Honor magic Vs review

Honor magic Vs review

Honor has unveiled the Honor Magic Vs, an enhanced version of its huge foldable denoted by a “s,” which was released at the beginning of 2022. Improvements are promoted across a variety of platforms, including builds, displays, and, in a sense, camera systems.

However, there are still a few software kinks to be worked out before the phone’s November 23 market debut in China, and the handset we have here isn’t yet ready for a review. We have been told that the hardware is pretty much ready for hands-on use, so we will accept that.

But first, let’s quickly go through the significant changes. The Magic V’s geared hinge has been replaced with a gearless one; Samsung made a similar change when switching from Fold3 to Fold4; which reduces the number of components from 92 to just 4. (though there has to be some semantics in there to explain the new component count). By switching from aluminium to magnesium and titanium, the V’s weight has decreased by about 10%.

The screens are now brighter, with a peak brightness of 800 nits for the foldable panel and 1200 nits for the outside screen, albeit the internal screen’s refresh rate is still limited to 90Hz whereas Samsung’s is 120Hz. Later, we will perform some brightness testing because we believe that falls under the hardware category. Additionally, the publicity materials we received include explicit encouragement for comparisons.

Sadly, we won’t be looking at camera samples, but this is one area where the Vs differs from the V in certain ways. Instead of the ‘ultra-spectrum’ 50MP module on the Magic V that we never quite got to test, there is now a telephoto camera, albeit a modest 8MP 3x one. The primary camera is new for this round of foldables, while the ultrawide remains the same. It appears that the 54MP sensor is shared with the Honor 70. Five cameras total thanks to a couple of 16MP selfie cameras and one punch hole for each display.

Perhaps it’s too soon for Honor foldables to receive the Gen 2 chipset, as the Magic Vs also receives a chipset upgrade from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to the Gen 2 version. The battery capacity has increased from 4,750mAh to 5,000mAh, which is a good improvement. The 66W charging speed should help limit the amount of time you need to be plugged in.

Unboxing of Honor magic Vs

The Magic Vs comes packaged in a sizable, matte-finished, black cardboard box with fine striped design. In the interior, the phone is unfolded in a tray with the accessories in additional boxes arranged in designated compartments. This is a touch excessive in a world when manufacturers make environmental claims. However, the Magic Vs won’t sell in the tens of millions for that to be a major issue.

Honor magic Vs review
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A 66W adapter and cable are included with the accessories bundle to match the phone’s charging capabilities.

An additional item in the box is a cover for the phone’s back, which is the only part of the device without a display. It has a hybrid snap-on and sticker design; while it will remain attached without an adhesive strip, the sticker obviously adds more holding power.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

Design

We’re here to admire and play with the hardware, and it is unquestionably some very impressive hardware. Any luxury smartphone would feel premium thanks to the glass/metal mix, and the folding form factor adds even more exclusivity to that impression.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

We refer to our unit, the Cyan colourway, as being built of glass and metal. This specific version has a sparkly frosted finish on the back that gives it a little flair.

The other colour choices each offer a distinctive perspective on it. The glossy black one relies on the golden Honor logo to add some colour. Contrarily, the Orange one is not lacking in colour; its back is, well, orange, and its metal components are golden.

The Magic Vs in its Orange colorway weighs 261g, which is less than the Galaxy Z Fold4. Honor can claim that the Magic Vs is “the lightest foldable smartphone in the global markets currently” thanks to that Orange model. There are many technicalities in that claim, such as the fact that the number doesn’t include either screen protector. In addition, while removing the plastic sheet covering the cover display is entirely optional, we wouldn’t dare do the same for the foldable panel. Furthermore, the Magic Vs have not yet been commercialized.

In any event, the Orange variant replaces the glass panel with one made of textured eco-leather, which helps reduce the weight of the device by 6g from the 267g of the glass choices, like this Cyan one.

The hinge mechanism is a further method of weight reduction. Honor claims that the number of components has been decreased from 92 to just 4, which can’t help but include some semantics, and the Vs offers a gearless option to the previous generation’s geared design. It seems like there is a lot going on in the promotional videos.

Additionally, new materials have been used, which has reduced weight. The outer screen’s magnesium alloy support structure is 34% lighter than the previous aluminium option, and the inner screen’s titanium support structure is 20% lighter. These are Honor’s figures, so we won’t be disassembling any units and weighing each one separately to double-check.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

According to testing, the hinge can withstand 400,000 actuations, or roughly 11 years’ worth of 100 folds every day. Should be adequate. In use, it feels amazingly solid and doesn’t make any odd noises or flex oddly in any direction.

It even has the ability to hold positions in between, which would enable uses like a kind of “tripod mode” where you set the phone down on a table and use it for long exposures or group photographs with you in them. The Galaxy is more stable for such applications, but there is some creep, especially if you start from the unfolded state. In this situation, the Magic may have a tendency to fully reopen.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

The phone folds flat in on itself with no space between the two parts, which is a problem we’ve had with previous Galaxy Fold generations (Flips too).

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

As with other foldables, magnets hold the two sides together. This one, however, is more difficult to open because of the magnets and the tiny, flat sides that meet with little space in between them, making it more difficult than usual to unfold the Magic Vs. The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2’s more rounded rails make it simpler to squish your fingertips in between the two parts, while the Galaxy Z Fold4’s thicker edges, though they may also be flat, offer a larger grip surface.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

It’s possible to classify this as a minor quibble because it’s not like unfolding the Vs is an impossible effort. The Honor phone does, however, manage to pull off a remarkably small, gapless appearance that can easily shame a Galaxy Fold, which is the opposite side of our criticism.

That isn’t the first time we’ve seen anything done better than Samsung, of course; the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 is another sleek, gapless huge foldable, but it’s never going to be released outside of China, but the Magic Vs possibly might.

The Magic Vs must fit in your pocket when it is folded, at which point it measures 160.3×72.6×12.9mm. Due to the lack of gaps and the parallel surfaces, it appears and feels even thinner than the specs say despite being taller and broader than the Galaxy Fold.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

The 21:9 aspect ratio of the cover screen, which is more conventional than the 23.1:9 Galaxy, allows it to be used much like a regular phone when it is folded. The current Fold4 is undoubtedly an improvement over the even more compact 25:9 Fold3, but the Honor is still superior to the most recent Galaxy in this area. Additionally, the fact that it has a 96 cm2 display as opposed to the Fold4’s 84 cm2 does not diminish its supremacy for “normal smartphone” use cases.

The Honor also provides a larger viewing area for tablet use cases, albeit not quite as much. The Magic Vs’ 7.9-inch display measures 199.5 cm2, which is larger than the Galaxy’s “small” 7.6 cm2 display. Even while the difference isn’t really significant, it’s still nice to have additional screen real estate without having to sacrifice weight.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

The Honor also provides a larger viewing area for tablet use cases, albeit not quite as much. The Magic Vs’ 7.9-inch display measures 199.5 cm2, which is larger than the Galaxy’s “small” 7.6 cm2 display. Even while the difference isn’t really significant, it’s still nice to have additional screen real estate without having to sacrifice weight.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

The usual caveat that creases tend to be ironed out by your brain as time passes and you grow accustomed to using a foldable should be included with those comparisons as well. Additionally, the mere possibility of having a display this large in half the footprint outweighs a mostly aesthetic flaw. Not that we don’t like smoother wrinkles; we just don’t focus on them as much.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

Dust and water resistance are not checked off the Magic Vs’ list of specifications. Only the most recent two generations of Galaxy devices (both Flip and Fold) have a genuine IP rating.

Honor magic Vs review

Display

Honor is very confident in the displays of the Magic Vs and makes some audacious claims, including those regarding their brightness. Form factor, aspect, and creases were topics we covered earlier, but let’s go over some of the numbers once more.

The inbuilt OLED display has a 10.3:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1,984×2,272px. These pixels have a diagonal size of 7.9 inches and have a 382ppi density.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

The Galaxy Z Fold4 and other, more localised options like the Mix Fold 2 or the Oppo Find N can both refresh their displays at 120Hz, while this one can only do 90Hz. Even the more conventional (but over two years old) Mate X2 is at 90Hz, while the somewhat comparable and globally outward-folding Mate Xs 2 is at 120Hz.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

On the other hand, the Magic Vs’ outside display does refresh up to 120 times per second, just as the Galaxy and the Mix. It boasts a reasonable aspect ratio of 21:9 and a somewhat higher pixel density of 431ppi thanks to its 6.45-inch diagonal and 1,080×2,560px resolution.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

Both screens have 1920Hz pulse-width modulation for brightness management, so even the most sensitive eyes should not notice any flicker. Both spec sheets also include support for HDR10+.

We measured a maximum brightness of 587nits on the foldable display when moving the slider manually, whereas 878nits were obtained when the adaptive brightness toggle was set on. That’s more than the 800 nits that Honor claims, but our tests are standardised for a 75% display area, so they may be rating it at 100%. The lit up area often affects the maximum brightness of OLEDs, thus this is higher than Honor’s claim.

The Mix Fold 2 only outperforms the Honor in bright ambient lighting, but the Galaxy Z Fold4 can push a few more nits automatically and at your request. Compared to either of the two most recent large-size Huawei foldables we tested, the Honor is noticeably brighter. In any event, when using the Magic Vs in tablet mode, you won’t be short on space.

gets even better when used in smartphone mode and displayed on the cover. With adaptive brightness enabled and the phone in bright light, we measured a staggering 1279nits. This is a few nits brighter than the Galaxy S22 Ultra under the identical circumstances and about 250 nits brighter than the outer display of the Z Fold4.

gets even better when used in smartphone mode and displayed on the cover. With adaptive brightness enabled and the phone in bright light, we measured a staggering 1279nits. This is a few nits brighter than the Galaxy S22 Ultra under the identical circumstances and about 250 nits brighter than the outer display of the Z Fold4.

Wrap-Up

We’re usually excited to get a new foldable phone, so the Honor Magic Vs’ release was noteworthy. Even though there isn’t a set date for when it might appear on shelves, it’s even better when it promises to be available everywhere. Except for the Huawei Mate Xs 2, which is constrained by the absence of Google Services compatibility, the Galaxy Z Fold4 is the only current large foldable marketed outside of China.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

We had a Magic Vs with us, but it wasn’t quite ready. It was therefore running a version of the Honor in-house OS that was fully compatible with Google Play, but it wasn’t in a polished, review-ready condition. We would have liked to investigate it more and conduct the flurry of testing we usually do, but that wouldn’t have been fair to the Magic. Then, we’ll wait judgement until we have a chance to try a commercial-grade sample (there may also be a “if” in there, but we’ll see). The Magic Vs certainly appears promising as of right now.

Honor magic Vs review
Image credit: GSMArena.com

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