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Honor Magic V2 just spoiled the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s big day

The Honor Magic V2 has been announced, and it’s already making us ask some tricky questions of the forthcoming Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Samsung is due to announce its next big foldable revamp at a glossy Unpacked event in less than a fortnight. However, at its own Beijing launch event held yesterday, the Honor Magic V2 made a case for being the first real next-gen full-sized foldable.

Following on from the impressive Honor Magic Vs, which we claimed “raises the bar on the foldable form factor” in our review, Honor appears to have done it again. Thanks to a new titanium hinge design, the Magic V2 is just 9.9mm thick when folded, and weighs just 231g.

That’s way lighter than the 263g Galaxy Z Fold 4, and is even lighter than the 234g Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – a non-foldable flagship that many consider to be the best smartphone on the market.

This makes the fact that Honor has managed to cram in a 5,000mAh battery, vs the 4,400mAh battery of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 (and likely the Fold 5 too), all the more impressive. The Magic Vs also had a 5,000mAh battery, but it wasn’t quite this slim and light.

The Magic V2 battery also benefits from 66W wired charging, which again makes Samsung’s 25W charging look a little meagre.

When unfurled, the Magic V2 has a pretty tasty-looking 7.92-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display with a 1,600 nits maximum brightness. Will Samsung be able to match that size or brightness with the Fold 5? Maybe the latter, but probably not the former.

Honor Magic V2 open

The external display is also larger to the tune of 6.43 inches, with an astonishing claimed peak brightness of 2,500 nits. Crucially, it also packs a 20:9 aspect ratio, so together with that skinny body it should feel way more like a ‘normal’ phone when folded up than the Galaxy Z Fold 4/5.

There’s no shortfall on power, with the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is expected to have. The Magic V2’s version even has a slightly higher 3.36GHz clock speed, which promises to match the ‘Made for Galaxy’ version of the chip that Samsung used in the Galaxy S23 range, and will probably employ in the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

With up to 16GB RAM, and up to 1TB storage, the Magic V2 is more than competitive on specs.

As for the camera set-up, Honor has equipped the Magic V2 with an impressive-sounding triple-sensor set-up. It’s. led by a 50MP wide sensor with OIS, and backed up by a 50MP ultra-wide and a 20MP telephoto with OIS. There’s also a dToF Laser Focusing System added an extra locked-on focus, as well as a flicker sensor and a colour sensor.

You also get a pair of 16MP selfie cameras, though the internal one doesn’t use the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s (and likely 5’s) under-display technology. That’s either a good or a bad thing, depending on whether you value selfie camera quality over display uniformity.

The biggest question, and most likely weakness in our experience, concerns the Honor Magic V2’s software. It’s a China-only device right now, so it’ll run MagicOS 7.2 on Android 13 without any Google Play services. Even if it were to come to Western markets with Google Play restored, it’d likely still be one of the more bloated and ugly UIs out there.

Still, if the Honor Magic V2 does make its way to a global audience fairly sharpish, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is going to be looking nervously over its shoulder.

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