Honor is back with its second foldable phone of this year. The Chinese phonemaker took the wraps off the Honor Magic Vs on Wednesday, its first foldable bound for countries outside its native China.
The Honor Magic Vs is a book-style foldable phone that is similar in look and feel to the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 – except lighter by a few grams. In addition to the folding screen, the Honor Magic Vs packs all the specs you could ask for from a 2022 flagship phone into slick hardware. It boasts a powerful processor (Snapdragon 8 Gen Plus 1), a large battery (5,000 mAh), fast-charging (66W), and a triple rear camera setup that’s bolstered by 3x optical zoom. Honor says it plans to release this phone in the UK and the EU, among other countries and regions. The Magic Vs is now available for pre-orders in China for 7,499 yuan, which converts to $1,047, £ 880, and AU$ 1,575 at current exchange rates.
Ahead of the launch of the Honor’s Magic Vs today, I had a chance to test a sample unit for a few hours. Honor emphasized that the software and software-enabled features such as the camera etc, were not ready for testing, so this article will focus on the phone’s hardware.
Needless to say, the headline feature of the Magic Vs is the bendable display. Like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Magic Vs has one cover screen and another interior screen built to expand into a tablet-sized display. In my experience, both displays were crisp, responsive, and bright. (So bright that the screen can function as something of a light or flash replacement when taking selfies. The cover screen automatically brightens up when you take a picturing using the front-facing camera in the dark.) Each display also folds into the other with no discernible gap. It’s also worth pointing out that due to the 21:9 aspect ratio, this is a tall and narrow phone when folded close.
Unfortunately, the Magic Vs’ inner display had a crease, although Honor said otherwise. In my experience, the crease was easily visible in the daytime from various angles and it was also discernible to the touch. Although it didn’t bother me much, it will probably be a deal-breaker for some. The crease however, may be the trade-off of the book-style design for now. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 still has one, though its less noticeable than in the past. While Huawei’s Mate XS 2, which features a wraparound-style foldable phone design with one screen, is basically creaseless.
Despite the crease on the Mate XS 2, it was a lot of fun and immersive watching movies and flipping through pictures on a tablet-sized display that could fit into your pocket if you wanted. The Honor Vs boasts slender hardware, which doesn’t feel that heavy for a foldable phone weighed down by two screens. Honor credits the relatively lightweight design to its upgraded hinge, which it says uses a single-piece casting processing technology that “drastically reduces the number of components from 92 to 46 in the hinge, while maintaining its durability and sturdiness.” According to Honor, the phone can withstand more than 400,000 folds, or more than ten years of use if you assume 100 folds per day.
As I mentioned earlier, the sample unit sent to me had limited functionality, so I am unable to share more information on the camera, battery, performance, etc. But do check back at a later date as we’ll update this article once we receive a final review unit. Honor says to expect an international release by early next year.
Key specs: Honor Magic Vs
Display: 6.45-inch (cover), 7.9-inch (interior)
Resolution: 431ppi (cover), 381ppi (interior)
Refresh rate: 120 Hz (cover)
Battery: 5,000 mAh (66W charging)
Camera: 54-megapixel (main), 50-megapixel (ultra-wide), 8-megapixel (telephoto)
Processor: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
RAM and Storage: 8GB + 256GB; 12GB + 512GB