Honor’s Magic V is the perfect blend of portability, flexibility and performance

Why let a flat phone cramp your style? We’ve seen the future, and it folds

Honor Magic V
(Image credit: Honor)

The thing about phones is that the more you have, the more you want: the phone we had in the 1990s had a 1.5-inch screen with 7,000 pixels; now our phone has a six-inch screen with nearly 3 million. And that’s a problem, because while we’d love more screen space there’s a limit to how far our fingers can stretch and how much phone we can fit in our bags. So we’re pretty excited about folding phones.

Folding phones deliver the best of both worlds: the portability and finger-friendliness of a phone, and the massive screen space of a tablet. When you need room to work, watch or play you unfold it; when you only need to check the weather, answer a message or make a call you keep it closed. Brilliant. And one of the most brilliant folding phones is the Honor Magic V (opens in new tab).

When it’s folded, the Honor Magic V has a large, 6.45-inch OLED display. That’s bigger and better than many flagship smartphones, but it’s just part of the story. It unfolds like a book to reveal another, even bigger display: 7.9 inches, which is larger than many tablets. That display delivers a whopping 2,560 x 1,080 pixels with a 100% DCI-P3 gamut and IMAX Enhanced Technology to deliver up to 1.07 billion colours and a class-leading aspect ratio of 21.3:9 for astonishing video, incredible gaming and an unparalleled reading experience for documents, ebooks and websites.

Honor has managed to solve a problem that plagued some other folding phones: how do you make a display that folds smoothly but unfolds to deliver a flawless, single screen? Some phones have tried to get round it by having two, separate displays; others have a visible crease they hope you won’t notice. But with the Honor Magic V the engineers have found an elegant solution: a floating water drop hinge that delivers a truly crease-less display. (opens in new tab)

Honor Magic V

(Image credit: Honor)

Of course, there’s more to a phone than its display – and a phone like this comes with some seriously powerful hardware. The Honor Magic V is the first foldable to be powered by Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 5G processor, a portable powerhouse that leaves other mobile processors in the dust. It doesn’t just deliver incredible performance: it also boosts GPU performance by 30% thanks to the very latest Adreno 730 GPU. This isn’t just the most powerful folding phone you can buy. It’s one of the most powerful phones full stop.

The icing on this particular folding cake is the interface. Honor has given it the latest Honor Magic UI 6.0, which is based on the latest Android 12 operating system and adds a whole bunch of useful features including AI-based personalisation, enhanced privacy and mobile data optimisation. It offers excellent multi-tasking to take full advantage of that large display, and you can also share displays, keyboards and mice between your devices.

What we like best about the Honor Magic V is that it isn’t a concept device designed to make headlines but never make it into production: it’s already on sale in China, and it’s the first of a whole new line of Honor phones that will take folding phones to a whole new level. If this is what Honor’s first foldable can do, imagine what we’ll see in the coming months and years.

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