brushes that you can use to paint in midair.”

Gesture Call Picker, as you may have guessed, will help you receive and end calls using simple hand gestures while a dedicated Game Mode and a Game Assistant promise to greatly improve gaming by killing some processes in order to concentrate the available resources to gaming.

HiOS 5.5 Game Mode and Game Assistant

One interesting addition to HiOS 5.5 is a feature known as Closed Eye Detection. This is attached to facial recognition, where Tecno phones with Face unlock will allow authentication even with eyes closed. Tecno calls this a security improvement, but it’s not.

The newly improved Face ID 2.0 is more intelligent and can detect eye-status of open, closed or sideways not only frontal faces but also for rotated or tilted head poses.

Case in point is the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. These two have a more secure 3D Face unlock system that currently unlocks the phone even with eyes closed. This has caused security concerns since it means someone else can unlock your phone even when you are asleep, and no fisi wants that.

Google has promised to address this issue via a software update that will prevent this scenario. If anything, facial recognition should work like on the iPhone where the phone doesn’t unlock if your eyes are closed. This way, you must be conscious in order to unlock your phone, which is the ideal case.

Perhaps a feature that has caught my eye is the fingerprint password reset that allows you to reset your forgotten password/pattern/passcode using a fingerprint. This one should come in handy for quite a good number.

You can check out the full post here.

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