HONOR Magic 5 Pro review - The best phone to date by HONOR


HONOR has come a long way, and with the Magic 5 Pro, the brand has its best device to date. At RM4299, it features design and specs on par with other Android flagships, particularly its camera, where it shines the most.

Still, is the phone practical and best suited for you as a consumer? Read on below to find out all the pros and cons you need to know from our HONOR Magic 5 Pro review. Without further ado, let's get on with it.


Design - Familiar flagship design

At first glance, the Magic 5 Pro looks very similar to Android flagships like the Huawei Mate 50 Pro and OnePlus 11. The huge circular camera design has become a staple design recently, so it's no longer something unique when more phone brands adopt it. Even the HONOR X mid-range tier phones use this.


The Magic 5 Pro in the flesh


The rear camera bump was nicely designed, without protruding too much


Right: Power button and volume rockers; nothing on the left this time


Bottom: SIM card tray, USB-C port, and speaker grille

Still, the camera module gives the phone a neat look, especially with the glitter on the camera bump. The review unit we received was Meadow Green, and we were quite fond of its design. Since the back cover is a matte surface, you won't get your fingerprints on it. However, it may not provide that more sparkling image like other flagships tend to have, and that's not a bad thing. The display is also dual-curved, making it easier to grasp.

Overall, the Magic 5 Pro has an elegant design, yet not excessive in shininess at the same time. If you want a nice-looking phone that doesn't stand out too much, you can consider getting this flagship phone. Now, onto the features.


Tech specs & features - It's a complete package

Here is the official spec list of the HONOR Magic 5 Pro:

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • 162.9 x 76.7 x 8.77mm, weighs 219g
  • 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM + 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage
  • 6.81-inch 120Hz OLED display
  • Triple rear camera - 50MP (main, OIS) + 50MP (ultrawide) + 50MP (periscope telephoto camera)
  • 12MP Front Camera
  • Features DTS:X Ultra sound effects, IP68 water and dust resistance
  • Supports 5G, 4G LTE, eSIM, WiFi 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.2, OTG, and NFC connectivity
  • 5100mAh battery (66W SuperCharge, 50W wireless SuperCharge)
  • MagicOS 7.1 based on Android 13

Starting with the display, the Magic 5 Pro offers a beautiful OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support for enhanced video playback. It also delivers a pixel density of 460ppi, which is quite high for a phone. But this means you can enjoy excellent visual quality on all your videos or gaming on this device.

It's worth noting that HONOR hasn't specifically mentioned the type of glass used for the Magic 5 Pro's screen. While not a major concern, other flagship phones from different brands have already adopted Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for maximum durability. Since the Magic 5 Pro doesn't feature this specific glass, there could be a slightly higher risk of scratches or cracks.


Beautiful visuals and bright colours, but the large cut-out interferes with the viewing experience

On the software side, the MagicOS 7.1 user interface is easy to use, even if you come from a different brand's Android UI. However, it has some peculiar differences compared to other UIs. For example, swiping down from the Home Screen and not accessing the notification panel but displaying a search engine instead. Additionally, taking screenshots requires tapping the screen instead of using the usual method.

The Magic5 Pro's Home Screen does not have an App Drawer like other Android phones. While this may not be strange for those familiar with MagicOS, other Android users may need time to get used to it. One positive aspect of MagicOS 7.1 on the Magic5 Pro is the low amount of bloatware, which is commendable.


MagicOS 7.1 homepage


The camera UI

One drawback of the Magic5 Pro's operating system is that HONOR only offers major software updates for three years, meaning it will receive updates up to Android 16. Other flagship phones have already committed to providing major Android updates for four years, making this a slight disadvantage for the Magic5 Pro. However, the device will receive security updates for five years, which is good.


Performance - Great camera

Like most flagship Android phones in 2023, the Magic 5 Pro is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. It allows the phone to handle all types of heavy applications and mobile games available today. And as shown in the 3DMark Wildlife Extreme Stress Test, the phone maintains relatively high performance throughout the 20-minute test while keeping the temperature below 44°C.

Throughout our review, playing Genshin Impact on this phone with the highest graphics settings with 60FPS was seamless. Moreover, the phone's temperature remained just warm and never became excessively hot. You can also quickly access important functions via the Game Manager while gaming.


Scores from 3DMark Wild Life Extreme (left) and Geekbench 6 (right)


You can access Game Manager for mobile gaming settings and features


Takes less than an hour to fully charge

The battery performance is also excellent, with its 5100mAh capacity easily lasting a full day with confidence. During our usage, we would still have around 30% to 40% battery remaining by the end of the day. It also takes only about an hour for a full charge from 0%. What's better was the inclusion of a 66W charger in the box, unlike some other brands. In addition, the Magic 5 Pro supports 50W fast wireless charging, although I didn't have a wireless charger to test it with.

Moving on to the camera, the Magic 5 Pro offers an interesting arrangement consisting of a 50MP camera for each sensor. It's not often that all the cameras in a phone have the same megapixel count. And what's more - the 50MP periscope telephoto camera also allows for digital zoom of up to 100x. But honestly, the image quality deteriorates quickly after 50x zoom, so we think there's no need to use the zoom up to 100x that often.

One highlighted feature by HONOR is the AI Motion Sensing Capture. In fast-moving situations like sports, the Magic 5 Pro can automatically select the best image within 1.5 seconds after pressing the shutter button. After testing it, we found that this feature doesn't work well, and it's better to use burst mode and manually choose your favourite image from the captured list. For videos, it can record up to 4K resolution at 60fps.



Main camera shots



Ultrawide shots



Night mode photos

Overall, we were very satisfied with the image quality of the auto mode for the Magic 5 Pro's camera. In bright light conditions, it can capture beautiful images with natural colours. Even in low-light situations, it can produce clear images with minimal noise. If you're someone who enjoys colour grading in videos, you can also record in LOG Mode to obtain video files that are easier to edit on a computer.


Conclusion - The best HONOR phone to date

The HONOR Magic 5 Pro is an incredibly appealing flagship smartphone, and we daresay it is the best HONOR smartphone to date. It features a low-profile design while maintaining a premium feel, and its functionality is truly comprehensive for a flagship phone in 2023.

However, the Magic 5 Pro might struggle to stand out against other flagship phones from different brands. For example, even though the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is sold at a higher price point (from RM5699), it offers a clearer 100x zoom shot and an integrated stylus. On the other hand, the Xiaomi 13 Pro (from RM4599) has a smaller screen than the Magic 5 Pro. But it boasts Leica camera technology with a 1-inch sensor capable of producing DSLR-level images.

With its price tag of RM4299, perhaps the Magic5 Pro can be considered a more affordable flagship phone compared to others. I believe this is, at present, one of its main attractions for the Malaysian market. Thanks for reading our review, and do stay tuned for more tech gadget reviews at TechNave.com.

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