Honor has given me a pre-production version of the new Honor Magic Vs foldable phone to try, as long as I don’t talk about the software.
In tech journalism, this happens sometimes: a company wants to show off its shiny new product so much that they let journalists and YouTubers look at it before it’s ready to be released, as long as they promise not to talk about it. things that aren’t done.
So, I’ve reluctantly agreed to spend some time with the Honor Magic Vs before it comes out with software that customers will actually use.
Even though there are restrictions, I’ve decided to write about it because the hardware is impressive and I think it does what Honor says it will do, which is work like any other smartphone.
The downside of expensive folding phones that open up to the size of a tablet, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, is that their outer screens are often small.
The Z Fold 4 is too thin, so apps look squished, and typing with one thumb, let alone two, is hard and can lead to mistakes.
Clement Wong, Honor’s vice president of global product marketing, told Tech Advisor that the goal of the Magic Vs was to make a foldable phone with a tablet screen inside that people would still buy and use as their main smartphone.
He says that the problem with other foldable devices is that their outer screens have weird aspect ratios and are hard to use. Because of this, people still use regular smartphones along with their fancy foldable devices.
After using the Magic Vs for two weeks, I agree that Honor did a good job with the outside screen. It has a 6.45-inch OLED screen with 120Hz and a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is what most “normal” phones have.
When you add that the Magic Vs folds completely flat, unlike the Z Fold 4, you get a folding phone that looks more like a regular phone, even though it is much thicker.
The folding mechanism isn’t very smooth, which is a drawback. When fully open, it doesn’t lie completely flat, so it feels like the hinge is trying to close a little bit.
But Honor has worked to make the hinge mechanism simpler since the first Magic V came out earlier this year. The result is a design that looks nice and is easy to use.
The Magic V is still a bit big because the triple camera module on the back sticks out, and not everyone will like the glossy, matte cyan color of the sample I tested.
The screen on the inside is a good 7.9-inch panel, but it only has a 90Hz refresh rate, and you can still feel and see the crease in the middle.
I can’t say much more about Magic Vs, but I’ll get a finished sample copy next year, I’ve been told. Honor hasn’t said where the foldable will be available or how much it will cost, but a “global” release is expected.
If the Magic Vs has useful and reliable software and, most importantly, a competitive price, it could become the main competitor to Samsung’s Z Fold series in Europe, leaving Oppo, Huawei, and Xiaomi in the dust.
For a brand that wasn’t too long ago Huawei’s low-cost brand aimed at young people, that would be a big deal.