Honor Magic 5 Pro review

    Updated to clarify that the ultrawide camera can shoot video at 30 frames per second.

    Honor, once Huawei’s cheap division, is now its own beast. And that independence has allowed it to progress from the low-cost mid-range market to selling its own full-fledged flagships.

    The Magic Vs, a rare worldwide contender to Samsung’s foldable domination, was released earlier this year, but the Magic 5 Pro is a little more traditional: a massive slab of glass with some extremely strong cameras on the back.

    But how strong are they – and is there enough here to entice shoppers away from Samsung, Google, and Apple?

    Design & build

    • Large but surprisingly slender
    • IP68 water-resistance
    • Striking circular camera module

    The Magic 5 Pro fits perfectly into recent flagship phone design trends, with a massive slab of curved glass and metal on the back and an absurdly enormous, circular camera module.

    This is a phone that wants some attention

    The 6.81in screen accounts for the majority of the phone’s size, and at 219g, it’s also somewhat hefty. To Honor’s credit, it’s just 8.8mm thick, making it more slimline than the other huge slabs on the market and, as a result, a bit more pleasant to carry.

    Magic 5 Pro

    On both sides, the cameras are the most noticeable feature. On the front, Honor is still the only firm to feature a depth sensor with the selfie camera, resulting in an iPhone-esque pill-shaped cut-out, albeit nestled into the corner rather than front and center.

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    Then, on the rear, there’s a massive round camera dominated by its three lenses, which the main body slopes up to join. This is particularly noticeable on the green model, where the black lenses protrude from the body in a prominent triangle. It’s not subtle, but it’s evident that it’s not trying to be – this is a phone that wants to be seen.

    I’ve been testing the Meadow Green model, which has a subtle glitter to its matt glass surface, while a glossier black variant is also available. Blue, purple, and orange coatings have already been introduced in China, although they are unlikely to become widely accessible abroad.

    One disadvantage is that Honor has made no claims about employing Gorilla Glass or other tougher alternatives to safeguard the phone from harm – however a pre-applied screen protector would assist in preserving the display. However, the phone is IP68-rated, so it should be dust and water resistant.

    Screen & speakers

    • 6.81in quad-curved 1-120Hz OLED
    • Emphasis on eye comfort
    • Slightly tinny stereo speakers

    According to Honor’s marketing, the Magic 5 Pro has two primary strengths, one of which is the screen.

    You can see where the company is coming from, since everything but the kitchen sink has been tossed in here.

    Honor Magic 5 Pro

    The huge 6.81-inch OLED display (of course) employs the most recent LTPO technology to dynamically scale refresh rate from 1-120Hz, giving silky smoothness and optimized battery life.

    The screen is curved on all four sides for a symmetrical appearance and a pleasant feel. It has a 13122848 resolution and a specialized display chipset to assist power its remarkable color accuracy and HDR10+ compatibility.

    Is this the best screen in any phone right now?

    But that’s not all. Honor has also focused on eye health aspects, claiming that its screen is one of the finest for long-term comfort. Dynamic dimming technology, a circadian-friendly certification, and decreased screen flicker are all said to work together to protect your vision – and sleep cycle.

    Honor Magic 5 Pro

    I can’t say I’ve noticed any change after a week using the phone, so I’ll have to take Honor’s word for it that my eyes will thank me. At the very least, I can certify that the panel looks fantastic: it’s bright, colorful, and sharp, with deep contrast and irresistible smoothness.

    Is this the finest phone screen available right now? I’m not sure. But it should undoubtedly be discussed.

    Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the speakers. The audio setup on this phone isn’t horrible, but it’s hardly a standout feature, and it’s tinny by flagship phone standards. It’ll suffice in a pinch, particularly for viewing YouTube or Netflix in bed, but don’t expect to be amazed.

    Specs & performance

    • Latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip
    • Lags a little behind other flagships in benchmarks
    • Loads of RAM and storage

    The Magic 5 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the most powerful processor available for Android phones right now. In the sole international version of the phone, Honor partners it with a substantial 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

    Unsurprisingly, the phone is quick. It can handle a lot of multitasking, demanding games, and pretty much everything you throw at it.

    Honor Magic 5 Pro

    Nonetheless, I have two reservations about the phone’s performance. The first is that I’ve seen stuttering and even freezing in a few apps, including Google Maps and Translate. This is most likely a software issue, but it undermines the hardware’s promise.

    Second, in fake benchmarks, the Magic 5 Pro obviously lags just slightly behind every other 8 Gen 2 phone we’ve tested, indicating that Honor still has some optimisation work to do. Most people won’t notice the difference, but if you’re a gamer or power user looking to push your phone to its limits, it appears that other manufacturers are pushing Qualcomm’s CPUs a bit further and quicker.


    On the connection front, the phone supports 5G, as well as Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC.

    Face unlock utilizing the selfie camera or a dependable fingerprint scanner embedded into the display are examples of biometrics.

    Camera & video

    • Triple 50Mp rear camera
    • Single selfie camera – with an extra depth sensor

    Remember how I emphasized Honor’s emphasis on the phone’s two main strengths? So, let’s meet the other one.

    The Magic 5 Pro’s thorough display features are roughly matched by its camera specs, which include a triple back camera made up entirely of 50Mp lenses.

    The main camera has a huge 1/1.12in sensor, which is not quite as large as the IMX989 sensor seen in the Vivo X90 Pro, Oppo Find X6 Pro, and Xiaomi 13 Pro this year.

    It’s paired with a fast f/1.6 aperture and optical image stabilisation (OIS), and that combination means it can capture an impressive amount of light, which is important for all photography, but especially in low light, where the 5 Pro manages to preserve both detail and a natural color range – something even the best phone struggles with.

    I’ve taken sharp, vibrant images with its main camera in a variety of lighting circumstances and been thrilled with the results. Colors lean somewhat toward the saturated end of the spectrum, but not overly so, and the Magic 5 Pro’s high dynamic range allows it to catch gorgeous shadows and mixed lighting.

    Honor Magic 5 Pro camera sample
    Honor Magic 5 Pro camera sample

    The primary lens is supplemented with a 50Mp ultrawide lens with a smaller sensor and a somewhat slower f/2.0 aperture – albeit this is still faster than normal for a lens this wide.

    The shots here can’t compete with the primary camera. Colors are more muted, with photographs often turning out a shade or two darker than you’d expect, and there’s a noticeable loss in dynamic range, leaving shadows and dark patches missing in clarity. With no optical stabilisation, this is the only lens of the three that struggles in low light. Overall, it’s not horrible, but I anticipated more.

    I’ve taken crisp, punchy shots in all manner of lighting conditions

    Finally, a 3.5x zoom periscope lens with an f/3.0 aperture and OIS is available. This is a mid-range zoom, shorter than many other periscopes but too lengthy to use comfortably for portraiture or related tasks.

    Nonetheless, photographs are remarkable once you have a handle on distances. Even in low or difficult lighting, photos with the preset 3.5x lens length are detailed and well-exposed. You can even zoom in to 10x with minimal noticeable loss of clarity, though I wouldn’t trust it to go any further than that.

    Honor Magic 5 Pro camera sampleHonor Magic 5 Pro camera sampleHonor Magic 5 Pro camera sample

    When you flip to the front, you’ll see that dual selfie pill, albeit there’s just one real camera inside, coupled with a time of flight depth sensor. Honor oddly provides three default zoom settings here: 0.7x, 0.8x, and standard, albeit the last two are apparently merely sensor cropping.

    The 12Mp camera performs admirably, even handling split exposure for my images taken from my balcony in brilliant light, facing back into my much darker living room. In portrait mode, the ToF sensor definitely pulls its weight, with a natural-looking bokeh supported by truly great edge recognition, barely blurring one or two stray hairs. This is an excellent phone for taking selfies.

    Finally, there’s video. The front camera can record at up to 4K and 30fps, while the back camera can record at up to 4K and 60fps. There is no 8K option, although I doubt many users would care. However, the ultrawide lens is limited to 4K and 30fps – and, weirdly, if you have 60fps selected, it simply disappears as an option rather than automatically decreasing the frame rate for you.

    Battery & charging

    • 1-2 day battery life
    • Fast-ish charging
    • Wireless too

    The Magic 5 Pro’s 5100mAh battery is one of the biggest in any phone these days, and the good news is that it shows.

    A PCMark battery test score of 11 hours and 44 minutes is remarkable for a flagship phone, but what’s more surprising is that the phone can easily operate for a whole day and frequently for a second.

    I’ve become accustomed to retiring to night with as much as 70% of the battery remaining, and on one occasion had 30% left at the end of the second. That was with rather moderate use by my standards, but I’m convinced that even the most ardent users will find this phone useful all day.

    When you need to charge it again, the 66W charging is adequate but won’t break any records. In my testing, it recovered 75% of the battery in half an hour and will bring you to full in less than an hour, so it is at least quick enough to avoid the need to charge overnight.

    Even demanding users will find this a full-day phone

    Honor’s official charger, which costs £85/€99, is the only way to achieve 50W wireless charging speeds. If that’s too pricey for you, it will charge at reduced rates on almost any Qi-certified wireless charger you already own – and if you don’t, they’re a lot cheaper than Honor’s.

    Software & updates

    • Ships with Android 13
    • Runs Honor’s clunky MagicOS
    • Three Android OS updates promised

    The Magic 5 Pro comes pre-installed with Android 13, the most recent version of the operating system, with Honor’s exclusive MagicOS shell on top.

    I dislike MagicOS, which I find crowded and clumsy in comparison to other phones’ software. I also believe the software skin is to blame for the performance issues I stated above with a few select apps.

    There’s also some bloatware to deal with. TikTok and Netflix are among the apps that come pre-installed on the Honor, as with lesser-known alternatives like TrainPal and WPS Office. You even receive applications from and, giving you a double punch of undesired vacation possibilities.

    When it comes to fundamental programs, Honor at least offers a decent mix of its own software and Google alternatives – you’ll be required to use Honor’s calendar and calculator, but messaging, email, and other basics are Google by default.

    Honor has also included a few gesture controls with the Magic 5 Pro, allowing you to scroll or capture screenshots by waving your hand in front of the phone. These are useless and, luckily, are disabled by default. Turning them on is pointless.

    To conclude on a positive note, Honor has pledged three Android OS upgrades – to Android 14, possibly later this year, and eventually to 16 – as well as a full five years of security fixes. That isn’t the strongest software support in an Android phone, but it comes close and provides some life if you buy a Magic 5 Pro.

    Price & availability

    The Magic 5 Pro is out now in the UK and Europe, where it costs £949/€1,199.

    In the UK you can pick it up from the official Honor site, or from Amazon.

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