First Look – Honor Magic Vs Has The Ability To Defeat Galaxy Z Fold


 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 is defacto the best large screen foldable device on the market as it has no comparable competitors. The Huawei Mate Xs 2 launched this year comes without 5G and also without GMS. Due to the lack of competitors, the Fold4 has dominated the market quite comfortably for the past four versions.



Their dominance will now begin to be challenged after Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Honor start offering their foldable screen devices with more attractive designs. Today Honor Magic Vs has been launched and it will enter the Malaysian market. Based on a short experience, we see some signs that the Magic Vs may be a device capable of providing competition to the Z Fold series.


Specifications

Honor Magic Vs

External Screen – 6.45″ OLED, 120Hz

Inside – 7.9″ OLED 90Hz

Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor (4nm)

1 X 3.19 GHz Cortex X2 chip

3 X 2.75 GHz Cortex A710

4 X 2.00 GHz Cortex A510

Adreno 730 Graphics Chip

RAM 8/12 Gigabytes

Internal Storage 256/512GB UFS 3.1

Primary Camera 54 MP, f/1.9 (Wide Angle)

50 MP, f/2.0 (Ultra Wide Angle)

8 MP, f/2.4, OIS (Telephoto) 3x Optical Zoom

4K 60p

Front Camera 16 Megapixel f/2.45 (Front)

16 Megapixel f/2.45 (Inner)

4K 60p

5000 mAh battery

66W wired charging

SIM/Telephony Dual SIM Nano /5G

NFC Yes

Infrared None

Waterproof None

Side built-in Fingerprint Scan System

Sale Price RM4798* (8/256 GB)

RM5118* (12/256 GB)

RM5758* (12/512GB)

Screen

The 6.45″ external screen is from the OLED family with 120Hz refresh rate support. It works smoothly with good finger movement detection capabilities. The advantage of Magic Vs is that the screen is wider with a screen ratio that is closer to the design of a candy bar device. Using it one-handed and core typing is more comfortable than the Z Fold4 pad. At the top of the screen there is a hole for the selfie camera and also a relatively thin bezel.



The front face of this device is really handsome and attractive for a foldable screen device. The standard issue where the outer screen is too pointy doesn't happen on Magic Vs. What we noticed is that the animations are less smooth and there is no HDR support on the Netflix app. However, we understand that this device uses the Chinese version of MagicOS 7 and not the final version. HDR support on devices for global markets is not yet known at the time of writing.



On the inside, a 7.9″ OLED 90Hz screen is used which is larger than the Z Fold4 and has a lower refresh rate. There is still a noticeable crease effect on this internal screen even after the thinner fold mechanism is used. The screen looks bright with good color display. Fingerprint detection is also spot on but again no HDR support can be seen on the tested unit.



A small camera hole is placed on the foldable screen for a 16MP sensor. There is no under-screen camera system. This is not a negative thing because so far all the UDC underscreen camera systems we have reviewed have been less than satisfactory. Honor's decision to use a camera hole may be better to prioritize image quality over screen aesthetics.


Design

Design is the main strength of Magic Vs in our opinion. The device is much thinner than the Z Fold4. Engel has thinner sides with no noticeable empty space when the device is in folded screen mode. Both "wings" of the device are also thinner. Even in closed screen mode the device does not feel too thick making it comfortable to hold in the hand compared to the Z Fold4. We feel this also makes the process of finding a device holder in the car for Magic Vs a lot easier too.



The updated hinge makes the device easier to open. There is no strange sound when the screen is opened which makes the device feel more premium and we have no hesitation in opening it. The hinge of the folding mechanism can be felt when a finger is moved over it. So far there is still no foldable screen device that solves this issue. In terms of comfort, we feel the process of opening and closing the Magic Vs screen is more comfortable than the Z Fold4.



Physical buttons to adjust the audio and also the power button are placed on the right side of the device. A fingerprint scanner is also built into the power button. The position of these two buttons is very ergonomic. On the top and bottom of the body there are holes for stereo audio grilles that support IMAX and DTS: X Ultra audio. Also placed below is the USB-C charging port and also the SIM tray.



On the back there is a large round-shaped bump that houses three cameras – 54MP Sony IMX800 wide-angle f/1.9, 50MP ultra-wide-angle f/2.0 and 8MP telephoto f/2.4 that supports 3x optical zoom and up to 10X digital zoom. This bump is large enough to cause the device to not be placed flat on a table surface. The two selfie cameras used are 16MP f/2.45 which are placed in the camera hole.


The back surface of the device is neatly made of glass material. The panel has a rough texture that makes it not slippery when held. It also does not trap dirt easily. There will be a more exclusive orange colored vegan leather version.


The battery is 5000 mAh which is the largest capacity ever used on a foldable screen device. Much larger than the 4400 mAh on the Z Fold4 and 4880 mAh on the Mate Xs 2. The battery can be recharged using a charger with a 66W output. We understood during the test session that no wireless charging support was provided on the Magic Vs.



All these components are placed in a metal body that is quite sturdy and comfortable in the hand. Even though it's a foldable screen device it doesn't feel bulky. However, one notable shortcoming of the Magic Vs is that it does not have any waterproof standards.


Interface And User Experience

The device we received runs MagicOS 7 based on Android 12 which was just announced today. There are no drastic changes compared to the MagicOS 6 interface we used on the Magic4 Pro earlier this year. The MagicOS interface is still similar to EMUI even though it has been two years since Honor is no longer under the Huawei umbrella. This is probably intentional as there are many Huawei users now moving to Honor to get the same experience but still have GMS support.



On the initial units received, ROMs from China were used. It is also not the final software according to Honor Malaysia spokesperson. So we realize it doesn't work smoothly especially on 90Hz internal screen. Animations are stuttering and camera usage also has noticeable lags especially when trying to change zoom levels.


Therefore, we cannot give the final word whether its use in the final version of Magic Vs is good or not. What we can say on the Magic4 Pro, MagicOS is an operating system that feels smooth and light even though the reviewed unit is equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 8GB of RAM. On Magic Vs, Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and memory up to 12GB RAM should provide a better experience.



What we can say is that there is a feature of launching up to four apps floating on the screen and two apps launching simultaneously with two apps in a large window. There is a gesture to launch two apps in Multi Window mode but this is not supported on the unit we used.


In terms of using the large 7.9″ screen, MagicOS 7 brings the same experience as we saw on the Z Fold4, Find N and Mate Xs 2. But it must be admitted that the window and multitasking mode on the Z Fold4 is more user-friendly because there is a Taskbar tray on the side down. This feature is not in Magic Vs.


Conclusion

Honor Magic Vs has a solid recipe to give competition to Z Fold4. Comparable specifications, a larger screen, a more robust camera system and the design also looks sexier than Samsung devices.



As consumers healthy competition should be given to Samsung because it will only benefit us all. So we can't wait to review the final version of Magic Vs to see if it is a real challenger to the Z Fold4 when it arrives in Malaysia after the global launch at MWC next year. Honor confirmed that Magic Vs will enter the Malaysian market in the near future. Look forward to the review later .


Pro


6.45″ 120Hz screen on the outside that is comfortable to use.

Large 7.9″ 90Hz foldable screen.

High specification Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 with memory up to 12GB RAM.

The design is thinner than competing devices.

Large main tri-camera with optical zoom.

Large 5000 mAh battery with 66W charging.

Cons


There are no waterproof standards.

There are still crease marks on the screen.

The screen is only 90Hz instead of 120Hz.

Still running Android 12.

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