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Honor Magic Four Professional Assessment: A Tough-Lower Diamond



It’s been a yr and a half since Huawei bought Honor, launching the previous subsidiary as an impartial organisation. Though Honor has achieved a lot in that point, it’s taken till now for it to globally launch what it considers to be a real flagship telephone: the Magic Four Professional.

First unveiled on the Cell World Congress commerce present in Barcelona this February, the Magic Four Professional is a premium piece of {hardware} that’s supposed to carry its personal in opposition to the most costly (non-folding) telephones from Samsung, Google, and Xiaomi.

For essentially the most half, it does. Actually highly effective cameras, an ideal show, and glorious charging speeds make this one of the crucial spectacular flagships round, all at a worth that simply undercuts a couple of key opponents.

An absence of polish shines via although – inconsistent outcomes with third-party chargers, fiddly software program, the clunky design – and whereas these shall be minor flaws to most, they really feel extra like dealbreakers on a telephone that prices near a grand.

Design and construct

Massive and heavy
Huge, ugly digital camera module
IP68 ranking

I’ll be trustworthy: I don’t love the way in which the Magic Four Professional appears to be like.

Like many high-end Android telephones, this factor is huge. With a 6.81in show that is related in scale to the Pixel 6 Professional or Galaxy S22 Extremely, and at 9.2mm it’s truly barely thicker than both of these, although weighs across the similar: 215g.

This isn’t the telephone for you in the event you choose smaller handsets, and even in the event you frequently use your telephone one-handed – the dimensions of it calls for each arms for something greater than rapidly checking an e-mail or replying to a textual content.

My larger concern is just with the obnoxiously massive digital camera on the telephone’s again. The round design here’s what Honor calls the ‘Eye of Muse’, and I can’t say I’m a fan. Easy methods to make an infinite multi-camera module look good is a problem tripping up the very best within the trade proper now (even Apple and Google can’t crack it) however Honor’s answer is a specific eyesore – to my tastes at the least.

When the telephone was first unveiled, it was in a variety of colors: cyan, gold, black, and white fashions with a glass rear, and an additional orange model completed in faux leather-based. Because it stands, solely the cyan (pictured) and black variants are on observe for a global launch so far as we all know.

In any case, the color in all probability gained’t matter that a lot: this shiny glass is such a constant fingerprint magnet that you simply’ll in all probability wish to throw the telephone right into a case as quickly as doable (begin with the free clear plastic choice included within the field).

You might also wish to use a case as a result of in contrast to most rivals, Honor doesn’t make any declare to have used Gorilla Glass to guard the telephone’s show or rear from cracks and scratches, so it could be a bit extra weak to drops than most. There may be nonetheless an IP68 ranking, guaranteeing top-tier safety from mud and water.

Show and audio

‘Quad-curved’ 6.81in OLED show
LTPO with 1-120Hz variable refresh charge
Capsule-shaped twin selfie digital camera cut-out
Stereo audio system

I’ve already stated that the Magic Four Professional’s show is huge – in actual fact it’s one of many largest shows available on the market proper now, and that’s saying one thing.

There’s rather more to it than that although. It’s not solely curved on the sides, however ‘quad-curved’ – which means the highest and backside edges are rounded too. The impact is extra refined right here although – a lot so that you could be not discover it in any respect, particularly with the pre-applied display screen protector on – and is much less about wrapping the visuals around the physique and extra about smoothing the sides whilst you swipe.

The show’s different tech specs are spectacular: a excessive (although not fairly QHD) decision of 1312 x 2848, a max refresh charge of 120Hz, and LTPO tech that enables the telephone to scale that responsiveness down as little as 1Hz to avoid wasting energy.

The height brightness of 1,000 nits is decrease than some rivals, however I’ve had no issues in any respect utilizing the telephone even in direct, shiny daylight (properly, as a lot of that because the UK can muster at the least). It’s additionally shiny sufficient to run the telephone’s included HDR10+ help.

In truth, my solely actual grievance in regards to the Magic Four Professional’s display screen is the massive pill-shaped selfie digital camera cut-out. It takes up a whole lot of the telephone’s notification tray area and is a bit distracting. It’s particularly irritating because it’s not for the sake of two correct selfie cameras – the second lens is simply used for depth sensing and biometrics. Personally, I’d relatively have the display screen area again.

On audio, you gained’t be shocked to listen to that there’s no headphone jack. There are stereo audio system although, they usually aren’t dangerous: loud, shiny, and pretty punchy, however not the crispest or cleanest sound round. They’ll definitely do in a pinch although.

Specs and efficiency

Flagship Snapdragon Eight Gen 1 chip
Distinctive efficiency
5G and Wi-Fi 6

There’s definitely nothing to complain about with regards to the Honor Magic Four Professional’s efficiency.

The telephone is powered by the flagship Snapdragon Eight Gen 1 chipset, paired in my evaluation unit with 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage – although in some markets the telephone goes as much as 12GB RAM and 512GB storage.

Whether or not it’s in benchmarks or real-life use, efficiency is great. Exterior of devoted gaming telephones with further RAM or the brand new overclocked 8+ Gen 1 chip you primarily gained’t discover any sooner Android telephones than this in 2022, with the efficiency margins between flagships fairly marginal.

The Eight Gen 1 additionally brings with it spectacular networking. 5G is right here after all, together with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and extremely wideband.

As for biometrics, there’s a dependable ultrasonic fingerprint sensor beneath the show, and face unlock from the selfie cameras. This shall be safer than in most Android telephones because of that further depth sensor – the trade-off you get for the large capsule cut-out.

Cameras and video

Highly effective triple rear digital camera
Middling low mild outcomes
First rate selfie digital camera, however poor portraits

Regardless of the large round rear module studded with sensors, the Magic Four Professional actually solely has a triple rear digital camera: a 50Mp principal digital camera, a 50Mp ultrawide, and a 64Mp periscopic zoom.

Honor opted to make use of excessive decision sensors for all three lenses, and for essentially the most half outcomes match that promise.

The principle digital camera is, as you’d anticipate, the very best. Particulars are glorious, and due to the pretty massive 1/1.56in sensor and f/1.Eight aperture mild seize impresses too. Dynamic vary is great, and colors are vibrant however stay true to life.

The ultrawide drops ever so barely. With its personal 50Mp sensor the small print are nonetheless sturdy, however the smaller sensor and tighter aperture imply that dynamic vary suffers. In truth, I’ve seen an inclination for this digital camera to over-expose scenes and pump up the brightness, maybe a results of Honor’s software program over-compensating for the sensor’s dimmer direct seize.

Then there’s the periscope. That is an uncommon setup: excessive decision, however at a 3.5x zoom distance – shorter than the 5x and even 10x lenses present in some rivals, together with even the common Honor Magic 4, which makes use of a 5x periscope.

Honor is actually banking on compensating for the shorter zoom with increased element, utilizing digital zoom to complement the optical. Inside the app, the default zoom settings are the lens’ personal 3.5x distance after which an extra 10x, and outcomes as much as this degree are spectacular. Not solely do photographs stay crisp and detailed, however the color profile is usually an in depth match to photographs out of the principle digital camera.

The digital camera module itself is emblazoned with a ‘100x’ marker, and you’ll pinch to zoom in that far. Outcomes listed here are acceptable sufficient for proving some extent, however far too tender and shaky to make it onto your Instagram – that is far behind the outcomes Samsung managed with the S22 Extremely this yr on the similar zoom distance.

Night time mode is offered on all three cameras, however outcomes don’t impress a lot by flagship requirements. The principle digital camera holds up greatest, however it’s clear that Honor is utilizing aggressive smoothing to wash up low mild photographs, and outcomes look synthetic. Low mild and night time mode efficiency then drops sharply on the opposite two lenses, which might’t produce photographs price utilizing.

As talked about above, the massive selfie digital camera cut-out actually solely comprises one lens: a 12Mp, f/2.Four digital camera. It is fairly good, with extra element than you may anticipate from the megapixel rely, and a sexy color profile – although it struggles a bit dealing with difficult lighting. Sadly regardless of that further depth sensor, portraits are poor – the bokeh impact lower off half my hair, and in a single portrait shot the digital camera utterly failed to reveal the scene appropriately.

As for video, you’ll be able to file at as much as [email protected] on the rear digital camera and [email protected] from the entrance, with a video night time mode accessible for the principle rear lens and a film mode that gives extra advanced cinematic choices. Movies outcomes are mainly positive, although there’s an occasional stutter that means some wonky stabilisation – although it’s definitely not a dealbreaker.

Battery and charging

Good however not nice battery life
Exceptionally quick wired and wi-fi charging
Works unreliably with third-party chargers

With a 4600mAh battery, the Magic Four Professional is an all-day telephone, however not rather more than that. It lasted just below eight hours within the PCMark battery take a look at we use – lower than most comparably specced rivals – and over my two weeks with the telephone I’ve positively discovered I have to cost it each day.

The excellent news is that stated charging is quick. The telephone helps 100W speeds for each wired and wi-fi charging, making it the quickest wi-fi charging telephone available on the market proper now.

Wattage isn’t the whole lot after all, and due to elevated effectivity the wired outcomes stay sooner – I noticed the telephone cost to 60% in simply 15 minutes, and the telephone was full earlier than the half hour mark. Utilizing the official 100W wi-fi charger in contrast, the telephone was ‘solely’ at 81% after half an hour.

The opposite distinction is that whereas Honor contains the 100W wired energy brick within the field, you’ll have to purchase the official wi-fi charger individually to take benefit – at the moment priced at £85/€100. To make issues worse, whereas the charger included with the telephone is 100W, it should solely provide 80W to the wi-fi charger stand – so to get the max speeds from it, you’ll have to additionally purchase Honor’s 135W charging brick – one other £70/€80. That is getting costly.

It’s your decision them although, if solely as a result of I’ve discovered the telephone unreliable with unofficial chargers, each wired and wi-fi. Even with third-party equipment that makes use of accepted charging requirements like PPS or Qi, the Magic Four Professional typically refuses to cost in any respect, and at different instances frequently begins and stops charging. I’ve learnt to not even strive charging the telephone on something aside from the chargers that got here with it – a frustration in the event you preserve a number of chargers round the home, or use completely different equipment once you’re on the go or at work.

Software program and updates

Android 12 and Magic UI 6
A number of pre-installed apps
Solely two years of software program help

The Magic Four Professional ships with Android 12 and Honor’s Magic UI 6 pores and skin on high.

Should you’ve used a earlier Honor and even Huawei telephone earlier than then the expertise shall be broadly acquainted. Past the aesthetics, Honor hasn’t accomplished an excessive amount of to vary the construction of the core Android expertise – although you might discover you wish to change a couple of of the default settings, which at instances really feel like a midway home between Android and iOS.

The telephone ships with a good few pre-installed apps you might not recognize. These embody Honor’s personal, such because the Honor Membership and Honor Retailer apps, but in addition third-party apps starting from well-known choices like TikTok and Netflix via to stranger fare like TrainPal and Journey.com. Happily nearly the whole lot may be uninstalled in the event you’re prepared to take the time.

The larger drawback is Honor’s dedication to supporting the telephone long run. To this point the model has solely promised two years of Android model updates – so Android 13 and 14 – and the identical protection for safety patches.

This isn’t the worst promise round – some manufacturers nonetheless don’t decide to something – however when Google will provide you with three updates and Samsung guarantees 4 plus a fifth yr of safety patches, Honor’s promise feels paltry. Do you actually wish to drop a grand on a telephone that might change into utterly insecure in simply two years’ time?

Worth and availability

The Magic Four Professional has launched within the UK, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. Essentially the most notable exception is North America, the place you gained’t have the ability to purchase it.

It’s not low cost although, because it’ll set you again £949/€1,099 for the default mannequin, with 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage.

Within the UK, the telephone is offered to pre-order now earlier than going formally on sale on 27 Could. You possibly can seize it direct from Honor’s website, or from Amazon or on contract with Three.

That worth places it up in opposition to the likes of the iPhone 13 Professional, Samsung Galaxy S22+, and Pixel 6 Professional – to not point out the foldable Galaxy Z Flip 3. For essentially the most half the Honor telephone does exceed these rivals on pure specs, particularly in charging and digital camera {hardware}, however all these alternate options supply a extra polished expertise and longer help.

Take a look at our rankings of the very best telephones and greatest Android telephones for extra flagship choices – to not point out the very best Honor telephones for extra from the corporate.

Verdict

The Honor Magic Four Professional is an undoubtedly spectacular telephone, and a protracted overdue return to flagship type from the corporate.

It’s troublesome to fault the {hardware} itself, with premium efficiency, a wonderful show, tremendous quick charging, and a strong digital camera setup.

Nonetheless, with minor points starting from poor portrait photographs to inconsistent charging, there’s a definite lack of polish that runs via the telephone – maybe merely teething pains as Honor works again to the place it as soon as was.

Issue within the lack of long run software program help and there’s good purpose to at the least contemplate rivals that won’t pack the identical energy, however make up for it elsewhere.

Specs
Honor Magic Four Professional: Specs

Android 12 with Magic UI 6

6.81in LTPO OLED show, 2848 x 1312, 120Hz

Snapdragon Eight Gen 1 chipset

8/12GB RAM

256/512GB of storage

50Mp, f/1.Eight principal digital camera

50Mp, f/2.2 ultrawide

64Mp, f/3.5, 3.5x telephoto with OIS
Rear TOF depth sensor

12Mp, f/2.Four selfie digital camera
Entrance TOF depth sensor

Twin-SIM

Stereo audio system

NFC

GPS

Bluetooth 5.2

Wi-Fi 6
IP68

Below-display fingerprint sensor

4600mAh battery

100W wired charging
100W wi-fi charging

163.6 x 74.7 x 9.1mm or 9.2mm

209/215g

About the author: SubSellKaro

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