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I have been fairly vocal about how I came to love book-style foldables. I was even nearly in tears after one was taken away from me. Now, I’m on the mend and along came the HONOR Magic V2. 

I had spent a good deal of time away from foldables with no immediate hope of being with one again in the near future. Alas, things come when you least expect them. Just as I was getting used to regular slate phones again, HONOR came in, seemingly out of nowhere, to try and sweep me off my feet. 

Was it successful? Did I get hooked just as I did the last foldable (the OPPO Find N3)? That’s what I’ll try to unfold here. 

Unbelievably thin 

HONOR Magic V2

Echoing HONOR’s marketing materials, the Magic V2 is indeed unbelievably thin. I think, perhaps, this might be the thinnest a foldable can go without it feeling easy to break. 

Using it folded almost feels just like using a regular chunky slate smartphone. Thickness-wise, it feels close to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. That’s why unlike anything that Galaxy Z Fold has had to offer thus far, this has easily felt like that most smartphone-like when folded. 

Unfolded, it’s even thinner. It’s so thin that I actually thought I might break it at first. Thankfully, I didn’t. It’s still pretty tough despite its slim profile. 

Although, the inner screen did sustain a noticeable scratch. A little weird since I’ve never dropped the phone nor have I laid it faced down while unfolded. Just my luck, I guess. 

The button placements feel a little off at first. The power button stays on the right side the whole time. But the volume rockers shift. Folded, they’re on the right side, unfolded they’re on the left side. And if you use the included case with the kickstand, the volume buttons are on the top right side when in unfolded, landscape mode. 

Since I’ve been juggling different phones during this review period, it’s taken me a while to completely get used to it. But if this is the only thing you’re using, it should feel second nature in no time.

Work wherever 

My favorite thing about book-style foldables is that the mini-tablet form when unfolded is absolutely perfect for actually getting things done. 

It doesn’t matter where I am or what position I’m in. With the HONOR Magic V2, I always feel productive. I can be sitting at a cafe, lying on my bed, or even standing at a curb side to answer a quick work message. Something about the form factor and larger screen is doing something to my brain, making me think more work-oriented when I need to be. 

Not ideal, but I’ve been able to stay productive even while stretching my back while using the phone. Unfolded and in full screen mode, I seem to think better and faster when replying to emails. I’ve also done my fair share of copy editing on the backend of our website. 

But the best thing is that the form-factor looks closer to a laptop screen’s actual spread that it makes it easier to write articles. Parts of this review was written using the HONOR Magic V2. It’s an absolute productivity machine and that’s just because of its form-factor and sheer processing power. 

MagicOS is magical short of a few spells



MagicOS 7.2, which is what the device is running at the time of writing, is pretty darn good. Other than the few specific things I will mention below, the software is pretty polished. I just need it to have a few more bells and whistles. 

For instance, it’s the closest thing right now to the Huawei Mate X3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 fusion I’ve been looking for. Most apps switch seamlessly between tablet to smartphone UI when I fold the HONOR Magic V2. I almost no longer get instances of the app not switching seamlessly. Sometimes, even if the phone itself prompts to relaunch the app, I don’t have to do so because it adapts to the screen right away. That’s probably the most magical thing about it. 

It’s take on multi-tasking is pretty good too. You can launch three apps simultaneously: Two side-by-side vertically, and another floating window that you can minimize to an icon on the upper right hand side of the screen. 

My usual loadout is some combination of Email/Google Doc with a social or streaming app on the right side, and then a messaging app I float and minimize. 

The combination can be anything you like. I even went as far as watching two fancams of my girlfriend Chaewon and wife Momo. Delusion is the solution. Yes. 

Multi-tasking maven


As it is, this is already pretty useful and relatively easy to execute. You simply launch the app you want to use. On top, you’ll see a small bar. Press that and you’ll see the option to use the app in full, half, or floating. 

When you press half it automatically goes to the left side of the screen. The right side then opens your entire app collection. Most used and suggested are up top. A line separates that from the full list of apps in alphabetical order. Simply click on the other app you want to use. 

To change the app on either side, just click the bar on top of the app again and select half. This will take you to the app selection screen once more. From there you can select the app to fill the other half to or to float. 

HONOR Magic V2

If you select float, the other opened app will automatically switch to full screen. The floating app can be minimized and tucked on the right side of the screen for quick access. You can tuck almost as many apps as you want. The most I’ve done is around five. There are also buttons to go full screen or close an app altogether. 

Overall, this is a pretty entirely new way to handle multi-tasking. Unlike the regular smartphone form-factor, there isn’t quite a consensus yet on how to navigate these. But HONOR’s buttons approach feel closer to a laptop versus OPPO/OnePlus’ implementation which primarily uses gestures which arguably feels more natural. 

Picture features

HONOR Magic V2

In terms of quality, the photos the HONOR Magic V2 take are rich in color and detail. Sometimes even feeling cinematic under certain kinds of lighting. If this is the only camera you can pull out at any given moment, it won’t leave you wanting. 

I’m mostly satisfied with the results and don’t have much to nitpick. Some photos do tend to lean towards a warmer tone. I like that. But if I prefer otherwise, I can always do some post-processing. 

Randomly dropping some sample photos here for your perusal.

My gripe lies mainly in a couple of things. 

Firstly, I was never big on selfies. But book-style foldies letting me use the main cameras to take them was a godsend. Not so much with the HONOR Magic V2. 

The only way to comfortably take the cover screen selfies is to turn on the auto smile detect. If it doesn’t detect a smile, it won’t snap on its own. 

I’m praying that in a future update, it can copy what Samsung and OPPO/OnePlus does where you simply raise a palm to trigger the shutter and it then gives you a second to strike a pose. 

Another thing is the aspect ratio. HONOR only lets you shoot on 4:3, 1:1, or Full screen. Every other major smartphone maker lets you shoot in 16:9 or 9:16 which fits best for vertical shots for IG, FB stories. It shouldn’t be too hard. I know you can add this, HONOR. 

Media consumption and battery life 

On work-from-home days, the HONOR Magic V2 has become a permanent fixture on my desk. I use it to play media while doing mechanical tasks, doom scroll when my brain isn’t braining, or just display pretty pictures of my K-Pop girlies. You know, for inspiration. 

When I take breaks to eat too, I set aside my laptop and just fire up a YouTube video or read an article from it. The audio is more than decent on its own and the screen is great making it a nice media consumption machine. 

My usage over the past few weeks have varied. But overall, the battery drains a wee bit faster than the regular slates I’ve used prior. That is to say, it’s pretty consistent and even competitive against other foldables on the market today. 

Topping up takes a little while too. You’re better off watching a K-Drama episode than anime when you decide to charge the HONOR Magic V2 after a full day of use moderate to heavy use. 

My rebound foldable. My GadgetMatch. 

The HONOR Magic V2 filled the book-style foldable void in my life left by the OPPO Find N3. Sure, I’m missing a few features here and there. But for the most part, it’s every bit as good a foldable in nearly every department. The attraction may not have been as instant. But it’s steady and growing. And more importantly, it’s here to stay. 

The HONOR Magic V2 is getting the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval. It’s EASILY, one of the best foldables right now and this global version that we reviewed is coming to more markets. 

The HONOR Magic V2 for EUROPE and UK users will come in Black Vegan Leather and Phantom Purple. It retails at for £1,699.99 RRP (Around US$ 2170). Availability is on February 2nd, 2024.

Launch offer is worth over £600. Items included are: Bang & Olufsen Headphones (£459 RRP), 6-months screen protection and a 66W HONOR SuperCharge Power Adapter.


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