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Honor Magic 5 Pro hands-on review: Impressive flagship debuts at MWC 2023

With a trio of 50MP cameras, a gorgeous OLED display and a premium design, the Honor Magic 5 Pro is a class act

Honor’s newest ultra-premium flagship smartphone, the Magic 5 Pro, has just been unveiled. Shown off at this year’s Mobile Word Congress tech conference, the company is well and truly taking the fight to Apple and Samsung, with high hopes of breaking into the European market.

And it’s very much an S23 Ultra competitor at that. We don’t yet have UK pricing, but looking at the specs – and trying it out in person – it’s clear to me that the Honor Magic 5 Pro is as lavish as any modern flagship smartphone, with a handful of extra features to help it stand out.

Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Key specifications, UK price and release date

  • 6.81in, 120Hz 2,848 x 1,312 HDR10+ OLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • 512GB of storage
  • Triple rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.6) main, 50MP (f/2)122-degree ultrawide, 50MP (f/3) 3.5x zoom
  • Selfie camera: 12MP (f/2.4)
  • 5,100mAh battery (66W wired charging)
  • IP68 waterproofing
  • Dimensions:163 x 77 x 8.7mm
  • Weight: 219g
  • Colours: Meadow Green, Black
  • UK release date: TBC
  • Price: €899

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Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Design, key features and first impressions

The Honor Magic 5 Pro comes in a choice of two colours: Midnight Green (pictured here) and black. No matter which colour you choose, it’s a bit of a stunner, with its sparkly speckled rear and huge circular ‘Star Wheel’ triple camera housing. We liked the look of the cheaper model, the Honor Magic 5 Lite, when it launched earlier this year, but this Pro version sits on an entirely different level.

Speaking of which, this isn’t the only area where the Honor Magic 5 Pro stands out. Flip the phone over and you’re looking at a large 6.81in OLED display, with a resolution of 2,848 x 1,312, a 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10+ content. Honor says that the phone can reach a peak brightness of 1,300 nits, with an average Delta E (colour accuracy) score of 0.27 in DCI-P3.

A discrete display chipset is located on the motherboard, which apparently helps enhance overall video quality and further reduce motion-based visual artefacts. This is also an LTPO display, with a high dimming frequency of 2,160Hz – this should help with eye strain if you’re using the phone for long periods.

The brand-new 3.19GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset powers the Honor Magic 5 Pro, alongside a healthy 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 512GB of UFS4.0 storage (which can’t be expanded). There’s also a large 5,100mAh battery inside, which supports up to 66W wired charging, with 50W Qi-compatible wireless charging as well.

The Magic 5 Pro runs Android 13 as soon you take it out of the box, with Honor’s own MagicOS 7.1 software tweaks. I was using a pre-release version of the software, so I’m unable to fully discuss the software at this stage, but I will go into more detail when I receive the phone for review.

A key area for Honor in 2023 is photography. The Honor Magic 5 Pro launches with a trio of 50MP lenses: One is the main 50MP (f/1.6) 1/1.12in sensor, with a 50MP (f/2) 122-degree ultrawide and a 50MP (f/3) 3.5 optical zoom unit. On the front of the phone, we have a 12MP (f/2.4) selfie camera, with a 3D depth sensor, presumably to help with face unlocks and blurred background portrait images.

AI motion sensing is the hot new feature this year. Basically, the Honor Magic 5 Pro uses something called a ‘Falcon Algorithm’ to detect moving objects and subjects in the frame, capturing clear, in-focus images throughout the movement. Honor says this is great for when you take a picture at a sports event, or perhaps a particularly energetic live performance – the company showed this off with a basketball slam dunk session, and the results were very impressive.

Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Early verdict

The only unknown factor at this early stage is the price. With this much stuff on offer, I think it’s quite obvious that it won’t come cheap, although if Honor can undercut both Apple and Samsung with the Honor Magic 5 Pro’s pricing, I think we’ll definitely be on to a winner.

The Honor Magic 5 Pro is expected to arrive in the UK later in the year, with my full verdict coming soon. We don’t yet have the UK price, but we do know that it will cost €899 in Europe.

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