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First Impressions: Honor Magic 5 Pro Review

First Impressions

The Honor Magic 5 Pro certainly looks like a tempting flagship with a rather unique curved design, a top-end display and camera performance to match, but it’ll have its work cut out to tempt fans from more established brands like Samsung and OnePlus. Can it do it? I feel confident, but I’ll leave my final thoughts for the full review in the coming weeks.


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Key Features

  • Huge batteryWith a 5,100mAh battery, the Honor Magic 5 Pro beats most other flagships.
  • Triple 50MP camera setupWith a 50MP main, 50MP ultrawide and 50MP telephoto lens, the camera offering is certainly high-end.
  • Great curved designThe Honor Magic 5 Pro’s curvy design makes it feel great in the hand.


Honor has its sights set on the flagship smartphone market with the Magic 5 Pro, boasting a unique design, a great display and a capable triple 50MP rear camera setup. 

The question is, can Honor persuade consumers from more recognisable brands like Samsung, OnePlus and Apple at the high end of the market? I went along to a hands-on event before the official reveal to spend a bit of time with the Honor Magic 5 Pro, and here’s what I think so far.

Design and display

  • Curvy, comfortable design
  • Large, premium display

If there was one word to describe Honor’s Magic 5 Pro, it’d be curvy. 

The phone is curvy in nearly every sense of the word, from the curved corners to the curved four-sided curved display to the curved camera housing on the rear that Honor says is inspired by the Gaudi Curve, a popular style of architecture. Does curve even sound like a word any more? I’m not sure. 

It does, however, feel exceptionally nice in the hand, especially compared to boxier flagships like Samsung’s top-end Galaxy S23 Ultra. The Gaudi Curve-inspired camera housing protrudes from the rear of the smartphone for a clean look, in a similar vein to the camera housing of the Oppo Find X5 Pro

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s available in two colour options, an understated Black finish and a slightly more attractive Meadow Green, with the latter being a personal favourite of mine. 

Overall, though, it sports a similar look to its predecessor, the Magic 4 Pro, though I don’t think that’s really a bad thing as it looks and feels every bit as a flagship should. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

The large 6.8-inch display is just as premium with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate with the ability to drop down to as little as 1Hz to save battery life, and it boasts advanced features like 2160Hz PMW dimming that Honor says should make the flicker less obvious and, as such, cause less eye strain when used in the evening. 

In fact, Honor claims that its display tech can improve melatonin concentration by up to 20%, providing around 30 minutes of extra sleep on average – though I am very wary about such wild claims, and it’s something I’ll delve into in the full review. 

Elsewhere, you can look forward to an impressively bright display at 1300 nits and a boosted 1800 nits when watching HDR content, and with a dedicated display chipset, the phone can upscale SDR content to HDR, and HDR content to HDR10+. 

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)


  • Triple 50MP rear camera setup
  • Larger sensor than S23 Ultra & iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Falcon Capture can take shots of fast-moving subjects

Honor looks to be going all-in with the Magic 5 Pro’s camera setup, comprised of a triple 50MP camera offering split between a main lens, an ultrawide lens and a telephoto lens with a 3.5x optical zoom.

Of course, it’s the main lens where things are most interesting with key specs including an f/1.6 aperture that should provide decent low-light performance and a 1/1.12in sensor that, while not quite as big as the 1-inch sensor of the Vivo X90 Pro, is still pretty large for a smartphone. 

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

In fact, Honor claims that it’s 35% larger than the Galaxy S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max, resulting in 13% and 24% better light intake respectively – though this is something I’ll have to put to the test in the full review as it’s not something you can easily test in a central London meeting room. 

Other features of note include Honor’s Falcon Capture and AI Motion sensing tech that it claims can capture shots of moving subjects without blur, but again, that’s very difficult to test in a hands-on environment. 

Safe to say that the camera offering certainly looks interesting, and I can’t wait to delve deeper for the full review. 


  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset
  • Large 5,100mAh battery with 120W charging
  • MIUI 14 is very bloatware-heavy

At the heart of the Honor Magic 5 Pro you’ll find Qualcomm’s latest top-end chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, representing a 35% in CPU speed and 25% uptick in GPU performance compared to last year’s flagship. 

While I’ve yet to benchmark the flagship, I fully expect performance to be as rapid as other 8 Gen 2-equipped flagships including the OnePlus 11. It certainly felt rapid during my limited hands-on time, with nary a stutter anywhere to be seen throughout the OS.

Where Honor takes a rather random turn with the Magic 5 Pro is the inclusion of low-power gesture control that allows you to swipe up or down without touching the screen – ideal if, say, you’re following a recipe and have dirty hands but want to scroll down the page. 

Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Still, it’s rather limited and was a little bit awkward to do during my hands-on session, so I’m not sure it’ll be as popular as Honor envisions. It should, at least, use less power than the infamous Soli sensors used in Google’s Pixel 4

Battery performance leads the pack with a battery slightly larger than what you’ll find in most of the competition at an impressive 5100mAh battery, which is a 7.8% increase in capacity compared to last year’s flagship, though there’s no word about fast charging just yet.

In terms of software, expect the Honor Magic 5 Pro to ship with Android 13 with Honor’s MagicOS 7.1 skin applied on top.

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Early Thoughts

The Honor Magic 5 Pro certainly looks like a tempting flagship with a rather unique curved design, a top-end display and camera performance to match, but it’ll have its work cut out to tempt fans from more established brands like Samsung and OnePlus. Can it do it? I feel confident, but I’ll leave my final thoughts for the full review in the coming weeks. 

Full specs

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Wireless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
Refresh Rate
A 'hands on review' is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it's like to use. We call these 'hands on reviews' to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don't give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

Jargon buster


An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a way to express the capacity of batteries, especially smaller ones in phones. In most cases the higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last but this isn’t always the case.

IP rating

An abbreviation for ‘Ingress Protection Code’, which lets you know to what extent a device might be waterproof or dustproof.


The most popular and useful level of water resistance. Usually means a device can withstand dust, dirt and sand and be submerged in 1.5m of water for 30m however this can sometimes vary. Read more in our IP68 guide for more.

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