Hands-on: Honor Magic5 Pro
Honor’s Magic5 series got off to a quiet start with the Magic5 Lite, but the company saved its best performance for MWC – the new Honor Magic5 Pro is an all-round flagship that builds on last year’s design. However, it does not follow a straight path to upgrades.
In fact, the phone’s designers prefer curved lines and the phone is rounded all over. Despite the expansive 6.81″ screen, the phone is on the lighter side – it weighs 219g. In comparison, a Galaxy S23 Ultra is 234g, an iPhone 14 Pro Max is 240g. If you’ve held a Magic4 Pro in your hand , you should have a rough idea of the dimensions of its successor.It weighs about the same, is slightly slimmer (8.8mm vs. 9.2mm), but also wider (76.7mm vs. 74.7 etc.).
The Honor Magic5 Pro is for people who love big phones, but it’s also not excessive (the aforementioned Galaxy and iPhone, for example, are about a millimeter wider). Just like last year, the phone is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance. The company did not reveal the origin of the phone’s glass panels.
We spent some time with the new Honor Magic5 Pro flagship (seen here in Glacier Blue)
The Pro model comes in five color options: Glacier Blue, Meadow Green, Coral Purple, Orange and Black. The unit we had to deal with was Glacier Blue. Note that the purple and orange colors have a vegan leather backing.
The screen is the same size and resolution as last year – 6.81″ and 1,312 x 2,848px (19.5:9, 461ppi). And yes, it’s a 10-bit LTPO panel with HDR10+ support. The refresh rate ranges from 1Hz to 120Hz However, there are a number of improvements that improve display performance and reduce user eye strain.
For starters, it’s much, much brighter. The new screen can reach up to 1,800 nits when displaying HDR content, the highest global brightness is 1,300 nits. By comparison, the old screen topped out at “just” 1,000 nits. Honor also improved the high-frequency PWM damping system, boosting it to 2,160 Hz (up from 1,920 Hz). The company has calibrated the screen’s color accuracy at two brightness levels (120 and 800 nits) down to deltaE of 0.27 (translation: the human eye cannot perceive any deviations from the true color).
The rear camera has a multi-spectrum color temperature sensor to measure the ambient light. Let’s talk about the camera, shall we? The triple module still lives on a large circle that Honor calls the “Eye of Muse”. This year, the camera trio was rearranged into a triangular constellation – the periscope moved to the top, the main and ultra-wide cameras are at the bottom.
All three use 50MP sensors this year. The main camera is particularly interesting. Last year, Honor used the IMX766, a 50MP 1/1.56″ sensor that we’ve seen on flagships and some cheaper phones. This year, the company has secured a custom 1/1.12″ sensor and widened the aperture to f/1.6 (up from f/ 1.8). The unnamed sensor has 1.4 µm native pixels and 4-in-1 binning support.
This has a big impact on night shots and we won’t keep you waiting; check out some camera samples below. You know what else helps with taking handheld photos in the dark? Optical image stabilization (OIS), of course, which is available on the Magic5 Pro’s main camera (its omission from the Magic4 Pro was a sore point last year).
Honor Magic5 Pro camera samples from a darkly lit bar (main camera)
Honor also optimized the phone for high-quality video, it can record 4K footage at 60 fps in either HDR10+ or Magic-Log 10-bit log formats. There’s an IMAX-branded app that helps you edit the videos you shoot on the phone itself, without the need for a computer. One thing missing compared to other flagships is an 8K mode.
Magic5 Pro brings a new periscope telephoto camera. The optics still offer 3.5x magnification and have a brighter aperture to boot (f/3.0 vs. f/3.5 on the old Pro). The new module uses the 50MP Sony IMX858 sensor (instead of a 64MP sensor). Digital zoom goes all the way to 100x.
Before we show you more camera samples, we should note that the ultra-wide camera rounds out the triple 50MP setup; it has a 122° field of view and an f/2.0 aperture (versus f/2.2 on the old Pro). Here are pictures taken with each of the three cameras.
Honor Magic5 Pro camera examples: ultra wide angle • main • telephoto • additional zoom
Honor Magic5 Pro camera examples: ultra wide angle • main camera • telephoto • additional zoom
Honor Magic5 Pro camera tests: ultra-wide camera
Honor Magic5 camera samples: main camera
Honor Magic5 Pro camera examples: telephoto camera
Here’s an interesting note – this phone has two cameras capable of taking macro shots. The ultra wide module can do it up close (2.5cm/1in) and the telephoto camera can do it at a distance of 30cm/12in.
The Honor Magc5 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, because of course it is. Honor simplified the memory configuration for the phone – 12GB LPDDR5X and 512GB UFS 4.0, that’s it.
Honor added some custom features such as the Discrete Display Chipset, which always renders the video in HDR10+ and has the ability to convert 30fps content to 60fps. The phone also has a security system developed together with Qualcomm that keeps your passwords and biometric data safe.
These biometrics include 3D face scans – the pill-shaped hole in the top left corner holds the 12MP selfie camera (1.22µm, unfortunately with fixed focus lens) and a depth sensor for more accurate, more secure face scans. The selfie camera also has a wide field of view, 100°, which makes it easy to take group photos.
Last year, the Magic4 Pro impressed with its ability to charge at 100W both over a wire and wirelessly. This year, Honor dialed back the speed – 66W wired, 50W wireless – and increased the battery capacity instead of 5,000 mAh, up from 4,600 mAh. Honor includes a 66W SuperCharge adapter in the retail package, here’s a look:
The Honor Magic5 Pro will be available in Q2 (April-June) at a price of €1,200 (that’s $1,270/£1,055/£105,000) for the 12/512GB configuration (which is the only option for now). In comparison, the Magic4 Pro went global with a price of £950 for an 8/256GB unit.