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Foldable smartphones have been making waves in the tech world for the last number of years now, promising a new era of versatility and innovation. Among the contenders, Honor’s new Magic V2 stands out with its sleek design, robust software, impressive camera system, and long-lasting battery life. Let’s delve into each aspect to see how this device fares.

Honor Magic V2 Review | TheEffect.NetDesign & Build Quality

The Honor Magic V2 boasts an extremely impressive design that is both sleek but also practical. Its foldable form factor offers a unique experience, transforming from a compact smartphone to a tablet-sized display, all while being much thinner than its current competitors, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold5.

The hinge mechanism feels sturdy, allowing for smooth opening and closing without any creaks or wobbles.

The device feels premium in hand, thanks to its glass and aluminium construction. The slim profile and minimal bezels also increase its overall ‘flagship-level’ appeal, while the matte finish on the back adds grip and prevents fingerprints.

Both the external and internal display support LTPO and can dynamically switch between 1 and 120Hz refresh rates. Colour accuracy and temperature are excellent. Pixel density is also consistent. The 6.4″ cover screen has a resolution of 1060 x 2376 pixels, while the inner 7.92″ flexible screen boasts 2156 x 2344 pixels, resulting in around 402 pixels per inch for both.

The ‘crease’ on the internal display is also much less noticeable than on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5.

Both screens support Dolby Vision so watching supported content from the likes of Netflix really shows off how impressive the panels are.

When it comes to internal hardware, the Honor Magic V2 boasts top-of-the-line specs for a foldable Android phone, featuring the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and storage up to a whopping 1 TB of UFS 4.0 storage. It also introduces new battery technology with a lithium-silicon anode battery, comprising two cells for a combined capacity of 5,000mAh, remarkable considering the phone’s size and weight. (More on the battery life below.)

Gaming on the device, with its larger inner display being used to full effect, really is a great experience, especially if you’re able to pair it with the likes of a Backbone controller to give you full physical controls.

The stereo speaker set up also delivers impressive audio for watching media or gaming. Speaking of which, there’s also a dedicated ‘Game Manager’ mode that automatically pops up when playing a title and allows you to quickly adjust settings such as enabling ‘Do Not Disturb’ and the display’s brightness, along with a number of other options.

Playing GTA: San Andreas – The Definitive Edition on such a large display in the palm of my hands had 12 year old me giggling with appreciation with how far we’ve come with mobile graphical power and the futuristic form factors found on the likes of the Magic V2.

Software

Running on MagicOS 7.2 based on Android 13, the Honor Magic V2 delivers a smooth and intuitive user experience. The software is optimised for the foldable display, offering seamless transitions between the folded and unfolded modes. Multi-tasking is pretty effective with the split-screen feature, allowing users to run two apps simultaneously on the larger inner display along with being able to pop out a third app, via floating window.

Honor has also included several software enhancements tailored for the foldable form factor, such as Flex Mode, which optimises app layouts for better usability when the device is partially folded. While the software experience is generally fluid and responsive, occasional minor glitches are not entirely absent, but they don’t detract significantly from the overall user experience.

Cameras

The rear camera bump is home to a triple camera array featuring a 50MP main camera, a 50MP ultra-wide camera and a 20MP telephoto camera that provides 2.5x optical zoom.

The dual front cameras are both 50MP f/2.2, and video tops out at 4K/60 from all cameras. There’s the ability to shoot in HDR10+ or with LUTs to achieve a specific look, and 21:9 aspect ratios can be selected.

In both well-lit and low-light conditions, the Magic V2 performs admirably, producing sharp and vibrant images with minimal noise. When things get very dark however, noise does become apparent when shooting in the main ‘Camera’ mode so we’d recommend jumping over to the ‘Night’ mode.

On a bright and sunny day, you can get a decent 10x shot, and the stabilisation helps as well. Come night time though and the 10x images start to look significantly blurrier so we’d advise against trying to capture these type of shots all too often.

 

The folding nature of the phone also offers practical advantages. When unfolded, the rear camera aligns with the front screen, allowing the main camera to be used for selfies instead of the lower-quality front-facing lenses. This facilitates ultrawide group selfies, which can be handy for fans of ‘Groupie’ type shots.

The Magic V2 also supports AI-enhanced settings for capturing smiles and movement, as well as tracking objects through the frame. While we didn’t get a chance to review this fully (not being around animals or small kids during our review period didn’t help! :P) the implementation looks to be impressive, going by other reviews on the feature.

Saying all of this, being a phone made of two folding halves doesn’t leave much room for expansive camera hardware, and past folding models have had to compromise. The cameras in the Honor Magic V2 produce good images, there’s no denying that, but non-folding flagship models, such as the Pixel 8 Pro, that boast greater camera specs, will beat it.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, the Magic V2 surpasses other foldable devices on the market due to its slim design and a large 5,000 mAh battery, a feature unmatched by any other foldable device available. This is made possible by Honor’s use of new silicon battery technology, as mentioned previously.

Users can expect exceptional battery life, lasting a full day on a single charge even with extensive use of the inner foldable screen, which has a 120Hz refresh rate. Despite this, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and MagicOS 7.2 ensure optimised battery performance.

The device also offers 66W fast USB-C charging, allowing it to be fully charged from 0% in about 45 minutes. However, it lacks wireless charging, which may be disappointing to some considering its premium price. Nonetheless, a quick morning charge should suffice to keep the device powered throughout the day.

Whether you’re browsing the web, streaming videos, or gaming, you can rely on the Magic V2 to keep up with your demands.

Conclusion

The Honor Magic V2 represents a leap forward in foldable smartphone technology, offering a compelling blend of design, performance, and innovation. From its sleek and sturdy build to its intuitive software and impressive camera capabilities, the Magic V2 ticks all the right boxes.

While it’s not without its minor flaws, such as occasional software hiccups, the overall package is undeniably impressive. With the Magic V2, Honor has proven that foldable smartphones are more than just a gimmick – they’re a glimpse into the future of mobile devices. The Honor Magic V2 is undoubtedly worth considering.

Honor Magic V2 Review | TheEffect.NetHonor Magic V2 Pricing & Availability

The Honor Magic V2 is available on Three.ie, starting at €819 on bill pay and is also available SIM free from Harvey Norman, Currys and DID Electrical for €1,999.

REVIEW: Honor Magic V2
  • Design & Build Quality
  • Software
  • Camera
  • Battery Life
4.3

Summary

The Honor Magic V2 represents a leap forward in foldable smartphone technology, offering a compelling blend of design, performance, and innovation.

John Reilly

John is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheEffect.Net. His favourite gaming series is Uncharted and his favourite film is Interstellar. He is also known to quote 'Father Ted' and Keith Lemon more than is normal. John@theeffect.net