Honor Magic Vs

MSRP $1,695.00

“The Honor Magic Vs has a fairly design and wonderful open-screen visuals, however the buggy, disappointing software program, poor high quality digital camera, and considerations over sturdiness imply it could possibly’t be really useful.”


  • Simple to make use of when closed
  • Two-day battery life
  • Huge display screen is nice for video


  • Buggy, unrefined software program
  • Lacks mud resistance
  • No wi-fi charging
  • Poor wide-angle digital camera

We’d like extra big-screen folding smartphones just like the Honor Magic Vs to tackle the mighty, market-dominating Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. However these telephones must do extra than simply exist

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a wonderful smartphone, and it’ll take extra than simply comparable {hardware} to grow to be a critical challenger. Can the Honor Magic Vs steal individuals away from the Z Fold 4?

Honor Magic Vs: design

The back of the closed Honor Magic Vs.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

I’m going to speak in regards to the Honor Magic Vs’s design in a largely optimistic trend, however there are a number of causes for concern right here. The Magic Vs’s vast cowl display screen is extra usable than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4’s, and I’ve primarily used it this manner throughout my weeks with the cellphone. The keyboard is positioned a bit low on the display screen, which wants adjusting to, however upon getting it’s advantageous. Nevertheless, it’s Microsoft’s SwiftKey keyboard put in by default, so I put in Google’s Gboard individually, because it’s much more dependable to make use of.

At 12.9mm thick when closed, the Magic Vs is surprisingly compact, and it has slipped into my pocket with out inflicting an issue. It’s fairly heavy at 267 grams, and for that cause, you all the time comprehend it’s there. This additionally causes fatigue after holding the closed cellphone for any size of time, however this isn’t a scenario distinctive to the Magic Vs. Open the cellphone up, and the chassis is 6.1mm thick.

A person opening the Honor Magic Vs.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The slimness of the chassis, and the best way the cellphone folds tightly shut with out a hole, do make it a bit awkward to open. The hinge continues to be stiff on my overview mannequin, and there isn’t a lot to “seize,” so it takes extra effort than I’d prefer to open the cellphone. If my arms are sweaty or lately moisturized, then there’s nearly no probability of prying the 2 sections aside in any respect. I just like the gapless building, however the Oppo Discover N2 shares an identical design and isn’t such a ache to open.

The gear-less hinge is quiet, and its particular building permits the cellphone to shut with out a hole, however it nonetheless appears to be bedding in. A minimum of, I hope it’s. Initially, the hinge didn’t have sufficient resistance to carry it at a semi-open angle, however it appears to be higher now after a number of weeks of use. Nevertheless, it wants time to settle after opening it up, as for a begin, the cellphone isn’t fairly flat. After a short while, it appears to loosen up the previous few millimeters, which could be very unusual, and the not-quite-flat angle is basically noticeable at first. I’m hoping time will repair it, however I’m not satisfied.

The Honor Magic Vs's open screen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

My model of the Honor Magic Vs is within the beautiful cyan shade, which has a wonderful silver flake inside to essentially catch the sunshine, however it’s also possible to get the cellphone in an odd black shade too. The digital camera module is jewel-like in its form, with extra sweeping corners than you’d anticipate finding, and it appears nice. The Magic Vs has a really engaging general look, particularly in cyan, and the slimness of the chassis makes it really feel “regular” in your hand when it’s closed up. I’ve been capable of comfortably use the cellphone like this, which is nice information, however the hinge is just not as refined because the one on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

The hinge isn’t the one difficulty. The Magic Vs can also be missing any sturdiness enhancements. It doesn’t have a fundamental IP ranking for mud resistance, and there’s no point out of Gorilla Glass or an alternative choice to give this heavy cellphone some further safety in the long run. Honor says the hinge has been examined to 400,000 folds, however exterior of this, you need to be fairly cautious with the Honor Magic Vs in order for you it to final.

Honor Magic Vs: screens

The Honor Magic Vs's Cover Screen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

On the surface is a 6.45-inch, 21:9 side ratio, OLED display screen with a 120Hz refresh price and a 2560 x 1080 pixel decision. On the within is a 7.9-inch OLED with a ten.3:9 side ratio, a 90Hz refresh price, and a 2272 x 1984 pixel decision. Each have a 90% screen-to-body ratio, 1920Hz PWM dimming for much less flicker, a DCI-P3 shade gamut, and may present a couple of billion colours.

What a couple of crease? Nicely, it’s there, however as with most foldables you’ll be able to’t see it when seen face-on, and when the display screen is illuminated. It’s extra seen at an angle, and you’ll really feel it whenever you run your finger throughout the display screen. I don’t discover it annoying or distracting, and there aren’t any ripples within the display screen on both facet. I don’t take into account it a difficulty. Exterior visibility is nice, however in vibrant daylight, there’s plenty of reflection on the inside display screen.

Video playing on the Honor Magic Vs's screen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

Each screens have a better than 60Hz refresh price, however you gained’t all the time see the 90 or 120Hz refresh charges the screens are able to. I discovered that, notably when closed, the Magic Vs defaults to 60Hz far too typically. It’s noticeable in apps like Chrome and Twitter, the place blur I don’t anticipate to see was seen when the refresh price was left on automated. I ended up forcing the cellphone to make use of the upper refresh price on a regular basis.

Video playing on the Honor Magic Vs's screen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

Video appears nice, particularly on the inside display screen, and it stays an enormous advantage of big-screen foldables. I like not having to achieve for a pill after I need to actually get pleasure from a video, and the comfort of doing this wherever is unbelievable. It’s the identical for studying, whether or not it’s an e-book or the browser, too.

Nevertheless, apps (together with YouTube) don’t actually assist the half-angled mode, the place the cellphone helps itself, so the data bar on the high of the display screen doesn’t disappear. It additionally bothers me the quantity rocker is on the identical facet because the digital camera module, so on this supported orientation, it’s one the vanguard of the cellphone when you put the cellphone flat-side down, making it troublesome to push.

Honor Magic Vs: software program

The Honor Magic Vs's slightly open screen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

Utilizing the Honor Magic Vs’s software program is like stepping again in time by a number of years. There are unusual design choices, odd bugs, and a wealth of apps that may’t be uninstalled — making it far much less fulfilling to make use of than One UI on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and even ColorOS on the Discover N2. It’s an actual disgrace, as there are good factors in regards to the Magic Vs’s software program, however they’re outnumbered by the unhealthy.

There’s no app drawer obtainable — a cardinal sin in 2023 for a cellphone offered exterior China. There are at the very least 22 pre-installed apps, eight of which may’t be uninstalled, and you’ll solely stuff them inside a folder as a result of there’s no app drawer. It makes the cellphone feel and appear messy. A world search web page seems with a swipe down on the display screen, however requires a significantly precise bottom-of-the-screen swipe as much as make it disappear, which is annoying whenever you by accident activate it when attempting to make use of the cellphone with one hand.

The record goes on, with warnings that apps gained’t work when switching between the open and closed display screen (however then they work completely for no cause), flickering icons utilizing Chrome, and a few ponderous animations. When utilizing the digital camera app with the display screen open, the shutter button stays on the fitting of the display screen whatever the cellphone’s orientation, however a black bar that may include buttons for options will shift across the display screen, seemingly unattached to these buttons. All of it feels unfinished.

On the optimistic facet, apps delivered notifications reliably, and it doesn’t appear to handle energy too aggressively. Multi-tasking on the massive display screen is respectable, with the choice to indicate an app on both facet of the display screen and so as to add a floating window too. It’s activated utilizing a easy swipe, so it’s not troublesome to be taught both. I like the bizarre “peek” view for sure apps, such because the gallery and the cellphone, the place a small window reveals your final motion or current calls.

Honor’s MagicUI 7.1 is paying homage to Huawei’s EMUI person interface on each Android and HarmonyOS, and it lacks any character of its personal. Among the design choices imply it gained’t attraction to anybody used to Samsung or Google’s Android cellphone software program, and up to date usability developments in Oppo’s ColorOS software program imply it lags behind the Discover N2 as properly. When I first tried the Magic Vs the software program wasn’t prepared to check, and seeing as this was in November 2022, I had excessive hopes the months of additional improvement time meant it could be an actual winner on arrival. Sadly, it nonetheless wants refinement, and, ideally, a design rethink that makes it extra interesting to audiences acquainted with Samsung and Google’s strategy to Android.

Honor says it can ship three years of main Android software program updates, together with 5 years of safety updates too. That is strong however behind Samsung’s barely longer dedication.

Honor Magic Vs: digital camera

A person holding the Honor Magic Vs and taking a photo.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

On the high of the digital camera module is the primary 54-megapixel digital camera, within the center is an 8MP telephoto digital camera with a 3x optical zoom and optical picture stabilization (OIS), and on the backside is a 50MP wide-angle digital camera with a 122-degree subject of view, which may additionally shoot macro photographs.

After I previewed the Magic Vs throughout MWC 2023, I hoped a software program replace would arrive earlier than I absolutely reviewed it to repair a few of the digital camera points, however this has not occurred. What it means is the primary digital camera is the one one value utilizing, because the wide-angle digital camera is surprisingly poor high quality, and the 3x optical zoom’s low pixel rely means photographs lack element. The digital camera app additionally pushes a 10x digital zoom setting, which is predictably terrible.

What’s unsuitable with the wide-angle digital camera? There’s plenty of smoothing occurring, which robs photographs of element and makes them look synthetic and unsightly. Colours and distinction should not in keeping with the primary digital camera, and there’s various distortion on the edges of photographs too. It’s very disappointing. The 3x optical zoom lacks element, and just like the wide-angle, there’s proof of smoothing and digital enhancements which don’t change the photographs for the higher.

The primary digital camera takes pleasing photographs with stability of colours and distinction, however nothing stands out as being further particular. I’ve come from the Xiaomi 13 Professional, which has a unbelievable digital camera, so the Honor Magic Vs’s usually lackluster efficiency actually confirmed up. Evening mode is satisfactory, however there’s loads of proof the software program has to step in to take care of high quality.

The Honor Magic Vs's camera module.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

On the video facet, Honor has its personal model of Samsung’s Single Take mode, known as AI On the spot, which generates smaller clips and nonetheless pictures from a video, together with a particular edit mode to create your individual film. There’s additionally a particular Film mode with totally different filters and results, much like the system on the Magic4 Professional. The digital camera can shoot as much as 4K decision at 60 fps.

Some will argue the digital camera is just not the main target right here, however that is an costly, flagship folding cellphone, and the digital camera ought to nonetheless be up there with the very best. It’s not, and it’ll take some hefty software program tweaks to enhance it, which I’m disillusioned to haven’t seen but.

Honor Magic Vs: battery, charging, and efficiency

The Honor Magic Vs's charging port.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The Honor Magic Vs’s 4,900mAh battery has persistently returned two days of common use, which implies messages, apps, net shopping, GPS, and taking photographs for a complete of round three hours per day, with the system turned off in a single day. Most days, I finish with round 60% battery remaining, so with gentle use, the Magic Vs’s battery would stretch into a 3rd day.

Recharging the Magic Vs is simply doable utilizing a wired connection, because it doesn’t have wi-fi charging, or a reverse charging characteristic both. The Honor 66W SuperCharge quick charger is included within the field and presents the quickest approach of recharging the battery. Going from 2% (when the cellphone turned itself off) to 100% takes lower than an hour.

Concerning efficiency, the Honor Magic Vs makes use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, with 12GB of RAM, and I’ve skilled no points in any respect. This chip has confirmed itself to be very environment friendly previously, which undoubtedly helps the Magic Vs take advantage of out of its battery capability, however there are some considerations when the cellphone is pushed laborious.

I don’t assume the software program is taking advantage of its potential. Taking part in video games, together with Asphalt 9: Legends, reveals it’s not as easy or as quick as I anticipate, and undoubtedly isn’t the faultless gaming expertise the Galaxy Z Fold 4 offers. The side ratio of the display screen means you get bars above and under the gameplay display screen too. Taking part in Asphalt 9: Legends for half-hour took 11% of the battery, and watching movies for a similar period of time can take at the very least 5%.

Moreover, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 has been outmoded by Qualcomm, and though it’ll nonetheless be performer for a number of years to return, it is a cellphone with a excessive worth, and for that, I’d have appreciated to see the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside. If you wish to preserve your new cellphone for a few years, then getting the very best specification doable is necessary.

Lastly, calls sound nice, and 5G connectivity has been advantageous too, however I’ve seen the Wi-Fi vary is brief, with the cellphone failing to tug in a sign the place different telephones handle to carry on to it.

Honor Magic Vs: worth and availability

A person opening the Honor Magic Vs.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The Honor Magic Vs has not been formally launched within the U.S., and this isn’t anticipated to vary. The cellphone has been introduced for Europe, the place it prices 1,599 euros, or about $1,695. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 begins at $1,800. The precise launch dates haven’t been confirmed.

Honor has positioned the Magic Vs on its U.Ok. on-line retailer, indicating the cellphone will finally arrive there, too, however it has not revealed a worth but. Ought to it accomplish that, it must value lower than 1,650 British kilos, which might see it undercut the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

When you’re set on shopping for a big-screen folding smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 needs to be on the high of your record. Actually, when you stay exterior China, it’ll be the solely cellphone in your record. The Oppo Discover N2 isn’t offered internationally, and the Tecno Phantom V Fold isn’t obtainable but both. If you would like a folding cellphone that’s extra about comfort, then do check out the wonderful Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Oppo Discover N2 Flip. All these are higher purchases than the Honor Magic Vs.

Alternatively, it can save you some cash and select between the 2 greatest non-folding flagship telephones obtainable immediately, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely and the Apple iPhone 14 Professional Max. Each have large screens (admittedly contained in large our bodies), nice cameras, and all the ability and options you might need. They’ll final you for years.

Unrefined Honor Magic Vs can’t beat the Galaxy Z Fold 4

The Honor Magic Vs and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 with open screens.
Honor Magic Vs (left) and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (proper) Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The Honor Magic 4s feels prefer it has arrived a bit too quickly, but I first used the cellphone in November 2022, so this isn’t a model new system that has simply this second come into life. Sadly, the software program feels unfinished, solely the primary digital camera takes good photographs, the battery life is simply respectable whenever you don’t push the cellphone too laborious, and never all apps are optimized for the large display screen. The Magic Vs is right here, however it most likely wanted a bit extra time within the lab.

It’s unlucky. The {hardware} is spectacular and the general design appears wonderful. However even right here, it’s laborious to keep away from the shortage of mud resistance, wi-fi charging, and a hinge that doesn’t instantly lay flat. I had excessive hopes for the Honor Magic Vs after I first tried it, however since utilizing it day-after-day for a number of weeks, it has not managed to capitalize on this early goodwill.

This isn’t a horrible smartphone, however it suffers from varied irritating issues that see it fall far behind the trade behemoth that’s the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The technically “previous” processor is unlucky, too, particularly as a result of the worth continues to be excessive. A collection of software program updates might assist the Magic Vs sooner or later, however for now, it’s not the big-screen folding smartphone to purchase.

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