Folding Honor Magic Vs WILL launch in UK, but don’t look at price

Honor is bringing its foldable smartphone to the UK, where it will challenge rivals from Samsung, Motorola, and Oppo. The Chinese company confirmed plans to bring the Honor Magic Vs, first announced in China back in November 2022, to European customers during a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress (MWC) tradeshow in Barcelona, Spain today.

The Honor Magic Vs will launch in June 2023, UK pricing will be confirmed closer to launch, but the RRP is €1,599. That converts to roughly £1,400, although we’ll need to wait for the official UK price to be announced to know for sure.

It wasn’t that long ago that Honor was known for its affordable, mid-range Android handsets.

Clearly, the Honor Magic Vs does not fall into that category. This is an unadulterated flagship phone designed to stand toe-to-toe with the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which launched in August 2022.

According to Honor, what sets Magic Vs apart from the competition is the hinge design, which can be closed without any visible gap in the chassis. That might seem like a small detail, but it allows the Magic Vs to measure 12.9mm when folded. For comparison, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is 15.8mm when folded closed.

Granted, 12.9mm is still quite a lot compared to a non-folding phone, but makes the Magic Vs more pocket-friendly.

Honor has simplified its hinge design, reducing the number of structural components from 92 in a previous iteration down to just 4. That should reassure those who worry that folding phones can be over-engineered, over-complicated, and overly prone to breakages. Honor says its new hinge design is rated up to 400,000 folds.

That equates to 100 folds every day …for the next decade.

Honor Magic Vs opens like a paperback novel, compared with the flip-phone design found on the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Oppo Find N2 Flip, and re-imagined Motorola Razr.

Unfurled, this handset reveals an expansive 7.9-inch display with a small cut-out for a camera to handle video calls. This tablet-like screen packs a number of features designed to reduce strain on your eyes, including automatically filtering out blue-light in the evening (studies have shown that exposure to blue-light late at night can upset your body’s circadian rhythm and disturb your sleep)

Of course, you won’t want to unfold the Magic Vs each time you reply to a WhatsApp message, answer a phone call, check a football score, or mindlessly scroll through Instagram. Honor has fitted a 6.45-inch display on the front of the handset to handle all of these tasks. This screen offers an impressive 90% screen-to-body ratio.

Powering the Honor Magic Vs is the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 system-on-a-chip from Qualcomm. This isn’t the latest silicon from the US manufacturer, which announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 towards the end of 2022 and started to ship in select phones, like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, earlier this year. However, the chipset should still manage effortless multi-tasking and fluid gaming.

This Qualcomm-designed processor is paired with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of non-expandable storage. A lower-priced model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is available in some markets, but isn’t coming to the UK, Honor confirmed.

Honor has squeezed a massive 5,000mAh battery cell into the Magic Vs, which should keep you powered all day (even when using the larger 7.9-inch internal display). MagicOS 7.1, which is based on Android 13, will arrive preinstalled on the folding phone.

As you’d expect from a modern flagship phone, there’s a triple camera system on the back with support for all of the usual tricks (lossless zoom, ultra-wide shots, and DSLR-style portrait images). The main sensor is a 54-megapixel Sony IMX800 sensor, paired with a 50-megapixel ultra-wide camera capable of up-close macro shots too, and an 8-megapixel optical zoom camera capable of 3x shots with lossless quality. Honor relies on its own Image Engine to process shots, which it says can deliver results in “all scenarios”.

At launch, there will be two colourways available – Cyan and Black. We’ll have more details on the Honor Magic Vs ahead of its UK release date in the coming weeks.

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