Connect with us

Gadget of the Week

Gadget of the Week: Twice as thin, twice as useful

The Honor Magic V2 sets a new standard for folded phones with an impossibly thin form factor, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

What is it?

Full disclosure. Or rather, fold disclosure. I’m a long-time user of foldable phones, which come into their own when I am travelling and need to remain productive. In other words, I’m already biased in favour of these monsters, despite their sky-high prices.

Every year, they get better, which means they become more compact, their displays improve, and they are equipped with better cameras, especially compared to previous iterations that sacrificed camera quality to keep costs a little under control.

Despite that, they remained bulky devices, which seemed unavoidable if one was, in effect, stacking two smartphones on top of each other.

However, the new Honor Magic V2 reveals not only that this does not have to be the case, but also that it is possible to produce a quality foldable that, once slipped into the pocket, could be any regular large-screen handset on the market.

While its formal dimensions, at 9.9mm thick when folded, suggest a relatively bulky device, when one takes the camera array out of the equation, it is a match for the thickness of the new Samsung S24 Ultra. It makes the 13.4mm Samsung Z Fold 5 look like a refugee from planet Bulk.

Unfolded, the Magic V2 measures – and I had to double-check to make sure it wasn’t a typo – a mere 4.8mm. That makes the unfolded device the second thinnest smartphone in the world, after the non-foldable Vivo X5 Max, and then by a mere 0.05mm.

Ultimately, the display will determine the true appeal of the handset, and here the 7.92-inch OLED inner screen rewards the user handsomely with a vivid 120Hz, HDR10+ screen delivering 2156 x 2344 pixels resolution for a 402 pixel per inch density. That won’t compete with the top regular smartphones, but when spread out across two sde-by-side screens, it is dazzling.

The cover display consists of a 6.43-inch OLED screen matching the pixel density of the inside. Most important, the display dimensions are similar to those of normal large-screen smartphones, as opposed to the narrow screen of the likes of the Z Fold. On the V2, working on the cover screen is as comfortable as on any other phone. Working on the inside is a productivity dream when one has to work in tight spaces like economy class on an aircraft or on a bus.

It has a 5,000mAh battery and comes with a 66W SuperCharge charger in the box: literally and figuratively a massive plus in an industry where charging bricks are no longer supplied as standard, in the box. That means it can be fully charged in less than an hour, and up to 80% in half an hour. The only negative here is that it doesn’t support wireless charging, but then the fast charge should minimize that need.

I’ve heard complaints about its processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, at a time when the Gen 3 version is being built into flagship phones. However, considering that the phone was first launched in China six months ago, that’s a decent chip, and performance is smooth and crisp, with fast app loading.

A triple-camera system offers good quality images, enhanced by Honor’s artificial intelligence (AI) software. A combination of 50MP wide, 50MP ultra-wide and 20MP telephoto lens means that most photographic bases are covered. The selfie camera has a modest 16MP wide angle lens but, like the rear array, can shoot in 4K video.

If the camera is your main need, though, the Honor Magic 6 Pro is the one to look out for. It was launched in South Africa on the same day as the Magic V2, and promises to be one of the standout non-foldable phones of the year. Meanwhile, the V2 will without doubt be one of the leading foldables of 2024.

How much does it cost?

Recommended retail price of R39,999.

Why does it matter?

The Magic V2 represents a significant step forward in foldable phone design, and is a great choice for those who prioritise portability, productivity and working on the move.

What are the biggest negatives?

  • The price tag is out of reach for most.
  • Runs on Android 13, the previous version of the smartphone operating system.

What are the biggest positives?

  • Delightfully slim and portable.
  • Vivid display, both on the cover and when unfolded
  • 66W SuperCharge fast charging brick in the box.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx, editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee.

Subscribe to our free newsletter
To Top