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Home / Reviews / Smartphones / Honor Magic V2 review: slender fan

Honor Magic V2 review: slender fan

Diddy dimensions and a sizeable screen help this foldable stand out

Honor Magic V2 review unfolded in hand

Initial verdict

The Honor Magic V2 is a slimmer, lighter foldable that tones down a few of the more contentious aspects of folding phones. It’s not quite affordable enough to become our new favourite, though.


  • As slim and light as a non-folding flagship
  • Very capable cameras
  • Ample performance and respectable battery life


  • No water resistance
  • Some might turn their nose up at ‘last year’s’ CPU
  • 10x zoom a little too ambitious


Let’s cut to the chase: the Honor Magic V2 gets closer to a certain foldable holy grail than any other to date. When closed, this hero handset’s dimensions aren’t that different to those of a normal smartphone. To me, that’s equally as important as having a larger second screen just a fold away.

The only problem? This phone has been doing the rounds in Honor’s native China for the best part of six months now – and half a year is absolutely enough time to go from hot stuff to bas-been. In that time the Magic V2’s Snapdragon CPU is no longer the best Qualcomm has to offer, and the OnePlus Open has redefined what I expect from a flagship foldable.

Aside from those dinky dimensions, and a price that neatly undercuts the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold, does the Magic V2 do enough to impress in a competitive niche?

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Design & build: Getting shredded

Making the Magic V2 super-thin without it imploding when breathed on too strongly must’ve given Honor’s engineers a migraine – but they pulled it off. This phone is shorter and narrower than a non-folding iPhone 15 Pro Max, and at 9.9mm when shut is the slimmest foldable I’ve ever handled.

Opened up, it’s just 4.8mm per side. That doesn’t include the off-centre camera housing, which adds about 3mm extra. But the bit you actually hold? It’s svelte. Samsung’s super-narrow Galaxy Fold phones may be a bit easier to grasp, but they’re almost twice as thick as many non-foldable flagships. You still feel those double mounds of the two display parts under your fingers here, but only barely.

I spent most of my time with the Honor Magic V2 folded shut, only opening it up when lounging on the sofa, killing time on train journeys, and for late night ruining of sleep patterns. Otherwise, it felt barely any different from using a traditional phone. At only 237g it’s as light as one – and opting for a vegan leather back instead of glass drops that figure even further to 231g. That’s 22g lighter than a Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Honor achieved featherweight status by making the hinge out of the phone world’s favourite new metal: titanium. It’s lighter than steel or aluminium (which are both present elsewhere in the phone), but still super sturdy. The Magic V2 is rated for a whopping 400,000 folds; suffice to say I’m not even 1% of the way there yet. Two ridiculously thin batteries, each as chunky as a few credit cards glued together, also help keep weight down.

The only thing missing is an IP rating. Rivals promise IPX8, which is as good as it gets for water resistance from a mainstream phone.

I’m a big fan of the Phantom Purple version, but if you’re feeling fancy there’s also a luxury Porsche Design variant of the Magic V2 in the works. It swaps frosted rear for an Agate Grey finish ripped straight from Porsche’s paint-to-sample catalogue. Other upgrades include an angular camera bump and raised central fin inspired by the lines of a 911. It also ships with a branded stylus in the box.

Screen & sound: Comfortable familiarity

Get past the exterior innovations and the Honor Magic V2’s screens are quite familiar. The bit I love most – as I did with the Magic Vs – is the phone-like aspect ratio. In my eyes it’s much better than the super skinny column Samsung favours for its Z Fold phones, and adds to the sense that you can forget the inner screen sometimes for a relatively normal phone experience.

The glass covering the 6.43in outer OLED is lightly rounded at the edges, but it’s an entirely flat panel underneath. The 2376×1060 resolution is a bit unusual, but looks plenty sharp enough at arms’ length and gives images great definition. Honor’s claimed 2500 nits peak brightness has yet to be challenged by bright sunshine, as I’m currently in the depths of winter, but it has been perfectly legible every time I’ve stepped outside. That figure puts it up there with the best non-folding flagships.

Open the Honor Magic V2 up and you get a massive 7.92in, 2344×2156 OLED display with a peak brightness of 1600 nits. The panel is slightly larger and slightly higher-res than the outgoing Magic VS’ inner display, but the in-person impression is the same as that of any folding phone: small screen goes big. The aspect ratio isn’t especially suited to 16:9 streaming video, which fills somewhere between half and two thirds of the available screen space.

As you’d hope for any 2024 foldable, the screen crease isn’t too obvious. You can certainly feel it as you drag your digits over the pre-installed plastic screen protector, though. It doesn’t feel at all cheap, even if it lacks the slickness of the outer screen’s glass. Being able to use a stylus on both the inner and outer screen is a welcome addition, although it looks like you’ll need to scour the Chinese import sites for one as Honor doesn’t sell it here.  

Both panels have a maximum 120Hz refresh rate. I opted to force it on 24/7, as certain apps felt a little sluggish to scroll through when the phone was dynamically switching between 60 and 120Hz.

Like most foldable phones, the Magic V2 uses a down-firing main speaker and a front-facing earpiece tweeter – only here both are on the outer half of the phone. Even with a vent at the top to help create more stereo separation, audio will be unbalanced when using the inner display unless you turn the phone on its side first.

It isn’t short on volume, with a very clear vocal range, but there’s next to no bass and higher frequencies lean a little sharp. Bluetooth earbuds are your best bet for anything other than casual listening.

Cameras: three way dance

Honor’s last non-folding flagship, the Magic 5 Pro, had an absolutely stellar set of snappers, so I was hoping for a similar performance from the Magic V2. Things look promising on paper with a 50MP main lens, 50MP ultrawide, and dedicated telephoto zoom.

Pixel count drops to 20MP here, and the 2.5x optical zoom doesn’t have quite the same reach as some rivals – although it’s a good length for portrait snaps. There are also front facing cameras whether you’re looking at the inner or outer screen; both use 16MP sensors.

It didn’t take much shooting to tell these cameras will just fine in most scenarios, even if they won’t challenge the best non-folding phones. The lead lens is the strongest of the bunch, producing very detailed images and keeping noise well controlled. The ultrawide is a close second, being a great match for exposure and colour.

Honor’s image processing tries to capture as much dynamic range as possible, which can lead to less natural-looking shots with less contrast than I’d expect. There were also a few halo-like HDR artifacts around brightly-lit subjects. You have to go searching for them, but it’s something rival phones deal with a little better.

At night the ultrawide takes a step back on the detail front, but a fairly wide f/2.0 aperture means the gap isn’t huge. Colours, contrast and exposure are still up there with the main snapper.

The zoom lens is a tale of two parts. At 2.5x it takes clean-looking shots with punchy colours and effective HDR. Processing is very similar to the main camera. I think Honor was ambitious adding a 10x zoom toggle in the camera app, though. Even in the best light it produces muddy, overly-processed images. Optical image stabilisation helps at night, with 2.5x shots staying largely shake-free, even if noise does begin to creep in. 10x shots are splodgy and lack any real detail, though.

OnePlus and Google are still my favourite foldables for photography, but if avoid digital zoom the Magic V2 can take perfectly pleasing snaps.

Software: last year’s news

I can’t help but feel Honor is dragging its feet on the software front. Android 14 went public in October last year, yet the Magic V2 arrives running Android 13. The firm hasn’t set a timeline on when to expect an update either, which I don’t think is good enough for a £1700 smartphone. It has at least committed to four new Android generations and five years of security patches, though. That’s on par with the OnePlus Fold – which is also still stuck on Android 13.

At least the MagicOS 7.2 skin is well optimised for big-screen multitasking, with support for both vertical and horizontal splits and floating windows. Not all apps are compatible, but most of the ones I tried that actually benefit from sharing a screen with something else worked just fine.

There’s no ever-present launcher or app toolbar here, like you’ll find on the Pixel Fold or Galaxy Z Fold 5. Honor’s pop-out shortcut bar is a decent alternative, but I’d also like an option to save specific app pairs for quick launching. OnePlus is still the gold standard for foldable multitasking.

One more foldable-related bit I’m glad to see: when you open up the hinge half-way in the camera app, one side turns into a control surface, the other a preview window. Neat. The hinge is sturdy enough to let the phone stay this way comfortably enough.

Otherwise the Magic V2 feels very similar to Honor’s other recent efforts. There’s a lot of iOS influences, like how all your apps are strewn across multiple home screens by default. Quick settings and notifications are also split between two pull-down menus. The third-party app selection is minimal, at least, and don’t eat a lot of storage.

Performance: won’t keep you waiting

The Magic V2’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU was cutting edge six months ago; now the phone is finally on sale globally, it sits second best to the newer Gen 3 silicon. But are you really missing out?

Benchmarks will tell you the new chips are up to 30% faster and 20% more power efficient, but I didn’t feel the Honor was lacking in either department. There’s enough performance muscle here to tackle almost any app or game in the Google Play Store. A generous 16GB of RAM helps when multitasking and is enough to prevent reloading when quickly swapping between open apps.

Gaming is pretty much top-tier, with Diablo Immortal playing flawlessly at maximum settings for half an hour of dungeon crawling. The phone quickly warms up when under load, but I didn’t spot any dramatic performance drops. There’s only so much space inside each of the Magic V2’s skinny sides for heat pipes and vapour chambers, after all.

Honor is usually quite generous when it comes to storage, and the Magic V2 is no exception. The sole UK variant has 512GB of storage; you’d have to pay £1849 for a similarly equipped Galaxy Z Fold 5, or £1869 for the equivalent Pixel Fold. The £1700 Magic V2 is comparatively good value, until you notice the OnePlus Open also ships with 512GB as standard yet is even cheaper.

Battery life: day by day

Honor Magic V2 review USB-C port

Honor deserves props for fitting the Magic V2 with a 5000mAh battery. That’s the same capacity as the one in last year’s Magic VS – only here it’s squeezed in a phone that’s 3mm thinner and 30g lighter. The higher capacity silicon-carbon chemistry isn’t found in other foldables, which usually make do with 4800mAh or less.

Wireless charging still doesn’t make the grade, but 66W top-ups over USB-C are considerably quicker than both the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5. A full recharge in around 50 minutes is almost on par with the 67W OnePlus Open, which has a smaller capacity cell to fill.

In my experience the Magic V2 is good enough for a full day of typical use, split 70/30 between the external and internal screens. My usual blend of social media, web browsing, music streaming and camera use was enough to nudge towards single figures at the end of a long day, partly thanks to an hour of YouTube video playback. Battery saver mode could then stretch what was left to the next morning.

Gaming drains those reserves a lot quicker; a half an hour session wiped off 10%. 4K video recording is also a power hog, but that’s true of any phone. Keep your expectations in check and there’s little to complain about in terms of longevity.

Honor Magic V2 verdict

A foldable that wants you to forget it even is one, at least half the time, doesn’t sound like a winning approach. And yet I think it works like a dream for the Honor Magic V2.

The low weight, thin frame and normal-shaped front display don’t compromise everyday interaction, yet that huge inner screen if perfect for productivity. Even better, it undercuts both the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Pixel Fold, while competing on performance, battery life and camera image quality.

Traditional form factor flagships still have it beat on the photography front, though, and Honor’s software isn’t quite as slick as the OnePlus Open, which is also even cheaper. The firm also needs to extend its long-term update support.

That means the Magic V2 isn’t a revelation – but by addressing the areas that turn prospective foldable buyers off, it’s very much worth your attention.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

The Honor Magic V2 is a slimmer, lighter foldable that tones down a few of the more contentious aspects of folding phones. It’s not quite affordable enough to become our new favourite, though.


As slim and light as a non-folding flagship

Very capable cameras

Ample performance and respectable battery life


No water resistance

Some might turn their nose up at ‘last year’s’ CPU

10x zoom a little too ambitious

Honor Magic V2 technical specifications

Screens6.43in, 2376×1060 OLED w/ 120Hz outer
7.92in, 2344×2156 flexible OLED w/ 120Hz inner
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Memory16GB RAM
Cameras50MP, f1.9 main w/ PDAF, laser AF, OIS
20MP, f/2.4 telephoto w/ PDAF, OIS, 2.5x optical zoom
50MP, f/2.0 ultrawide w/ AF
16MP, f/2.2 front
Storage256GB/512GB/1TB on-board
Operating systemAndroid 13 w/ MagicOS 7.2
Battery5000mAh w/ 66w wired charging
Dimensions157x145x4.7mm (unfolded)
157x74x9.9mm (folded)
Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

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