During IFA 2023, HONOR took the stage to showcase its flagship foldable smartphone, the HONOR Magic V2. Launched in July in China, the Magic V2 is the nemesis (at least in some markets) of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 unveiled last month in South Korea.
Ultra slim Design and Durability
With a mere 231g weight and folding to an ultra-slim 9.9mm thickness, the HONOR Magic V2 sets new standards for compactness in foldable devices. At 4.7mm tin when unfolded, the Magic V2 is thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Z Fold 5, which stands at 6.1mm unfolded and weighs 253g.
Integrating a Super-light Titanium Hinge and SGS-certified proprietary steel delivers a good balance between weight and sturdiness, ensuring longevity and reliability. According to Honor, this hinge boasts the capacity to withstand over 400,000 folds, the equivalent of a decade, with a daily folding rate of 100 times.
Featuring a 7.92” foldable OLED LTPO display with a 2344 × 2156 pixels resolution, a whopping 90.4% screen-to-body ratio, and a 120 Hz refresh rate, the Honor Magic V2 display is on par with the Samsung flagship foldable, except for the 1600 nits peak brightness (vs. 1750 nits for Samsung)
Incorporating HONOR’s 3840Hz PWM Dimming technology mitigates eye strain during extended usage. Dynamic Dimming mimics natural light patterns to alleviate eye fatigue, while the Circadian Night Display embraces warmer hues to enhance sleep quality.
Both screens offer stylus support, which is great, but it’s not clear what stylus technology is utilized, or if the stylus comes with the phone, or if it’s an optional accessory.
The HONOR Magic V2 has a triple rear camera setup that combines a 50MP Main camera (f/1.9), a 50MP Ultra-Wide camera (f/2.0), and a 20MP Telephoto camera (f/2.4). On the front, the device features a dual 16MP front camera (f/2.2).
The camera system with five total cameras makes it possible to take photos and videos intuitively no matter how the phone is being used (open, closed, half-open, etc.) and that’s great. We’re wondering how good the camera hardware quality is (as measured by our Ubergizmo CAMERA HW score), and we will compute the scores when we have a chance.
For now, we can only speculate based on the available data, and we are closely looking at how the incredible chassis thinness might affect the camera optics available to Honor.
Enhanced Operating System
Fueled by MagicOS 7.2, built upon Android 13, the HONOR Magic V2 delivers a seamless user experience designed to adapt to varied scenarios. A focal point on privacy and security introduces the parallel space feature, segregating work and personal applications.
Honor’s foldables have a multi-user version of Android, similar to what tablets have, which makes it convenient to loan your handset to your children or friends for entertainment purposes while keeping your data private.
There’s no compromise in computing features since the phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, and it will be very interesting to see what sustained performance looks like as this might be affected by the thin chassis and cooling performance.
Users can select storage capacities of 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB, so there’s really something for everyone.
Advanced Battery Technology
The HONOR Magic V2 introduces Silicon-carbon Batteries with a thinness averaging 2.72mm, propelling power storage capabilities to new heights. Featuring HONOR’s low-voltage charge energy-gathering technology, these batteries deliver optimized power output at a consistent voltage level.
Paired with a sizable 5000 mAh battery capacity and supporting 66W HONOR SuperCharge, the Honor Magic V2 can stand its ground against “classic” high-end smartphones in both capacity and charge speed.
Given the display size, we expect the battery to be slightly lower than a standard-format large phone, although independent testing will confirm that. What we know for sure is that the visual comfort is largely superior to any classic phone.
Since its China launch, the Honor Magic V2 has been seen as a serious contender in the maturing foldable market. However, there are pending questions regarding which markets it will be available in and “when” each market will be served. Last year’s Honor Vs foldable reached the market months after its launch.
From a technology standpoint, Honor’s design aims to address some common foldable design tradeoffs, namely the weight and thickness of competing handsets. That said, it might come with its own tradeoffs regarding camera optics, for example.
On the other hand, competitors like Samsung and its Galaxy Z Fold 5 have a well-known product and a formidable brand advantage. On paper, Samsung also seems to have a camera advantage, which remains the #1 phone feature for some users, even ahead of battery life.
2023’s foldable competition is shaping up to be one of the most interesting and eventful consumer tech contests, and we can’t wait to publish our Best Foldable Phones of 2023. Stay tuned and subscribe to our channels!