Competition in the foldable phone segment is heating up, as more OEMs than ever have revealed new global releases at MWC 2023. Honor is among them, and three months after it announced the Magic Vs foldable phone in China, Honor has confirmed at MWC that it will release the device globally.
The Honor Magic Vs is the first non-Samsung book-like foldable phone to arrive on the global market, as pointed out by GSMArena. Previous releases from different OEMs were limited to China, but the Honor Magic Vs is now gunning for Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series globally. The question is, does it have what it takes? Well, it does have a lower price than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, so it might become a problem for Samsung. It also ships with more accessories but doesn’t seem as well-equipped in other areas.
Honor Magic Vs specs are seldom better than Z Fold 4’s
The Honor Magic Vs is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset as the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and offers similar storage options, including 256GB and 512GB. There’s no 1TB variant. The phone ships with 8GB or 12GB of RAM, whereas the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available exclusively with 12GB of RAM. Both phones lack expandable storage.
So far, so good. In terms of displays, the Magic Vs has a 7.9-inch OLED panel with a lower 90Hz refresh rate instead of 120Hz. It’s not as bright either, as it peaks at 800 nits of brightness instead of 1200. The 6.45-inch 1080 x 2560 cover screen does support 120Hz and tops out at 1200 nits.
As for what powers these phones, the Honor Magic Vs has a 5,000mAh battery with 66W fast charging support and no wireless charging. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 does have 15W wireless charging for its 4,400mAh battery but wired charging tops out at 25W.
Honor Magic Vs cameras, software, and other features
The Magic Vs has a 54MP wide-angle camera with Phase-Detection AF and no OIS. In fact, only the 8MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom has OIS. There’s also a 50MP ultra-wide and two selfie cameras.
The phone can’t record 8K videos, but 4K/1080p videos can only go as high as 60 frames per second, whereas the Galaxy Z Fold 4 can record 1080p videos at 240fps and 720p videos at 960fps.
The Honor Magic Vs features two selfie cameras, but the official spec sheet mentions only one 16MP sensor. The other selfie unit is a bit of a mystery, appearing only in renders. Presumably, both sensors are identical and have 16MP resolutions.
Honor’s phone doesn’t have a response to more advanced features such as stylus support and Samsung DeX, which makes the Galaxy Z Fold 4 a better productivity and multitasking phone. The Magic V ships with Android 13 and Magic UI 7.1.
Finally, although Honor has tried to make the Magic Vs more resilient and used better materials, such as a magnesium alloy frame and a titanium alloy hinge, the phone still lacks a proper IP rating for water resistance. On the other hand, the Honor device doesn’t have a gap when it folds and seems to have a less noticeable foldable display crease. We’ll have to wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to hit the market later this year before Samsung’s foldable device gets rid of the display gap, rumors say.
Honor Magic Vs ships with a wall charger and costs less
One of the few advantages the Honor Magic Vs has over the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is that it ships with a 66W charger. Comparatively, Samsung abandoned wall chargers in its retail packages, citing environmental reasons and EU regulations.
Another win for Honor is that, even though it ships with more accessories in the box, the Magic Vs will be released in Europe for a considerably lower price than the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Samsung’s flagship costs €1,799 and up, whereas Honor wants to release the Magic Vs for the starting price of €1,599.
The competition in the foldable segment appears to be heating up at MWC 2023, and many OEMs seem to want to undercut Samsung by strategically cutting some corners in terms of build quality, display and camera specifications, advanced features, and so on. Whether or not their approach pays off remains to be seen, but customers everywhere should soon have more options, which could lead to even better Samsung devices.