Honor Magic V2 review: a benchmark-setting beauty

Honor's third foldable device is a stunning-looking phone with only a few hiccups

Honor Magic V2 review
(Image: © Future / Axel Metz)

TechRadar Verdict

The Honor Magic V2 raises the bar for foldable phone design. It’s thinner and lighter than its comparatively priced rivals, and borrows enough high-spec features from Honor’s premium candy bar devices to warrant plaudits beyond its impressive form factor. That said, you’ll pay handsomely for the privilege of owning one, and have to settle for middling software and no water resistance.


  • +

    Unparalleled foldable design

  • +

    Vivid, eye-friendly display

  • +

    Impressive battery life


  • -

    No IP rating

  • -

    No wireless charging

  • -

    Software occasionally lacks polish

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Honor Magic V2: Two-minute review

Despite what Samsung’s TV marketing would have you believe, foldable phones haven’t yet come close to meaningfully disrupting the candy bar-shaped mainstream – but there’s no denying that mobile manufacturers the world over (save for Apple) are committed to investing heavily in the foldable ideal. 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, Google Pixel Fold and OnePlus Open arrived last year to shake up our list of the best foldable phones, but Chinese smartphone brand Honor – which has fast become a major industry disruptor – also has a new foldable flagship in its shop window: the Honor Magic V2.

We say ‘new’, but this successor to the excellent Honor Magic VS (head over to our hands-on Honor Magic VS review for our full thoughts on that device) has actually been kicking around for over half a year. The Magic V2 was officially unveiled in China back in July 2023, before being unveiled again – this time to the world – at IFA 2023 in September. The phone was then launched for European sale in January 2024 alongside a Porsche-branded version of the Magic V2, which is set for its own follow-up reveal at MWC 2024. 

So, where does that leave the Magic V2’s availability right now? Well, as of February 2, the phone is available to order from Honor directly – as well as from Amazon, Three, Very, Argos and Currys – at a cost of £1,699.99 (or €1,999 in European markets).

And therein lies the first thorn in the side of this handsome foldable phone. Admittedly, £1,699.99 (or €1,999) is not an outrageous amount of money for a dual-screen device in 2024 – the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold, for instance, both start at an even higher £1,749. But Honor built a rod for its own back by pricing its previous foldable so competitively.

The original Honor Magic V never made it to the West, but last year’s Magic VS debuted for £1,399 at launch. Relatively speaking, that was an affordable price for a foldable phone – especially one boasting such impressive hardware. By pricing the Magic V2 at a comparatively eye-watering £1,699.99, Honor can no longer hide its new phone’s (admittedly few) shortcomings behind the banner of affordability. 

As such, we’ll be comparing the Magic V2’s key features to those of the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Google Pixel Fold and OnePlus Open throughout this review. 

The good news (for Honor, at least) is that the Magic V2 is thinner, lighter, more attractive, and just as powerful as all three of those devices. The phone packs last year’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset – which sounds disappointing, but really isn’t – and a display that borrows heavily from the excellent Honor Magic 5 Pro.

The Magic V2’s camera setup is similarly impressive – though not without its quirks – and the phone’s dual 5,000mAh battery is big (and thin) enough to provide lasting, usable power. The bad news? The Magic V2’s beautiful design is only made possible by the total lack of an IP water-resistance rating. That’s not a deal-breaker for me personally, but it does mean that the Magic V2 is an objectively less durable phone than its big-name competition.

There’s no wireless charging, either, and Honor’s operating system (MagicOS 7.2 at the time of writing) takes some getting used to if you haven’t encountered it before. MagicOS isn’t bad, per se, but it’s not as polished as Samsung’s One UI 6 or Google’s super-streamlined version of Android. MagicOS also interferes with photography a little too much for my liking.

But ultimately, the Magic V2 is all about style. When unfolded, its design is so much slicker than any other foldable design on the market right now, and when folded, the Magic V2 could genuinely pass for a modern-day candy bar handset (it’s that thin!).

So, if you value design over all else, this is the foldable to buy. For almost everything else, the Magic V2 just about keeps pace with its globally-available foldable competition. 

Honor Magic V2 review: Price and availability

Honor Magic V2 cameras

(Image credit: Future)
  • Costs £1,699.99 / €1,999
  • Currently unavailable in the US and Australia

As above, the Honor Magic V2 was first unveiled in China on July 12, 2023, before being showcased globally at IFA 2023 on September 1. The phone was then launched for European sale on January 26, 2024, and began shipping on February 2. 

It’s currently available to order from Honor directly – as well as from Amazon, Three, Very, Argos and Currys – at a cost of £1,699.99 (or €1,999 in European markets). Only one storage configuration is available: 512GB (with 16GB RAM).

For reference, the Honor Magic VS started at £1,399 (for the 8GB RAM / 256GB model), while the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 starts at $1,799.99 / £1,749 / AU$2,599 (for the 12GB RAM / 256GB model). In other words, this is a competitively priced – albeit outrageously expensive – handset. It’s still £50 cheaper than its biggest competition, but some £300 more expensive than its predecessor.

As with most Honor devices, the Magic V2 is unlikely to be made available in the US or Australia any time soon.

  • Value score: 3 / 5

Honor Magic V2 review: Specs

Check out the Honor Magic V2's full specs below:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Honor Magic V2 specs
Header Cell - Column 1
Dimensions (folded):156.7 x 74.1 x 9.9mm
Dimensions (unfolded):156.7 x 145.4 x 4.7mm
OS:MagicOS 7.2 atop Android 13
Display (foldable):7.92-inch OLED (2156 x 2344)
Display (outer):6.43-inch OLED (1060 x 2376)
Chipset:Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Rear Cameras:50MP (f/1.9) main, 50MP (f/2.0) ultra-wide, 20MP (f/2.4) telephoto
Front Camera:16MP

Honor Magic V2 review: Design

Honor Magic V2 foldable display

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • 156.7 x 74.1 x 9.9mm when folded
  • 156.7 x 145.4 x 4.7mm when unfolded
  • Weighs just 231g
  • No IP water-resistance rating

It’s fitting that this review should begin with our verdict on the Honor Magic V2’s design, because, quite frankly, that’s the most important aspect of any foldable phone. And what a design this is.

The Magic V2 is a large, book-style foldable that looks similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold, but by measuring just 156.7 x 74.1 x 9.9mm when folded and 156.7 x 145.4 x 4.7mm when unfolded, it’s also the thinnest foldable smartphone available in the world right now.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold measure 6.1mm and 5.8 mm at their thinnest, respectively, so for Honor to undercut both models by more than a millimeter is seriously impressive. To help you visualize just how thin the Magic V2 is when unfolded, imagine two Euro coins stacked on top of each other – you could probably pass this phone underneath your bedroom door.

The Magic V2 trumps the competition at its thickest, too, measuring just 9.9mm when folded (versus 13.4mm for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and 12.1mm for the Pixel Fold). In candy bar mode, Honor’s latest foldable is just one millimeter thicker than the conventionally-designed Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and at 231g, it’s also 3g lighter.

So, yes, the Magic V2 is the thinnest and lightest book-style foldable money can buy right now, which likewise makes it the most physically practical device of its kind. Foldable phones – not least the Honor Magic VS – have often been criticized for being heavy, un-pocketable devices, but Honor has gone some way to mitigating that criticism here.

The Chinese manufacturer has used “proprietary steel” and a titanium hinge – one that can supposedly be folded up to 400,000 times – to achieve such impressive design credentials on the Magic V2, with the phone’s dual “silicon-carbon batteries” also measuring just 2.72mm thick (that’s about the thickness of a credit card).

The major downside of all that aesthetic innovation is that the Magic V2 offers no official IP rating – meaning it’s not as water resistant as, say, the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Honor told us that the Magic V2 can comfortably withstand the odd shower sprinkling, but this is definitely not a phone to be taken for an underwater photoshoot.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Honor Magic V2 review: Display

  • 7.92-inch OLED foldable display
  • 6.43-inch OLED cover display

Being a foldable phone, the Honor Magic V2 has two displays. The first is a 7.92-inch, 2156 x 2344-pixel foldable OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support, and a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. The second is a 6.43-inch, 120Hz OLED cover display with a 1060 x 2376 resolution, which uses drop-resistant nanocrystal glass.

Both screens have around 402 pixels per inch, and use Honor’s proprietary dynamic dimming display technology to achieve an impressive 3840Hz PWM dimming cycle rate, which essentially helps to minimize strain on the eyes (PWM refers to the management of screen flicker). You’ll find the same display smarts inside the Honor Magic 5 Pro and Honor 90.

In practice, the Magic V2’s dual displays are big, bright, smooth and more than suitable for gaming and watching movies (thanks in part to that aforementioned HDR10+ support). They’re largely in line with what you’ll get from the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold, though the former has slightly smaller bezels around its edges.

  • Display score: 5 / 5

Honor Magic V2 review: Cameras

  • 50MP (f/1.9) main lens
  • 50MP (f/2.0) ultra-wide lens
  • 20MP (f/2.4) telephoto lens, with 2.5x optical zoom
  • 16MP front-facing camera

Understandably, foldable phone manufacturers have yet to make cameras the core focus of their dual-screen devices, and that doesn’t change with the Honor Magic V2. That said, Honor has nonetheless equipped the Magic V2 with a respectable trio of rear lenses. 

Specifically, the phone boasts a 50MP (f/1.9) main lens, a 50MP (f/2.0) ultra-wide lens, and a 20MP (f/2.4) telephoto lens, with the latter offering 2.5x optical zoom. The main and telephoto cameras also have optical image stabilization (OIS). There’s a 16MP front camera on each screen, too. On the video front, you can shoot in up to 4K quality at up to 60 frames per second.

The OnePlus Open represents the current standard for foldable phone cameras, with its 48MP (f/1.7) main lens, 48MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide lens and 64MP (f/2.6) telephoto lens offering 3x optical zoom. The Magic V2 can’t match the Open (nor, in truth, the Google Pixel Fold) for photographic versatility, but it's certainly not far behind either phone in terms of overall image quality.

The Magic V2’s rear snappers – particularly that 48MP main lens – deliver consistently detailed, well-lit photos that will no doubt satisfy most users. Nightography is decent, too, though the OnePlus Open and Pixel Fold edge the Magic V2 in this department, owing to their larger sensor and more advanced AI smarts, respectively. 

As we’ve come to expect from Honor phones, colors captured on the Magic V2 are exceptionally vivid. By and large, this is a good thing, but the phone sometimes takes things too far, to a point where the balance looks off. As you can see in the above photos – taken on a bright sunny day – greens can appear really green and blues can appear really blue. I’d rather this be the case than having too little contrast, but the Magic V2’s tendency to overcompensate in the colors department can occasionally make photos look a tad artificial. 

The phone’s telephoto zoom lens is consistently great at 2.5x magnification, maintaining impressive levels of detail in almost all lighting conditions. However, things take a turn for the ugly at 10x magnification, when blur creeps in to soften all that glorious detail. 

As for the Magic V2’s 16MP front cameras, they’ll do a suitable job on video calls, but don’t expect to capture Instagram-breaking selfies with this phone.

  • Cameras score: 3 / 5

Honor Magic V2 review: Performance and software

  • Runs Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset
  • Runs MagicOS 7.2 atop Android 13
  • Available in a single storage configuration: 512GB (with 16GB RAM)

Under the hood, the Honor Magic V2 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which is the brain you’ll find inside many of last year’s best Android phones.

At the time of the phone’s China release, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 marked the latest and greatest Qualcomm mobile chipset, but the Magic V2’s delayed arrival in Europe means that – in terms of on-paper performance – it now plays second fiddle to newer phones that use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, like those in the Samsung Galaxy S24 line.

That sounds like a bad thing, but in reality, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 remains a phenomenally speedy chipset that can handle browsing, streaming and gaming – or all three simultaneously – with ease (this is 2024, after all). In European markets, the Magic V2 only comes in one configuration – 16GB RAM with 512GB of storage – but that pairing is enough to deliver the level of performance you’d expect from a four-figure Android flagship. 

Other performance specs include a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, 5G support and stereo speakers, and the Magic V2 supports a stylus on both of its screens, too – though, unlike in China, this isn’t included with the phone, which is a little disappointing.

On the software front, the Magic V2 runs MagicOS 7.2 – which is based on the now-year-old Android 13 – and comes pre-equipped with Google apps, meaning the likes of the Play Store, Maps and Gmail are ready and waiting on first boot-up. 

MagicOS 7.2 is well-optimized for dual-screen multitasking, offering support for split and floating windows, and the Magic V2 comes equipped a raft of enhanced smart features – like Parallel Space, which lets you use apps from the its 'Main Space' and 'Parallel Space' at the same time (these two virtual spaces can run apps independently without affecting each other). As such, you could theoretically play two games at the same time on the Magic V2, which, although gimmicky, does at least serve as proof of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s enduring power in 2024.

Unfortunately, there’s not much in the way of customization options on Honor’s latest foldable. Lock screen customization, for instance, is incredibly limited, as is the functionality of the phone’s always-on display (AOD). Some apps need to be forcibly blown up to full-screen mode, too, despite clearly being optimized for dual-screen use, and there’s also a dizzying amount of user agreements to get through on first use.

None of these issues are deal-breakers – generally speaking, the software on offer here is perfectly fine. However, MagicOS is certainly less polished than Samsung’s One UI 6 or Google’s proprietary version of Android; which is a shame, given that the Magic V2 boasts objectively superior hardware to both of those phones.

The good news is, Honor is clearly willing to iron out the kinks. The brand has pledged to support the Magic V2 with an impressive five years of security updates and four years of Android updates, which is in line with Samsung’s update commitment to the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Note, though, that the move to Android 14 will swallow up one of those four Android updates.

  • Performance and software score: 4 / 5

Honor Magic V2 review: Battery life

Honor Magic V2 in the hand

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • 5,000mAh battery delivers all-day battery life
  • 66W SuperCharge charger not included in the box

Like its predecessor, the Honor Magic V2 packs a dual 5,000mAh battery that can be fully recharged using Honor’s 66W SuperCharge tech in under an hour. Annoyingly, Honor won’t include this charger in the box, but I’d recommend picking it up for the extra £24.99 expense if you don't already have a similarly powerful USB-C charging brick.

Using that charger, I was able to reach 48% and 80% charge in 15 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively (from a completely dead state). A full charge of the Magic V2 took just 48 minutes, which is pretty darn impressive for a phone packing a battery of this size.

That 5,000mAh cell is larger than the one you’ll find inside both the Galaxy Z Fold 5 (4,400mAh) and Pixel Fold (4,727mAh), but it’s worth remembering that this increased size doesn’t come at the expense of weight (quite the opposite, in fact). 

On the battery life front, I was able to use Magic V2 all day – or rather, from about 8am to 11pm – without issue, and I’d still have an hour or two of juice left at bedtime. I also found that I’d get around 40 mins of last-ditch charge from the phone while the battery icon was near-totally depleted, which was a welcome surprise.

Unfortunately, the Magic V2 doesn’t offer wireless charging, so the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold win out on that front. However, the phone’s manual charging speeds are far superior to those of its big-name competitors, which I think is the more valuable feature.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Honor Magic V2?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Honor Magic V2 score card
ValueThe Magic V2 is a stunning-looking foldable phone, but you'll pay a hefty price (literally) for owning one.3 / 5
DesignHonor's third foldable phone is thinner, lighter and generally better-looking than anything else on the market right now. 4 / 5
DisplayThe Magic V2's dual OLED displays are just as impressive as those found on Honor's flagship candybar phones.5 / 5
SoftwareMagicOS 7.2 is a perfectly adequate OS, but a handful of quirks leave it feeling less polished than the competition.3 / 5
CamerasThe Magic V2's 50MP main shooter delivers consistently detailed, well-lit photos, but the phone's other lenses leaves much to be desired.3 / 5
PerformanceDespite being over a year old at this point, the Magic V2's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset remains suitably powerful and worthy of inclusion in a flagship-level foldable.4 / 5
BatteryYou won't get a charger in the box, but Honor has nonetheless endowed its latest foldable with mightily impressive battery life and charging speeds.4 / 5

Buy it if...

You want the thinnest foldable phone available (at the time of writing)
Whether folded or unfolded, the Honor Magic V2 is the thinnest device of its kind. No other foldable phone on the market right now can hold a candle to the Magic V2's slender, bar-raising design.

You want not one, but two eye-friendly displays
The Magic V2 utilizes Honor's proprietary eye-friendly display technology to deliver two of the most impressive foldable screens yet.

You need lasting battery life for productivity
If you're someone who's hesitant to pick up a foldable due to battery concerns, the Magic V2's long-lasting 5,000mAh cell should abate those worries.

Don't buy it if...

You want the best foldable cameras
The Magic V2's cameras are perfectly fine – in fact, the phone's 50MP main shooter is even impressive – but the Google Pixel Fold and OnePlus Open have better overall camera setups.

You're unwilling to embrace new software
If you've never encountered Honor's perfectly-fine-but-quirky MagicOS operating system before, the Magic V2 may present too steep a learning curve.

Honor Magic V2 review: Also consider

As you'll have read by now, the Honor Magic V2 is a great-looking, long-lasting foldable that offers plenty of power. But there are alternatives to consider... 


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 isn't anywhere near as pretty as the Honor Magic V2, but it is water-resistant and dust-proof. What's more, if you're already accustomed to Samsung's One UI OS, then this foldable may feel more accessible.


Google Pixel Fold
The Google Pixel Fold can't match the Magic V2 for design or even performance, but it does boast a slew of Google-exclusive AI features that make it supremely versatile.


OnePlus Open
The OnePlus Open comes closest to the Magic V2 in terms of design, and its cameras are the best of any foldable. You'll pay a lower price for it, too.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Honor Magic V2OnePlus OpenSamsung Galaxy Z Fold 5Google Pixel Fold
Price:£1,699£1,599 / $1,699 £1,749 / $1,799.99 / AU$2,599£1,749 / £1,749 (around AU$2,655
Display size (internal / external):7.92-inch / 6.43-inch7.82-inch / 6.3-inch7.6-inch / 6.2-inch7.6-inch / 5.8-inch
Cameras:50MP (wide); 20MP (2.5x telephoto); 50MP (ultrawide)48MP (wide); 64MP (3x telephoto); 48MP (ultrawide)50MP (wide); 10MP (3x telephoto); 12MP (ultrawide)48MP (wide); 10.8MP (5x telephoto); 10.8MP (ultawide)
Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 'for Galaxy' (*primary core 5% faster)Google Tensor G2

How I tested the Honor Magic V2

  • Review test period: two weeks
  • Testing included: everyday use including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used: Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats, Honor 66W SuperCharge fast charger

Having initially handled the Honor Magic V2 in August 2023,  I received – and subsequently lived for two weeks with – a review-ready version of the device in January 2024, using it for productivity purposes during my working day and for social media browsing and gaming in the evenings.

I compared the experience of playing power-hungry games on the Honor Magic V2 to newer, candby bar-shaped flagship phones, which helped me to quantify just how impressive the device’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor still remains in 2024. I also used the phone to stream color-rich documentaries via YouTube, and also logged into Twitter and Instagram to assess the social media browsing experience.

I used Geekbench 6 for CPU testing and Geekbench ML for machine learning and AI benchmarking, while battery life was assessed based on real-world usage. I measured charge time in 15-minute intervals, though I used Honor's 66W SuperCharge fast charger – which isn't included in the box – to achieve the charging figures quoted in this review.

Read more about how we test

First tested January 2024

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.