The Google Pixel Fold is a fine, if not slightly flawed, first attempt at a foldable – but how does it compare to Honor’s Magic V2?
While the Google Pixel Fold boasts strengths in the software department, Honor’s latest foldable hardware blows not only the Pixel Fold but most other book-style foldables out of the water with an impressively thin, lightweight build, large battery, capable cameras and more.
The Honor Magic V2 is China-only for now, but as with the Magic Vs, we expect the Magic V2 to launch internationally in the coming months.
The question is, which is best for your needs? We break down some of the key differences between the Honor Magic V2 and Pixel Fold right here.
The Honor Magic V2 is thinner and lighter
Google praised the design and build at the Pixel Fold’s announcement in May, claiming that it was the thinnest foldable phone around measuring in at 12.2mm thick when folded. It was indeed the case at launch, but within just a few months, that was no longer the case.
The Google Pixel Fold is still a relatively pocketable smartphone when it comes to foldables, with options like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 measuring in at 14.2mm thick, though it has been blown out of the water by the Honor Magic V2. When folded, it measures in at 9.9mm, making it around 4.95mm thick when unfolded.
It’s not just thin either; it’s also lightweight at 231g, making it not only quite a bit lighter than the 283g Pixel Fold and other book-style foldables, but it’s actually lighter than Samsung’s 234g Galaxy S23 Ultra too.
Considering the form factor, that’s an impressive achievement and will likely be one of the big reasons to opt for the Magic V2 once it’s released worldwide.
The Google Pixel Fold offers the stock Android experience
As confirmed by Honor at the Bejing announcement, Honor Magic V2 sports Honor’s own take on Android 13 in the form of MagicOS 7.2. In China, that comes without Google Play services, but it’ll almost certainly come packed with Google’s storefront once it makes its international debut.
We’ve not used MagicOS 7.2 on the Magic V2, but we have used MagicOS 7.1 on the Magic Vs and, while it’s not exactly stock Android and comes with a bit of bloatware pre-installed, it has a few handy benefits like large folders on the home screen. Our reviewer commented that it does still need some work, however, with key features like an App Tray unavailable on the foldable.
The Google Pixel Fold, on the other hand, comes with the same stock Android 13 as the rest of the Pixel family. It’s a clean, easy-to-use UI with customisation features like Material You that syncs various UI elements to the colour scheme of your wallpaper, and there are plenty of AI-powered features too – but more on that in a bit.
Our reviewer loved the overall experience with the Pixel Fold compared to much of the foldable competition, though rather frustratingly, it doesn’t offer the ability to run unsupported apps in full-screen on the internal display, meaning many of the apps you use on a daily basis will be accompanied by large black bars either side.
Practically every other foldable manufacturer allows you to do this, limiting just how handy the internal display of the Pixel Fold can be until more developers implement foldable support.
The Honor Magic V2 has bigger displays
While screen size isn’t everything, it’s worth noting that Honor’s Magic V2 boasts both larger external and internal displays than Google’s most recent foldable.
More specifically, the Honor Magic V2 sports an external 6.43-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display and an internal 7.92-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED panel, while Google opted for a 5.8-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED external display and a 7.6-inch 2K 120Hz AMOLED internal display. It’s not as simple as the Fold being the smaller of the two though; it’s mainly down to aspect ratio.
You see, the Pixel Fold has a shorter and squatter design than the Honor Magic V2 with a 17.4:9 aspect ratio on the external panel and 6:5 on the inside, compared to 20:9 and 10:9 respectively from Honor.
This does make the Google Pixel Fold a joy to hold and use, as noted by our reviewer, particularly when it comes to that external display. The aspect ratio makes it feel like a compact candybar phone, which not only allows for easier use but makes it feel more comfortable too.
That can’t quite be said for Honor’s taller external panel, though it’ll be interesting to see how it fares in the real world once we get a sample in for review.
Google Tensor G2 vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
One of the big differentiators between the two foldables is the chipset that powers them; Honor sports the latest Qualcomm chipset while the Pixel Fold sports Google’s home-grown chipset – and the two couldn’t be more different.
The Honor Magic V2 sports Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, a chipset found in the majority of 2023 flagships including the Asus ZenFone 10, Oppo Find X6 Pro and OnePlus 11. While we’re yet to test the Magic V2, we have used plenty of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-equipped devices and, based on that, we’re expecting blisteringly fast speeds and benchmark-topping scores.
The Google Pixel Fold, on the other hand, sports Google’s in-house-developed Tensor G2 chipset. Unlike the Snapdragon equivalent, the Tensor G2 doesn’t focus on pure performance power and, as such, won’t be able to compete with the Magic V2 in terms of benchmarks.
In fact, with Geekbench 6 multi-core scores of 3677, the Tensor G2 in the Pixel Fold is more in line with the MediaTek Dimensity 8020 of the £529 Motorola Edge 40 than a flagship-level processor. However, despite this, our reviewer found the Pixel Fold fared well in day-to-day use with no notable slowdowns or lag.
Besides, AI is the focus of Google’s chipset, allowing the Pixel Fold to do cool things like screen incoming calls on your behalf, automatically listen for and identify music as you go about your day, remove distracting elements from photos using Magic Eraser and more.
So, while the Honor Magic V2 will almost certainly be the more powerful of the two, there’s more to it than pure graphical grunt.
The Honor Magic V2 might be cheaper
With all that said, you might assume that with a thinner chassis and better specs, the Honor Magic V2 will be the more expensive of the two foldables – but that might not be the case.
That’s largely down to the fact that the Google Pixel Fold is one of the most expensive foldable available in the Western world, starting at £1,749/$1,799. The Honor Magic V2, on the other hand, is a China-only device for now, but as with the Honor Magic Vs, it’ll likely be released worldwide in the coming months.
What’s more interesting is that the Honor Magic Vs is one of the cheaper book-style foldables with a £1,399 price tag. While not confirmed just yet, that could be a sign of Honor’s price-cutting tactics with the upcoming Magic V2 to tempt users from more established foldable players like Samsung. Let’s hope so, anyway.