Engineers have been hard at work of late to improve two things on foldable phones – reduce the screen crease and close the gap at the hinge. You see the fruit of their labour in the Honor Magic V2.
The Chinese company, formerly a part of Huawei, has accomplished an engineering feat with the Magic V2.
The 237g phone feels like any other candy bar-shaped – it has a thickness of 9.9mm when folded and you can open up the clamshell design for a large 7.92-inch OLED screen.
The 6.43-inch OLED screen at the front is a joy to use when commuting. It is big enough to read while on the train and yet small enough for you to navigate around the 20:9 screen, just like any other phone.
Both screens seem a tad brighter and have better contrast than the Oppo Find N3 at maximum brightness. Both refresh up to 120Hz and can be tuned down automatically to cut down battery use.
Whenever I need a bigger screen to see a product in detail when shopping online or watching a YouTube video, the Honor Magic V2 continues seamlessly from where I left off on the front screen.
However, adjusting the volume with the rocker controls at the bottom edge of the phone with the phone propped up is difficult. I wish the volume bar is on the top instead.
Editing videos and photos on the phone’s big screen is also a joy, as my pudgy fingers will not accidentally press wrongly on on-screen buttons and levers. I wish Honor has thrown in a stylus for more precise control, like when I want to erase unwanted parts of the picture.
The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage space. Okay, this isn’t the latest chip – the new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
That said, the Honor foldable phone is by no means a slouch. I have no issues taking 4K videos at 60 frames per second, and the phone quickly exports edited video content without much struggle.
One compromise that many foldable phones have made in the past is the camera system. Often, this isn’t as good as one on a candy-bar phone.
On paper, the Honor Magic V2’s cameras are pretty promising. It comes with:
- Main camera with 50MP 1/1.49-inch Sony IMX800 sensor
- Ultrawide camera with 50MP 1/2.76-inch Samsung ISOCELL JN1 sensor
- Telephoto camera with 20MP 1/3.14-inch Samsung ISOCELL JD1 sensor, offering 2.5x zoom.
During my tests, the Honor phone’s cameras shot some good night photos of Singapore, if you don’t pixel-peep.
Food images are well-saturated, making dishes look delicious. On several occasions, skin tones are too warm for my liking – people often appear sun-kissed when they aren’t.
For the front-facing camera, the typical 16 megapixel sensor does its job. However, I’d probably switch on the main camera for better image quality.
With the telephoto camera using a fixed lens, the zoom can only go as far as 2.5x. Zoom any further, and the images will be merged from pictures from the primary 50-megapixel camera.
While it can digitally zoom up to 40x, the photos are not as sharp, so keep it at 2.5x if you want to maintain some image quality. If you want better quality from a smartphone zoom lens while having a foldable phone, you can look at the Oppo Find N3 instead.
Besides the hardware, interface counts as well for a foldable phone. I appreciate that Honor has used the larger internal screen well by placing the phone’s photo album next to the camera user interface.
This way, the latest image appears on the screen after every shot. I can immediately delete unwanted photos without separately opening the photo album, like on other phones.
However, the Magic V2 isn’t perfect. Transferring photos and files from the phone to a PC requires an Honor app to be installed first. This is an additional step not needed on other Android phones.
Sure, you can still use wireless file transfer services such as Send Anywhere, but a wired connection is faster when backing up large photos and videos.
The Honor Magic V2 shows how far foldable phones have come since the earliest Samsung model from 2019, which faced multiple issues like durability and design.
Honor’s new foldable is light and comparable to regular smartphones, yet its big foldable screen adds practicality for shopping online, watching videos, and playing games.
With a 5000mAh power pack onboard, it lasts a day of video taking. Plus, Honor’s 66W charger can fill up the phone’s battery within an hour once the power is depleted. There is no wireless charging, though.
What will make the Honor Magic V2 attractive to many potential buyers is the launch price of S$1,999 in Singapore, which undercuts rivals.
To be fair, the Honor Magic V2’s cameras can be better, but they are plenty good for most people who are not after the best image quality. It offers a cheaper alternative to folks who want the functionality of a foldable screen in a sleek, portable design.