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HomeTechnologyHonor Magic Vs evaluate: a load of previous hocus pocus

Honor Magic Vs evaluate: a load of previous hocus pocus

A person opening the Honor Magic Vs.

Honor Magic Vs

MSRP $1,695.00

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


  • Straightforward to make use of when closed
  • Two-day battery life
  • Massive display 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 have to do extra than simply exist

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a superb smartphone, and it’ll take extra than simply related {hardware} to change into 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 Traits

I’m going to speak in regards to the Honor Magic Vs’s design in a largely constructive trend, however there are a number of causes for concern right here. The Magic Vs’s extensive cowl display is extra usable than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4’s, and I’ve primarily used it this fashion throughout my weeks with the telephone. The keyboard is positioned a bit of low on the display, which wants adjusting to, however after getting it’s wonderful. Nevertheless, it’s Microsoft’s SwiftKey keyboard put in by default, so I put in Google’s Gboard individually, because it’s way 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 purpose, you all the time realize it’s there. This additionally causes fatigue after holding the closed telephone for any size of time, however this isn’t a state of affairs distinctive to the Magic Vs. Open the telephone up, and the chassis is 6.1mm thick.

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

The slimness of the chassis, and the best way the telephone folds tightly shut with out a hole, do make it a bit of awkward to open. The hinge continues to be stiff on my evaluate mannequin, and there isn’t a lot to “seize,” so it takes extra effort than I’d prefer to open the telephone. If my fingers are sweaty or just lately moisturized, then there’s virtually no probability of prying the 2 sections aside in any respect. I just like the gapless development, 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 development permits the telephone to shut with out a hole, however it nonetheless appears to be bedding in. At the least, 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 telephone isn’t fairly flat. After a short while, it appears to loosen up the previous couple of millimeters, which could be very unusual, and the not-quite-flat angle is absolutely 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 Traits

My model of the Honor Magic Vs is within the beautiful cyan colour, which has a stupendous silver flake inside to essentially catch the sunshine, however you too can get the telephone in an odd black colour too. The digital camera module is jewel-like in its form, with extra sweeping corners than you’d anticipate finding, and it seems to be nice. The Magic Vs has a really enticing total 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 in a position to comfortably use the telephone like this, which is nice information, however the hinge isn’t as refined because the one on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

The hinge isn’t the one challenge. 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 telephone some further safety in the long run. Honor says the hinge has been examined to 400,000 folds, however exterior of this, try to be fairly cautious with the Honor Magic Vs if you need it to final.

Honor Magic Vs: screens

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

On the surface is a 6.45-inch, 21:9 side ratio, OLED display with a 120Hz refresh charge 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 charge, 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 colour gamut, and may present multiple billion colours.

What a few crease? Effectively, it’s there, however as with most foldables you’ll be able to’t see it when considered face-on, and when the display is illuminated. It’s extra seen at an angle, and you’ll really feel it once you run your finger throughout the display. I don’t discover it annoying or distracting, and there aren’t any ripples within the display on both aspect. I don’t contemplate it a problem. Outdoors visibility is nice, however in vibrant daylight, there may be plenty of reflection on the internal display.

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

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

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

Video seems to be nice, particularly on the internal display, and it stays an enormous good thing about big-screen foldables. I really like not having to succeed in for a pill after I wish to actually take pleasure in a video, and the comfort of doing this anyplace is implausible. 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 help the half-angled mode, the place the telephone helps itself, so the knowledge bar on the prime of the display doesn’t disappear. It additionally bothers me the amount rocker is on the identical aspect because the digital camera module, so on this supported orientation, it’s one the forefront of the telephone should you put the telephone flat-side down, making it tough to push.

Honor Magic Vs: software program

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

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 pleasurable 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 accessible — a cardinal sin in 2023 for a telephone bought exterior China. There are at the very least 22 pre-installed apps, eight of which might’t be uninstalled, and you’ll solely stuff them inside a folder as a result of there’s no app drawer. It makes the telephone feel and appear messy. A world search web page seems with a swipe down on the display, however requires a severely actual bottom-of-the-screen swipe as much as make it disappear, which is annoying once you unintentionally activate it when making an attempt to make use of the telephone with one hand.

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

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

Honor’s MagicUI 7.1 is harking back to Huawei’s EMUI consumer interface on each Android and HarmonyOS, and it lacks any character of its personal. Among the design choices imply it received’t enchantment to anybody used to Samsung or Google’s Android telephone software program, and up to date usability developments in Oppo’s ColorOS software program imply it lags behind the Discover N2 as effectively. 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 growth time meant it might 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 method 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 stable 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 Traits

On the prime of the digital camera module is the principle 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 area of view, which might additionally shoot macro pictures.

Once 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 principle 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 depend means pictures lack element. The digital camera app additionally pushes a 10x digital zoom setting, which is predictably terrible.

What’s flawed with the wide-angle digital camera? There’s plenty of smoothing occurring, which robs pictures of element and makes them look synthetic and unsightly. Colours and distinction are usually not according to the principle digital camera, and there’s numerous distortion on the edges of pictures 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 pictures for the higher.

The principle digital camera takes pleasing pictures 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 implausible digital camera, so the Honor Magic Vs’s typically lackluster efficiency actually confirmed up. Evening mode is satisfactory, however there’s loads of proof the software program has to step in to keep up high quality.

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

On the video aspect, Honor has its personal model of Samsung’s Single Take mode, known as AI Instantaneous, which generates smaller clips and nonetheless photos 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 isn’t the main target right here, however that is an costly, flagship folding telephone, and the digital camera ought to nonetheless be up there with the most effective. It’s not, and it’ll take some hefty software program tweaks to enhance it, which I’m upset to haven’t seen but.

Honor Magic Vs: battery, charging, and efficiency

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

The Honor Magic Vs’s 4,900mAh battery has persistently returned two days of common use, which implies messages, apps, internet searching, GPS, and taking pictures 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 mild use, the Magic Vs’s battery would stretch into a 3rd day.

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

Relating to 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 positively helps the Magic Vs take advantage of out of its battery capability, however there are some issues when the telephone is pushed onerous.

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 count on, and positively isn’t the faultless gaming expertise the Galaxy Z Fold 4 gives. The side ratio of the display means you get bars above and beneath the gameplay display 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 outdated by Qualcomm, and though it’ll nonetheless be performer for a number of years to come back, it is a telephone with a excessive worth, and for that, I’d have preferred to see the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside. If you wish to preserve your new telephone for a few years, then getting the most effective specification attainable is vital.

Lastly, calls sound nice, and 5G connectivity has been wonderful too, however I’ve seen the Wi-Fi vary is brief, with the telephone 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 Traits

The Honor Magic Vs has not been formally launched within the U.S., and this isn’t anticipated to vary. The telephone 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 telephone will ultimately arrive there, too, however it has not revealed a worth but. Ought to it achieve this, it must value lower than 1,650 British kilos, which might see it undercut the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

In case you’re set on shopping for a big-screen folding smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 ought to be on the prime of your checklist. In reality, should you stay exterior China, it’ll be the solely telephone in your checklist. The Oppo Discover N2 isn’t bought internationally, and the Tecno Phantom V Fold isn’t accessible but both. If you’d like a folding telephone that’s extra about comfort, then do check out the superb 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 accessible right this moment, 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 facility and options you can 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 Traits

The Honor Magic 4s feels prefer it has arrived a bit of too quickly, but I first used the telephone 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 principle digital camera takes good pictures, the battery life is just respectable once you don’t push the telephone too onerous, and never all apps are optimized for the large display. The Magic Vs is right here, however it in all probability wanted a bit of extra time within the lab.

It’s unlucky. The {hardware} is spectacular and the general design seems to be wonderful. However even right here, it’s onerous to keep away from the dearth 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 each 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 value continues to be excessive. A collection of software program updates could assist the Magic Vs sooner or later, however for now, it’s not the big-screen folding smartphone to purchase.

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