Honor Magic Vs and Honor Magic 5 Pro Review: Flat Is Still Better


However, the Honor Magic Vs is fantastic for YouTube, letting you enjoy the excesses of limitless online content by reading comments or searching for new stuff and watching a video at the same time. It offers much more space for reading articles and is generally an engrossing window, should you find yourself on a 40-minute-plus train ride with little to do.

A few weeks with the Magic Vs will convince you that Honor has spent more time optimizing the hardware than the software, though. Glitches and poor UI interactions are pretty common. You could experience problems when you switch from the outer screen to the inner one. The big-screen keyboard might cover something important, or an app might not scale to the inner display that well.

This is meant to be a luxury phone, but at times it seems like a work in progress.

An Awkward Question for Foldable Fans

Honor also offers few special features in this category. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 has the optional S Pen Fold Edition, a pressure-sensing stylus that can be used for digital painting. Without that sort of creative angle, this phone’s tablet-style screen seems almost made for mucking about.

The core interface is also oddly restrictive. There’s no option to have an app drawer, just a series of home screens whose app icons need to be arranged manually. For those used to living with a dedicated app page, this contributes to the sense that the Honor Magic Vs is a little clunky.

The phone holds up better on the technical side. It uses the Snapdragon 8 Get 1+, a powerful flagship processor. It has since been superseded by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but that processor was only announced around the same time as this phone’s original Chinese launch.

It has a 5,000-mAh battery of far higher capacity than the 4,400-mAh Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4. Battery life is naturally a worry when you’re dealing with a phone-sized battery and an almost tablet-sized display, but the Honor Vs’ stamina is good. It holds up through heavy days of vegging out on those longer train rides mentioned earlier.

The phone doesn’t have wireless charging, but it does charge more quickly than its Samsung rival, thanks to 66W charging.

The Cracks of Compromise

And the camera? This is typically an area that ends up a little compromised in foldable phones, even though they typically cost a fortune. Honor has tried to avoid this, with a zero-fat triple rear array that includes a powerful 54-MP Sony IMX800 sensor primary camera, a 50-MP ultra-wide and a 3X 8-MP zoom.

This trio can take at least solid photos in virtually all conditions, with no real effort on your part. However, there’s no real acknowledgement of the device’s form here. The camera is one of the obvious ways designers can put that hinge to use, letting the phone act as its own tripod, perfect for group shots with long exposures.

While you can make the camera stand up on its own, and feel clever doing so, this leaves the shutter button in the bent, curved part of the screen. Honor does offer a “moveable shutter” button feature in its camera app, but you sometimes wonder if Honor’s software team paid enough attention to the kind of phone the company was making.

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