It’s worth repeating – Honor is back and it’s ready to compete. Many had their doubts about Honor as a standalone player in the tech space after the brand was split off from Huawei but with the launch of the foldable Honor Magic Vs, it’s putting its best foot forward and showing the world that it’s ready to take on the big boys.
For those who aren’t familiar with the specs, the Honor Magic Vs features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset with 8GB or 12GB RAM, up to 512GB storage, and a 6.45-inch display on the outside. When you unfold the phone, the massive 7.9-inch 120Hz display is revealed, giving users a tablet-like experience. The phone also comes with a 54MP Sony IMX800 sensor for its main camera, a 50MP ultrawide and macro camera, and an 8MP 3X Optical Zoom Camera.
While the specs are impressive, the true star of the show is the phone’s overall design. We’ve seen plenty of foldables over the past few years, but most of them are simply too thick for regular day-to-day use. The Honor Magic Vs may look the same as its competitors, but honor has managed to shave off a few extra millimeters so that it’s a mere 12.9mm thick when folded, compared to the 15.8mm you get on the Galaxy Z Fold4.
Honor was able to pull this off by reducing the thickness of each half of the phone, but its engineers also managed to implement a unique gearless hinge that allows the phone to fold without a visible gap between the two sides. Based on how the display folds, it doesn’t look like Honor is using the same teardrop hinge mechanism we’ve seen Oppo and Motorola implement on their foldable designs, but the smaller radius fold doesn’t appear to leave a more noticeable create in the foldable display than what Samsung delivers on the Fold4.
According to Honor, the display is expected to hold up to 400,000 folds, which means the display will definitely hold up to the 2-3 years you’ll likely use the phone.
Despite the Magic Vs being noticeably larger than Samsung’s latest foldable, it’s actually 2 grams lighter. What’s even more impressive is that Honor managed to cram in a 5,000 mAh battery into the phone, which is 13% more than what you get in the Galaxy Z Fold4. Since the device we’ve been using isn’t meant for the US market, we weren’t able to use it as our daily driver, so it’s hard to know how much longer the Magic Vs will last when matched up against its main rival.
Honor also has an advantage over the competition when it comes to price. The Honor Magic Vs is listed for 7,499 RMB (roughly $1,046), making it quite a bit cheaper than similar foldable smartphones. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip4 sells for $999, but the larger Fold4 goes for $1800 before discounts and rebates. At the moment, pricing really doesn’t matter since Honor’s foldable is only available in China. The device will be making its debut in global markets sometime soon, but Honor isn’t expected to announce where, when and at what price until early Q1 of 2023.
With the limited time that we’ve had with the Honor Magic Vs, I’ve definitely been impressed with what the hardware has to offer. Foldable smartphones are a trend that only a few OEMs seem to be taking on these days and Honor has shown that it’s up to the challenge.
But let’s not forget the other side of the coin since the hardware is only half of the problem that foldable devices like the Magic Vs have to deal with. Once we get our hands on a device intended for global markets, we’ll have to see if Honor’s new Magic OS 7.0 is good enough to compete with the mature software experience Samsung has been fine-tuning for four years already on its foldable devices.
We’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see how this all plays out.