Honor Magic Vs review

GSMArena Team, 3 March 2023.


Foldables out of China are going global left and right, aiming to challenge Samsung's dominance in the field, and the Honor Magic Vs is the latest to make its international debut. A second-gen foldable from Honor, the Magic Vs builds on the V from last year, adding refinement to the moving bits, improving the camera system, and tweaking the displays and battery.

We had an early look at the Magic Vs late last year, and while that unit was ready for prime time in terms of hardware, it wasn't final when it came to software. This one here is, so you'll be getting the usual test results, including battery life (spoiler: solid) and camera samples - we couldn't test those three months ago.

The Magic Vs is based on a 7.9-inch foldable OLED display that's still capped at 90Hz (Samsung's Z Fold4 can do 120Hz). It's now brighter than the V's, Honor says, as is the 6.45-inch cover display, which can refresh at up to 120Hz.

The folding mechanism is new on the Vs, compared to the V, with Honor abandoning gears in favor of a gearless hinge. Reducing the complexity as well as the adoption of magnesium and titanium alloys in the build has made the Vs some 10% lighter than the V - a most welcome development. That's with a larger battery than the older model too - 5,000mAh vs. 4,750mAh.

A couple of changes in the camera system make the Magic Vs a more capable cameraphone, we reckon. A telephoto camera replaces the 'ultra-spectrum' 50MP module on the Magic V that we never quite got to experience. It may be a relatively modest 8MP 3x unit, but some telephoto is better than no telephoto. The 54MP primary camera is new for this generation, too, while the 50MP ultrawide has been carried over. A couple of 16MP selfie cameras, one punch hole per display, bring the tally up to 5 cameras.

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 ticks inside the Magic Vs, adding a plus over the Magic V's chipset. And in the months between the initial release in China and the global rollout Honor's put together an Android 13-based build of Magic UI (the one we had for the hands-on was on Android 12), so it's nicely current on the software front.

Honor Magic Vs specs at a glance:

  • Body: 160.3x141.5x6.1mm, 267g/261g; Glass front, glass back or eco leather back, magnesium alloy frame, titanium alloy folding mechanism.
  • Display: 7.9" Foldable OLED, 1B colors, 90Hz, HDR10+, 1984x2272px resolution, 10.3:9 aspect ratio, 382ppi; Cover display: OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, 6.45", 1080x2560px, 431 ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1x3.0 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3x2.5 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4x1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
  • Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM.
  • OS/Software: Android 13, Magic UI 7.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 54 MP, f/1.9, 27mm, 1/1.49", 1.0µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 50 MP, f/2.0, 13mm, 122˚, AF; Telephoto: 8 MP, f/2.4, PDAF, 3x optical zoom, OIS.
  • Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.5, (wide).
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps (10-bit), 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS, HDR10+; Front camera: 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; 66W wired, 5W reverse wired.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Infrared port; stereo speakers.

Honor Magic Vs unboxing

The Magic Vs ships in a large black cardboard box with a fine striped pattern and a matte finish. Inside, the handset lies unfolded in a tray with the accessories in further boxes placed in dedicated compartments - a decidedly premium presentation, if not all that environmentally friendly.

Honor Magic Vs review

The bundled peripherals include a 66W adapter to match the phone's specified charging capabilities and a cable to go with it.

Also inside the box is a protector for the back of the phone - the only surface that doesn't feature a display of some sort. It's a combined snap-on/sticker design - it will stay on without the adhesive strip, but the sticker provides an extra level of holding power, of course.

Reader comments

  • Hfarid
  • 13 Mar 2023
  • fqY

I think the Oppo Find N2 is currently the best foldable body size wise. If you want a big size foldable the magic or vivo wins. Downside is mainly software, and software can be updated. Currently, Samsung mainly wins due to Software, but physica...

I had the original Samsung fold. Everyone said the same thing, the crease on these phones is awful and no way you don't notice it. Each release since I've had a play with and the crease doesnt change

Vivo x fold is still the most beautiful foldable