By Adam Doud/
EDITORS’ RATING : 8 / 10
Foldables are in an exciting place right now. No longer the sole domain of Samsung, many companies have begun exploring the space. In fact, the OnePlus Open last year became one of the best smartphones you can buy, foldable notwithstanding. Here in the U.S., you have a few options for a book-style foldable from the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, the Google Pixel Fold, and the aforementioned OnePlus Open. Overseas there is a much wider variety to choose from.
One of the standouts from our friends on distant shores is Honor and its latest entry the Honor V2. Last fall, we marveled at how thin this phone was that still packed a huge battery. As it turns out, Honor wasn’t done; far from it. Honor has partnered up with another brand SlashGear readers might be familiar with — Porsche.
The result is somehow an even better phone in the Honor Magic V2 Porsche design edition. This is a redesigned version of the phone, now with Porsche firmly in mind, and it comes with quite a few notable upgrades as well. This review was written after spending just over one week with an Honor Magic V2 Porsche Design Edition provided by Honor.
The phone feels like a standard phone when closed
One of the most remarkable things about the Honor Magic V2 Porsche Design edition (referred to from now on as the V2, because that’s a mouthful) is that when you hold it, it feels like you’re holding any normal candy bar-style phone. At 10.62mm, it’s less than one millimeter thicker than the OnePlus 12 when laid on their faces side-by-side. Of course, the back is home to a very thick camera island which is itself just shy of another three millimeters thick at 2.74mm to be precise. What’s interesting is that the OnePlus 12’s camera bump is thicker at 2.83mm, so for all intents and purposes, when you’re holding the V2 closed, it’s just like holding a regular phone.
Open it, and that’s when the magic kicks in if you’ll forgive the pun. The opened screen is only 5.25 mm thick which is thinner than just about anything with a screen these days. That in and of itself isn’t remarkable. What’s remarkable is that this phone holds a 5,000 mAh battery (with 66W of wired charging, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 all within its super-thin chassis.
This is a flagship phone, and recent months have taught us to ask, “Where’s the titanium?” In this case, it’s in the hinge, with an all-new hinge design made of the metal that seems to be making the rounds of our favorite flagships. But Porsche brought more to the table in this phone.
Making it Porsche
You can’t make a phone with a name like Porsche and not have some embellishments that live up to the spirit of the brand. In this case, the back of the phone and the camera housing all have touches of Porsche to them. The phone’s design features were built to be reminiscent of a Porsche 911, itself an iconic car from the brand.
Specifically, the camera housing sports a “flyline” camera design that is supposed to evoke the rounded hood of the Porsche 911. The back of the phone is also tapered toward the middle to get the back of the phone a sort of “V” shape and, in profile looks very aerodynamic, which is important if you’re a car, but less important if you’re a phone. All the same, the phone has a great look to it, but it may be polarizing. In short, you’ll either love it or not.
The default wallpaper also evokes a racecar/racetrack teme with a black and light grey background separated by a diagonal slash of red which looks like a cool-looking tail light, or the front hood of KITT if you’re a child of the 80s. Either way, it evokes a feeling of speed and precision which are also attributes of the Porsche brand. This phone feels like a sports car about as much as a phone can, and that’s ok.
The phone also ships with a faux-leather case for the back of the phone, with stitching and the Honor and Porsche Design branding on it. If you came looking for a phone designed like a car, you’ll be happy with the results.
A phone with style (and a stylus)
The V2 Porsche edition also ships with a stylus in the box which is a nice addition, except the wrapper around the phone in the box has a message that says explicitly “Do not press the interior screen with sharp objects” so it’s a bit of a mixed message. The stylus comes with a nifty case that you can store it in, but alas, it is not garaged inside the phone, nor does the phone come with a case that can hold it, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.
If you carry around the extra accessory, it’s handy. It pairs with your phone much like Google’s Fast Pair. You hold the pen up to the phone and it detects it and asks you if you want to connect. Once you do, you’re off to the races. The main reason why you might want to carry the pen is for its Instant Write feature which, much like Samsung phones, allows you to start writing on the phone without first unlocking it and launching an app. Rather if you simply double-tap on the inner or outer screen with the pen, you get a note-taking app where you can jot down a quick note.
If the phone locks after you’re done writing, for the next 30 minutes, you can double-tap again to pick up where you left off. Otherwise, the note is saved in your notes app. The whole thing is nice, but it’s not really nice enough to justify carrying around an extra stylus and/or the case. Your mileage may vary of course.
Professional business things
If you want to charge the pen, the opposite end magnetically pops off (it’s tethered, so you won’t lose it) to expose a USB-C port. Like the phone, the pen charges quickly. The pen also has a button that you can long press to turn on Laser Spot which works like a laser pointer and allows you to flip through pages with a press of a button. This is handy for those times that you want to run a PowerPoint of your phone’s screen for a boardroom full of executives and turn the pages without touching the phone, as one does.
There are probably use cases where this totally makes sense, but if you’re having trouble thinking of one, don’t feel bad. It’s not for everyone. But for the people who happen to want a stylus, this phone comes with one, and that pen comes in a nice case.
The Honor V2 Porsche Edition comes with the same camera setup that was on the original — You get a 50-megapixel main sensor with an f/1.9 aperture, a 50-megapixel ultrawide camera with f/2.0 aperture, and a 20-megapixel telephoto camera with a 2.5x optical zoom and f/2.4 aperture. There are two 16-megapixel selfie cameras (one on the exterior screen and one on the interior screen) with an f/2.2 aperture. One maddening aspect of the software is the inability to set the power button to launch the camera when double-pressed.
Overall, the camera setup on the Honor V2 Porsche Edition is not bad. You can capture great photos in great lighting, and the color science between the lenses is quite good, meaning you can capture the same scene regardless of which lens you use. Honor’s camera software has presets for 1x, 2.5x, and 10x zoom, and you really should not go beyond that, despite the fact that “40x” is engraved around the camera enclosure. Truth be told, even in good light, camera quality drops off a cliff after 2.5x. Photos become blocky, smudged, and just not at all attractive. Up to 2.5x, you’re good.
That holds true even in low light — as long as your subjects aren’t moving. Statues at night will capture great photos. If you have moving subjects, like people, for example, your results will be more mixed. Capturing a good photo of moving subjects is possible, but you’ll want to take a few extra shots just to be sure.
Video on the other hand is a different story. During the day, video capture is quite solid with great stabilization. That goes for both the front-facing camera and the rear-facing camera. It’s not quite as good as rolling your phone down a track, but it’s pretty close. That’s great because typically a phone will do one or the other really well; this phone does both.
At night, things get dicey. Stabilization for one starts to fall apart, but mostly when there’s no subject in the frame. If you’re walking with a subject, you can capture decent footage with only a little bit of judder from footsteps. The same goes for the selfie camera, though chances are if you’re walking while filming with the selfie camera, you are the subject and you’ll be in the frame.
There is quite a bit of grain in nighttime footage, especially in the boundaries between light and dark. If things are partially lit up, like with streetlights, for example, the grain will be evident in the darker areas. That’s one of the harder areas to shoot with a phone, and Honor is not immune.
Honor Magic V2 Porsche Edition Price, availability, and verdict
This is a gorgeous edition of an already impressive phone, and it has powerful specifications to boot. The terabyte of onboard storage and 16GB of RAM matches the highest tier of the Honor Magic V2 that launched in Europe on January 26. That version of the phone starts at £1,699.99/€1,999.99. This special Porsche Edition of the phone’s pricing will be announced at MWC at the end of February 2024, but it’s likely to be higher than that.
So then the question is, how does it measure up to other foldable phones? In terms of design, this phone is hard to beat. It’s so ridiculously thin and light it’s hard to recommend something else. Stylus compatibility is another bonus you don’t get with every foldable. But in most ways, it still falls short of the OnePlus Open, which has better software, better cameras, and, by the way, is designed for U.S. customers with proper band support.
All that being said, this phone is a close second. It has a style and panache to it that the OnePlus Open does not. The cameras are very good in most situations, and Honor is pushing the envelope in other areas, such as Snapdragon Seamless which allows you to share data across devices (as long as they’re also Honor). So this phone is easy to recommend in the long run, but it’s going to cost you.
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