Honor have produced many handsets that offer a potent balance between performance and price. The Magic V represented Honor’s first foray into the foldable phone market and set a strong benchmark for its successor to follow; that device is the Honor Magic V2.

In this review, we’ll be exploring the ways that the Magic V2 builds on its predecessor, including the improved display, form factor and performance.

The Honor Magic V2 is available in traditional Black or Silk Purple, and comes with 512GB of storage.

Release date

Release date - the Honor Magic V2 was released in the UK on 26th January 2024.

Specs

• Dimensions (folded) - 156.7 x 74.1 x 9.9mm
• Dimensions (unfolded) - 156.7 x 145.4 x 4.7mm
• Weight - 231g
• OS - MagicOS 7.2 atop Android 13
• Display (foldable) - 7.92” OLED (2156 x 2344)
• Display (outer) - 6.43” OLED (1060 x 2376)
• Chipset – Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
• RAM - 16GB
• Storage - 512GB
• Rear Cameras - 50MP (f/1.9) main, 50MP (f/2.0) ultra-wide, 20MP (f/2.4) telephoto
• Front Camera - 16MP
• Battery - 5,000mAh
• Water and dust resistance – no official rating

Design

Honor’s efforts to provide a seamless, hinge-free viewing experience with its first foldable phone were impressive, and the Magic V2 builds on that foundation in some significant ways. Firstly, it is one of the thinnest foldable smartphones ever produced, measuring at 156.7 x 145.4 x 4.7mm when unfolded, and 156.7 x 74.1 x 9.9mm when folded. Given that videos, films and games will predominantly be viewed in unfolded mode, being able to do so on a phone that is thinner than two £1 coins is a superb feat of smartphone engineering.

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Not only is the handset incredibly thin, it’s also significantly lighter - at 231g - than its peers, such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold 5 at 253g and the Google Pixel Fold at 283g. It’s safe to say the Magic V2 offers one of the best handling experiences of any foldable phone, whether you’re holding it to watch a video or carrying it in your pocket.

Display

The appeal of any foldable phone is its transformable form factor, but the additional ways you can use the device will mean little if its displays are lacking clarity or vibrancy. Thankfully, the Honor Magic V2 hits this aspect out of the park.

On opening up this phone, you’re greeted with a 7.92” OLED screen, and the results are extremely impressive. The boosted colour levels and true-to-life contrasts that OLED technology brings is fully evident. Whether you’re gaming or watching a film, the unfolded screen is crystal-clear. The same can also be said for the folded cover display, which measures 6.43” and is likewise an OLED panel.

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Earlier on in this review we touched on some significant ways that Honor elevated the Magic V2 beyond its predecessor, and one of these is the refresh rates of the screens. Instead of having just one screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz, Honor equipped both displays with this feature, ensuring whatever you’re viewing is silky-smooth and responsive.

The resolution of the inner screen is also superior to the previous handset, increasing from 2272x1984 to 2344x2156. The number increase might not seem substantial, but the effect on pixel density is noticeable when playing games at higher graphical settings or watching HD videos.

Performance

Improvements in the visual department on the Honor Magic V2 are backed up by a bump in performance, too. This is delivered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor; a faster piece of silicon that gives a boost in performance and responsiveness.

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In games, productivity apps and when taking a photo, the device held its own with minimal lag in-between tasks. Not only does this make the phone a fantastic all-round device, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 helps maintain a consistent experience whether you’re in folded or unfolded mode. The success of a foldable phone hangs on how seamless the form change is, and the handset pulls it off extremely well.

To ease the processor’s workload, Honor also included 16GB RAM; a 4GB increase over the Magic V. All in all, this contributes to a fantastic level of performance on the Magic V2 and cements it as one of the most accomplished foldable handsets available.

Software & features

Underpinning the Honor Magic V2 is the custom MagicOS 7.2 operating system, which runs on Android 13. Alongside the features that come with Android 13, such as deeper personalisation and spatial audio, MagicOS 7.2 includes a raft of optimisations built specifically for the foldable form factor.

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One of these is Parallel Space, which lets you run apps across two spaces on the screen independently of each other. Let’s say you want to write an email from some notes; you could have your email app on one side, and the notes on the other. It’s testament to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that this feature works as well as it does, and is further demonstrated by the phone's ability to run two games simultaneously on multiple displays.

Like many Android smartphones, the Honor Magic V2 supports multiple years of updates and additional features such as Android 14, opening up more ways to use the phone over time.

Cameras

Much of what works in the photography department on the Magic V2 lies in its form factor, but the hardware that’s onboard does a significant amount of heavy lifting. Within the triple-camera array is a 50MP main lens, a 50MP ultra-wide lens and a 20MP telephoto camera, each producing detail-rich images with impressive levels of vibrancy and colour. The handset’s cameras are slightly off the pace compared to the top options on the market, but the results are nonetheless of a high quality.

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As we mentioned, being able to fold and unfold the handset gives you more flexibility when capturing a scene. Using the rear cameras, you can open up the phone and view more of the environment before taking a photo; something you can’t always do on a traditional smartphone. The Magic V2 excels in this aspect particularly well, thanks to its superb display technology and support for vibrant HDR.

Battery

With all of this in mind, how does the Honor Magic V2’s battery perform? Very well, in fact. The unit in this handset is 5000mAh, which puts it ahead of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Google Pixel Fold by at least 600mAh. This extra capacity enables the device to be used for most of the day before needing a recharge.

There’s no wireless charging, but the wired charging it does have is superb. With support for Honor’s 66W SuperCharge technology, you can get the handset back up to 100% in around 50 minutes; the cable does need to be bought separately to make use of this feature.

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In the pantheon of foldable phones, the Honor Magic V2 stands among the very best. Even more impressive is how well it performs at a lower price than some of its peers, giving it a leg up on the competition.

If you’re curious about other foldable handsets that are available, our comprehensive guide has you covered.