The Honor Magic Vs could be one to consider with key features including a gapless hinge and capable cameras that could give Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 some serious competition.
Gapless folding mechanismThe Honor Magic Vs folds completely closed with no noticeable gap, protecting the inner display from dust and other debris.
Capable camerasThe combination of a 54MP main, 50MP ultrawide and 8MP 3x telephoto look to give the Magic Vs the edge compared to most book-style foldables in 2023.
Big batteryThe 5,000mAh battery of the Honor Magic Vs should help it last all day long and then some.
The big-screen Honor Vs is official, and it’s got Samsung’s popular Galaxy Z Fold 4 firmly in its sights.
Boasting key improvements compared to Samsung’s big-screen foldable including a gapless fold, a larger battery and more capable cameras, it seems the Honor Vs could be the big-screen foldable to get – but odd design decisions mean it’s not a clear-cut decision.
I went along to a hands-on event for the Honor Vs ahead of launch where I got to spend a bit of time with the foldable, and here are my early thoughts.
Design & screens
Book-style foldable with no gap6.45-inch outer display7.9-inch inner foldable display
The Honor Magic Vs is a typical book-style foldable with a standard phone-like display on the outside and a larger foldable display within, with the idea that you get both the traditional smartphone experience and a tablet experience within a single device.
The idea isn’t new, but Honor’s Magic Vs foldable is exquisitely designed – especially when compared to Samsung’s popular Galaxy Z Fold 4 that, despite being in its fourth generation, still has a fairly large gap when folded closed.
Honor has fixed that issue with the Magic Vs, with no visible gap, helping keep dust, lint and other annoying bits clear of the display and, more importantly, the hinge. It manages to do this while also being much thinner than Samsung’s 15.8mm foldable at just 12.9mm.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
That’s mainly down to Honor’s new Super Light Hinge which has far fewer parts than competing foldable with single-piece casting tech and 4 moving pieces, down from 92 pieces of the original Honor V. The company says it should be good for 400,000 folds, or 100 folds a day for a whopping 10 years.
The 6.45in outer display is much more like a normal smartphone than most other big-screen foldables on the market, sporting a 21:9 aspect ratio with a flagship-level edge-to-edge display. It’s certainly a step in the right direction compared to Samsung’s extremely narrow foldable, bringing it closer in look to Oppo’s Find N2.
In fact, with display tech including a 120Hz refresh rate, support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content and a maximum brightness of 1200nits, it’s arguably the better display of the two – an interesting approach to the big-screen foldable design.
It certainly makes sense as the outer display is one that most people will use more often, with the bigger internal display only really used for specific purposes.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
That doesn’t mean the internal display is to be sniffed at though; it’s a 7.9in OLED panel with a 1984 x 2272 resolution, 90Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 800 nits. It was bright and smooth in use and though the crease is still present, it’s not as instantly noticeable as it is with the Z Fold 4.
Elsewhere, the rear of the Honor Vs is certainly one of the more eye-catching out there with a stunning glittery blue finish on the rear, though it’ll also be available in black for those looking for something a little more understated.
Capable camera offering for a foldable
The camera department is an area where Honor is really gunning for Samsung, with a combination of a 54MP main, 50MP 122-degree ultrawide and an 8MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom beating the dual-12MP offering of Samsung’s competing big-screen foldable.
On paper, at least, this should make the Honor Vs one of the more capable foldables on the market when it comes to photography prowess, and images taken on the main lens did look crisp, detailed and bright in a few test shots I fired off during my hands-on, though I’ll reserve final judgement for now.
Not the fastest processor around5,000mAh batteryAndroid 13 with magicOS 7.1
The Honor Magic Vs is driven by Qualcomm’s capable Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, though it’s not the very latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip so it may be that the Magic Vs doesn’t quite top the benchmarking charts. That’s paired with either 8- or 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage, though it’s not clear which SKUs are set to be released in the UK and Europe right now.
Still, even with a chip that was launched in 2022, performance should be rapid in everyday use, and I noticed no kind of lag during my short time with the foldable. That’s a good thing too, considering that 7.9-inch internal display is literally designed to run multiple apps on-screen at once.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Battery life is also expected to be a strong suit of the Honor Vs compared to other big-screen foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 with a 5,000mAh cell that the company claims can last 1.04 hours longer than the Z Fold 4, and 3 hours extra compared to the iPhone 14 Pro. I’ve no way to test these claims right now, but it’ll certainly be interesting to see how it performs once a sample makes its way to us.
Elsewhere, expect top-end connectivity with the likes of Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC for payments and, of course, support for 5G connectivity.
In terms of software, the Honor Magic Vs ships with Android 13 with Honor’s magicOS 7.1 skin, though there’s no word on Honor’s upgrade promise (if there is one) just yet. To be able to compete with the Z Fold 4, it’ll need to offer four years of OS upgrades if not more.
The Honor Vs looks to be a step forward in terms of foldable hardware with a gapless hinge and a large battery, but odd omissions like the lack of a hinge lock that lets the foldable sit like a laptop mean it’s not a clear-cut win compared to Samsung’s dominant Z Fold 4, but I’ll reserve final judgement for my full review.
Is the Honor Magic Vs water-resistant? No, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Honor Magic Vs doesn’t have any kind of official water resistance rating.
First Reviewed Date
Honor Magic Vs
54MP + 50MP + 8MP
160.3 x 6.1 x 141.5 MM
Android 13 (Magic UI 7.1)
1984 x 2272
Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Cyan, Black, Orange
A ‘hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only – it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.
An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a way to express the capacity of batteries, especially smaller ones in phones. In most cases the higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last but this isn’t always the case.