HONOR Magic5 Pro Review – Powerful, Gorgeous Flagship smartphone: the Malaysia review
HONOR has come into its own with a successive series of well built designs that cover the gamut from midrange offerings all the way to flagship class phones. We previously had a hands-on and unboxing of their HONOR Magic5 Pro. After several weeks of field testing, here’s our HONOR Magic5 Pro review where we put their latest flagship phone to the test!
HONOR Magic5 Pro Review – Specifications and Benchmarks
Our previous HONOR Magic5 first look feature covered our initial impressions and hands-on with the phone. HONOR hasn’t cut any corners with the design and the phone has suitably premium aesthetics from stem to stern with a quad curved 120Hz OLED display all the way to a metal and glass shod backplate. The combination of gentle curves on its front and rear panels along with its extensive use of metal and glass offers exquisite tactility and it offers a pleasant, even heft about it befitting a premium design.
Oddly, there’s no official mention that the phone has any form of toughened glass or any armoured laminate like that used in the X9a to protect it from scratches or drops though it does have an official IP68 dust and water resistance rating. Over the course of our review, the phone remained in my pocket or face-up on a table and even after several weeks, neither the display nor the backplate suffered any nicks. Fortunately, the provided case and screen protector go a long way to protecting your investment.
Under the hood, our HONOR Magic5 Pro review sample uses the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that’s currently the most powerful Android phone SoC that money can buy short of brand-specific customised variants like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy custom chip while running the latest Android 13 with their own MagicOS 7.1 overlay. Full access to the Google Play store and all its myriad apps is present and correct.
This is paired with a generous and fast 12GB LPDDR5X RAM along with a substantial 512GB of the latest UFS 4.0 storage which currently has one of the fastest read/write speeds for flash storage in the market. Here’s how it stacks up on paper:
|Display||6.81-inch LTPO OLED, 1,312 x 2,848 pixels, HDR10+, 120Hz, 1,800 nits peak brightness, 19.5:9 aspect ratio|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|Memory||12GB LPDDR5X RAM / 512GB UFS 4.0|
|OS||Android 13 with MagicOS 7.1|
|Camera||50MP F/1.6 w/ PDAF, Laser autofocus, OIS + 50MP F/2.0 ultra wide angle + 50MP F/2.30 3.5x zoom, OIS [rear] 12MP F/2.4 + 3D ToF [front]|
|Battery||5,100mAh with 66W fast wired charging, 50W wireless and 5W reverse wireless charging|
|Size/Weight||162.9×76.7×8.8mm / 219g|
HONOR’s MagicOS 7.1 also augments this with 7GB of virtual RAM that are assigned off onboard storage that they’ve referred to in official literature as HONOR Ram Turbo. In effect, users are getting 19GB of RAM for switching between apps and other tasks which is substantial by any measure of the word. Unfortunately, the amount of assignable virtual RAM is fixed so you can’t assign more or reduce it.
That minor quibble aside, our HONOR Magic5 Pro effectively packs the best Android mobile processor, the fastest RAM and flash storage standards currently available, allowing it to go toe to toe any other flagship grade phone. Better yet, HONOR has committed to a solid 3 years of guaranteed Android updates which keeps the phone ticking all the way to Android 16 as well as 5 years of security updates to boot which is just a year short of the industry leading standards of 4 OS/5 years security updates.
When put to the test in synthetic benchmarks in Performance mode to discover its full potential, our HONOR Magic5 Pro review sample scored the following:
|3DMark Wild Life||Maxed Out|
|3DMark Wild Life Unlimited||13,805|
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme||3,680|
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited||3,653|
|Geekbench 6 Single core||1,472|
|Geekbench 6 Multi core||4,668|
|Geekbench 6 Vulkan||3,528|
|Geekbench 6 OpenCL||8,462|
|PCMark Work 3.0||13,368|
|PCMark Battery Life||14 hours 44 mins|
In terms of overall performance, our HONOR Magic5 Pro review sample compares favourably against other flagship phones packing a similar Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.
While it’s not a new concept, the HONOR Magic5 Pro incorporates a Game Booster mode in the firmware that can minimise irksome notifications and also has a selectable Balanced and Game mode. The former keeps CPU, RAM and temperature settings relatively under control while the latter bumps up CPU and RAM usage but increases heat and battery consumption.
Seeing the surfeit of power available in the Magic5 Pro, there’s not much noticeable performance difference in games as our test run of Genshin Impact and CODM ran smoothly with and without the booster on in performance mode. Thermals were well managed and even with heavy use, the phone remained just a tad warmer than usual without being overly hot to the touch.
Gaming aside, our HONOR Magic5 Pro review sample performed brilliantly in day to day use, handling everything from web browsing to video watching in a nimble fashion without any lagging or slowdown. The quad-curved OLED display comes with FHD+ (1,312 x 2,848 pixels) resolution, has a smooth dynamic 1-120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support.
Closer inspection also revealed that HONOR has boosted the PWM dimming system up to 2,160Hz to ensure less ghosting and eye strain. Of note is the fact that HONOR has bumped up the screen brightness to a theoretical maximum of 1,800 nits especially when viewing HDR compatible content.
In more practical scenarios, our HONOR Magic5 Pro review sample did not disappoint. Even in direct sunlight, the OLED touchscreen retained excellent clarity while delivering pin-sharp text, vibrant colour rendition and beautifully deep blacks.
In the Dark Knight, nuances of black were highlighted beautifully onscreen in the typically dark scenes in the movie while The Fifth Element’s Technicolor vibrant palette looked stunning. If the default settings don’t quite appeal, the settings allow for more precise customisation of warm and cool colour temperatures.
There is also the novel addition of a new Frame Rate booster mode to make videos look smoother and a Video Enhancer mode that works to enhance colour and contrast. Both modes only work for YouTube and Netflix for now.
Results are mixed with modest improvements in smoothness and a bump up with slightly more intense colour saturation though it seems to work best with higher resolution content.
The stereo speakers flanking the display are among the better ones on test with good clarity even at maximum volume and a fair amount of detail and sound staging that’s sufficient for gaming and movie watching duties.
The slightly larger than normal 5,100mAh battery in tandem with its efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor goes a long way towards offering exceptional endurance. On standard settings with Performance mode disabled, our HONOR Magic5 Pro review sample managed to last 14 hours and 44 minutes in the PCMark battery life test.
In practical usage scenarios with a combination of WiFi and data on along with general usage involving web browsing, some voice calls, videos and a few rounds of CODM, it easily lasted an entire day with plenty left for the next day with a top-up needed by late afternoon. Charging it on its provided 66W charger is just as fast with a 35 minute charge netting a respectable 70% charge from dead zero.
HONOR Magic5 Pro Review – Cameras
In terms of camera design, the HONOR Magic5 Pro certainly breaks from tradition as it places equal emphasis with equally large camera sensors for the primary, ultrawide and telephoto cameras.
The HONOR Magic5 Pro features what they refer to as a Falcon Camera system which consists of a triple camera array that has a 50MP primary OIS-stabilised camera, a secondary 50MP ultra wide angle camera with autofocus and a 50MP camera with 3.5x telephoto zoom and OIS as well. This setup is capable of up to 4K@60fps video and pixel binned 12M.5P stills at 3.5x zoom, hybrid zoom shoots at 10x magnification and at up to 100x digital zoom. Up front, the phone has a 12MP camera that has a ToF sensor riding shotgun with the ability to capture 4K@30fps video.
The rear camera serves up excellent shots that offer superb colour accuracy while brimming with detail from the ultrawide camera and primary camera all the way to 10x hybrid zoom especially in daylight conditions.
Even after dark, the phone’s rear cameras are still able to capture equally good low light stills that retain a good amount of detail while retaining an excellent amount of dynamic range. At 100x zoom, the rear camera delivers the best results in daylight with night shots being a bit of a hit and miss; this level of magnification is more of a novelty than a feature and it’s not a deal breaker.
Videos on the rear camera can be captured with a moderate amount of zoom at 4x and 10x hybrid zoom in a 4:3 aspect ratio though oddly enough there’s no 16:9 aspect ratio on offer Videos can alternatively be set to full screen or to a squarish 1:1 ratio. 4K videos captured at 60fps looked best without zooming in and were pleasantly smooth and detailed in both bright and low light conditions.
The front facing selfie camera does not disappoint with unflatteringly accurate skin tone rendition though you can take advantage of a variety of filters as well as skin softening and contouring facial contouring options in Portrait mode to serve up a better looking mug shot. The front camera also has the option to dial in the amount of bokeh in the background from nil to a super shallow depth of field with relatively convincing results.
In terms of overall performance, both the front and rear cameras are very well rounded, accomplished performers that are capable of delivering good enough stills and video for content creators and otherwise shareworthy results for more casual users.
Should you buy the HONOR Magic5 Pro?
The HONOR Magic5 Pro is a powerful flagship phone in every aspect of its performance and design with great cameras as well as excellent battery life. It is also one of the rare phones that are still bundled with a free charger and case which further adds to its value.
At the time of writing, HONOR hasn’t announced exactly how much it will cost in Malaysia but at its official global launch, the same 12GB RAM/512GB storage variant was priced at €1,200 which is about RM5,729.
If we’re on the money, the local launch prices will likely hover around this price range, give or take a few hundred Ringgit which still represents good value seeing the free charger and case along with its capabilities.
HONOR Malaysia has just released the local price of the Magic5 Pro a few hours ago and to say that it’s jaw dropping is a gross understatement as it’s priced at RM4,299 which is way south of even our most conservative estimates.
At this price, the HONOR Magic5 Pro represents fantastic value and is highly deserving of not only a Gold award but a Value award too for the sheer bang for the buck that it brings to buyers. You not only get the whole kit and kaboodle including a fast charger and case, you get a bona fide flagship phone that can go toe to toe with the best in the market.
HONOR Magic5 Pro review sample courtesy of HONOR Malaysia. For more details please visit https://www.hiHONOR.com/my/phones/HONOR-magic5-pro/
HONOR Magic5 Pro
HONOR Magic5 Pro
The HONOR Magic5 Pro is a remarkably polished dark horse that ticks all the right checkboxes for a solid flagship phone experience from its excellent OLED display to its powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU as well as its solid camera performance. If you’re looking for a well rounded flagship smartphone complete with charger and case, this won’t disappoint you.
Fast LPDDR5X and UFS 4.0 storage standards
Flagship grade Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor
Comes with free casing and charger
Bright and vibrant display
100x zoom mode has middling performance in low light
Not many settings to customise RAM Turbo