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HONOR Magic V2 review: A foldable smartphone you will love

The HONOR Magic V2 is the first foldable smartphone I’m priviledged to review and it definately put a very high bar for any following foldable smartphones which I may review in the coming years though this blog.

Despite being the first foldable smartphone I am reviewing, it is not the first smartphone I’ve used, so I do have some comparison in mind when doing this foldable.

Main highlights

That said, I feel there’s four main highlights of this smartphone namely it being its thinness, its lightweightness, hinge durability and battery durability.

All four features make the HONOR Magic V2 comparably better than other brands which are currently in the market and I will elaborate in more detail below.

Design & body

Specs: 156.7mm x 74.0mm x 9.9mm (folded), 156.7mm x 145.4mm x 4.7mm (unfolded), 237g, Super-light Titanium hinge

Being the thinnest and lightest foldable smartphone at the time of writing makes this HONOR Magic V2 very desirable.

It’s nice to hold and feels very solid in the palms and every unfolding doen’t make you worry of the smartphone breaking.  The rear looks amazing despite the rectangular camera bump.

Usually I am not fond of camera bumps, but HONOR can be forgiven here because they made the camera bump look so classy, it blended so well with the black and purple glass back of this Magic V2.

When unfolding the phone, there’s a slight weight to it, and this is something I personally love.  That ‘weight’ makes the phone feel expensive and gives it that premium vibe, at least in my books.  It also gives me that indication the hinge is made from quality material (it’s made from titanium), giving me confidence everytime I unfold the Magic V2.

Once open, the phone doubles it size and immediately giving that aura that I am holding a small notebook in my palms. This is because it’s so lighweight, it feels right at home with the phone providing 7.92 inches of OLED display.  My current tablet must be very jealous of the HONOR Magic V2 right now because I prefer using the smartphone to it for video watching.

If you are curious to know in more detail about what I felt about the HONOR Magic V2 when I first got it, you can read about imy first impression HONOR Magic V2 review  in the link below.

Screen & Display

Specs: 7.92 inches Foldable OLED interior screen with 90.4% screen-to-body ratio with 120Hz , up to 1600 nits, 2344x2156px resolution and 402 PPI pixel density.  6.3 inches Foldable exterior screen with 91.2% screen-to-body ratio with 120Hz , up to 2500 nits, 2376x1060px resolution and 402 PPI pixel density.  

The interior OLED screen offers stunning 7.92 inches display and makes every video, movie and game I’ve played look good.  Images are sharp and colours turn out nicely, close to the original.

In terms of responsiveness when gaming, there’s a ‘kick’ to it with every tap getting instantenious reaction from the foldable smartphone.  Playing strategy games, or games that require bigger screen such as Football Manager, is much more comfortable with the big 7.92 inch interior screen.

The exterior screen offers a higher body-to-screen ratio and is, in my opinion, better for first point shooter games as well as racing games.

This is because such games require me to do a lot of tapping with multiple fingers.  Games such as COD, FC24 and Need For Speed are examples of such games.

Like the interior screen, every tap on the exterior screen also gets swift reaction from the phone as well.

In addition to that, the exterior screen is also protected by the Second Generation Nonocrystal glass which is also a good reason to play such action intensive games when the screen is folded.  This glass is also certified with 5-star Drop Resistance from SGS.

In terms of video and picture quality, it’s as good as the interior screen in my opinion.

One huge benefit of the Magic V2 is how its folding ability means it can rest on any flat surface, releasing my hands from the need to hold the phone while watching movies or videos.

I should also mention that both screens do come with superior eye care display coming with HONOR’s industry-leading 3840Hz PWD Dimming technology, Circardian Night display, and anti-reflective screens.

Aside from that, a huge external screen also means I get a bigger virtual keyboard which in turn, makes typing much more pleasent and fun.

Audio System

Specs: AI Privacy Call 2.0, Symmetrical Stereo Dual Speakers certified by IMAX Enhanced, 24bit HDR 3-Mic Stereo Voice Reception, DTS: X Ultra Algorithm

Calls using the HONOR Magic V2 are clear and crips. Friends who received calls from me when I called them using the Magic V2 also complimented the clarity of my voice.

There’s also the AI Privacy Call 2.0 which is activated when I reduce the volume below 8.  This automatically improves call privacy for me, with those nearby unable to hear my conversation despite the clarity I am hearing from the earpiece.

When watching movies and gaming, the IMAX ehanced dual speakers provide great clarity and sound.  As usual, when gaming with the Magic V2 folded the sound does tend to get muffled at times.  This is due to my hands will covering the speakers.  To solve this, I can play games with the interior screen as the speakers would be rarely blocked.

When doing video recording, the sound captured is also impressive as you can see in my videography review below (See videography section of this HONOR Magic V2 review).

Processor, RAM & Storage

Specs: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Geb 2 Mobile Platform Memory, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage Space

The best way to test the Snapdarahon 8 Gen 2 processor and the 16GB RAM is though gaming and multitasking and that is what I did.

The processor isn’t the latest processor around since there is already a Gen 3 of the Snapdragon 8.  However, that does not mean the one fitted in the Magic V2 is bad.

In fact, it does gaming very well and the different screen sizes meant I could play different games in different settings.

For example, when playing first shooter games such as Call of Duty (COD), it’s most comfortable to use the phone folded, but when I played games like Candy Crush or Football Manager, having a bigger screen by making the phone unfolded would be best.

The phone does get rather warm when doing gaming or video editing, but it’s acceptable and nothing one would complaint about.  Interestingly, after some time, the heat does go away as well.

In terms of storage space, 512GB is standard for most flagship smartphones and there is nothing to complaint about with such abundant storage.  However, if you need anything beyond 512GB, you need to turn to cloud storage as there is no additional memory expansion slot in this foldable.

Software

Specs: MagicOS 7.2 (based on Android 13)

The Magic V2 runs on the MagicOS 7.2 and I’ve no complaints about this operating system which feels smooth, snappy and light.

The operating system also runs on the current HONOR Magic5 Pro I am using, so I’m very familiar with the operating system and how it functions.

However, with the Magic V2, a few extra functions seem to be added with the OS offering Magic Text.  Magic Text is an ability for the phone to recognize text content on an image and convert it to editable text.

Aside from that, there’s also parallel space which allows me to use the phone as two different devices.  This basically means I can log into two different accounts with the phone, and interchange documents or files with ease.

Besides that, I can also play games with two saperate accounts on the same phone as well although, if this was my phone, I don’t think i’d be doing that very often because I don’t want too many hands handling my phone.

When it comes to productivity, the Split Screen function allows me to do two different task at one time as well.

 

My personal favourite is attending online meetings while watching youtube or movies at the same time! This particular feature is not available in traditional candybar styled smartphones.

The least favourite thing about the software is how it reacts to folding and unfolding the screen when using a particular app. When this happens, HONOR will warn of the app’s likely instability due to the sudden screen change in size and suggest I re-launch the app to avoid issues. That said, it would be really nice if such issue could be ironed out in future software updates.

Aside from that, you can see other tips and software features, as well as highlights of the software in my TikTok video here.

HONOR Magic V2 Camera review

Specs: 16MP Wide Camera for exterior and interior screen, Triple camera with HONOR Falcom Camera System and HONOR AI Motion Sensing Capture (50MP Wide Camera, 50MP Ultra Wide Camera, 20MP Telephopto Lens Camera)

There is a lot of good news when it comes to the camera of the HONOR Magic V2 especially if you hate to carry a tripod when going on trips.

This is because the smartphone itself can become a tripod, enabling you to put it on a table (or chair), and snap a photo using HONOR’s Smart Capture feature like Capture Smiles, Auto Capture or Gesture Control.

To me, this helps a lot when I am faced with a situation where I want to take group photos, but don’t find anyone nearby to take the photos for us.

Aside from that, the Hover Mode also allows photos that I’ve snapped to be previewed instantly, allowing me to check if the photo is good enough to be passed around to friends.

In addition, the rear camera (which is better) can also be used by oneself to take better selfies as well. While such action is possible with non-foldable smartphones, the Magic V2 allows me to see the photo I am taking via the external screen, hence reducing the number of times I need to snap my selfie to take a perfect one.

Also, the rear camera has better quality at 50MP, so selfies with the rear camera are much better compared to the ones taken with the front camera.

A comparison of selfies taken can be seen below.

The selfie below is taken using exterior front camera.

The selfie below is taken using the interior front camera.

If you noticed, you can’t really tell the difference because both selfie cameras are similar and offer good selfie photos.

Photography

By talking about selfies, I’ve already delved into the photography aspect of the Magic V2.

In good lighting and at the beach (since I happen to get the phone during vacation), the photos taken by the Magic V2 are impressive as seen below. The photos below are arranged according to zoom; 0.5x, 1.0x, 2.5x and 10x.

Other photos shot with the Magic V2 can be seen below. They include photos taken indoors, using motion sensing, food and also buildings.

At night, the photos taken are equal to what you can expect from a flagship smartphone, highlighting the mix of colours especially from LED lights.

Potrait photos also produce good photos, showing great bokeh effects as well as clarity to the subject on focus.

And when it comes to macro or close up shots, you can expect quality images as well. Below is a photo of the starfish which is only as big as a 50 cent coin.

Overall, I am very happy and satisfied with the photography quality from the Magic V2.  They are not only clear, but very expressive and I don’t need to do much setting to get such results.

Videography

In my opinion, both the front and rear camera of the smartphone produces good videos with OIS ensuring the videos are stable.

Samples of the video capabilities of the smartphone can be seen in the video below.

Personally, I think this foldable smartphone makes video taking easier since it also can become a tripod by itself, allowing me to just put it somewhere while I record myself doing something as seen below.

Battery performance

Specs: 5000mAh Silicone-carbon battery with 66W Wired HONOR SuperCharge

The silicone-carbon battery is partially the main reason why the HONOR Magic V2 can be so thin despite boasting 5000mAh in capacity.

The battery is just 2.72mm thick, almost equal to a card, and thinner than a 50 cent coin.

Despite it’s thin self, HONOR claims that it has 40% longer cycle life, and is the same battery technology used in Electric Vehicles (EV) like Tesla.

During my use of the HONOR Magic V2, the battery could last about 18 hours on a single charge which includes video recording, some gaming, social media updates, and tiktok video making.

Charging was a breeze with the phone able to juice up very quickly with it’s 66W HONOR SuperCharge and that really gave me a great peace of mind.

Durability

Specs: Titanium hinge, 2nd Gen Nanocrystal Glass screen

One of the downside of the Magic V2 is that it does not come with any official IP rating, which means you should opt to protect the smartphone with a case and perhaps avoid water.

However, the SIM tray does spot this rubber band, which to me give an indication it is somewhat protected from splashes although I’ve not personally tested it.

On a positive note however, the hinge of the Magic V2 is made of Titanium, which not only contributes to it’s lightness, but also makes it more durable compared to its other competitors which use steel.

HONOR says that the hinge can last for up to 10 years and it is SGS certified to withstand more than 400,000 folds.  Such claim is bold, but since I only used the smartphone for a couple of weeks, I can’t confirm nor deny such claims.

In addition to that, the screen is also using the 2nd Gen Nanocrystal Glass which HONOR claims to have 10x better resistance than regular glass.  The external screen of the HONOR Magic V2 is certified with 5-Star Drop Resistance Certification from SGS.

I didn’t want to purposely drop the phone despite the rating, but I did drop the phone twice while using it and there were no notable cracks or dents on the phone.

That said, I am putting this as a ‘confirmed betul’ claim for HONOR.

One thing however I should note is that the screen protector for the interior screen should not be peeled off as this may cause decreased protection for that particular screen.

HONOR Magic V2 review verdict & availability

After using the Magic V2 to do this HONOR Magic V2 review, I can agree with what my friend said which was “Once you use a foldable, you won’t turn back”.  This is because this Magic V2 totally spoiled me.  It spoiled me to the extend I wished this was my Magic V2.

As a content creator, this Magic V2 was really a blessing, allowing me to do many things on the go including viewing things in a larger screen when I need such advantage.

I love the rear colour and how thin and lightweight the smartphone is, and really love the Magic V2’s smartphone camera capabilities which are on par if not better than the Magic5 Pro I currently use.

The drawback of course is the hefty price of the phone, which is RM6,999.  However, I think if you are looking for a phone that ticks almost all the boxes, this is it.