With Google finally putting rumours to rest with the announcement of the Pixel Fold, it’s now in fierce competition with foldable phone juggernauts like the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 and even the Oppo Find N2 Flip. But there’s another contender: the Honor Magic Vs.
The Honor Magic Vs is set to go on sale in the UK on May 19, with the foldable flagship expected to release in global markets soon after. It’s been available in China since last year, but its global release will see foldable fans get a chance to see why it’s being hyped up. Why? Its price.
Available for £1,399 (€1,599 / around NZ$2,815) with 12GB of RAM and 512GB for storage, the Honor Magic Vs will be among the cheapest flagship foldables around. To put that into perspective, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is set at £1,649 (€2,299 / NZ$2,849) with 12GB of RAM and 256GB for storage and the newly announced Pixel Fold is priced at £1,749 (€1,899 / around NZ$2,828) with the same specs.
In the UK, however, the Magic Vs will be even cheaper at launch. It’s set for £1,199 if users subscribe for more info at Honor’s website and purchase the foldable before May 26. That will give Samsung and Google a run for their foldable money, and Pixel Fold has yet to hit the market. Of course, it’s hard to compare phones without reviews, but those looking for a more affordable tablet-like foldable are likely to have their eyes set on the cheaper Honor Magic Vs.
Honor Magic Vs impressions
I’ve had hands-on time with the Magic Vs, and was impressed by its overall design and specs. Thanks to its 12.9mm-thin form factor when folded, it was light and comfortable to hold with one hand. Plus, the 6.45-inch near bezel-less display with 21:9 aspect ratio was a nice touch. When opened, I was treated to a smooth transition animation with its 7.9-inch internal display and an even thinner 0.5mm. That size makes using two apps at once a breeze.
One feature I despise about foldables is the dreaded crease. However, this was harder to spot on the Magic Vs. If you’re looking for it, yes, there is one. But my time opening and closing it with a satisfying snap made me forget there was one. Honor claims its “Super-light Gearless Hinge” can withstand up to 400,000 folds (that’s double what the Galaxy Fold 4 claims to boast), but I was more interested in how natural it felt simply opening and closing the phone. Not too resistant, but not too flimsy either.
As for internals, the Magic Vs is equipped with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. For camera enthusiasts, there’s a 54MP main camera and 50MP ultra-wide sensor paired with an 8MP telephoto. Lastly, it boasts a 5,000mAh battery – the largest of any foldable of its class. Oh, and it also runs the latest Honor MagicOS 7.1 OS based on Android 13.
With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 already out in the wild, the Honor Magic Vs is already falling behind. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t packing power.
Until we get our hands on the Honor Magic Vs for review, we won’t know how it truly shines. But in the lead up to the Pixel Fold launch, it may already get some stiff competition from the Magic Vs.
Will the Pixel Fold be a winner?
After years of rumors, the Pixel Fold is finally among us. It’s now available to pre-order, and is expected to ship in June. We know it will be pricey at £1,749/$1,799, and it’s considerably more than the Honor Magic Vs. There’s still a lot to learn, but here’s what we know so far.
As previously reported, the Pixel Fold will be a Galaxy Z Fold 4-like phone that unfolds into a larger tablet, running on Google’s Tensor G2 chip. At just 6mm thin when unfolded, Google boasts that it’s the thinnest foldable out there, and the company claims the battery will go “beyond 24 hours” with its 4821mAh battery capacity – just shy of the Magic Vs’ 5,000mAh.
Google also claims it beats its rivals for photography thanks to a triple camera array (a main 48MP lens and two 10.8MP sensors) with 5x optical zoom. Not that big a brag given camera performance isn’t the best on the current crop of foldables, but it’s still an advantage nonetheless.
What might be more interesting is the software, which Google says is optimised for the big screen on both the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. Given Google makes Android, this is very much in the company’s gift, and we’re apparently looking an experience that offers “effortless” split-screen multitasking.
Over 50 Google apps have been optimised for the big screen, as well as big third-party names like Disney Plus, Netflix, Minecraft and Spotify. Obviously that still leaves millions of apps that might run appallingly, but hey: it’s a start.
There’s still plenty to discover, but the Honor Magic Vs has a huge advantage with that price tag.