Honor announces the Magic V, its first foldable smartphone

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Former Huawei sub-brand Honor has just announced its first foldable smartphone, the Honor Magic V. It uses a similar folding form factor to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold devices, combining a large internal folding display with a smaller external display that can be used while the device is folded. Today is the foldable’s Chinese launch, where its price starts at ¥9,999 (around $1,569) for its 256GB storage model. It will go on open sale on January 18th.

The Magic V’s flagship feature, its internal folding screen, measures 7.9 inches from corner to corner, has a resolution of 2272 x 1984 with a refresh rate of 90Hz, and an aspect ratio of 10:9. That’s slightly bigger than Samsung’s Z Fold 3, whose internal screen is 7.6 inches with a resolution of 2208 x 1768. Honor says the Magic V’s internal screen is like using two 21:9 screens side by side.

The Magic V’s external screen is also slightly larger than the Z Fold 3 at 6.45 inches (compared to 6.2 for Samsung), with a resolution of 2560 x 1080, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 21:9 aspect ratio. Honor says this will help make the device more usable when you don’t want to unfold it.

The Honor Magic V in orange.
Screenshot: Honor

Honor’s foldable, folded.
Image: Honor

When folded, the Magic V measures 72.7mm wide, 14.3mm thick, and has a height of 160.4mm, and when unfolded it expands to 141.1mm wide and is 6.7mm thick. That’s slightly wider than Samsung’s latest Z Fold, while being slightly thinner overall when folded. Honor’s foldable is slightly heavier, however. It’s available in three colors: orange, silver, and black, and Honor CEO George Zhao says it should survive being folded and unfolded 200,000 times.

Internally, the Magic V is running Qualcomm’s latest chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage. It’s got a 4,750mAh battery that can be charged at up to 66W, which gives you a 50 percent charge in 15 minutes. It’s 5G compatible and is running Honor’s Magic UI 6.0 software on top of Android 12, which supports the display of multiple app windows at the same time, Honor says.

In terms of cameras, Honor has included a trio of 50-megapixel sensors on the rear of the foldable, which include a main sensor, an ultrawide camera, and something Honor is calling a “spectrum enhanced camera.” We’ve followed up with the company for details on what exactly this third camera does. The Magic V has a pair of 42-megapixel selfie cameras, one embedded in the outer display, and one embedded in the inner folding screen.

Honor joins an increasingly long list of companies that have either announced or have started to sell foldable smartphones. Most recently, we saw Oppo announce its Find N late last year, and Xiaomi and Honor’s former parent company Huawei also have foldable devices of their own. We’ve followed up with Honor to find out if, or when, the Magic V might see a global release.

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