I’ve never used a folding phone like this before

Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Honor took the right time to get the Magic V2 out of China – six months to be exact. Considering the incredible hardware, it’s been a long wait.

I’ve had a test unit since July 2023, whose software and camera weren’t ready until earlier this month. After using it as my primary device for a few weeks, I can confidently say that the Honor Magic V2 is the most comfortable foldable phone I’ve used to date.

Bridges the gap between regular phones and foldable phones perfectly

Galaxy S24 Ultra, Magic V2 and OnePlus Open top view.
Galaxy S24 Ultra (left), Honor Magic V2, and OnePlus Open Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

For a long time, my main issue with using a foldable phone was how it felt when held. It started with the Galaxy Z Fold (and remains the same with the Galaxy Z Fold 5), which felt like putting two regular candy phones together. We’re getting closer to form factors like foldable slab phones OnePlus Open, but still thick. The Honor Magic V2 addresses these issues with a form factor that is thinner, lighter and better than before.

Starting at 10.1mm thick, the Magic V2 brings the foldable phone form factor closer to the regular phone experience than ever before. The Ultimate variant with a vegan leather back is even thinner at 9.9 mm.

For reference, mainstream foldable devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, Google Pixel Fold, and OnePlus Open are 13.46 mm, 12.1 mm, and 11.7 mm thick, respectively. Meanwhile, plate phones like the new Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro have a thickness of 8.7 mm and 8.8 mm respectively. The Magic V2 sits somewhere in the middle.

Second, the Magic V2 weighs 237 grams, eight grams lighter than the best folding cellphone at the moment, the OnePlus Open. Samsung and Google’s foldable devices weigh much more, namely 253 grams (Galaxy Z Fold 5) and 283 grams (Pixel Fold), while the Galaxy S24 Ultra weighs 233 grams. Its thin and light design makes it comparable to plate phones, which is a huge feat in the foldable phone segment.

Honor made this possible by working on the materials, hinge and battery. Firstly, it uses proprietary steel that is said to be 25% thinner and 20% stronger than the Honor Magic Vs. Second, the hinge is made of titanium, which is 42% lighter than before. Third, the company makes a slimmer silicon-carbon battery and doesn’t use lithium-ion cells like other foldable phones.

Honor Magic V2 cover display.
Honor Magic V2 cover display Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Another aspect that gives it a slab phone-like form factor is the cover display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. On flagship phones like the Galaxy S24 Ultra or iPhone 15 Pro Max, you get an aspect ratio closer to 20:9. But on foldable devices, it’s everywhere — from the tall Galaxy Z Fold 5 to the wide Pixel Fold. The OnePlus Open is the only other foldable device with a 21:9 aspect ratio on the cover screen. This is important because it prevents apps from misbehaving, and apps load like they would on a regular smartphone.

All these factors combine to offer a great everyday experience. Using the new Honor foldable in everyday life doesn’t feel like I’m using two phones combined into one. As a result, holding it for browsing, doomscrolling on social media, and reading is a better experience than other foldable devices. Moreover, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable if you carry it in your pocket because it fits in your trousers like a normal cellphone. The reduction in millimeters and grams of the structure is truly amazing.

Unlike other foldable devices, the Honor Magic V2 is not a large screen that can be folded to give you a normal phone-like experience. Instead, it feels like a regular phone that opens up to give you a big screen. And that is an incredible feat to achieve.

What else do you need to know about Honor Magic V2?

Honor Magic V2 in hand with OnePlus Open in the background.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The Honor Magic V2 has a 6.43-inch cover display and a 7.92-inch flip display inside. Both are OLED panels that offer a 120Hz dynamic refresh rate and Honor Magic Pen stylus support. Both displays are sharp and bright, with clear visibility in direct sunlight.

I enjoy watching movies and videos on this phone, especially when I can fold it in half in tight flights. However, there is no Dolby Vision support. I love taking notes with the Honor stylus but don’t take it anywhere because there’s no place on the phone or its case to store it. If you want to use the Magic Pen, you must carry it separately.

The hinges are sturdy and stay in the position you want. The fold situation is much better than the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but the nearly non-existent crease on the OnePlus Open is still the best implementation on a foldable screen. However, I am happy to use the Honor Magic V2 because MagicOS 7.2 (based on Android 13) offers good multitasking capabilities.

You can run the two apps side by side, and I’ve used them to research stories on one side and take notes on the other. It works very easily – without any lag or glitches. There are lots of gestures to make things easy and intuitive with swipes. I got used to them within a few days. Nonetheless, OnePlus’ Open Canvas remains the benchmark for multitasking in foldable software. Honor’s multitasking capabilities are equivalent to the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s multitasking.

The Honor Magic V2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which may look old on paper but is still capable. Paired with 16GB RAM and 256GB or 512GB storage.

Talking about the processor, this was the flagship chip when this phone was released in China last year, but by the time the Magic V2 launched in Europe, many phones had already launched with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. However, it was a flagship chip. Its main competitors, the OnePlus Open and Galaxy Z Fold 5, both use the same chipset. You won’t feel like the Magic V2 is slow or last generation – it’s still the best device.

As for the camera, the Honor Magic V2 has three rear cameras which include a 50MP main sensor, a 50MP ultrawide angle lens, and a 20MP telephoto camera with 2.5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom. On the front, you get 16MP cameras – one on the cover screen and another on the large inner screen.

The Honor Magic V2 captures a lot of detail on its three cameras. I love color adjustments and portrait photos. Photos taken at 10x speed are also worth sharing on social media. You can increase it up to 40x, but the quality is not great. The night photos are also quite good.

When compared with the OnePlus Open, the Magic V2 loses in telephoto camera performance. Open clicks better zoom photos, but the Magic V2 has better ultrawide camera output. As for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 comparison, I would choose the Magic V2 over the Samsung foldable for overall camera performance.

The Honor Magic V2 packs a 5,000mAh battery that supports 66W fast charging. When I used it as my primary phone, it lasted me the entire workday. For reference, my regular usage includes browsing X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, WhatsApp, Slack, and Teams throughout the day with hours of browsing, clicking a few photos, and about 20 minutes of navigation.

Innovation comes at a heavy price

Honor Magic V2 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 in hand.
Honor Magic V2 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 5 (right) Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The Honor Magic V2 is now available in Purple and Black for 1,700 British pounds/1,999 euros in Europe (no offers). That’s a steep price tag when you consider that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 sells for 1,899 Euros and the OnePlus Open for 1,799 Euros. However, I still recommend the Honor Magic V2 because it changes the way you interact with foldable phones.

If you need the most cost-effective foldable phone, the OnePlus Open should be your top choice. It offers the best camera setup on a foldable inner screen that hardly creases. But if you want a foldable phone that doesn’t feel like you’re holding two phones when interacting with the cover display, the Honor Magic V2 should be your choice. It features a great design, great display, smooth performance, all-day battery life, and a good camera. It’s an incredible package – and makes Honor one of the best players in the foldable world.

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