All the foldable phones that I have tried so far have had one major problem – they’re all quite chunky. They’re either too heavy or just too thick that it feels like carrying a brick in my pocket — and this comes from someone who uses an iPhone 14 Pro Max with a Casetify case, which is already quite chunky and heavy.


However, when I saw HONOR’s Magic V2 at IFA last year, I was amazed. How has HONOR been able to pack such specs and powerful hardware into a device this slim and light? This foldable offers something unique compared to the likes of OnePlus Open, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, and Pixel Fold. And now, after having spent a good part of more than three weeks with it, I think it has the potential to be the best foldable phone of the year.

Of course, there are some drawbacks, like the absence of an official IP rating, the less impressive software, and the high price tag, even though it gets many things right. But the question remains: Can the Magic V2’s strengths justify its steep price, or do its weaknesses hold it back? Here’s our full review of the HONOR Magic V2.

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Honor Magic V2

Thin, Light, and Mighty

The Honor Magic V2 is the thinnest and lightest foldable phone on the market. The Magic V2 has a large 7.92-inch inner foldable display and a 6.43-inch cover display. It also features a triple camera array and runs on the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.

Pros
  • Both cover and foldable screens are excellent
  • Sleek and slim design makes it very easy to use and carry
  • Fast charging and amazing battery life
  • Smooth performance with MagicOS, thanks to a powerful chipset
  • Feels like a regular phone when closed
Cons
  • Camera performance could have been better
  • Lacks official IP rating for dust and water resistance
  • Uses Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 while Gen 3 is already available

Price and availability

Nearly six months after launching in China, HONOR officially launched the Magic V2 in Europe and the UK on January 26, 2024. There’s only one model of the foldable, which comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage and is priced at £1,699.99 (~$2,150) in the UK and €1,999 in Europe.

While it is a significant jump compared to the Magic Vs, which retailed for £1,399, HONOR is offering various pre-order incentives. The pre-order gifts include Bang & Olufsen Headphones valued at £459, 6 months of screen protection, and a 66W HONOR SuperCharge Power Adapter. If you place your order before March 1, 2024, you can grab an additional £200 discount by using the code “AV2PR200” at checkout.

The HONOR Magic V2 comes in two color options: Phantom Purple and Black Vegan Leather. It seems that the Magic V2 RSR edition, which the company has developed in partnership with Porsche, will only be available later this month — the company has teased its launch at MWC later this month.

Design and Display

HONOR Magic V2 Review 4

Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

Let’s start with the design, and as you might have already figured out, the HONOR Magic V2 is incredibly thin and light foldable. This device is only 4.7mm thin when unfolded and 9.9mm thin in the folded state. To put this in perspective, it’s similar in thickness to today’s regular slab phones; for example, OnePlus’s latest OnePlus 12 is 9.2mm thick.

The device is also quite lightweight, weighing either 237g (glass version) or 231g (vegan leather version), depending on the variant you choose. For comparison, Samsung’s latest Galaxy S24 Ultra also weighs 233 grams. In the hand, the Magic V2 feels like a regular slab phone when it’s closed, thanks to it being extremely thin and slim.

On the back, you get a triple-camera setup in a slightly protruded rectangular cutout with HONOR branding on the bottom. I really like the finish of the Phantom Purple unit I have here with me. As for the buttons, they’re well-placed and on the opposite side when unfolded, making them easy to use. When folded, they’re at different levels (and height), which makes them easy to differentiate. And for those wondering, the power button also doubles as a fingerprint reader.

HONOR Magic V2 Review 10

HONOR Magic V2 next to an iPhone 14 Pro Max

Now, let’s talk about the hinge, which is constructed from a durable Titanium alloy and tested for over 400,000 folds, according to HONOR. It makes a little squeaky sound when opening, but it is overall really sturdy. The hinge allows you to open the device at an angle between 60 and 150 degrees, and when folded, there’s no gap between the two halves. However, the device is so slim, and since there is no gap, I initially found it difficult — and was almost nervous — about opening it too forcefully.

However, the overall build quality is premium, using materials like glass, metal, and titanium. The device feels luxurious. For the front display protection, HONOR has opted to use a Nanocrystal Glass 2.0 — no Corning Gorilla Glass here — but the company says this glass offers ten times better drop resistance than typical glass. There is no official IP dust or water resistance here, which could have provided extra assurance out there in the wild, but it seems HONOR has left that for the next version.

HONOR Magic V2 Review 3

Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

But, in case you’re worried about your device, HONOR includes a kickstand case in the box for added protection. The satin glass finish of the Magic V2 can be slippery, and given its price, you wouldn’t want to risk dropping it. The kickstand case, which has a leather-like finish, provides a better grip as well as some protection from daily wear and tear protection (including the hinge).

While you can perfectly use this phone only with the front 6.43-inch OLED display, the real magic happens when you unfold the device. You are welcomed to a big 7.92-inch OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a pixel resolution of 2,344 x 2,156. But, the best part of the Magic V2 is that the display crease is barely noticeable. I handed over my Magic V2 unit to a lot of first-time foldable device users, and they were left amazed at how subtle the crease is; you really have to look for it.

HONOR Magic V2 Review 9

Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

Both the outer and inner displays are of excellent quality. The cover screen boasts a 6.43-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and an impressive peak brightness of 2500 nits. The inner display has a peak brightness of 1600 nits, making it easily visible outdoors. Not only that, but both screens support HDR10+ playback, providing an outstanding media consumption experience.

Similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, the Magic V2 supports stylus input, but HONOR doesn’t include a stylus in the standard edition package. The Porsche Design variant does come with a stylus in the box, but there doesn’t appear to be a purchasable accessory for the standard edition on the company’s website.

Software and Performance

Honor Magic V2

Dimensions
156.7 x 145.4 x 4.7mm (unfolded); 156.7 x 74.1mm x 9.9mm (folded)

Material
Titanium Hinge, Nanocrystal Glass 2.0

Colors
Black, Purple

Weight
231g

Cover display
6.43-inch 120Hz OLED

Interior display
7.92-inch 120Hz OLED

SoC
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

RAM
16GB

Storage
256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Front camera
16 MP camera (one on each screen)

Main Camera
50 MP, f/1.9, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS

Wide-Angle Camera
50 MP, f/2.0, AF

Telephoto
20 MP, f/2.4, 2.5x optical zoom, OIS

Battery
5000 mAh

Charge speed
66W (wired)

Operating System
Android 13

Ports
USB-C

Stylus
Supported, not in the box

The HONOR Magic V2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. And while it may not be the latest chip on the block – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 takes that crown — the foldable still offers fantastic performance for your everyday needs. Coupled with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, this foldable runs snappy. Apps open quickly (and remain in memory), the gameplay is smooth (even during long periods), and it doesn’t overheat.

While some may say that the staggering €2000 price does not justify getting a year-old chip, and while there’s some truth to that argument, we have come to the day and age where the chipsets are more powerful than what we require, making the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 more than capable. In fact, it is the same chipset that powers the OnePlus Open and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, so you won’t miss out on anything.

Regarding gaming, popular titles like “Player Unknown’s Battle Grounds,” “EA Sports FC Mobile,” and even Netflix’s latest GTA games make excellent use of the inner screen, taking up the whole space and providing an immersive experience. Overall, you’ll be pleased with the speedy performance of the V2 fold.

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Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

Now moving onto software, the Magic V2 runs on MagicOS 7.2, based on Android 13 out of the box. While it may not be the latest software, HONOR tells me the device will receive Android 14 sometime in the future. In fact, HONOR tells me that it will provide four years of software upgrades and five years of security updates for this device, which is on-par with what its rivals offer. And for those wondering, the Magic V2 comes with Google Play Store and all Google services out of the box (if that was ever a question).

As for the MagicOS 7.2, it is heavily skinned, and just like other Chinese ROMs, it is heavily modded to look like iOS. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing; you get plenty of customization options in the settings, from changing the Always On display to the themes, and app icons. But it’s just that I’m more of a fan of a Pixel-like UI. Regardless, the software on Magic V2 is polished and user-friendly. App switching between the cover screen and the inner foldable screen is instantaneous, and often, apps adapt to the screen without requiring relaunching.

HONOR Magic V2 Review 1

Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

The Magic V2 supports multitasking with up to three apps open simultaneously (two side by side and a third with a floating window on top). You can add even more apps and store them in a sidebar for easy access. Entering the multitasking view is pretty seamless as well. When you’re using the inner screen and the app is in full-screen mode, you’ll see a small bar appear over the app, and then you can either switch to full-screen, side-by-side mode, or floating views.

However, there’s no traditional dock at the bottom. Instead, HONOR uses a different navigation style, where you press and hold the back button, and a small side screen of apps appears. It’s not necessarily bad, just a unique approach compared to what you might be used to, especially if you’ve been using an iPad for years like me.

On the whole, the Magic V2 is a multitasking powerhouse, and if you’re a power user who is used to doing things side by side, you’ll love this foldable. While HONOR has to work with some partners and app developers to fully optimize apps for this foldable, most of the essential apps work as required out of the box and that results in an enjoyable experience.

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Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

Speaker

Until now, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has been the gold standard for stereo sound setup for me. Most Android phones fail to match the iPhone’s deep and powerful audio quality — which, in my opinion, makes or breaks the media consumption experience of a device. However, the Magic V2’s speakers are a pleasant surprise. They deliver exceptional sound that’s unlike any other Android phone I’ve used before. The audio is rich, loud, and packs a punch, putting it on par, if not better, than my iPhone.

Camera

HONOR Magic V2 camera review

Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

Foldable phones often lag behind traditional smartphones in terms of camera performance, and the same holds true here. On paper, the HONOR Magic V2 has a pretty versatile camera setup, including a 50MP primary sensor with OIS, a 50MP f/2.0 ultra-wide camera, and a 20MP f/2.4 telephoto sensor with 2.5x optical zoom. There’s also a 16MP selfie shooter on both the cover and foldable inner screens.

In good lighting conditions, the camera fares great. It captures sharp, detailed images with vibrant (and sometimes overly punchy) colors. Colors aren’t washed out, if anything, and the camera captures clear details and eye-catching contrasts. However, it’s worth noting that the primary camera tends to overprocess images, making them look somewhat artificial or overly vibrant at times.

One thing I noticed is that the shutter speed of the primary camera is very fast. This means the foldable excels at capturing fast-moving subjects. For example, check out the image below of a road sign captured from a moving bus at 50km/h – the details are impressively crisp.

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The 2.5x optical zoom camera proves useful in various scenarios and delivers detailed and sharp results. And even though there’s a 10x zoom option in the camera app, I’d advise against using it, as the resulting images tend to be blurry and noisy, as shown in the samples below. The ultra-wide images maintain good detail, though there is a slight color shift. In low-light conditions, the camera performs on par with other foldables, preserving color accuracy and producing pleasing-to-eyes photos.

Overall, if you prefer the image processing style of iPhones, which tends to be more toned down and natural-looking, you might find the HONOR Magic V2’s camera a bit too vibrant. However, if you like photos with details and vibrant colors, you’ll love this camera. You can check out our full camera samples of the Magic V2 down below:

Camera Samples

Battery

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Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

Now, this is where the Magic V2 beats every other foldable on the market. Despite being this thin and slim, the Magic V2 features a big 5,000 mAh cell, which is more than what every other foldable on the planet offers. This has been possible due to a new silicon battery tech that HONOR is using in the Magic V2, and the foldable does offer exceptional battery life. You can easily go a full day on a single charge, and the latest device update seems to have further improved this.

Even with extensive use of the inner foldable screen, which consumes more power due to its size and 120Hz refresh rate, I consistently ended my day with at least 20% battery remaining. However, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and MagicOS 7.2 seem optimized enough for a good battery experience.

In terms of charging, the Magic V2 provides 66W fast USB-C charging, which can take the device from 0% to 100% in about 45 minutes. Unfortunately, there is no wireless charging, which is sort of disappointing given the premium price of the device. Nevertheless, a quick top-up in the morning should easily keep you powered throughout the day.

Final Verdict

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Pocketnow / Sanuj Bhatia

So, the question remains: is the HONOR Magic V2 worth spending £1,700? Well, the answer to this question is a bit complicated. On one hand, the Magic V2 stands out as an ultra-thin and lightweight foldable that feels surprisingly like a regular phone. It packs a capable processor, a big battery that easily lasts a full day, and impressively fast charging. Its cover screen offers a familiar phone experience, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, which has a narrower cover screen – something I’m not a fan of.

However, it’s important to consider that the Magic V2 lacks wireless charging, an official IP rating for water and dust resistance, and it comes with a hefty price tag. That said, when you consider the overall package the Magic V2 delivers, it certainly ranks among the best foldable phones available. It’s particularly appealing if you’re looking to transition from a traditional Android phone since it offers a foldable experience in a similarly sized form factor.

However, if you’re willing to wait for foldable prices to drop and stick with a regular smartphone for now, that’s a valid choice — maybe even wait for the company’s Magic6 Pro. However, with the Magic V2, HONOR has set a new standard for foldable devices, and it’ll be intriguing to see how the competition responds in the coming year.

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Honor Magic V2

The Honor Magic V2 is the thinnest and lightest foldable phone on the market. The Magic V2 has a large 7.92-inch inner foldable display and a 6.43-inch cover display. It also features a triple camera array and runs on the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.

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