Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design review: a thin foldable with a sublime display


The Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design is perhaps the most sublimely designed foldable to date. With a bigger battery than competitors, as well as being much thinner, it’s one of the first options we’ve seen that compares well in size and capacity to more standard form factor phones. The standard variant, priced at £1700, is dearer than competitors from Samsung, Google, and OnePlus, and it’s expected that this special model will be even dearer when pricing is unveiled at MWC in a couple of weeks time. For the price though, you’re getting a truly incredible phone with a lot to like about it.

For the outlay however, the Magic V2 RSR has quite the capable feature set, with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor backed with 16GB of RAM, 1TB of internal storage, a sublime triple camera setup with a 50MP main shooter, a 50MP ultrawide and a 20MP telephoto. You of course also get two LTPO OLED displays: a 7.92-inch foldable screen and a 6.43-inch cover display.

Design

The Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design is quite the looker, with a sleek profile that’s reminiscent of the vehicular namesake attached to this collaboration. The standard Magic V2 is an excellent looking phone as it is, but this RSR Porsche Design variant takes things to the next level.

Compared to the more ‘standard’ offering, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design’s back panel is a lot more angular, with a thin crest down the middle, with Honor and Porsche Design logos across one edge. There is a little bit of a camera bump, but in keeping with the rest of the phone, it’s quite thin and doesn’t protrude too much.

The back of the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design, with its angular finish and camera bump.

The most critical thing about the Magic V2 in any form its extremely slim design — Honor says it’s just 9.9mm thick, which makes it the thinnest foldable to date. For reference, Samsung’s Z Fold 5 is 13.4mm thick, while the OnePlus Open is 11.7mm and the Google Pixel Fold is 12.1mm. When in-pocket or in hand it doesn’t feel like you’d expect a foldable to, lacking a noticeable pocket bulge. If anything, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design fits in my pocket better than my usual Galaxy S21 Ultra. It’s as thin as a more standard ‘candybar’ phone, which is a real feat of engineering.

This is a seriously slender foldable.

Elsewhere, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design simply ticks all the boxes of modern phone design with curved edges and thin bezels around the cover screen and fold-out screen. My only criticism there is that there is the potential for small bits of dust and debris to make their way around the edges of the screens. However, to negate dust and debris on the fold-out screen itself, Honor has made use of a new hinge mechanism with the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design, which is more rigid than its predecessor with its 91 percent titanium alloy construction, while also retaining a tighter gap on the inside edge.

At 231g, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design is also lighter than modern flagships from the likes of Samsung, meaning it’s comfortable to hold whether folded or unfolded. On that note, when folded out, Honor’s latest foldable doesn’t even require two hands to hold, and it’s easy to use one-handed. It’s even easier with the smaller cover display, which, while a little more compact than some flagships, is still large enough for day to day usage.

You can happily hold it out with one hand, although keep a tight grip.

The only area where the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design isn’t on par with options from Samsung and elsewhere is with its water resistance. The likes of the Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold offer IPX8 resistance, while Honor’s choice offers no official IP rating at all. It’s going to be fine for light rain splashes, but not much else by the looks of things.

Display

The benefit of a foldable like the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design is the fact it contains two displays. Luckily, the pair of panels on offer here are a particular high point for Honor’s latest foldable. The smaller 6.43-inch cover display feels a lot more proportionate to a typical phone, as opposed to the taller feel of other foldable’s cover displays or more standard form factor handsets, like the Sony Xperia 5 V. It’s easy to use, and is certainly one of the more vibrant and smooth displays I’ve used on a phone full stop.

That’s arguably because Honor has packed in a hilarious amount of top-level tech here, including an incredible peak brightness of 2500 nits, which makes it brighter than the larger 7.92-inch fold out display. The high peak brightness also means the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design is able to take full advantage of its support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, making it a joy to use for both gaming and movie watching, even if you have a bigger display for that purpose that you can fold out. If you wanted to use the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design as a more conventional phone for some of the time, it’s nice to know how good that cover display can be.

The cover display is a great way of keeping up to date with important articles.

In terms of pure size, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design’s 7.92-inch fold-out display makes it the largest of any foldable of its kind, and it’s a seriously big screen for a phone of any size. The bezels around its edges are small, and the crease across the middle is barely visible apart from when viewed from extreme angles, unlike earlier foldables. It’s the big crease down the middle of the screen that had made me reluctant to try out a book-style foldable in the first place, but the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design’s execution may well begin to change my mind.

The Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design’s crease is barely noticeable, unless viewed from extreme angles, such as this one.

Much like the cover display, this bigger screen is also an OLED panel, complete with a solid 2344×2156 resolution, 1600 nits of peak brightness, support for HDR10+ and an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate to make everything from daily multi-tasking to playing games a smooth delight. If you’re intending on viewing a lot of films on the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design, you’ll be pleased to know that this fold-out display also takes things to the next level with IMAX Enhanced support for getting the most out of supported content.

You can do a lot of things with the Magic V2 RSR’s fold-out display.

Certain apps and content will have a letterbox effect through not filling the screen entirely, but you can force apps and games to fill the screen so you can take advantage of the full 7.92 inches of real estate. Playing Asphalt 9 Legends was a particular highlight, showcasing the benefits of the smooth 120Hz refresh rate as well as the excellent constrast of the OLED panel, too.

Camera

As well as offering a sublime display, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design also serves up some excellent photograhy performance. Its combination of a 50MP main snapper, a 50MP ultrawide and 20MP telephoto with up to 2.5x optical and 10x digital zoom worked well in a variety of environments.

The Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design’s images in well-lit environments were crisp and sharp, with particularly good colours. The images are detailed across use of all three snappers, with the 50MP ultrawide offering consistent colours with the main sensor, while the 20MP telephoto also lived up to these high standards, too.

The 2.5x optical zoom also pulled in some good detail on the telephoto lens, while its 10x digital also captured some reasonable detail, too. Things do get a smidgen blurry at this extremity, though. Look at the branches on the sample image I took of a tree or the clock tower in central London — the branches and brickwork lacks a little bit of finesse and detail where the other sensors win out.

Low-light performance is also solid too with good detail levels. It perhaps isn’t as sharp as some of Samsung’s recent offerings, but for most people, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design’s performance is more than good enough. Things are perhaps a tad inconsistent across an image though, with the flowers in the sample image seeming a little fuzzy in places where their concrete plinth does not. Adding in any semblance of zoom however dissolves detail however, and images can look a bit noisy.

The pair of 16MP selfie cameras are also decent too — one for the cover display and one for the fold-out — offering good detail and contrast across both options. However, you can also use the much more competent rear lenses for taking photos of yourself given that you can prop the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design up, such is the way of the foldable phone.

Performance

Despite being a 2024 model in Europe, the Magic V2, in both its vanilla and RSR Porsche Design guises, makes use of last year’s chipset and Android version. It packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC which allows it to keep up with 2023’s flagship models, although looks to lag behind newer models with their updated Gen 3 option.

For most people however, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design feels excellent. It’s responsive and smooth to use with day to day workloads and multi-tasking, if you really want to take advantage of its foldable chops. Pushing it harder with some synthetic benchmarks also revealed it to hold some great power, with respectable scores in everything from Geekbench 6 to PC Mark Work V3.0 that match well against the competition.

Benchmark Score
Geekbench 6 Single Core 2030
Geekbench 6 Multi Core 4928
3D Mark Wild Life Extreme 3748
GFX Aztec Ruins High Tier 46fps
GFX Car Chase 56fps
PC Mark Work V3.0 14089

Diving into some games also revealed the power of the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design, too. Asphalt 9 was sharp and responsive, especially with its new update to allow for 120FPS gameplay, maximising the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate of the foldable’s OLED display. PUBG Mobile and Call Of Duty Mobile were also a lot of fun, with the larger fold-out screen improving the immersion in these titles. Moreover, even under an extended gaming load, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design didn’t get too toasty. While reasonably warm, it wasn’t burning hot to the point that the phone became too hot to touch, like some I’ve handled in the past.

There is some degree of performance drop-off under an extended load, though. The 20 minute 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test revealed a 33.55 percent decrease in performance over the 20 runs with the handset heating up noticeably.

The 16GB of RAM inside this foldable is plenty for those intensive workloads, while the uprated 1TB of internal storage is a solid amount for installing a lot of apps while maintaining a large collection of photos or other media. This is a step up from the standard Magic V2, which also offers smaller 256GB and 512GB options alongside the bigger capacity on offer here. Much like its more standard brother, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design’s storage isn’t expandable with a Micro SD card slot, unfortunately.

No Micro SD card slot in sight, unfortunately.

The issue I’ve got with the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design isn’t its under-the-hood performance, as that’s excellent. It’s the software that runs over the top of it. MagicOS 7.2 is already a year old, being based off Android 13, and one of its supported three Android updates will be to take it up to Android 14, the current version. Later this month, Honor has promised to upgrade to Android 14, although it’s a shame that this eats through a year’s worth of the supported updates.

MagicOS 7.2 is by no means a bad version of Android, with supported apps to maximise the foldable experience including a split-screen gaming mode for playing two titles at once. I can’t really think of a use case for it, but it’s here. Elsewhere, you can also have up to four apps on screen at once, with two in split-screen and two in smaller, floating windows. If you’re someone who wants to have a Google Docs open, as well as YouTube, Spotify and Twitter for the maximum blend of productivity and procrastination, then the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design offers it in spades. This specific variant also ships with a couple of specific wallpapers, including the black, grey and red option on-screen in the pictures.

However, I can’t help but feel that the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design lacks polish compared to Samsung’s OneUI or Google’s vanilla Android. MagicOS comes with Honor’s own ‘Essentials’ folder right on the front screen, but you have to be precise on where you put your finger to open the specific app. Tapping the folder doesn’t open it into a larger one where you can see the apps inside. What’s more, it also comes with apps pre-installed including Booking.com, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. All of which were swiftly uninstalled — I don’t really want bloatware on a phone that costs this much. Apps don’t open into full-screen on the fold-out display by default either, which is a small thing, but you can change it on an app-level basis in the settings, which is a little tedious.

Battery Life

A big advantage of this specific RSR Porsche Design is that Honor has shipped it with both a 66W USB-C power brick and USB-C cable. That may sound like a small thing, but considering that the standard Magic V2 lacks these, as well as the additional leather case and stylus, it helps to somewhat justify the cost a little more.

The 66W charger offers some brisk speeds, it must be said. Going from 30 percent to 100 percent only took 37 minutes, which makes it one of the quicker options out there in its category. What seems a little strange though is that when you plug the phone in folded up, it kindly reminds you to fold the phone out for the best charging performance. However, keeping the phone folded seemed to have no impact on charging speeds, so you can charge it either way and still get excellent speeds.

The 5000mAh capacity that the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design is fantastic, especially as foldables and flip phones have been compromised on their capacity in the past, given the constraints of their chassis type. To combat this, the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design’s cells are tiny, being just 2.7mm thick and are roughly the size of a credit card.

They power Honor’s latest foldable to some solid results in battery testing, too. The PC Mark Work V3.0 battery life tested revealed a time of 15 hours and 32 minutes, which is great, while in day to day usage, I managed to get two days or so of use out of the Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design before it conked out.

Conclusion

The Honor Magic V2 RSR Porsche Design doesn’t get everything right, but it will certainly redefine the foldable experience for many. It’s a sublime phone that’s got an excellent display, lots of power and exceedingly good battery life, standing as a compelling option against more standard candybar phones if you’re after the extra screen real estate, although at quite the premium. However, its iffy software and lack of water resistance means it isn’t perfect.

The standard Magic V2 (available now for £1700) offers the exact same experience, although with half the amount of storage that this Porsche Design option does and lacks a couple of cosmetic additions, but is the better buy in my book. Judging by the secondary prices I’ve seen for this RSR Porsche Design variant before its official price unveiling in a couple of weeks, it comes at quite the premium, and unless you’re a big Porsche nut, or a particular fan of the design, there isn’t much that’s going to compel you over to this special edition.

In the grand scheme of things though, it seems like we’re turning a corner when it comes to foldables, with options such as the Magic V2. This really is a lovely phone, and if Honor can iron out some creases that aren’t on the screen, then you’d have a truly incredible option.



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