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, which is launching in China today, is just 9.9mm thick when folded and weighs 231 grams. That’s thinner and lighter than Honor’s major competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 (14.2mm and 263g), Google’s Pixel Fold (12.1mm and 283g), and Huawei’s 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-folding smartphone. The Magic V2’s weight (like its 6.43-inch exterior screen size) sits somewhere between an iPhone 14 Pro (206g) and iPhone 14 Pro Max (240g). It’s not as thin in its smartphone-style folded form (both of Apple’s 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 could be released outside of China. But the fact that it proactively offered to send me — a writer based in the UK — a review sample suggests it has ambitions for an international launch. And its release strategy with its previous Magic VS foldable suggests it’s willing 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 this thin. It says 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 the Magic VS. A redesigned support structure on the hinge reduces thickness by a claimed 75 percent.
When trying out the Honor Magic V2 for myself, I liked how the hinge felt on my brand-new review unit. It’s both smoother and less stiff than the Magic VS, and there’s more of a satisfying clunk when it fully opens up. The big question is how well the hinge will hold up over time, especially with no IP rating for dust and water resistance. Honor’s press release claims the hinge should still be able to withstand 400,000 folding cycles, which translates to roughly 100 openings and closings a 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.
Both of the Honor Magic V2’s screens have a refresh rate of 120Hz. The external screen is 6.43 inches in size, with a 20:9 aspect ratio, 2376 x 1060 resolution, and an impressive claimed peak brightness of 2,500 nits. The internal folding display is 7.92 inches large with an almost square resolution of 2344 x 2156 and a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. I couldn’t get an answer on whether Honor is using any ultrathin glass in the internal screen’s construction, but it feels like plastic to me.
My Honor Magic V2’s software is extremely preproduction, so I’m not able to comment on the software or camera experience (seriously, my review unit didn’t even have an on-screen keyboard preinstalled; I had to plug in an external keyboard to get it set up). So I don’t know if Honor is on track to fix the annoyances I had with the Magic VS, which mostly related to its non-hardware elements.
Otherwise, the Magic V2’s specs are roughly in line with its predecessor. Despite the thinner dimensions, you still get a 5,000mAh battery that can be fast-charged at 66W, and there’s a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 this time around, rather than a Gen 1. There’s a trio of rear cameras (a 50-megapixel main, 50-megapixel ultrawide, and 20-megapixel telephoto), a duo of selfie cameras (both 16 megapixels), 16GB of RAM, and between 256GB and 1TB of built-in storage.
In China, the Magic V2 will be available starting at ¥8,999 (around $1,254) and is expected to ship by July 27th. There’s also an Ultimate 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 (around $1,673).
Photography by Jon Porter / The Verge