Honor Magic 4 Pro shows that Honor wants to be taken seriously. This once affordable brand delivered a premium, luxurious smartphone at a top price.
Its price is such that it will compete as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (if not completely the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra), the iPhone 13 Pro and the OnePlus 10 Pro. But does it do enough to justify the price?
Between ultra-fast wireless charging, top performance, a sublime screen and impressive cameras, it certainly makes a strong first impression, but is there anything stopping the Honor Magic 4 Pro? Read on to find out.
The Honor Magic 4 Pro has a 6.81-inch 1312 x 2848 OLED screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, approximately 460 pixels per inch, HDR10 + support and a maximum brightness of 1000 nits.
These are all highly competitive specifications – ones that match its display with the best smartphones around.
The screen is really one of the best things about this phone and has other advantages beyond the specifications of the title. For example, the refresh rate can be adjusted up to 1 Hz when a high refresh rate is not needed to save battery, and has 1,920 Hz PWM dimming, which should make your eyes easier.
It’s not exactly as high resolution as – for example – the Sony Xperia 1 IV with a 4K display, but it’s exaggerated and still rivals most flagships. The only thing some buyers may not like is that it is curved – but for others it will be a selling point.
The Honor Magic 4 Pro has lots of glass and lots of curves, with the screen and back curved and the back panel made of glass. Although there is metal in the form of a frame.
The phone has miniature frames on the front and a shiny, glossy look on the back. It also has a distinctive circular camera block – although we’ve seen similar ones on several Huawei phones.
It also has IP68 protection, so it is resistant to water and dust. However, there are a few minor design issues. One of them is the size, because with dimensions of 163.6 x 74.7 x 9.1 mm, it is relatively large and slightly thicker than some flagships. But not by much.
Another potential problem is the cutout for the camera with two lenses on the front, which breaks the screen more than the cutouts for the camera on most phones, but that’s the price you pay for having two lenses there – more below. .
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the back looks great, but it can also attract and highlight fingerprints, so you may find that you often want to wipe them.
The Honor Magic 4 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which is also available on models like the OnePlus 10 Pro and Oppo Find X5 Pro, so you know it’s good. In fact, at the time of writing, this is perhaps the best chipset available for Android phones.
The Magic 4 Pro also has 8 GB of RAM, which isn’t as much as some phones, but it’s still enough. There is also a 12GB model, but this is not widely available in the UK.
In any case, it is a fast and powerful phone and should be able to comfortably launch any application or game available for Android.
There’s a lot to be said about the cameras on the Honor Magic 4 Pro, both because they’re generally good and because there are so many, with four on the back and two on the front.
On the back is a 50MP f / 1.8 wide angle camera, 50MP f / 2.2 ultra wide angle (122 degree field of view), 64MP f / 3.5 periscope (offers 3.5x optical zoom) and flight time (ToF) 3D depth sensor.
The depth sensor is not really a dedicated camera, nor is it an aid to other lenses, all of which work well, while the main (wide) sensor in particular can capture great photos full of detail.
Meanwhile, the ultra-wide angle lens is also doing quite well and can work as a macro camera, while the periscope telephoto lens is not limited to 3.5x optical zoom – it can also offer up to 100x digital zoom, although of course you lose a lot of quality in the process.
However, none of the lenses except the telephoto lens have optical image stabilization, which is a slight disappointment and can hold them in low light.
Still, it’s a generally good performance, as is the video recording, which peaks at 4K at 60 frames per second. The front cameras are also worth mentioning, as it is the rare phone that has two of them – 12MP f / 2.4 ultrawide (which works well and fits more than most selfie snappers) and a depth sensor that helps with portrait images and face recognition capabilities – more below.
Thanks to the depth sensor on the front of the Honor Magic 4 Pro, the phone is able to offer correct 3D face recognition, making its face unlock security method much safer than most Android phones. It’s a similar idea that Apple offers with Face ID, though not as neat.
For those who would rather use a fingerprint, this is also an option, as a fingerprint sensor under the display has also been included, which also works well.
In addition, Honor Magic 4 Pro uses Android 12, so its software is up to date. This is covered by the company’s Magic UI 6, which is reasonably pleasant to use.
Battery life, memory and connectivity
The battery is not one of the advantages of this phone, but it is not terrible either. It is a 4,600 mAh cell that should last you a day, but not much longer. This is roughly in line with the lifespan of most flagships, but actual capacity is lower than some.
But the highlight is charging, because whether you charge with or without cables, you can do so with an incredibly fast power of 100 W. This means you can fully charge in about 30 minutes with cables and in about 45 minutes if you use a wireless connection (because wireless charging is slightly less efficient).
The memory, meanwhile, comes at a hefty 256GB – although without a microSD card slot and connectivity options include 5G, Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC.
The Honor Magic 4 Pro is an excellent flagship that could help push the Honor into the mainstream. It’s definitely good enough to compete with almost any other phone.
The screen, design, cameras, performance and charging are great for the most part, and even though we have a few small details – battery size, lack of OIS on most cameras, visible fingerprints – they don’t particularly diminish what a generally excellent smartphone is.
The price is high and some buyers might prefer to reach for a larger brand at this price, but if you give Honor a chance, you probably won’t be disappointed.