HONOR Magic V2 Review Philippines: HONOR’s latest foldable is one of the best you can buy in the Philippines today, sporting almost impossibly thin dimensions, excellent performance, and fantastic cameras. It’s also especially durable, living outside a case for the large majority of its time with us without any problems whatsoever.
- Very thin to the point you kind of forget it’s a foldable
- Flagship-grade cameras
- Tough enough to live without a case
- Great screens
- Fast and responsive
- Still no clear timeline for when it’ll be sold in the Philippines
- No IP protection
- No wireless charging
- Will likely be expensive
I’ve tested a bunch of new foldables this year ranging from impossibly slim to impressively cheap, but HONOR’s latest foldable masterpiece takes the cake. The HONOR Magic V2 is one of the best I’ve tested, sporting a design so thin that I genuinely forget that it’s foldable when I take it out of my pocket. It also doesn’t have the traditional weaknesses that other foldables have like lackluster battery life or sub-par optics – the HONOR Magic V2 is a certified foldable beast.
HONOR Magic V2 Review Philippines: design
It’s hard to imagine someone other than Korean giant Samsung making ultra-thin foldable, but it speaks to volumes to the capabilities of Chinese brands that they’re now running circles design-wise over the Korean Chaebol. The HONOR Magic V2 is the thinnest foldable available in the market today and is barely thicker than a typical Android flagship when folded.
Specifically, it’s just 9.9mm thick, which doesn’t sound that thin admittedly. That is until you consider that that measurement includes its substantial camera bump – without it, the phone is as thick as a regular iPhone.
It’s one of the tougher phones that I’ve tested so far too. I usually put on a plastic case for more fragile phones like foldables when I review them, but because of logistics issues the one lent to me didn’t have a case in the box. Consequently, I’ve been using the phone caseless for almost three weeks now, and it hasn’t shown any obvious signs of wear and tear.
While that sounds like a minor thing, it’s not. Modern smartphones have become annoyingly fragile these past few years, and I’ve lost count of supposedly durable flagships getting nicks on their bodies after spending just a day outside their cases.
The HONOR Magic V2’s hinge is also quite impressive. It uses a “proprietary steel” and titanium hinge that sports a 400,000-fold service life, which is as durable as they come.
Because of the HONOR Magic V2’s overall size and thinness, it never felt like I was using a foldable while I was carrying it.
The only downside to the Magic V2’s design is that it doesn’t have an IP rating, so it’s likely to fail if you accidentally drop it in the tub or the toilet if you’ve been partying too hard with your mates.
HONOR Magic V2 Review Philippines: display
The quality of their display is usually what people use to judge a foldable, and when measured by that metric, I’d say the HONOR Magic V2 is very, very good. Let’s start with the external cover screen: the front display is a 6.43-inch, LTPO OLED panel with a 1060 x 2376 resolution, has a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ capability, and peak display brightness of 2500 nits.
The internal, foldable panel meanwhile measures 7.92 inches and also has a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, along with IMAX Enhanced tech and a peak brightness rating of 1600 nits.
Because of how thin the phone is and how big the external display is, I found myself going for days at a time just using the HONOR Magic V2 as a regular phone – that is, not using the folding panel at all.
When I do decide to open the phone to use the internal display, it’s usually to watch video content that would be better served on a big screen (Netflix, YouTube, etc.). And that’s the best thing about the Magic V2 I feel – when you open the internal display, it’s because you want to, not because you need to on account of a cramped, cover panel that you can’t do a lot on *cough* Samsung Z Fold5 *cough*.
The usual caveats of a foldable apply to the Magic V2, specifically, the internal crease that people usually whine about. In truth, it’s barely noticeable when you’re using the phone, and it’s not going to mess with your viewing experience. There are also selfie cutouts on both panels, but they’re not big enough to distract you from whatever you’re watching.
HONOR Magic V2 Review Philippines: cameras
The HONOR Magic V2 doesn’t skimp out on its cameras: there’s a 50-megapixel main camera with an f/1.9 aperture, PDAF, laser AF, and OIS, as well as a 20-megapixel telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture and 2.5x optical zoom. A 50-megapixel f/2.0 ultra-wide snapper with AF rounds out the imaging package.
Images shot with the main camera look great, and you won’t have to worry about settings or messing with pro mode as the phone takes fantastic shots on its own. Even when you move on to more challenging scenes, the phone is still able to keep up. Probably the only thing that it has trouble with is dark scenes, which is where night mode comes in.
Zoomed-in shots look good too, though the phone does have a bit of trouble locking into subjects that are a bit further away. But overall the Magic V2 does pretty well for itself regarding overall image quality.
HONOR Magic V2 Review Philippines: performance, software, battery life
Backing the Magic V2’s good looks is flagship silicon, courtesy of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. That’s backed by 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, at least for the version that HONOR lent us.
We can’t provide actual performance numbers as of writing because the phone’s software doesn’t let us install benchmarking apps, but it’s not like we don’t know SD 8 Gen 2 performance already – the phone handled everything I threw at it without any issues. All games ran well, and the only thing I’d keep an eye on is thermals as the phone heats up a bit faster than what I’m comfortable with.
The HONOR Magic V2 comes equipped with MagicOS 7.2 UI, which is, for lack of a better term, a version of Huawei’s own EMUI. HONOR still hasn’t developed their own identity for their software, which is a little problematic, as they’ve been supposedly independent of Huawei for 3 years now.
That being said, I can’t complain about the software per se. MagicOS can adapt to whatever the foldable’s orientation is and does things like half-screen adaptations, camera positioning, and multi-tasking fairly well. I haven’t had any issues with the software – it’s just HONOR’s lack of branding identity in it that bugs me.
Despite being so thin, the Magic V2 has a massive battery for a foldable. You’re looking at a 5000mAh cell split between the two halves of the phone, which is an impressive technical feat for a foldable.
The HONOR Magic V2 is one of the few foldable in the market that’s capable of going the whole day without needing to be charged, which is what you want in a foldable.
Fast charging speeds come in at 66W which is a little slow considering what’s available in the market today, and there’s no wireless charging as well.
HONOR Magic V2 Review Philippines: wrap-up and verdict
The HONOR Magic V2 seemingly has it all for tech lovers in the Philippines: it has an attractive design, solid build quality, excellent screens, great cameras, and enough power under the hood to stand toe-to-toe with other flagships. The only problem I have with it is that HONOR is still conflicted about whether to sell this thing in the Philippines.
It’d be around Php 80-90K if they did, which is what you’d typically pay for a high-end device like this. It’s expensive sure, but it’d be one of the best folds in the country if they brought it over. One can hope.