HONOR Magic5 Pro Review – Not To Be Underestimated
The HONOR Magic5 Pro builds on the success of its predecessor, with its large cameras, improved performance and even better display. Is it worth your money? Let's find out.
Starting from €1,199
+ Solid overall performance
+ Eye-catching design
+ Top-tier display with HDR10+ and 120Hz dynamic refresh rate support
+ Excellent camera performance, especially low-light
+ One of the earliest to adopt Wi-Fi 7
+ Immersive stereo speaker setup
+ Fingerprint scanner and face recognition works fast and consistently
+ Charges reasonably fast
- Battery life isn't bad, but could be better
- Pill-shaped cutout makes it look kind of outdated
- Performance seemingly lagging behind rivals using the same SoC
Unboxing the HONOR Magic5 Pro
The HONOR Magic5 Pro comes in a simple black box with the model of the smartphone written on the top. There’s really nothing much to the box apart from it being standard sized rather than the slimmer ones you see in other flagships, and I’m sure you have a good idea why. Inside the box, you can find the following items:
- USB-C to USB-C cable
- 66W HONOR SuperCharge charging brick
- SIM ejector pin
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty card
- Clear protective case
- The HONOR Magic5 Pro itself
A TP Protective Film will be pre-applied prior to phone being sold (in selected countries).
|SoC||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 4nm
1 x Cortex-X3 @ 3.36 GHz + 2 x Cortex-A715 @ 2.8GHz + 2 x Cortex-A710 @ 2.8 GHz + 3 x Cortex-A510 @ 2GHz
Adreno 740 GPU
|Storage||512GB UFS 4.0|
|Display||6.81″ (2848 x 1312) Quad Curved Floating Screen OLED Display
|Rear Camera||50MP f/1.6 wide angle camera, multi-directional PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
50MP f/3.0 periscope telephoto camera, 3.5x optical zoom, PDAF, OIS
50MP f/2.0 ultrawide camera, 122°, AF
LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama
4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60, HDR10, 10-bit video, gyro-EIS
|Selfie Camera||12MP f/2.4 wide angle (100°) selfie cam
TOF 3D depth camera
66W HONOR SuperCharge (wired)
50W wireless fast charging
5W reverse wired charging
Reverse wireless charging
|Dimensions||162.9 x 76.7 x 8.77 mm
|Software||MagicOS 7.1 based on Android 13|
|Colours||Black, Meadow Green, Glacier Blue, Purple, and Orange|
Starting off our benchmark suite with Antutu v9, we can see that the HONOR Magic5 Pro has a strong showing, matching up with the flagships of this year. This shouldn’t be a surprise since they’re using the same chip; Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The differences in score is likely due to different memory configurations and optimizations within the software itself. Regardless, it’s the 3rd strongest smartphone in our list of benchmarked devices.
Then on Geekbench 6, it’s interesting to note that it lost out to a rival that’s using the same chip for both single and multi core portions of the test. There is a good chance it’s due to thermal throttling at some level as the device did feel rather warm by the end of the test. This also means that while the chip is capable of beating the Apple A15 Bionic, it’s not a given that it will do so.
Moving on to 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited test, It easily took the 2nd runner up spot in our list of benchmarked devices. In this specific case, the difference between the top 3 smartphones are negligible, so you can expect about the same level of performance for 3D graphics / gaming.
Lastly on PCMark’s Work 3.0 benchmark, the HONOR Magic5 Pro isn’t particularly high, performing only slightly better than last year’s flagship chip. Regardless, it’s still an admirable score and is more than enough for most people in terms of power needed for everyday use.
For those of you who are wondering about the battery life, the HONOR Magic5 Pro lasted 10 hours and 37 minutes (637 minutes) in PCMark’s Work 3.0 endurance test. This is with Smart Resolution and Dynamic Refresh Rate enabled, the two features that will provide an optimized viewing experience without killing off battery life. I did expect better given since it came with a slightly bigger battery and similar competitors can last noticeably longer but at least it’s not terrible.
To make up for it, the HONOR Magic5 Pro does come with a 66W HONOR SuperCharge brick inside the box, and it works pretty fast. From my own experience, here are the speeds I get from 2%:
- 15 minutes = 48% battery life
- 30 minutes = 77% battery life
- 44 minutes = 100% battery life
Personally, I knew the camera was gonna be good, but I wasn’t expecting too much out of it. To my surprise, the results were better than I expected. It’s capable of producing some very fine, sharp details with a good dynamic range that doesn’t feel like it’s overdoing it. In fact, the colours are generally more accurate to real life compared to similar flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra but has less noise compared to the OnePlus 11. Usually, you would want to shoot in higher resolution modes, like those 50MP modes, and downsize it to get a more natural look but you don’t need it here.
The same can be said with the ultrawide camera but with the zoom camera however, pictures end up looking somewhat artificial past 5x zoom, more so if you zoom further than that. It looks great up to 3.5x zoom and still looks relatively good at 10x zoom with decent lighting but the idea here is that you probably don’t want to zoom too far if you want excellent pictures like with the other two sensors. It really feels like the HONOR software optimizing the pictures have matured significantly at this point to be able to produce these results.
If you’re looking for a more affordable smartphone, check out our HONOR X9a review by clicking right here.
Apart from what has been mentioned, there are a good number of things that can be said about the HONOR Magic5 Pro. For starters, you get an attractive design that screams premium across the board. From the glass curvature to the large camera at the back, you know you’re in for a treat. It doesn’t cut down on practicality either since it is IP68 water and dust resistant.
Then you have the large 6.81-inch (2848 x 1312) floating screen OLED display with dynamic refresh rate and HDR10+ support. The resolution sits comfortably above Full HD, but not too high that it’s unnecessary and battery-draining. If I’m being honest, pictures don’t do it justice as it’s one of the best displays we’ve ever seen on a smartphone today.
To further aid in its multimedia capabilities, you also get a solid dual-speaker setup here consisting of a top and bottom-firing ones. Unlike the last HONOR phone we reviewed, this one is pretty balanced. On top of that, you get volume that is more than adequate along with exceptional sound quality (for a smartphone at least) and a touch of bass. If you watch movies or play games on your smartphone often, you will have a good time with this for sure.
In terms of security, you do get both under-display fingerprint and face recognition, so you can opt for whichever is more convenient for you. The fingerprint scanner itself works lightning fast and I’ve only ever had issues with it after washing my hands since my fingers are still somewhat wet. Face recognition works well enough, just not as fast as the fingerprint option and kind of an annoyance if you often wear a mask.
Lastly, you get a host of good connectivity options with the HONOR Magic5 Pro. The use of Wi-Fi 7 is already a big surprise since most other devices are still using Wi-Fi 6/6E. Then you have the usual things like Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC but the one thing that caught me off guard was the inclusion of a technology that I thought was completely abandoned; IR Blaster. At this point in time, I’m certain many people will not make use of it but for those who do, it will add a whole other layer of convenience as you can use it to function an air conditioner remote, TV remote, and more.
The HONOR Magic5 Pro is a pretty solid flagship but it does have its fair share of drawbacks. For starters, while I did praise its design, it is rather slippery to hold, especially given its curvature. Users will also have to be careful when placing it on any surface as a slight incline could see it falling off real fast. With that being said however, this can be alleviated by using a protective case, and HONOR did include a clear one inside the box, but it’s still worth pointing out.
Another thing is on the display, and while the screen itself is wonderful, the pill-shaped cutout for the front camera is not pleasing to the eyes. It somewhat feels like we went back in time about 3-4 years ago given the look. The only solace I can find here is that you can purposely make use of that cutout for some funny, immersive wallpaper ideas.
HONOR Magic5 Pro Verdict
The HONOR Magic5 Pro is an excellent flagship smartphone that differs quite a bit from other 2023 flagships launched so far. It has its ups and downs but one thing is for sure; you won’t be disappointed if you get this for as long as you’re willing to put in at least a bit of time to familiarize yourself with it. Not to mention, it’s one of the rare few that comes with a charger, and it’s a pretty fast one too, which is always a plus point. At the time of this publication, the official price in Malaysia has yet to be revealed so we can’t add the value factor just yet so stay tuned for that.
At the end of our HONOR Magic5 Pro review, I award this flagship smartphone with our coveted Gold Pokdeward.
Big thanks to HONOR Malaysia for sending us this smartphone for the purpose of this review.