Honor brings Magic Vs foldable and 5 Pro flagship to Europeon February 27, 2023 at 14:21 Tech Advisor

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Honor is finally bringing its long-awaited Magic Vs foldable phone to fans outside China – and along with it a brand-new traditional flagship, the Magic 5 Pro.

The Magic Vs made its debut last November in China, but it’s only now officially launched in Europe at the MWC trade show in Barcelona.

The company’s second book-style foldable – similar to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – the Magic Vs is designed to work as well closed as it does when unfolded. It’s a phone you can occasionally open to get a bigger, rather than a tablet you can put in your pocket.

Henry Burrell / Foundry

With that in mind, it has a hinge that closes completely flat, and is about as slim as a foldable can get at 12.9mm. It even packs a higher refresh rate – 120Hz – on the outer display, while restricting the internal panel to 90Hz.

Powered by the high-end Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, and equipped with a triple rear camera comprising a 54Mp main camera, 50Mp ultrawide, and 8Mp 3x zoom, the Magic Vs has the specs to compete with non-folding flagships in its own right.

Still, in that sense it’s outpaced by the Magic 5 Pro – revealed for the first time worldwide here in Barcelona. This is a more classic flagship slab phone, powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, with a quad-curved OLED display, and a rear camera with three 50Mp lenses.

Dominic Preston / Foundry

To be honest, it looks like a pretty by-the-numbers flagship phone, but Honor thinks the display and camera should help the Magic 5 Pro stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

The screen is an expansive 6.81in panel, curved on every side and powered by LTPO OLED technology that can run at a range of refresh rates from 1-120Hz. It even packs a dedicated display chip to drive HDR and manage frame rates for video and gaming.

That’s all pretty standard for the high-end market, but Honor has tried to differentiate by emphasising health. The panel is the first LTPO to feature 2160Hz pulse width modulation dimming, which reduces flicker, along with a range of other technologies including lowered blue light emissions and dynamic dimming, all to reduce eye strain and sleep disturbances.

Dominic Preston / Foundry

The camera packs a trio of lenses and a trio of silly names. The ‘Eye of Muse’ ring design contains the ‘Star Wheel’ triple camera set up, all mounted on a ‘Gaudi Curve’ slope from the phone’s body. 

What matters are the lenses. Each of the three cameras uses a 50Mp sensor, including a large 1/1.12in, OIS-enabled main camera. I actually lied – there’s one more silly name to come, with ‘Falcon Capture’ tech dedicated to taking shots of fast-moving subjects without blur.

Honor has also equipped the phone with some motion-based gesture controls – waving your hand to scroll or clenching your fist to take a screenshot – but in my brief test these seemed exactly as unnecessary and unhelpful as you’d expect. 

The regular Magic 5 was also revealed alongside the Pro. It looks similar, and packs the same 8 Gen 2 chipset, a similar curved display, and another triple rear camera – albeit with slightly downgraded lenses and sensors.

The big things you give up – alongside simpler cameras – are wireless charging and the IP68 rating.

The Magic 5 and 5 Pro was preceded just last week by the Magic 5 Lite, which we thought was a great looking mid-range phone that couldn’t quite stand out in a crowded market when we reviewed it.

The Magic Vs should go on sale soon – though the exact date hasn’t been announced – for €1,599, which undercuts the Z Fold 4 by a whole €200.

The 5 Pro will arrive some time in Q2 – i.e. April-June – and will cost €1,199, with the regular Magic 5 less at €899.

I’m reviewing the Vs foldable right now, so keep an eye out for my thoughts on the phone soon, and we’ll be putting the 5 Pro through its paces next week.

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