The Honor Magic V has just been launched in China this Monday, January 10. The first foldable smartphone of the Chinese manufacturer is sold for 9,999 yuan, or ~$1,570.
- The Honor Magic V will be released on January 18 in China.
- No release date in Europe is known yet.
- The 5G foldable smartphone will run on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC.
The Honor Magic V takes the form factor of a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with a hybrid smartphone/tablet format. The 6.45-inch curved external OLED display offers an elongated 21.3:9 ratio. The large internal and foldable slab offers a diagonal of 7.9 inches in 10:9 format. But it is on a specific point that Honor wants to stand out, a point that is still a major brake to the purchase of foldable of its competitors like Samsung.
A foldable smartphone but without folds
Honor insisted a lot on its "waterdrop" hinge technology, which is supposed to be the thinnest on the market. The manufacturer even goes so far as to promise a "creaseless" screen. This crease is one of the most frequent criticisms made to Samsung's foldable devices. It is a problem that we face from the first time we fold a device. So, it remains to be seen how realistic Honor's promise is.
The manufacturer also boasted of the IMAX Enhanced certification that the Honor Magic V received for its screen, a first for a smartphone apparently. The screens of the HONOR Magic V support a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and offer up to 1.07 billion colors. The whole screen benefits from a refresh rate of up to 120Hz in folded mode and 90Hz in the unfolded mode which I find rather confusing.
On the design side, the Honor Magic V is made from a high-strength titanium alloy, liquid zirconium metals, and high-strength carbon fibers that reduce the device's density. A whole bunch of clever words that are supposed to make the smartphone lighter and more balanced when it fits in the palm of your hand, whether folded or unfolded.
High-end specs... and Google services? (no)
The HONOR Magic V is the first foldable smartphone to feature Qualcomm's brand new 5G Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor backed by the latest Adreno GPU. According to the manufacturer, the Honor Magic V is expected to deliver 30% better performance compared to the previous generation.
On the photo side, there is a 50 MP quad photo module as well as a 42 MP selfie camera. This lens system includes an 8×8 DTOF (for depth management) and three 50-megapixel sensors for wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle, and a "Spectrum Enhanced" sensor to handle complex lighting conditions.
The Honor Magic V will run on the Magic UI 6.0, logically devoid of Google services since it is a Chinese interface. But the manufacturer launched the Honor 50 a few months ago in France, and it was indeed equipped with GMS (Google Mobile Services).
Honor also explains that its interface is equipped with an artificial intelligence engine, Honor Magic Live. "Through contextual awareness, profile prediction, and a vast knowledge graph, Magic Live enables the HONOR Magic V to act as a personal assistant, intelligently learning the user's habits and behaviors to provide personalized recommendations," reads the launch release.
Finally, the HONOR Magic V is powered by a 4750 mAh battery that features SuperCharge for 66 watts of fast charging, which allows it to be charged to 50% in just 15 minutes.
Honor Magic V colors, price, and availability
The Honor Magic V is currently only available in China, and sales will begin on January 18, 2022. Because of the ongoing ban, the Honor Magic V will probably not find its way into the US market.
The foldable smartphone comes in two variants, 12/256 GB and 12/512 GB, sold for respectively 9,999 and 10,999 yuan, or ~$1,570 and ~$1.720 excluding tax. A not so competitive price if we compare it to the $1,799 of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.
The Honor Magic V is available in three colors in China: black, Space Silver, and Burnt Orange.
What do you think of the Honor Magic V? Do you believe the price/performance ratio is competitive? Do you think Honor can make it in the foldable smartphone market or at least become a serious competitor to Samsung? And do you believe the "crease-free" promise?