If there’s one thing Honor wants you to know about its new Magic V2, it’s how thin and light it is. The thinnest vegan leather version of the new foldable, launching in China today, is just 9.9mm thick when folded and weighs 231 grams. That’s thinner and lighter than Honor’s main competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 (14.2mm and 263g), Google’s Pixel Fold (12.1mm and 283g) and Huawei Mate X3 (11.8mm and 239g) when folded.
In fact, hold the folded Honor Magic V2 in your hand and it almost feels like a non-foldable smartphone. The Magic V2’s weight (as well as its 6.43-inch outer screen size) falls between an iPhone 14 Pro (206g) and an iPhone 14 Pro Max (240g). It’s not quite as thin in its smartphone-style folded form (Apple’s two recent flagships are 7.85mm thick), but it’s in a similar ballpark. Note that the glass-backed version of the Magic V2 is slightly thicker and heavier than the “Silk Black” vegan leather variant, at 10.1mm and 237g.
When I asked, Honor refused to confirm if or when the Magic V2 might launch outside of China. But the fact that he has proactively offered to send me, a UK-based writer, a review sample suggests that he has ambitions for an international release. And his launch strategy with his previous Magic VS foldable suggests he’s keen to (eventually) bring the V2 to customers in Europe, if not the US.
In a press release, Honor emphasizes the engineering work that went into making the Magic V2 so slim. He says that a “proprietary steel” makes up 67 percent of the material in the hinge and that this material is 25 percent thinner and 20 percent stronger than what the company used in Magic VS. A redesigned support structure at the hinge reduces thickness by 75 percent.
When I tested the Honor Magic V2 for myself, I liked how the hinge felt on my new review unit. It’s both softer and less stiff than Magic VS, and there’s more than one satisfying thud when fully open. The big question is how well the hinge will hold up over time, especially without an IP rating for dust and water resistance. Honor’s press release claims that the hinge should still be able to withstand 400,000 folding cycles, which translates to roughly 100 opening and closing times per day for 10 years. There’s still a visible crease, but like other foldables, it’s easy to ignore once you start using the device.
The two screens of the Honor Magic V2 have a 120Hz refresh rate. The external screen is 6.43 inches in size, with a 20:9 aspect ratio, a 2376 x 1060 resolution and an impressive maximum brightness of 2500 nits. The internal folding screen measures 7.92 inches with a near square 2344 x 2156 resolution and a maximum brightness of 1600 nits. I couldn’t get an answer as to whether Honor is using any ultra-thin glass in the construction of the internal display, but it looks like plastic to me.
The My Honor Magic V2’s software is extremely pre-production, so I can’t comment on the software or the camera experience (seriously, my review unit didn’t even have an on-screen keyboard pre-installed; I had to plug in an external keyboard to configure). So, I don’t know if Honor is on its way to fix the annoyances I had with Magic VS, which were mostly related to its non-hardware elements.
Otherwise, the Magic V2’s specs are more or less in line with its predecessor. Despite the slimmer dimensions, you still get a 5,000mAh battery that can fast charge at 66W, and there’s a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 this time around, rather than Gen 1. There’s a trio of rear cameras (one main 50-megapixel , 50-megapixel ultra-wide and 20-megapixel telephoto), a duo of selfie cameras (both 16-megapixel), 16GB of RAM, and between 256GB and 1TB of onboard storage.
In China, the Magic V2 will be available starting at ¥8,999 (about $1,254) and is expected to ship on July 27. There is also a Last edition, which is the version I’ve been testing that comes with up to 1TB of storage and includes a stylus in the box. This version starts at ¥11,999 (about $1,673).
Photography by Jon Porter / The Verge