It’s a sign of foldable phones becoming more affordable and mainstream when one of the first new models out in Singapore in 2024 is the promising-looking and under-S$2,000 Honor Magic V2.
If you have forgotten, Honor was previously the budget and youth-centric “sub-brand” of Huawei, though it has since reinvented itself by providing premium quality smartphones at a reasonable price after its sale to a Chinese conglomerate in 2022.
Despite being cheaper than rivals that cost more than S$2,000 at launch, the new Honor Magic V2 is certainly impressive. Going by a launch in Singapore yesterday, it is certainly no less impressive than the company’s excellent candy-shaped smartphone, the Magic 5 Pro, from last year.
The new foldable phone has the same zippy Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor with 5G support, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage space. The specs make this a top-end flagship phone, at least until the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is launched later in the year.
The performance shows. Switching between the front 6.43-inch cover screen and the 7.92-inch internal screen is smooth.
The displays are impressive as well. Reading off the cover screen with 2500-nit peak brightness and the internal screen with 1600 nits is effortless.
The screen’s colour representation is also top-notch thanks to its 100-per-cent DCI-P3 gamut. Plus, the display has a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz for a smoother image, while being able to go down to 1Hz to conserve energy.
It also has a large battery capacity of 5000mAh, which should last a full day. If not, the 66W charger will quickly charge up the phone within an hour.
The most impressive feature of the Magic V2 is its slim design. The phone is one of the thinnest foldables around, measuring 9.9mm when folded and only 4.7mm thick when opened.
With the 6.43-inch cover screen and 237g weight (including the glass back), Magic V2 gives the illusion that you are holding a typical candy-bar smartphone instead of a foldable. It is quite an impressive engineering feat.
Once opened, the screen crease is not so easily visible – you only see it when deliberately placing the screen against the light. There is also no gap between the halves of the phone when closed.
The Honor Magic V2 springs open confidently and clamps shut with a satisfying ‘thud’. It also holds its position when half opened so you can use the phone to watch a YouTube video or attempt a wefie shot unaided. This new phone looks and feels like a well designed gadget.
The Magic V2’s cameras are well-endowed on paper, at least. The phone has a 50-megapixel primary camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS), a 50-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 20-megapixel zoom with OIS.
Both front-facing cameras on the cover screen as well as the selfie camera on the inner screen come with 16-megapixel sensors. I will be bringing the Magic V2 for a spin to test its imaging system, so do look out for our full review later.
Already, Honor has piqued my interest with the way it has innovated the camera functions. Using the larger screen of the Magic V2, I can see my most recent shots taken by the camera without separately opening the photo album. This feature is convenient when reviewing and deleting unwanted photos and videos quickly.
One surprise for the Magic V2 in Singapore is its price just under the S$2,000 mark. At launch, it will retail for S$1,999, which isn’t cheap but that’s substantially lower than a similarly-spec’d Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (S$2,578) and Oppo Find N3 (S$2,399). The phone is available for pre-order from today.