Breaking News

Hands on with Honor's new Magic VS foldable releasing outside China for the first time

Hands on with Honor's new Magic VS foldable releasing outside China for the first time

The Honor Magic VS is a new foldable smartphone from the former Huawei subbrand that actually has plans for release outside China. It uses a similar design to Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold device, combining a large 7.9-inch inner folding display with a smaller 6.45-inch cover display for use when the device is closed.

“The Honor Magic VS will be our first foldable flagship to debut in overseas markets and we are confident that it will deliver great strides in transforming the way people around the world use their smartphones,” said George Zhao, Honor CEO. International pricing and detailed release information have yet to be announced, but in China the device will start at ¥7,499 (about $1,048) for the lowest spec model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage and will ship on November 30. Honor says that the global release is expected early next year.

I got a chance to use Magic VS before its official release to learn about the hardware. Since the phone isn't running the final software, Honor has requested that I not test any software features, including its multi-window mode, App Extender, or camera. One problem with foldables lately has been the lackluster Android tablet app support, and at this point it's unclear whether Honor's first international foldable will be able to fix that.

I'll be able to talk about how the Magic VS feels in the hand, and how its foldable screen and hinge perform. Honor is claiming that its folding mechanism is more robust this time around and is rated to withstand 400,000 folds, which is twice that of the original Magic V. If you open and fold it 10 times a day, it can last for 10 years.

Granted, I've only managed to fold and unfold the phone a few dozen times in my limited time with the device, but so far the mechanism feels as sturdy as anything I'm used to. It doesn't make any crackling or crackling sounds when I open and fold it, and once opened it feels quite sturdy. Honor is claiming that the display is "creaseless" when unfolded, which is not true as you can see from the picture above, but like other foldables I expect you won't notice much in normal use.

The screen sizes of the VS are unchanged compared to its predecessor. Its interior display is 7.9-inch with 90Hz refresh rate, 2272 x 1984 resolution, and 800 nits peak brightness, while the outer display is 6.45-inch with a higher 120Hz refresh rate, 2560 x 1080 resolution, and 1200 nits peak brightness. , However, it's got a slight bump thanks to Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, while its predecessor used a non-Plus version.

Folded, the Honor Magic VS feels a bit bulky, a bit thick and a bit tall thanks to its 21:9 cover display. The phone weighs 261 grams and is 12.9mm deep when folded, which is heavier and thicker than my personal 206 gram, 7.85mm thick iPhone 14 Pro. But it weighs less than Samsung's Z Fold 4, which weighs 263 grams and measures 15.8mm at its thickest point when folded. Although the outer screen is a bit narrow, I found it quite usable during my time with the phone.

Unfolded, the phone feels like a relatively small tablet, with almost square proportions. The usefulness of this screen real-estate will eventually trickle down to software support, but it's still an open question at this point. Both displays are OLED and look suitably rich and colorful as a result.

The big new addition with the Honor VS compared to the Magic V launched by the company at the beginning of the year is stylus support, similar to what we've seen with Samsung's S Pen stylus on its recent Galaxy Z Fold devices. I wasn't able to try out the phone's stylus support in my time with the device.

In standard flagship fashion, the phone offers three rear cameras; 54-megapixel main camera, 50-megapixel ultrawide (which also doubles as a macro camera), and 8-megapixel telephoto with 3x optical zoom. The foldable has a 16-megapixel sensor for selfie. The camera performance of Honor's recent smartphones like the Magic4 Pro hasn't particularly impressed me, but I was unable to test the camera on the Magic VS.

The Magic VS packs a 5,000mAh battery (a slight improvement over the Honor Magic V's 4,750mAh battery), which can be charged with the same 66W fast charging speed. Honor says that it is powerful enough to fully charge the phone in 46 minutes. Available colors include orange, black and blue cyan, which is the model pictured on this page.

No comments