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HONOR Magic V2 Review – How Foldables Should Be Designed
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HONOR Magic V2 Review – How Foldables Should Be Designed

by January 19, 2024
Overview
Warranty

1-year

Price

RM6,999

Positives

+ Full sized phone when folded
+ Consistent experience from both displays
+ Really thin, easy to hold
+ Good battery life
+ Reliable camera setup
+ Good memory configuration
+ Fingerprint scanner / power button hybrid
+ Complete package

Negatives

- Not the newest chip
- UI could use improvements
- No IP rating
- No wireless charging
- Pricey

Pokde Scoreboard
Pokde Rating
Appearance
8.5
Efficiency
7.5
Features
8.0
Materials
7.5
Performance
7.5
Portability
8.0
User Experience
7.5
Value
7.0
Bottom Line

The HONOR Magic V2 is an excellent foldable smartphone and it's one that we're pleased to start the new year with. Sure, it's not the perfect smartphone but like other foldables, there's still plenty of room for improvements.

7.7
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HONOR Magic V2 Unboxing

HONOR Magic V2 Unboxing and First Impressions

HONOR Magic V2 Review – Box

The HONOR Magic V2 comes in a rather large black box, which I initially thought was simply because of the sheer size of it when it’s unfolded. The packaging itself is minimalistic so you won’t be able to find much details on it.

HONOR Magic V2 Unboxing and First Impressions

HONOR Magic V2 Review – Box content

Inside the box, we found the following items:

  • Documentations
  • 66W HONOR SuperCharge charger
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Inner screen protective film (pre-installed)
  • External screen protective film (pre-installed)
  • PU case
  • The HONOR Magic V2 smartphone itself

Specifications

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 5nm
1 x Cortex-X3 @ 3.19 GHz + 2 x Cortex-A715 @ 2.8 GHz + 2 x Cortex-A710 @ 2.8 GHz + 3 x Cortex-A510 @ 2 GHz
GPU: Adreno 740
RAM: 16GB
Display: Inner Screen

7.92″ FHD+ (2344 x 2156), Foldable LTPO OLED, HDR10+, IMAX Enhanced, 120Hz, 1600 nits (peak), 1 billion colors, 9.78:9

External Screen

6.43″ (2376 x 1060) LTPO OLED, 120Hz, 402ppi, 2500 nits (peak), nanocrystal glass 2.0, 20:9

3840Hz PWM Dimming with TUV Rheinland Flicker Free Certification, Dynamic Dimming, Circadian Night Display with TUV Rheinland CIrcadian-friendly Certification

Storage: 512GB UFS 4.0 (not expandable)
Camera: HONOR Falcon Camera System
HONOR AIR Motion Sensing CaptureMain Camera(s)50MP f/1.9 wide angle camera with PDAF, Laser AF, OIS20MP f/2.4 telephoto angle camera, PDAF, 2.5x optical zoom, OIS50MP f/2.0 ultrawide angle camera, 123°

Front Camera

16MP f/2.2 wide-angle camera (internal and external)

OS: Android 13, MagicOS 7.2
Audio: Symmetrical Stereo Dual Speakers certified by IMAX Enhanced 24-bit HDR 3-MIC Stereo Voice Reception
DTS:X Ultra Algorithm
AI Privacy Call 2.0
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7, dual-band Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth 5.3, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
GPS: GPS(L1+L5) /AGPS/GLONASS/BeiDou(B1I+B1C+B2a)/Galileo(E1 + E5a)
NFC: Support Reader/Writer Mode,Card Emulation Mode (SIM1, HCE)
Mobile: 5G NR/TD-LTE/FDD-LTE/WCDMA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA/CDMA1X/EDGE/GPRS, support VoLTE/ViLTE
SIM / eSIM
SIM: Dual SIM (2 x NanoSIM and eSIM)
Battery: 5000 mAh (non-removable) Silicon Carbon battery
66W Fast Charging
5W Reverse Wired
Dimensions: Unfolded

145.4 x 156.7 x 4.7 mm

Folded

74 x 156.7 x 9.9 mm

Weight: 231 ~ 237 g
Ingress protection: No
Colors: Black (glass), Black (PU), Purple (glass)

Performance

HONOR Magic V2 Review

HONOR Magic V2 Review – Antutu v10

Starting off our benchmark suite with Antutu v10, the HONOR Magic V2 didn’t perform as good as we thought it would here given that it’s powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. In fact, other devices using the same SoC performed noticeably better, so we’re not sure if this was done intentionally for efficiency purposes or thermal throttling as it didn’t feel hot to the touch.

HONOR Magic V2 Review

HONOR Magic V2 Review – Geekbench 6

While a similar pattern can be seen in Geekbench 6, the difference isn’t as significant when comparing to other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 devices. It still doesn’t change the fact that it’s not performing as well as we expected it to be, but it’s not too bad.

HONOR Magic V2 Review

HONOR Magic V2 Review – 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited

Interestingly in 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited, this is the one area that it seems to be performing on par with other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 devices. While I initially theorized that the CPU was intentionally downclocked for better efficiency / thermal management, that isn’t exactly the case as the stability rating was slightly under 60%. In simpler terms, thermal throttling was present during the stress test, and it definitely could use some improvements.

HONOR Magic V2 Review

HONOR Magic V2 Review – PCMark Work 3.0

Lastly on PCMark’s Work 3.0 benchmark, the HONOR Magic V2 made a surprising recovery as it managed to beat out every non-gaming smartphone in our list of benchmarked devices. The only ones that exceeded it are the ROG Phone 6 and 7, with some of them being in their overclocked “X-Mode” state. This is definitely not what I expected given previous benchmarks but this does bode well for this foldable given the nature of the device.

HONOR Magic V2 Review

HONOR Magic V2 Review – Battery endurance test

In case you’re wondering, the battery life for the HONOR Magic V2 is not bad but I find it rather odd. For instance, the battery life is similar to the Z Fold4 when unfolded but when it’s folded, HONOR’s foldable device lasted significantly longer than the Z Fold4, roughly 2 and a half hours longer. Personally, I’m quite okay with the figures I got and unless you’re a particularly heavy user, I’m certain that most people will easily get a full day’s worth of use with this. As for charging speed, this is what I got using the included 66W HONOR SuperCharge charger starting from 2%:

  • 15 minutes = 46%
  • 30 minutes = 76%
  • 45 minutes = 99%
  • 46 minutes = 100%

If you’re looking for a more standard flagship experience, check out our HONOR Magic5 Pro review by clicking right here.

Camera

The HONOR Magic V2 has an excellent camera setup, but do expect some level of performance difference between each camera. With the main 50MP wide angle camera, it’s typically the fastest and best looking one, resulting in the clearest photos with the punchiest colors along with great low-light performance. The telephoto camera works a whole lot better than I expected, being on par with the main camera. However, the quality is only great up to 10x as it starts to look pixelated past it, which is understandable as that’s where digital zoom kicks in with strong effect. The ultrawide camera is still usable but it seems to have a rather soft focus, and it’s certainly more dependent on light as it doesn’t do particularly well in low light.

The Good

HONOR Magic V2 Review -

HONOR Magic V2 Review – External display

There are a number of good reasons to consider the HONOR Magic V2. For starters, you get a full size smartphone if you ever use this folded. Previously with foldables of this form factor, the external display has been on the narrow side, making it a bit hard for normal smartphone users to transition. After all, you either use the screen that’s too narrow or the one that’s too wide. It’s not always easy or possible to use the main display, especially when you can only use one hand at the time, and using the external display on the HONOR Magic V2 will be just like any other Android smartphone, which is great.

HONOR Magic V2 Review -

HONOR Magic V2 Review – Main display

Furthermore, you get a consistent experience in terms of quality from both displays. After all, you get 120Hz refresh rate, 3840Hz PWM dimming, and LTPO OLED screens which means you get top-tier displays complete with adaptive refresh rate. Sure, the brightness for both are different, 1,600 nits and 2,500 nits peak brightness for the external and internal displays respectively, but both are more than adequately bright so you wouldn’t have an issue even when using it under broad daylight. This is an important aspect for this type of foldable as you wouldn’t want consumers to feel like they’re missing out if they prioritize one display over the other, especially when it can be more convenient to lean more towards one.

HONOR Magic V2 Review - 9,9mm when folded

HONOR Magic V2 Review – 9,9mm when folded

Another major plus point is how thin the HONOR Magic V2 is. It’s 4.7mm when unfolded and goes up to 9.9mm when folded. Flagships of 2023 have their thickness set at about 8 to 9mm, so this feels about the same if you’re using it while it’s folded. When comparing it to other foldables of the same form factor, you’re looking at about 11.7m for the OnePlus Open, 11.08mm for the HUAWEI Mate X5, and 13.46mm for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5. The fact that HONOR is able to keep it so thin while still packing a whopping 5,000mAh battery inside is certainly an amazing feat. Sure, it might be on the heavier side at 237g but considering that something like the iPhone 14 Pro Max weighs at 240g, this feels a lot more reasonable.

HONOR Magic V2 Review -

HONOR Magic V2 Review – The included case looks great

For the Malaysian market, the HONOR Magic V2 comes with a healthy 16GB RAM / 512GB storage memory configuration, which is more than enough for most consumers. The large RAM capacity would make it much easier to multitask on this, especially given the large display, and 512GB storage will take a while to fill up. While a 1TB storage variant does exist, that’s only available in other markets. If you need more storage, you will need to rely on cloud storage solutions as this does not come with a microSD card slot.

HONOR Magic V2 Review -

HONOR Magic V2 Review – The power button doubles up as a fingerprint scanner

One thing I really like about this foldable smartphone is the fingerprint scanner / power button hybrid. I’m a bigger fan of this compared to the usual under-display type as it gives a more consistent experience overall. This is especially true if your finger might be a little wet. Moreover, the combination of both functions mean that you get to save space without having two separate hardware modules that could result in either of them being in placed in an awkward position.

Lastly, the HONOR Magic V2 comes with a complete package. You get a reasonably fast 66W charger, a USB-C cable, SIM ejector pin, pre-installed screen protectors for both the internal and external displays, and a protective case that has a built-in kickstand. While pre-order customers will get even more items as freebies, what you get here as is is already enough to get most consumers up and running without the need to shop for further accessories.

The Bad

HONOR Magic V2 Review -

HONOR Magic V2 Review

As good as the HONOR Magic V2 is, it does have its fair share of drawbacks. For starters, it’s short a couple of convenience-based features; no wireless charging and the lack of an IP rating. The former doesn’t feel too bad given that HONOR is already giving a speedy charger to go along with it but the former would mean that you would need to be a bit more careful when using it, especially if you get caught in the rain. A little water would not break it immediately and a dust resistant foldable might still be tough to do but having some form of IP rating would instill confidence in consumers to adopt this foldable.

Next up is no stranger to foldables of this form factor, and that is the UI could use some improvements. While MagicOS does a decent job in accommodating the larger display, there are still plenty of apps that will look odd. This is an issue that can only be remedied over time as more developers make their UI more adaptable to larger screens but for now, you might be leaning more towards the external display when things don’t look particularly right.

HONOR Magic V2 Review -

HONOR Magic V2 Review – Rear

Then we have the fact that the HONOR Magic V2 using 2023’s flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip despite being a brand new smartphone in 2024. While it’s still a very powerful chip in its own right, many would naturally expect it to use the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. This is especially because of its high asking price of RM6,999. This shouldn’t take away the fact that it’s still a great foldable smartphone, just that you should be aware what you’re getting into.

HONOR Magic V2 Verdict

HONOR Magic V2 Review -

HONOR Magic V2 Review

The HONOR Magic V2 is an excellent foldable smartphone and it’s one that we’re pleased to start the new year with. Sure, it’s not the perfect smartphone but like other foldables, there’s still plenty of room for improvements. What it does bring to the table, especially upgrades from its predecessor, are certainly significant. It depends on whether this foldable can suit your needs and if you can stomach its asking price.

At the end of our HONOR Magic V2 review, I award this foldable smartphone with our Silver Pokdeward.

Pokde-Silver

Big thanks to HONOR Malaysia for sending us this foldable smartphone for the purpose of this review.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)