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Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR Review: The Ultimate Foldable


Let me start this review out by saying, I don’t normally review HONOR smartphones. I normally only review flagship phones that are available in the US – and obviously, HONOR phones aren’t really available here. But after seeing the Magic V2 RSR and getting some hands-on time with it at MWC in Barcelona last month, I had to get one in my hands to review.

Throughout this review, I’ll be making a lot of comparisons to the OnePlus Open/OPPO Find N3, Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5, since those are the most recent foldables I’ve used. But spoiler alert: none of them can hold a candle to the Magic V2 RSR. HONOR has somehow managed to make the Magic V2 RSR one of the thinnest foldables on the market, with the largest battery on the market. That’s not easy to do, and it’s usually mutually exclusive. But how does the rest of the phone stack up? Keep in mind that this phone is €2,699, which comes out to around $2,917 USD, making it the most expensive phone I have ever reviewed. And I’ll be reviewing it with that price in mind.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR Review: Hardware and Design

Like the regular Magic V2, the Magic V2 RSR is made of glass and metal. Unfortunately, there’s no vegan leather version for this model. But that’s perfectly fine because HONOR also included the best foldable case I have seen. Typically, the cases that are included or sold separately for foldables will suck. They use adhesive to stay on; the front portion definitely tends to move around a lot and it just looks cheap. What HONOR did here was basically give you a case for the back and the hinge. It has a nice texture that makes it easy to hold onto, and it still looks like a Porsche Design phone. Honestly, I’ve rarely used this phone without the case. Far different from the other foldables I’ve reviewed.

There is a frosted glass back for the Magic V2 RSR, and this includes the Porsche-inspired flying on the back and a custom camera bump. The front does have the more durable HONOR NanoCrystal Shield, which makes it more drop-resistant and scratch-resistant. Otherwise, the hardware is identical to the regular Magic V2.

The Magic V2 is super thin. We’re looking at just 10.1mm when it’s closed or 4.8mm when it’s opened. By comparison, the Pixel Fold is 12.1mm when closed and 5.8mm when opened. And the Galaxy S24 Ultra is 8.6mm thin. So that is a crazy thin phone from HONOR, and honestly, I keep forgetting it’s foldable. I’ve been using the main display much more than the internal display. But it is nice to be able to open up the phone and have two apps running side-by-side when I need to.

Another touch that HONOR added to the Magic V2 series is the fact that the volume rocker is on the left side when opened, and the power button is on the right side when opened. This means when closed, they aren’t crammed into the same side of the phone. It’s a small thing, but it does make a huge difference for me.

Honestly, this hardware is incredible. My only real complaint is that it’s not sold in the US. Samsung, Google and OnePlus could really use this competition in the US. I am able to use it here in the US on Google Fi, but so far, no 5G support on T-Mobile’s network.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR Review: Display

Both of the displays on the HONOR Magic V2 RSR are LTPO OLED displays, so they are able to automatically change the refresh rate from 1Hz up to 120Hz. They are stunning and bright too. That’s particularly important on a foldable display, since they are typically made of plastic, and thus are more reflective in direct sunlight. Unfortunately, here in Michigan, it’s spring, so it’s been overcast the entire time I’ve had the Magic V2 RSR, but I can say the brightness is exactly what I expected.

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HONOR says that the main display can get up to 1600 nits of peak brightness, while the cover display can get up to 2,500 nits. In my testing with a lux meter, I did get somewhat close to those numbers. About 1436 nits on the main display and 2033 nits on the cover display. Keep in mind that you’ll never get the full brightness unless you’re in the most perfect condition.

There’s a pretty small bezel around the cover display, and it’s slightly curved, which helps to make the display melt into the bezel, and it looks amazing. It is a slightly taller display. Coming in at about 20:9, that’s just a tad taller than some other phones, so you feel right at home using the main display, I sure did. For the most part, my day consisted of using that cover display and really only opening the phone when I needed to use multiple apps or browse Twitter while watching some March Madness on YouTube TV.

The main display still hasn’t fixed one of my biggest complaints with foldables, but it makes it work. And that’s the aspect ratio. I really don’t like these square displays for the main display. But where each side is basically a 20:9 display, it makes it great for having two apps side-by-side. They aren’t crammed and are basically how they’d look on any other phone. There is a slightly larger bezel around the main display with a pretty small lip. Similar to the Pixel Fold.

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My main takeaway with these displays is that they are likely the best displays on a foldable so far. The OnePlus Open really only exceeds it in peak brightness. Other than that, I’d take these displays over the OnePlus Open.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR Review: Performance

The HONOR Magic V2 RSR is very identical to the regular Magic V2, which is why it still sports the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. It’s a year old at this point, but let me tell you, it’s anything but old and slow. This is still a very speedy processor, and while using the Magic V2 RSR with its 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, I never even thought about this being an older chipset. In fact, I forgot it was an older chipset. I kept thinking it was the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

In day-to-day performance, it lives up to the hype. I’ve yet to have a slowdown. Not even while playing Warzone Mobile or Genshin Impact, two pretty big and graphic-intensive games. I must say, both of those look incredible on this phone too. Jumping into multi-window or switching between apps quickly is as easy as can be. The Magic V2 RSR also doesn’t really get hot, even in our thermal tests, it faired much better than some other phones. Of course, a big reason for that could be the size of the phone, giving the heat more space to spread out and dissipate. But let’s talk benchmarks and thermal testing.

Benchmarks

As you may know by now, we run a handful of benchmark tests on every phone that we review. First up is Geekbench 6. This benchmark tests the raw performance of the CPU in both single and multi-core as well as the GPU. In the chart below, we are comparing this to the HONOR Magic V2 – which, spoiler alert, was very similar in scores – as well as the Honor Magic 6 Pro (Snapdragon 8 Gen 3), and the Google Pixel Fold (Tensor G2).

Geekbench 6Geekbench 6

HONOR Magic V2 RSR scored a 1996 in the single-core, and a 5,395 in the multi-core. Those numbers are very similar to the Magic 6 Pro which actually has the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor inside. But in the GPU test, the Magic 6 Pro does blow it away. The Magic V2 RSR scored 8,644 in the GPU test, whereas the Magic 6 Pro scored 13,923. And let’s not mention the Pixel Fold scores, those are horrendous.

Next up is 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme Stress Test. This is a pretty extreme benchmark that runs a loop of a benchmark 20 times, about a minute long each time. Each loop gets a score, so at the end of the test you get a Best Loop Score, a Lowest Loop Score, and a stability score which comes from the loop scores. Typically, you either get pretty high scores, or a pretty high stability score. That all depends on how the phone is able to dissipate heat. The HONOR Magic V2 RSR was able to get a best loop score of 3,688, and a lowest loop score of 1,846, that gave it a stability score of 50.3%. Just a tad better than the Magic V2. But you can really see a big difference with the Magic 6 Pro.

Finally, the last benchmark we run is one that we designed here at AndroidHeadlines. Essentially, what we are doing is importing a 60-second long video into Capcut, and then exporting it in 1080p at 30fps. We’ve done this same test among many different phones so far, and the differences are pretty incredible. So the Magic V2 RSR scored 12.87 seconds, which was actually about four seconds faster than the Magic V2. I believe this is because HONOR has been able to tweak the software a bit more since we reviewed the Magic V2 back in January.

Capcut video test (Lower is better)Capcut video test (Lower is better)

The Magic 6 Pro obviously won this round as it should. But the Magic V2 RSR was no slouch as you can see.

Thermals

Now it’s time to talk thermals. This is also a pretty important aspect for any phone, and it’s a newer set of testing for us here at Android Headlines, so we don’t have as much data as we’d like.

For thermal testing, we run essentially three different tests. The first is actually the 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme Stress Test. After that benchmark is completed, we measure the temperature at the center of the screen. For the Magic V2 RSR it was actually only 98.9. That is rather incredible, as almost every other phone we have tested has been over 100 degrees, closer to 120 degrees. But keep in mind that the Magic V2 RSR is a larger device, so it’s able to dissipate heat a bit faster.

The next test is playing Genshin Impact on max graphics settings and at full brightness for an hour. Surprisingly, the Magic V2 RSR clocked in at just 98.2 degrees. That’s also pretty low compared to the other phones we’ve tested. But not as big of a gap as with the first test. Finally, we recorded a 4K60 video and checked the temperatures at 5 minutes and again at 10 minutes because 4K60 can really take a toll with heat. At five minutes, the Magic V2 RSR was 94.5 degrees, and at 10 minutes it was at 97.2 degrees.

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Overall, the thermals on the Magic V2 RSR are quite good. Some of the best I’ve seen, the only one that was really better was teh OnePlus 12. Which isn’t even foldable.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR Review: Battery Life and Charging

Don’t ask me how, but HONOR was able to fit a 5,000mAh capacity battery into the Magic V2 RSR. Which still kind of blows my mind. But with that large battery comes a large battery life. During my time with the Magic V2 RSR, I’d take it off the charger in the morning around 7 AM, and by the time I go to bed around 11 PM, it’s still normally around 40%. And that’s with six hours of screen time. That’s pretty impressive and puts it in line with some non-folding phones. Just a tad better than the OnePlus Open as well.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR AM AH 06HONOR Magic V2 RSR AM AH 06

In our battery life test, which we conduct on every phone, we found that the Magic V2 RSR would last just under 15 hours. In this test, we play a YouTube Video that’s about 24 hours long and set the phone to max brightness to see how long it’ll last. As far as foldables go, it’s right in the middle, just a tad lower than the OnePlus 12, but still below some regular smartphones like the Galaxy S24 Ultra and OPPO Find X7 Ultra.

chartchart

In the box, HONOR ships not one charger but two chargers. Meanwhile many other smartphone makers can’t even be bothered to give you one charger. HONOR provides a UK and an EU charger in the box. Given the fact that this phone is being sold in Europe now, this makes a load of sense. The HONOR Magic V2 RSR does charge at 66W. It’s not the fastest charging we’ve seen on the phone, but hey, it’s more than fast enough. In our testing, we found it took just under an hour to fully recharge.

Both battery life and charging are quite good on this phone, and at nearly $3,000 USD, it better be.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR Review: Software

The HONOR Magic V2 RSR runs Magic OS 7.2, which is based on Android 13. Yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking, that’s pretty out of date already. Since Android 14 launched last fall. Don’t forget that this software is basically the same as what’s on the regular Magic V2. However, we do know that Android 14 is slated to roll out around July of 2024.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR AM AH 2HONOR Magic V2 RSR AM AH 2

But for now, we’re stuck with Magic OS 7.2, which to be honest, is not that bad. I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the UI’s that come out of Asia, though OnePlus’ Oxygen Color OS is probably my favorite in that category, Magic OS is not bad either. It does tend to bring in a whole lot of aspects from various other Android UIs that are out there, like Samsung’s One UI. But, as you might have guessed, there are also some weird nuances with this software.

Sometimes there’s not enough padding in notifications, or text runs onto a second line when it probably shouldn’t. For instance, in Quick Settings, the Screenshot quick setting runs onto two lines, so it looks like “Screens hot” instead. A funny thing to see, but we all know what it’s supposed to do. Other notifications from, say, Telegram or WhatsApp sometimes have the text running into the icons in the notifications. And so on. These are things I used to see quite a bit from HONOR and Huawei when they were one company. But HONOR is no longer owned by Huawei, so it’s a little odd that these smaller things haven’t been fixed or taken into account yet.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR AM AH 23HONOR Magic V2 RSR AM AH 23

There are also some useful notifications that do end up being annoying. For some apps that you open on the cover display and then open the phone, you’ll get a notification that says it may not display properly, and you will want to close it and re-open it. That’s fine to see on the first time you do this for apps like Threads, Instagram, Twitter, etc. But after the second or third time, it starts to get annoying. And unfortunately, there’s no way to stop this from happening every single time.

Of course, we can’t forget about the HONOR Magic Pen. This is HONOR’s own stylus that is included in the box and even has its own carrying case. This is because the phone has nowhere to hold the pen, so there you go. The case is slightly magnetic, so it attaches to the hinge of the phone, but it’s not strong enough to stay there. The Magic Pen is good, feels like an actual pen, but I can say that I’d likely never use it. For those who like to take notes, do some drawing, and such, it’s a good accessory to have. But for the way I use phones, it’s not really for me.

Where this is a Porsche Design phone, there are some Porsche-designed elements included in the software, like custom icons for a lot of the HONOR apps, as well as some Porsche Design wallpapers. They look cool, but it wouldn’t make this a make-or-break purchase for me. They didn’t quite go as hard as OnePlus did with its Genshin Impact phone recently.

The bottom line here is that the software is good, but it isn’t without its faults, and it could definitely be better.

HONOR Magic V2 RSR Review: Camera

The camera is an area on foldables that companies either go overboard with, providing you the very best cameras available at the time, while another aspect of the phone suffers. Or, companies will offer older camera sensors to provide a larger battery, or better displays, or something else. But with HONOR, I feel they came to a happy medium with offering the best hardware they can, in such a thin form factor, with pretty good cameras.

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This won’t hold a camera to the HONOR Magic 6 Pro or the new Magic 6 RSR that is launching soon, but for such a small camera bump, these cameras are pretty good. HONOR has included a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 20-megapixel telephoto that can do 2.5x optical zoom, and a 50-megapixel ultrawide. Pretty decent cameras, and they do provide some pretty good results.

My apologies for the lack of really great looking pictures in this review, as it’s been pretty overcast and/or raining basically the entire time I’ve had the phone.

Let’s start with one of my favorite modes, which is the Macro mode. Macro shots came out looking really good. Now this is because HONOR is also using the telephoto for macro, similar to Xiaomi’s 14 Ultra. This allows you to get closer, without blocking the light. Here’s a few macro shots below.

The main sensor does tend to do a pretty good job with taking photos. One subject that I typically use to test out every phone’s cameras is my dog. She’s an American Staffordshire Terrier mix, so she’s a pretty dark dog. And I’ve found in the many phones I’ve reviewed that, a lot of them can’t stick the focus. With her fur being darker, and her being a dog that doesn’t stay still for long, a lot of the time her face looks smooth. That is the case here, but really only on at 10x, which is digital zoom. You can see it being smooth a little bit at 2.5x but on the main sensor, it does a great job capturing here. So basically, it’s good, but not perfect.

The natural bokeh effect that you can get from the primary camera is also really lovely. It’s not as creamy as something like the Xiaomi 14 Ultra or my 30mm f/1.4 lens on my Sony camera, but for a phone, it’s pretty good.

Honestly, I really like this camera. It’s a good trade-off on performance and the size of the camera bump. With the included case on, the camera bump is almost flat, which is really impressive. If you want the very best camera on the phone, this isn’t for you. But if you want a folding phone that can basically check every box, while also still having a very capable camera, then this is a good option.

Before I wrap up this camera section, there is one more thing I want to mention here. And that is the camera software. There’s definitely a lot of improvement that HONOR can make here. A lot of settings that you might want to change often are unfortunately located in the settings. For instance, turning on the timer takes a few extra taps to get to, compared to many other phones. Then the Macro option is its own mode under “More”. Making it even tougher to switch to macro and back to a non-macro shot simply. On Xiaomi’s 14 Ultra, you can tap on the top of the screen for some quick settings and quickly toggle Super Macro on, and boom. That is not the case with HONOR here. Even the aspect ratio setting is in the settings instead of located at the top of the phone. While we’re talking about the aspect ratio, why isn’t there a 16:9 option? We’re stuck with 4:3, 1:1, or full screen, which is going to change depending on the screen you’re using.

The software is workable, but HONOR really could make a lot of changes here to make the camera app way more user-friendly. Especially for settings and features we are going to use quite often.

Should you buy the HONOR Magic V2 RSR?

I absolutely love this phone. Is it perfect? Of course not. However, a lot of my complaints in this review of the Magic V2 RSR, I think I can overlook and use this as one of my daily drivers. I really like foldables, but some are just so far behind what HONOR and some of the other Far East companies have been able to do in such a short time. I mean, the Magic V2 RSR is just 2 grams heavier than the Galaxy S24 Ultra, which is incredible. On top of that, HONOR has included 1TB of storage here, making it a monster for taking photos and creating content.

The only thing that’s going to be hard to look past is carrier compatibility here in the US. I’ve been using it on Google Fi for the past week or so, and so far, there have been no real issues with T-Mobile. But, if I go somewhere that doesn’t have the same LTE bands, this phone is going to basically become a paperweight. So, unfortunately, I can’t recommend it to Americans. But for those in Europe, it’s a really good option, especially if you’re a Porsche fan.

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You should buy the HONOR Magic V2 RSR if:

  • You want a speedy phone.
  • You want a folding phone that is as thick and weighs as much as a regular phone
  • You want a phone with plenty of storage and memory.
  • You want good battery life on a foldable.

You should not buy the HONOR Magic V2 RSR if:

  • You want wireless charging
  • You want an IP rating for water and dust resistance
  • You want the very best camera available on any phone today.



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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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