The Honor Magic V2 has been unveiled in China and we’re hopeful of a wider release in the coming months – the question is, how does it compare to the king of foldables, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4?
Given the fact that there’s almost an entire year between the release of the two foldables, Honor’s foldable shows great promise in the hardware department – especially when it comes to its thickness and weight. Samsung’s not one to rest on its laurels though, with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 rumoured for release very soon.
The Honor Magic V2 is thinner and lighter
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is very much a premium device, but compared to more recent foldables like the Honor Magic Vs and Google Pixel Fold, it looks a little dated. It’s not only chunkier than much of the competition but there’s an awkward gap between the displays when folded – something most other manufacturers have solved at this point.
This awkward gap means that the Z Fold 4 measures in at a rather thick 14.2mm when folded, and at 263g, it’s comfortably heavier than even the weightiest candybar phones like the 234g Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
That’s a stark comparison to what Honor is offering with the Magic V2. The Magic V2 looks worlds away from the Z Fold 4 with a gapless hinge mechanism and a design that’s only 9.9mm thick when folded or 4.95mm when unfolded. If that’s not impressive enough, at 231g, it’s lighter than both the Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy S23 Ultra!
The Magic V2 manages this while also offering slightly larger internal and external displays than Samsung’s option. It’s a clear win for Honor in the design department, then.
The Honor Magic V2 has more capable cameras
Foldables have traditionally lagged behind standard smartphones in the camera department, but that tide is beginning to change in 2023 with foldables like the Pixel Fold, Huawei Mate X3 and now, the Honor Magic V2.
The foldable boasts a 50MP main sensor with OIS along with a 50MP ultrawide and a 20MP telephoto with OIS, flanked by a dToF Laser Focusing System for immediate focus regardless of available light, along with a dedicated flicker sensor and colour sensor. You’ll also find a pair of 16MP selfie cameras – one on each display.
That sounds like a capable camera setup, especially compared to Samsung’s offering of a 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide and 10MP 3x telephoto on the rear, flanked by a single LED flash.
Things aren’t much more promising on the selfie camera front either, with a 10MP camera on the external camera and a 4MP under-display camera on the internal display. The latter is a particular issue as moving the camera beneath the display introduces noticeable quality issues.
Our reviewer described the Z Fold 4 as not “the best camera phone going, then, but the cameras no longer feel like a reason to avoid a Z Fold device”.
Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
When it comes to performance, the Honor Magic V2 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 both go all-in with flagship-level chipsets. That includes the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 within the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the slightly newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 within the Honor Magic V2, coupled with 12GB and 16GB RAM respectively.
The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 was the top-end processor when the Z Fold 4 was released in August 2022, bringing with it not only flagship power but impressive battery efficiency compared to previous Snapdragon chipsets. Our reviewer found it to be a capable device that wouldn’t stutter or lag no matter what he threw at it, be it gaming or split-screen multitasking on that large internal display.
We’ve not had the chance to use the Honor Magic V2 just yet, but we have tested plenty of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 devices so we have a good understanding of the likely power on offer. It’s safe to say that the Honor Magic V2 will beat the Z Fold 4 in benchmarks, though you’re very unlikely to notice a difference in real-world use with both offering blisteringly fast everyday performance.
The Honor Magic V2 will likely have better battery life
This one’s a little difficult to say with certainty having not spent any time with the foldable just yet, but based on specs, it looks like the Honor Magic V2 could best the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in the battery life department.
That’s largely down to the fact that the Honor Magic V2 sports a larger 5,000mAh cell compared to 4,400mAh on offer from the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. Granted it’s not that much more than what Samsung has to offer, but our reviewer noted that he’d get to the end of the day with around 15% left in the tank – just about enough, but not exactly comfortable.
The extra power, combined with the better power efficiency from the newer chipset, should allow the Honor Magic V2 to last a little longer in everyday life – but we’ll confirm this once we go hands-on.
Either way, the Honor Magic V2 will recharge faster with 66W wired charging speeds compared to just 25W from Samsung’s foldable.
You can actually buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
As impressive as the Honor Magic V2’s hardware is, there’s a big problem: you can’t buy it in most of the world. Just yet, anyway.
The Honor Magic V2 is currently exclusively available in China following a reveal in Bejing in early July, though like with the Honor Magic Vs, we expect the Magic V2 to make its international debut sometime soon.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, on the other hand, is available to buy from Samsung and most electronics retailers in the UK, US and Europe, though at £1,649/$1,649/€1,799, it’s not exactly the cheapest phone around.