The Citizen (KZN)

Twice as thin, twice as useful


- Arthur Goldstuck Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

Device sets a new standard with an impossibly slim form. What is it?

Full disclosure. Or rather, fold disclosure. I’m a long-time user of foldable phones, which come into their own when I am travelling and need to remain productive. In other words, I’m already biased in favour of these monsters, despite their sky-high prices.

Every year, they get better, which means they become more compact, their displays improve, and they are equipped with better cameras, especially compared to previous iterations that sacrificed camera quality to keep costs a little under control.

Despite that, they remained bulky devices, which seemed unavoidabl­e if one was, in effect, stacking two smartphone­s on top of each other.

However, the new Honor Magic V2 reveals not only that this does not have to be the case, but also that it is possible to produce a quality foldable that, once slipped into the pocket, could be any regular large-screen handset on the market.

While its formal dimensions, at 9.9mm thick when folded, suggest a relatively bulky device, when one takes the camera array out of the equation, it is a match for the thickness of the new Samsung S24 Ultra. It makes the 13.4mm Samsung Z Fold 5 look like a refugee from planet Bulk.

Unfolded, the Magic V2 measures – and I had to double-check to make sure it wasn’t a typo – a mere 4.8mm. That makes the unfolded device the second thinnest smartphone in the world, after the non-foldable Vivo X5 Max, and then by a mere 0.05mm. Ultimately, the display will determine the true appeal of the handset, and here the 7.92-inch OLED inner screen rewards the user handsomely with a vivid 120Hz, HDR10+ screen delivering 2156 x 2344 pixels resolution for a 402 pixel per inch density. That won’t compete with the top regular smartphone­s, but when spread out across two sdeby-side screens, it is dazzling.

The cover display consists of a 6.43-inch OLED screen matching the pixel density of the inside. Most important, the display dimensions are similar to those of normal large-screen smartphone­s, as opposed to the narrow screen of the likes of the Z Fold. On the V2, working on the cover screen is as comfortabl­e as on any other phone. Working on the inside is a productivi­ty dream when one has to work in tight spaces like economy class on an aircraft or on a bus.

It has a 5 000mAh battery and comes with a 66W SuperCharg­e charger in the box: literally and figurative­ly a massive plus in an industry where charging bricks are no longer supplied as standard, in the box. That means it can be fully charged in less than an hour, and up to 80% in half an hour.

The only negative here is that it doesn’t support wireless charging, but then the fast charge should minimise that need.

I’ve heard complaints about its processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, at a time when the Gen 3 version is being built into flagship phones. However, considerin­g that the phone was first launched in China six months ago, that’s a decent chip, and performanc­e is smooth and crisp, with fast app loading.

A triple-camera system offers good quality images, enhanced by Honor’s artificial intelligen­ce (AI) software. A combinatio­n of 50MP wide, 50MP ultra-wide and 20MP telephoto lens means that most photograph­ic bases are covered.

The selfie camera has a modest 16MP wide angle lens but, like the rear array, can shoot in 4K video.

If the camera is your main need, though, the Honor Magic 6 Pro is the one to look out for.

It was launched in South Africa on the same day as the Magic V2, and promises to be one of the standout non-foldable phones of the year. Meanwhile, the V2 will without doubt be one of the leading foldables of 2024.

How much does it cost?

▶ Recommende­d retail price of R39 999.

Why does it ma er?

The Magic V2 represents a significan­t step forward in foldable phone design and is a great choice for those who prioritise portabilit­y, productivi­ty and working on the move.

What are the biggest negatives?

▶ The price tag is out of reach for most.

▶ Runs on Android 13, the previous version of the smartphone operating system.

What are the biggest positives?

▶ Delightful­ly slim and portable.

▶ Vivid display, both on the cover and when unfolded.

▶ 66W SuperCharg­e fast-charging brick in the box.

6 The number of months ago that the phone was launched in China.

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Thami Kwazi 010-976-4222
Edited by Thami Kwazi 010-976-4222

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