Honor Magic Vs review

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Foldable devices from China are going global left and right with the aim of challenging Samsung’s dominance in the field, and the Honor Magic Vs is the latest to make its international debut. A second-generation foldable from Honor, the Magic Vs builds on last year’s V, adding refinement to the moving bits, improving the camera system and fine-tuning the screens and battery.

We had an early look at the Magic Vs late last year, and while that device was ready for prime time in terms of hardware, it wasn’t final when it came to software. This one is for you to get the usual test results, including battery life (spoiler: solid) and camera tests – we couldn’t test them three months ago.

The Magic Vs is based on a 7.9-inch foldable OLED display that’s still limited to 90Hz (Samsung’s Z Fold4 can handle 120Hz). It’s now brighter than the Vs, Honor says, and so is the 6.45-inch cover screen, which able to Refresh at up to 120Hz.

The folding mechanism is new on the Vs compared to the V, where Honor ditches the gears in favor of a gearless hinge. Reduction of complexity and the use of magnesium and titanium alloys in the construction have made the Vs around 10% lighter than the V – a most welcome development. It also has a bigger battery than the older model – 5,000 mAh vs. 4,750 mAh.

A few changes to the camera system make the Magic Vs a more capable camera phone, we reckon. A telephoto camera replaces the ‘ultra-spectrum’ 50MP module on the Magic V, which we never quite got to experience. It may be a relatively modest 8MP 3x device, but some phone is better than no phone. The primary 54 MP camera is also new for this generation, while the 50 MP ultrawide has been carried over. A pair of 16 MP selfie cameras, one hole per screen, brings the number up to 5 cameras.

Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 ticks inside the Magic Vs and adds a plus over the Magic V’s chipset. And in the months between the initial release in China and the global rollout, Honor put together an Android 13-based build of Magic UI (the one we had hands-on was on Android 12), so it’s pretty up-to-date on the software front.

Honor Magic V specs at a glance:

  • Body: 160.3×141.5×6.1mm, 267g/261g; Glass front, glass back or eco leather back, magnesium alloy frame, titanium alloy folding mechanism.
  • Screen: 7.9″ foldable OLED, 1B colors, 90Hz, HDR10+, 1984x2272px resolution, 10.3:9 aspect ratio, 382ppi; Deck screen: OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, 6.45″, 4080×2,.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.0 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.5 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
  • Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM.
  • OS/Software: Android 13, Magic UI 7.1.
  • Rear camera: wide (main): 54MP, f/1.9, 27mm, 1/1.49″, 1.0µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 50MP, f/2.0, 13mm, 122˚, AF; Telephoto: 8 MP, f/2.4, PDAF, 3x optical zoom, OIS.
  • Front camera: 16MP, f/2.5, (wide).
  • Video recording: Rear camera: [email protected]/60fps (10-bit), [email protected]/60fps, gyro-EIS, HDR10+; Front camera: [email protected], gyro EIS.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; 66W wired, 5W reverse wired.
  • Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Infrared port; stereo speakers.

Honor Magic vs unboxing

Magic Vs is shipped in a large black cardboard box with a fine striped pattern and a matte finish. Inside, the handset is unfolded in a tray with the accessories in additional boxes placed in dedicated compartments – a decidedly premium presentation, if not so eco-friendly.

Honor Magic V's review

The included peripherals include a 66W adapter that matches the phone’s specified charging capabilities and a cable that comes with it.

Also inside the box is a protector for the back of the phone – the only surface that doesn’t have a display of some sort. It’s a combined snap-on/sticker design – it stays on without the adhesive strip, but of course the sticker adds an extra level of staying power.

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