electronics and gadgets

Honor Magic V2 review: The best part is how well this foldable mimics a regular phone

Gelo Gonzales

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Honor Magic V2 review: The best part is how well this foldable mimics a regular phone


Photo by Gelo Gonzales/Rappler

Because of its thinness and aspect ratio, it's an excellent device even in phone mode. Sometimes, you'll even forget you're using a foldable.

Disclosure: Honor lent a unit for this review.

MANILA, Philippines – I’ve been using the Honor Magic V2 for about two weeks now, in anticipation of its February 21 launch, so I’ve been able to take note of what I’ve liked and not liked about it so far. 

The thinness does matter 

I already mentioned in a recent video that the phone being 9.9 millimeters thin, making it the world’s thinnest foldable, is something that matters because it makes it feel just like a regular phone.


Chinese smartphone maker Honor boasts of its newest product, the Magic V2, which is by far the world’s thinnest foldable at 9.9 millimeters when folded. It beats the former record holder the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold 3 at 10.89 millimeters. #honormagicv2 #smartphone #honorphone #technews #technewsph #tiktokph #fyp #rappler

♬ original sound – Rappler – Rappler

In my short time using it, I sometimes even forget that I’m using a foldable because it’s just so perfectly usable in its folded form. And then you remember that you’re using a foldie, and you go, “Oh yeah, I have all this extra real estate too” for maybe when you’re reading a manga with really nice art, and that’s a great feeling.

I haven’t used a lot of foldables – just this, the Galaxy Fold phones, and some time with Huawei’s Mate X series. But it’s the Fold that I’ve had the most time with. I was impressed with the thinness of the latest, the Fold5 which was launched in mid-2023, but the Magic V2 blows it out of the water. 

Actually, the bigger issue with the Fold, in terms of its usability as a regular phone, is its long and slim form factor. It squeezes everything in, and makes you miss a standard phone’s display aspect ratio. The Magic V2’s aspect ratio doesn’t have that problem. 

Electronics, Phone, Mobile Phone
Sometimes I even forget that I’m using a foldable

I didn’t know that I had an issue with the Fold5’s Snickers bar-style form factor until I got time with the Magic V2. 

It fulfills being a standard phone first, and then adds on the amazing usability of a mini tablet screen. Meanwhile, the Fold5 made me want to just use it in tablet mode more often because its phone mode was a little too slim for my liking. 

I’m working from memory here though so I can’t completely remember if I was really that irked with Fold5’s long-ish display, but that the Magic V2’s phone-mode display felt really new and great to me must mean something. 

And again, its thinness is important. For instance, if it had the regular aspect ratio but was thick, it wouldn’t have felt like a regular phone, and I would’ve been grumpy-old-man-yells-at-cloud about it. 

Must Read

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 quick review: New hinge, thinner frame enhance sleekness

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 quick review: New hinge, thinner frame enhance sleekness
Amazing build

I’m really surprised with the build of the Magic V2 as well: slim, rounded metal corner, a back with a premium-feeling matte finish, a cool, understated camera array design, and an included back case with a faux leather finish and kickstand. It’s a really confident design that belongs in the top tier. 

No wonder, they’re really going after current foldable leader Samsung with the #MagicBeyondtheGalaxy hashtag, referring to Samsung’s Galaxy branding. Well, that, and the fact that there aren’t really a lot of choices yet when it comes to book-style foldables that are officially here in the Philippines – I believe it’s just the Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X, and now, the Magic V2.

The included kickstand on the case is really thoughtful. With it, you can prop up the phone anywhere, and it’s great for watching Netflix or reading comics or mangas. 

Electronics, Computer, Person
Reading on this light and slim foldable, especially in bed, is a very good experience

Speaking of reading, it’s generally a great experience on the V2 because it’s also relatively light, and the weight balance feels really good when in tablet mode. It’s so nice to lay in bed, pop it open in tablet mode, and read. 

The Magic V2 displays look crisp too with deep colors and nice contrast, and most importantly, the front one’s brightness goes up to 2,500 nits so it’s still usable under the sun. By comparison, the flagship Samsung S24 Ultra recently just went to 2,600 nits from last year’s 1,750 nits on the S23 Ultra. 

But to be clear, the inner screen of the Magic V2 has a lower rating of 1,600 nits. 

Lower price?

I’m also expecting the Magic V2 to be priced lower here in the Philippines than the Fold5 as has been the case internationally. The Fold5 launched at a staggering P98,990 for the cheapest 256GB model in August 2023. The Magic V2’s 512GB model launched in China in July 2023 for about 10,000 yuan or about P78,000 converted via current rates. Still expensive but less so, and I guess that’s a step in the right direction for book-style foldies, right? 

(UPDATE: The Honor Magic V2’s price has been set at P79,999 for the sole 512GB model.)

I’m going to mention the battery life too. The V2 has a 5,000 mAh battery with 66W fast-charging (brand-claimed full charge in less than an hour) while the Fold5 has a 4,400 mAh battery with 25W fast-charging (brand-claimed full charge in about 80 minutes). 

The pictures look good too. Here are some samples below. You can click on the photo to enlarge:

My main complaints so far

Probably my main gripe with the Magic V2 is that it uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and not the newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. That’s because it was initially launched in July 2023 in China, and is coming late here in the Philippines. If I would buy something in this price range, I would really rather have something with the latest processor, which is likely something the Fold6 will have. 

The Fold5 has the Gen 2 as well, but we have Gen 3 flagships right now.

Another thing that the Fold5 has over the V2 is water resistance. The former has an IPX8 water resistance rating, while the V2 has none. Keep that in mind if that feature is important for you.

I have a few other gripes too. When shooting a video, you can’t switch the camera from rear to front or vice versa, which is something that Samsung phones let you do. I’ve seen some instances where the Facebook app didn’t switch from tablet mode to phone mode and vice versa, causing display issues and a few other bugs. 

Because of this experience, perhaps it would be good to read up on whether the phone bugs out on the apps you use. In my own experience, it was only the Facebook app that had issues. Something that I would check out further if I were to review the phone longer is its software and user interface.

There’s no 16:9 aspect ratio when shooting a photo (just a full screen one), although there is one when shooting a video. 

The fingerprint reader on the power button is sensitive. You press it to lock the phone, but don’t let your thumb linger there because you might unlock it again accidentally. The included screen protector also showed some bubbles in my short time using it. 

But apart from these, the Magic V2, even if I weren’t in the market for a book-style foldie, would make me want to consider whether it’s time to get on the foldables train. It’s sexy and slim, and priced lower than the competition – even though there really aren’t many official local choices out there, with competing models from other brands not yet officially here in the Philippines.

I think many Filipinos still see Samsung and Apple as the premium brands, but you’d be remiss not to give this one a serious look. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Clothing, Apparel, Person


Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.