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[Review] HONOR Magic V Hands-On

With foldables becoming the new phone trend, many of us are divided between the clamshell design and the one that folds like a book. The success of foldables has seen many manufacturers developing their own folding devices and it's only a matter of time these foldables will become a new norm in the market. This time, let's look at HONOR's first-ever 5G foldable flagship smartphone - the HONOR Magic V.

The Magic V speaks premium right from its box packaging. The minimal black box features the “HONOR Magic V" branding in golden letters along with a background that represents the folding concept. Inside, you'll be greeted by the foldable itself first followed by a second layer of accessories, including chargers, cables, phone case, SIM ejector, and paperwork.

In terms of design, HONOR uses a hyperbolic camera protective glass to reduce the protruding sense of the rear camera, making the phone look thinner and lighter. When it comes to foldables, hinges can be quite the challenge as we've seen devices with gaps between the hinges, which always make us check if we have anything else in our pockets before sliding the phone in.

Left: HONOR Magic V

HONOR's floating waterdrop hinge can rid you of that problem as it offers a symmetrical, thin, and seamless form factor, and leaves no gaps when folded. Thanks to this technology, you won't be disturbed by the barely noticeable crease in the middle.

Bottom: HONOR Magic V

The hinge is touted to withstand up to 200,000 folds as it's made with zirconium liquid metals, high-strength carbon fibers, and titanium alloy, which means if you open and close it up to a hundred times every day (if you have nothing better to do), it can still last for more than 5 years of use.

Available in three color variants: Burnt Orange, Space Silver, and Black, the Magic V is overall sturdy and feels comfortable despite being one of the biggest foldable phones out there. It's also relatively thin for a foldable measuring a total of 14.3mm only when folded.

A rectangular camera island on the top left corner at the back houses a 50MP main camera, a 50MP ultra-wide camera, and a 50MP spectrum camera. There are two front-facing 42MP cameras, each on the external and internal display.

Some photos taken by the HONOR Magic V

On the top, there's a SIM card slot and a stereo speaker while another stereo speaker and the charging port are located at the bottom. Both the power button and volume rocker can be found on the right.

When folded, the outer display measures 6.45" with a 2560 x 1080 resolution, 1000 nits of brightness, and a 120Hz refresh rate. This accounts for a smooth scrolling experience even when you just want to take the device out from your pocket for a quick Google search. No Gorilla Glass for protection but HONOR claims its polycurved nano-crystalline glass that makes the outer screen up to 5 times more resistant to drops and knocks.

Unfolding it will give you a bigger 7.9" beautiful OLED display with a nano optical film to reduce reflections. The inner display has a lower 90Hz refresh rate and 800 nits of brightness. Resolution is, however, sharp at 2272 x 1984 px. Both displays support HDR10+ and 1.07 billion colors, as well as the DCI-P3 color gamut.

When you're using a foldable like this one with a huge internal display, you'd naturally want to split your screens and open at least 2 apps at the same time for better productivity. To satisfy that need, HONOR has introduced a new split-screen interactive portal, which allows you to launch apps in either full-screen, split-screen, and floating windows. The Magic V is also the first folding device that supports multi-screen collaboration, which means if you're not satisfied with the already large 7.9" screen, you can connect the phone to your laptop to work more diligently.

The Magic V features the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, coupled with 12GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage. Connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, which are boosted by the new Link Turbo X for 10Gbps download speeds. Gaming on this flagship phone is backed by the HONOR OS Turbo X and GPU Turbo X technologies. A 4700mAh battery sits in its helm, which can be juiced up by the 66W HONOR SuperCharge or the 66W car charger bundled in the packaging.

The HONOR Magic V is definitely a premium device on paper and based on its looks. Although we can't be sure of its performance yet, it'd be better if the phone has an IP resistance rating and perhaps, stylus support. There's still no news if it will launch in Malaysia so we can't say if it's worth the buck or not.


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