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Honor Magic 6 Pro review: An Android flagship like no other

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1099
inc VAT

With outstanding stamina and some unique features, the Magic 6 Pro is Honor’s most compelling flagship yet


  • Ridiculously good battery life
  • Exquisite display
  • Diverse and effective cameras


  • Big price increase
  • Cluttered software
  • Better zoom on other flagships

The Magic 6 Pro is only Honor’s third flagship to launch in the UK, so it’s all the more impressive that it manages to compete favourably with the best smartphones from industry stalwarts such as Samsung, Apple and Google.

It was always going to be a tough fight, and it’s certainly not a flawless victory for Honor; the big three mentioned above all offer more cohesive and user-friendly software, as well as further-reaching telephoto cameras. But the fact that my list of major complaints starts and ends there is an achievement in itself.

It’s not going to cause trouble for the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra or iPhone 15 Pro Max any time soon, but the Honor Magic 6 Pro’s competitive performance, superb battery life and terrific suite of cameras present a serious challenge to the big brands’ second-best handsets.

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review: What you need to know

You need some serious hardware to go toe to toe with the market’s biggest flagships, and the Honor Magic 6 Pro is suitably well equipped. Behind the 6.8in 120Hz OLED display is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, backed up by 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

The battery is bigger than the Magic 5 Pro’s (5,600mAh, up from 5,100mAh) and charging speeds now support up to 80W wired and 66W wireless. A charging block isn’t included this time around, however.

The triple-camera suite on the rear comprises a 50MP main lens, 50MP ultrawide camera and 180MP periscope telephoto shooter. The latter offers a lower optical zoom than the 5 Pro (2.5x compared to 3.5x) but can still achieve a hybrid digital zoom up to 100x.

The 50MP selfie camera is housed in a pill-shaped notch, alongside a dedicated 3D TOF sensor. Similar to Apple’s TrueDepth, this is designed to offer more accurate and secure facial recognition. This feature is still rare on Android phones, so it’s great to find it on the Magic 6 Pro.

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Price and competition

At £1,099, the Magic 6 Pro is £149 more than the 5 Pro cost at launch. That’s a risky move, as the 5 Pro’s strongest suit was that it was more affordable than the priciest flagships. However, most of the market has seen similar jumps with the recent generation, so at the very least the Magic 6 Pro is in line with that trend.

With this price increase, the Honor Magic 6 Pro has stepped directly into competition with the market’s heavy hitters. For the same money, you could buy the 512GB model of Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Plus (£1,099), while the cheapest S24 Ultra (256GB) is £1,249. The 256GB Apple iPhone 15 Pro (£1,049) and Google Pixel 8 Pro (£1,079) are around this price, too.

The dark horse here might be the OnePlus 12. For an equivalent 512GB of storage and superior 16GB of RAM, the OnePlus 12 is £999. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset also features here, delivering terrific performance, and the battery life is nothing short of outstanding. Aside from some overprocessing in the photos and a weaker IP54 rating, the OnePlus 12 presents a serious threat to the Magic 6 Pro.

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Design and key features

There are two colour variants of the Magic 6 Pro, each with their own rear material and weight specifications: the Epi Green, reviewed here, is coated with a textured PU leather and weighs 225g, while the standard Black model is glass-backed and weighs 229g. Dimensions for both are roughly the same as the Magic 5 Pro, measuring 76 x 8.9 x 163 (WDH).

Whichever you choose, the Magic 6 Pro feels substantial in the hand – it’s not the lightest flagship, but the build is solid and tough. There’s no Gorilla Glass to be found here, but you do at least get Honor’s own anti-scratch NanoCrystal Shield coating, and the phone is rated IP68, which puts it in line with most other flagships.

Curved displays seem to be drifting out of fashion, but Honor didn’t get that memo. Nevertheless, it certainly doesn’t look dated: the Magic 6 Pro’s glass panel swoops elegantly around to shiny metal edges. There are more curves to be found on the rear, too – the chunky camera module sits centrally, just like the Magic 5 Pro, but instead of a circle it’s now a rounded square. The outer rim is polished metal, matching the edges, but in the middle is a folded, Damascus steel-esque design that adds an extra bit of flair.

The right edge houses the power and volume buttons, while the bottom has the SIM tray, USB-C port and one of the stereo speakers. The other speaker is on the top edge, along with the IR blaster – this is an increasing rarity on phones, so the fact you can use the Magic 6 Pro as a remote for your TV is another big plus.

On the connectivity front, you’ve got support for both Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 7, but there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s nowhere to stick a microSD card either, so your storage tops out with the onboard 512GB.

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Display

Despite some tweaks, the Magic 6 Pro’s display is just as much of a success as its predecessor’s. The 120Hz LTPO OLED panel is 0.1in smaller than the 5 Pro’s, now a nice, round 6.8in, and the resolution is a marginally lower 2,800 x 1,280. PWM dimming frequency is also doubled here, now refreshing up to 4,320Hz. This is the highest rate of any flagship, and should keep eye strain at bay when viewing at low brightness levels.

As is befitting for an OLED screen, black and contrast levels are essentially perfect, and brightness is on a par with the 5 Pro; with auto brightness off, I measured a peak luminance of 754cd/m2, which is superbly bright. Switching to adaptive brightness and shining a torch on the light sensor pushed it up to 1,071cd/m2, and it hit an outstanding 1,537cd/m2 when displaying HDR content. Only the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra get brighter than this.

Colour accuracy completes the set of fantastic display specs. There are two colour modes on offer, and while the Vivid profile’s punchy colours are better for streaming, Normal has the best accuracy. Using a colorimeter, I measured an sRGB gamut coverage of 98.9%, with a volume of 101.3%, and the average Delta E colour variance score came back at 0.84, which is about as good as you can get.

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Performance and battery life

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset is set to be the belle of the Android flagship ball this year, having already cropped up on the OnePlus 12 and in a modified form on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. The Magic 6 Pro uses an octa-core 3.3GHz version of the platform, and it’s as nippy as you’d expect, gaining a 24% lead on the 5 Pro in the Geekbench 6 multicore benchmarks, and beating the Pixel 8 Pro by a whopping 32%.

Geekbench 6 chart comparing the CPU performance of the Honor Magic 6 Pro and similarly priced rivals

It’s worth noting that the Magic 6 Pro has a slightly lower screen resolution than all competitors here except the iPhone 15 Pro, but even with those disparities in mind, these GPU benchmark results are terrific.

In use, the Magic 6 Pro handily dealt with anything I threw at it. Genshin Impact’s highest graphical setting still came with an overheating warning, but it ran at medium without a hint of stutter or lag.

GFXBench chart comparing the GPU performance of the Honor Magic 6 Pro and similarly priced rivals

Between the massive 5,600mAh battery and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s impressive efficiency, the Honor Magic 6 Pro blew our battery life test out of the water. Outlasting even the impressive results of the OnePlus 12, the Magic 6 Pro only marginally falls short of the equally Olympian efforts of the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Battery life chart comparing the stamina of the Honor Magic 6 Pro and similarly priced rivals

There’s no charger bundled in with the Magic 6 Pro so I wasn’t able to accurately test the beefed-up charging speeds, but 80W wired and 66W wireless are very competitive; out of this selection, none has faster wireless charging, and only the OnePlus 12 has faster wired charging, at 100W.

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Software

The Magic 6 Pro runs Android 14 with the brand’s own MagicOS 8.0 pasted on top. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: MagicOS is far from my favourite Android variant. The icons are over the top, design choices such as splitting the notification panel and control centre feel unnecessarily convoluted, and there’s usually an excess of unwanted pre-installed apps.

All that holds true here, but there is one useful addition: AI suggestions. This feature claims to anticipate your needs and present options to you, cutting down on scrolling time. In practice, it mostly offered up a menu of recently used apps, but for things such as switching off Aeroplane Mode it did save me a few seconds. It’s a world away from Samsung’s Galaxy AI, but it’s useful enough to not feel like a tacked-on gimmick.

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Cameras

Photography was a big positive with the Magic 5 Pro, and things continue to impress here. Images captured via the 50MP main lens are vibrant and rich with detail, but coloured naturally enough that your daily shots aren’t going to look over-processed.

You’ve also got a variable aperture (f/1.4 – 2.0) which gives you that extra bit of control over focus and background blur. It’s a great touch that further enhances an already terrific camera.

Sunny Barcelona street, cars passing in the foreground, buildings in the background

Things still look great after dark. The artificial brightening is subtle but effective, boosting the brighter parts of the image without completely washing out the contrast in the shadows.

Quiet street at night

The digital zoom isn’t going to unseat Samsung any time soon – go past 10x and you start to see some serious over-sharpening – but the 2.5x and 5x magnifications are pretty spectacular. The latter makes use of the massive 180MP (f/2.4) sensor to crop in and maintain the colour and detail of the optical zoom.

5x zoom shot of a radio tower on a hill

The 50MP (f/2.0) ultrawide camera also proved to be one of the better ones that I’ve used, maintaining a decent amount of detail and exposure without completely washing out the colouring.

Wide shot of winter trees with hedgerows on either side and a cloudy sky in the background

Video quality is around the same as the Magic 5 Pro, topping out at 60fps for both 1080p and 4K. For what it is, the Magic 6 Pro’s video is decent enough, but the lack of 8K and 120fps options put it behind other brands’ top handsets.

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Verdict

As far as I’m concerned, the Honor Magic 6 Pro deserves a recommendation based on the battery life alone. As well as being the second-best phone battery life we’ve ever recorded, it offers competitive performance, a gorgeous display, robust cameras and useful features that other flagships don’t, including the high-frequency PWM dimming, TOF 3D sensor and IR blaster.

Launching with a sub-£1,000 256GB variant would have broadened the Magic 6 Pro’s appeal, but for what it is, there are still very few drawbacks. If you want class-leading performance and the best zoom shots around, you’ll need to fork out for the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Otherwise, consider saving a couple of hundred quid and picking up Honor’s excellent and feature-rich Magic 6 Pro.

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