Samsung Galaxy S23 colours too dull? This affordable phone will light up your life

I get sent a lot of phones, but the Honor Magic 5 Lite has one of the more interesting finishes I've seen

Honor Magic 5 Lite
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

I get sent a lot of phones. Like, a lot. But if something's bugged me this year it's that phone colours are less exciting than in the recent past. It seems 2023 is 'year of the dull'. Especially when it comes to the best phones. You only need to check out the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in green to see that. 

Well, I have news for you: Honor has just launched its Magic 5 Lite handset and, in its so-called Titanium Silver finish, I think it's a rather delectable slab of Android. Bravo to Honor for making a device more interesting-looking than even the Galaxy S23's 'secret colours'.

The Magic 5 Lite's silvery finish shimmers like pearl, catching blues and oranges and yet more when angled against incoming light. Indeed it's a far more than its Titanium Silver name would suggest, while remaining subtle enough to be appealing. And if it's a little too much for your tastes then there are black or green options too, pictured below, as is the trend in 'year of the dull'.

Honor Magic 5 Lite in Titanium Silver (left), Emerald Green (middle), Midnight Black (right)

(Image credit: Honor)

There's plenty more to excite in the Honor Magic 5 Lite too: the 6.67-inch display is of flagship scale, including a 120Hz refresh rate; the battery is a massive 5100mAh, so should be super long-lasting; and the display is even curved – which, until now, has been unheard of in phones that only cost £330. 

Yep, Honor being Honor, it's gone in hard on the asking price. The Magic 5 Lite is almost four-figures less than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, for example. And while it's obviously not going to be as feature-packed overall (the lower-spec Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor tells you that), that's quite the stark difference if you're after a capable yet affordable Android handset. I suspect this will be one of the best cheap phones in 2023.

Honor, which has been an independent phone maker since 2020, is now back on the full Google Play Services wagon, too, so the Magic 5 Lite's software and services are much like the rest of the Android market. Full Google Play access, no restrictions, and a software skin that's not overbearing.

The only bit of the design I'm not totally sure about is that giant circular camera design. Sure, that's another of 2023's design traits, as seen in the OnePlus 11 and a bunch of the year's best Android phones already. But as affordable handsets go, this Honor has definitely caught my eye. More of this please phone companies, we all need a little extra light in our lives in 2023!

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.