Honor has just unveiled its first-ever foldable smartphone, the Magic V, after teasing the announcement last December. And the new device – at least on paper – could give the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 a run for its money.
The Magic V is the first foldable to be powered by Qualcomm’s new flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which should give it a performance edge over the current competition. It also packs 12GB of RAM and options for either 256GB or 512GB of storage.
Design-wise, it looks a lot like the aforementioned Z Fold3, which pairs an external cover panel with a larger, tablet-like internal panel. The former is a 6.45-inch display with a resolution of 2560x1080, an aspect ratio of 21:9 and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The latter, meanwhile, is a 7.9-inch display with a resolution of 2272x1984 resolution, an aspect ratio of 10:9 and a refresh rate of up to 90Hz. Both panels are slightly larger than their Z Fold3 equivalents.
The device’s display supports HDR10+, 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut and a peak brightness of 800nits. It’s also the first foldable to have IMAX Enhanced Certification.
Honor claims the water-drop hinge allows the internal panel to be entirely “creaseless”, which is quite reminiscent of what’s seen on Oppo’s recently revealed Find N. This essentially means that the hinge won’t leave a mark on the unfolded display, making it appear seamless.
The foldable smartphone features five cameras: three on its rear and one on each of the displays. The triple rear setup consists of the main sensor, an ultra-wide sensor and a so-called "spectrum enhanced” sensor, all of which are 50MP. The two selfie sensors, on the other hand, are 42MP.
It also has a 4,750 mAh battery with 66W wired charging and runs Magic UI 6.0 based on Android 12 out of the box.
The Magic V is scheduled to release in China on 18 January for an approximate starting price of US$1,570 for the 256GB model. Honor has yet to decide whether to eventually release the phone internationally. So for now, it joins the Oppo Find N among the China-exclusive foldable releases.
While the excitement around foldable smartphones has fizzled out over the last year or so, there’s no denying that the relatively new innovation is here to stay. There are still brands that are coming out with new foldable devices, so the market is far from being dead.
TCL, for example, at CES 2022 showcased the Flex V, a foldable concept with a Snapdragon 765G and a 3,545mAh battery. The brand says that, unlike the majority of today’s foldables, the yet-to-be-official device will be relatively affordable with a starting price that will fall somewhere between US$600 to US$700.
Samsung in the same event unveiled new foldable prototypes, including one that features a triple-panel design that unfolds into a massive display.
There have also been rumours that the third iteration of the Motorola Razr is launching soon.
In short, anyone who’s in the market for a foldable in 2022 will likely have plenty to look forward to.