Honor’s efforts towards making a name for itself in the mainstream smartphone market have not gone unnoticed – just this year, the former Huawei sub-brand launched some very impressive devices like the Honor Magic Vs and Honor Magic 5 Pro. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at the Magic5 Pro, and some of the features that it offers users.
The Magic 5 Pro comes with some impressive hardware, but that raises the question of whether or not you should go with this phone over mainstream devices like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 – let’s get started!
Design & Display
At first glance, the Honor Magic 5 Pro might look like just another Android slab, but the phone does manage to set itself apart with a premium-looking design. The sides of the phone feature a polished metal frame, which goes around the Magic 5 Pro’s glass build. The phone does come in another variant with a leather back, although the unit we have here features a glass rear panel, which might be a bit more slippery for some users.
The Magic 5 Pro does feature IP68 certification though, so the phone will be relatively safe from accidental splashes and dunks in water (we wouldn’t recommend actually swimming with the phone, however). The front of the device houses a 6.81-inch LTPO display with a “quad-curve” design, and while this adds a bit of design flair, the usefulness of a curved display will ultimately be a very subjective matter from user to user.
The display looks terrific thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate, and a pretty robust 1312 x 2848 pixel resolution. It gets pretty bright at 1800 nits of maximum brightness, and I had no trouble viewing the display outdoors. It’s also great for content consumption and gaming, and is definitely one of the strengths of this device.
The display also houses the front camera, which comes with a depth and biometrics sensor for the face unlock function. 3D face unlock is something not usually seen in a lot of Android phones, and it’s certainly nice to see the feature here. There’s also an in-display fingerprint sensor which works nice and fast, unlike the somewhat slower scanners on Pixel phones, for example.
The rear panel of the phone houses the triple-lens camera which we’ll talk more about later, and follows the recent design trend of circular camera modules. It’s a pretty large camera bump however, so we’d recommend using a case to add a bit of protection from scratches. The phone also features a dual-speaker set-up, which manages to sound loud enough, although I would have preferred a more powerful bass sound.
Overall, the Honor Magic 5 Pro is built rather well with a premium look to it, although again I would strongly suggest using a case for the phone as the glass design does pose a vulnerability in terms of handling.
Internals & Software
Inside the Magic 5 Pro is the almighty Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, paired with an Adreno 740 GPU. Coming from a Google Tensor-powered smartphone, I was impressed with the performance on the 8 Gen 2, and the phone had no trouble running graphics-intensive apps and games thanks to the 12GB of RAM inside.
Day-to-day tasks are also seamless on the Magic 5 Pro, and navigating through the user-interface, switching between apps, and using the phone regularly is a breeze. It’s worth noting that this hardware configuration means that the phone is capable of Ray Tracing in games, although at the moment there’s not a lot of software readily available that makes use of the feature. It’s a great way to future-proof the device, however.
Going for the 12GB RAM variant of the device means that you also get 512GB of internal storage, and while there’s no SD card slot on here we’d like to think that this is more than enough for a majority of users. Of course, there’s a slightly affordable version of the phone which comes with 256GB of storage, although you are limited to 8GB of RAM.
In terms of software, the Magic 5 Pro ships with Android 13, which is layered with Magic UI, Honor’s proprietary user interface. As with most non-Google-branded Android phones, the device comes with a heavily-modified interface, which means that there will be third-party apps pre-installed with the phone. If you were looking for a “clean” version of Android like on a Pixel or Nokia device, then you won’t get that here. With that being said though, this means that the phone will come with some useful software features that aren’t readily available on other Android phones.
The phone runs on a massive 5100 mAh battery, which comes with support for 66W wired fast charging, and 50W wireless charging, which out-perform other brands in terms of charging speeds. Battery endurance is pretty decent, and I could get a day’s worth of use with moderate tasks such as data usage, web browsing, and occasional content consumption. Of course gaming will drain the battery a bit faster, especially with graphics-intensive titles.
All in all though, the Magic 5 Pro is a solid performer, and if you’re after a good high-end smartphone, then the phone’s hardware is very capable.
The Honor Magic 5 Pro comes with a triple-camera set-up on the rear panel, which includes a 50MP Wide Camera with f/1.6 aperture and a customized 1/1.12 inch sensor. This is accompanied by a 50MP Ultra Wide Camera with f/2.0 aperture, and a 50MP Sony IMX858 Sensor Telephoto Camera with f/3.0 aperture, 3.5x Optical Zoom, and 100x Digital Zoom. It’s a really solid hardware setup, and should be more than enough for a lot of folks who need a good camera phone – check out these samples.
The main camera will be able to record 4K video at up to 60fps on the main camera, while the other cameras are limited to 4K video at 30fps. Video quality mostly looks good, although there are moments when the camera struggles to adjust exposure when filming.
The front camera meanwhile comes with a fixed-focus 12MP lens with f/2.4 aperture. For social media posts it should be good enough, and ultimately personal preference will play a factor in terms of how you want your photos to look, especially when comparing the Magic 5 Pro to other smartphone cameras.
To sum things up, the Honor Magic 5 Pro is an impressive all-around powerhouse. The phone packs some powerful internals and processing power, has very capable cameras, impressive battery life, and a slick-looking design – it’s the very definition of a flagship phone, and Honor fans will definitely want to get their hands on this.
It’s also a solid bet if you’re looking to test the waters and see what Honor has to offer when it comes to premium Android phones.
It is priced at around $1200 when converted, placing it in the league of other high-end devices like the iPhone 14 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. It should be said that it’s moments like these where factors like the iPhone’s compatibility with the Apple ecosystem or the S23 Ultra’s added productivity features might sway your purchase decision – but if all you’re after is a great flagship android phone with great hardware and the essentials, then the Magic 5 Pro is definitely worth getting.