Honor Magic 5 Pro hands-on: The best camera phone of 2023?
The Honor Magic 5 Pro is supposed to be groundbreaking, especially with its camera which relies on a trio of 50-megapixel sensors and scored top marks in DxoMark. Also on board is a video function for professionals. NextPit already had the opportunity to briefly get our hands-on on the Honor Magic 5 Pro.
- Promising camera system
- Powerful performance with top processor
- 5,100 mAh battery with 66 W fast charging
- Stylish design
- Video features are of dubious usefulness
The Honor Magic 5 Pro in a nutshell
Despite all the adversities that it faced over the past few years, Honor did not give up. On the contrary, with the Magic 5 Pro, the Chinese manufacturer confidently launched a new flagship to the global market while boasting a self-confident design that will certainly cause a stir.
But the trio of cameras is the central element in the Honor Magic 5 Pro. You get an ultra-wide angle camera, a main camera, and a 3.5x zoom camera where each has (different) 50-megapixel sensors, in addition to video recording at 4K60 resolution, HDR 10+ support, and even IMAX Enhanced certification.
Apart from the camera configuration, there is also a decent smartphone beneath the case. Namely, you get a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, a display rounded on all four sides, and a 5,100 mAh battery with 66 W fast charging. Android 13 is the operating system right out of the box with Google Play Services.
The Honor Magic 5 Pro should be available in Europe in the second quarter of 2023. The price starts at around 1,200 euros (around $1,270).
Design and display
The design of the Honor Magic 5 Pro is definitely an eccentric one, both at the front and the back. The striking camera module dominates the back, which is arranged in a ring in typical Honor fashion. Compared to its predecessor, the ring now also shares the color of the green model's case, and becomes a bit more discreet compared to the previous generation.
The 8.77 mm thin Honor Magic 5 Pro is protected against dust and water ingress according to its IP68 certification.
There is also a curious look when viewed from the front: The display is rounded on all four sides. This gives the Honor Magic 5 Pro a very round, flowing design that also feels good in the hand. Our detailed review will tell whether this is practical in reality.
However, the display is certainly nice to look at. The 6.81-inch LTPO panel has a 2,848 x 1,312 pixels resolution and looks really chic. At least, that is what we thought at the Honor event during MWC 2023. The typical brightness stands at 120 nits in artificial light, and the Magic 5 Pro fires all the way to 800 nits under bright sunlight. The HDR10+-compatible display is even capable of delivering 1,800 nits for HDR content.
The display has a pixel density of 461 ppi and looks really fancy no matter what you throw at it.
Thanks to a pulse width modulation of 2,160 Hz, the display is also supposed to dim with a particularly low flicker rate and thus not affect your sleep when you are still messing around with the smartphone for ages at night.
Performance and battery life
Qualcomm's current flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC is installed in the Honor Magic 5 Pro. We have already reviewed the SoC's capability in several smartphones, such as the Xiaomi 13 Pro (review) or Samsung's Galaxy S23 series (comparison), which were also introduced globally at MWC. The biggest question remains: How stable is the performance?
Unfortunately, the Magic 5 Pro, which we had in the short test at the MWC, did not allow any benchmarks. As soon as we have a series device at the beginning of March, we will definitely do these benchmarks in our detailed test. Until then, the Magic 5 Pro with the powerful Qualcomm SoC has definitely made a good first impression. The interface is wonderfully smooth, apps start directly—that's how it should be.
Android 13 is the operating system of choice, where Honor has included its own Android skin known as MagicOS 7.1. Honor could not yet promise us just how many updates the Magic 5 Pro will receive in the future when asked at MWC. However, its predecessor, the Magic 4 Pro, will receive at least two major Android updates (13 and 14) and four years of security patches.
We cannot judge the battery runtime after the short amount of time spent with it. However, the battery's capacity of 5,100 mAh looks set to be more than decent, and with 66 W wired and 50 W wireless charging speeds, you can be sure it is an impressive handset.
The camera is the Magic 5 Pro's biggest strength, so says Honor and also DxOMark, who placed the smartphone in first place in their best camera list. In any case, the smartphone has the best capabilities to capture excellent photos with its trio of 50 MP cameras.
The main camera relies on a specially adapted Sony IMX878 sensor in a 1/1.2-inch format, according to Honor. The 50 MP telephoto camera offers a 3.5x magnification rate and relies on the Sony IMX858 sensor. Finally, the ultrawide camera houses the OmniVision OV64B chip with a Freeform lens.
Other camera hardware includes a ToF sensor (IMX516) as well as a color temperature sensor and a flicker sensor. Finally, all sorts of AI algorithms work in tandem to conjure up beautiful shots based on the image and depth information captured. For example, Honor promises a feature for action photography that automatically captures the highest point in a jump.
Unfortunately, we have not had the chance to take a slew of photos with the Honor Magic 5 Pro to date. However, we can already say that the camera app is well implemented, where the autofocus reacts quickly even under difficult lighting conditions.
Apart from photos, the Magic 5 Pro also focuses on videos. The smartphone films in 4K resolution at 60 fps, optionally with HDR10+ or in log format with 10-bit color depth. Last but not least, there is of course a selfie camera in front with a 12 MP resolution and an unspecified 3D depth camera.
Honor Magic 5 Pro technical specifications
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The Honor Magic 5 Pro is a smartphone with rough edges, metaphorically speaking. The rounded front across all four sides and the eccentric camera module on the back are set to divide opinions.
The technology incorporated, on the other hand, is top-notch. You get a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC that works excellently based on our first impressions, the cameras are promising, and the display looks really chic. You will find a detailed review of the Honor Magic 5 Pro on NextPit.com soon, so stay tuned!