Producing some great mid-range devices since their split from Huawei (back in 2020), Honor has really pushed the envelope on what Android smartphones can do while remaining affordable.
Following up on last year's Magic 3, Honor's latest flagship phone, the Magic 4 Pro, was announced in February this year and incorporates the latest advancements for a top tier device.
Even Honor’s budget models have always looked great – the Magic 4 Pro continues that tradition, and comes in 5 colours: Black, Cyan, Gold, White, and Orange.
The reflective, glossy back panel looks eye-catching, but it’s is a fingerprint magnet. It often requires attention if, like me, you can't stand even the slightest smears and smudges.
The back is also very smooth making me very conscious that I might drop it if I'm not careful, thankfully it comes with a basic TPU protective cover to offer some protection.
The Magic 4 Pro is a decent size but not too large in the hand at 163.3mm in length and 74.7mm wide. It’s also not chunky at 9.1mm thick.
It has a weighty but solid feel, built of aluminium and glass which is protracted by Aluminosilicate glass and not Gorilla glass. The phone can still shrug off most moderate knocks and falls, however, as well as provide some scratch resistance.
At around 215g it's on the heavier side even for a flagship which will bother those who want to forgo some features to travel light, it's still comfortable enough to hold one-handed though.
It is also IP68 rated, meaning it's dust and splash resistant, as well as water-resistant up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes, adding further peace of mind if you accidentally drop it in water or get caught in a downpour.
The biggest attention grabber on this device is the large circular camera module that Honor calls "Eye of Muse". Strange naming aside I liked the look as it made the phone look more like a serious camera.
The camera unit also doesn't protrude far from the device and doesn't stop the phone from lying flat on a table.
The screen on the Magic 4 Pro is a thing of beauty. It makes up an impressive 93.5% screen to body ratio with incredibly thin bezels, and uses a 6.81-inch Quad-Curved OLED display with a maximum resolution of 2848 x 1312 – between QHD and FHD.
This means it’s very sharp and clear when viewing photos, video or gaming, and with its HDR+ or high dynamic range you'll get a high contrast between the lightest whites and darkest blacks for your picture, which really helps colours pop.
It's also very bright at around 1000 nits, and represents colours well without them being too unrealistic or contrasty.
The Magic 4 Pro supports a refresh rate of up to 120Hz for the smoothest gaming experience which not only looks awesome but gives you the edge in competitive gaming.
It can also be set to 60 or 90 to help you save battery life, especially when you don't need the fast frame rates.
In addition, smart resolution can automatically lower screen resolution when it's not being fully utilised to help preserve battery life.
Another feature is the ability to take low frame rate video and upscale it with the Frame Rate booster, making the footage appear slightly smoother.
Powering the Magic 4 Pro is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8.1, which is easily one of the top Android chips and even able to go toe to toe with Apple’s mighty A15 chip.
The Snapdragon isn't only Qualcomm's most powerful CPU, but this 4-nanometer chipset is also more efficient offering some thermal and battery life improvements.
The Snapdragon 8.1 processor and Adrino 730 Graphics processor is slightly faster than last year's 888 chip and I could definably feel a slight boost when gaming, with no substantial frame drops with old PC ports, online shooters like COD and even graphics demanding games like Genshin Impact.
It did get a little warm while playing Fortnite but not uncomfortably so. For everyday use and apps, this CPU is more than up to the task while more demanding tasks like editing video and photo editing were quick and responsive.
The Magic 4 Pro is equipped with 8Gb of LPDDR5 RAM which is easily fast enough to handle multiple tasks. It also carries a decent 256Gb of internal storage, but sadly there’s no expandable Micro SD memory slot which is disappointing.
Like most modern devices there is no 3.5mm jack – thankfully the fast 5.2 Bluetooth provided means a decent wireless pair will do the job nicely.
Wi-Fi 6 is supported too allowing you to get faster speeds at home, and standard NFC is also included for making purchases on the go. This is especially useful if, like me, you often forget your wallet.
As mentioned previously I really liked the large, circular camera module as it clearly looks like a proper camera, but that design won't be for everyone.
Included in the Honor’s Eye of Muse module are an impressive set of tools for photographers. Its main camera is a decent 50MP f.1.8 camera that produced superb shots, as well as an Ultra-wide 50MP f2.2 with a 122-degree option.
There is also 64MP Periscope Telephoto which offers an impressive amount of zoom with the telephoto camera – 3.5 times optical zoom and 100x digital zoom, which was much better than I expected due to its high MP count.
Lastly, on the front of the device is not one but two 2 cut selfie cameras. While this does cut into the screen a little it offers a 12MP 100 degree ultra-wide that can record selfie videos in 4K at 30fps.
The second camera is a dedicated 3D face-scanning sensor offering improved security and face scanning technology.
The cameras on the Magic 4 Pro were quick and responsive, with the images produced sharp and with an astounding amount of detail. The colours were great too, with only a few colours occasionally a little washed out.
The low light performance was incredible, allowing me to take pictures in very dark and dim conditions while still retaining a great amount of detail and without causing much noise or artifacts. I would recommend avoiding using the digital zoom too much in dark conditions though, as it trashes the quality of images substantially.
Filmmakers will be delighted that the Honor Magic 4 Pro supports 10-bit Log 4K video recording in 60fps, offering professional quality raw footage that gives you more editing options on the desktop.
It can record up to 4K video at 60fps or 30 fps. While not 8k, I don’t think we are yet at the stage of needing that. It’s worth noting though that the stabilisation was a little weak if I wasn't very careful with my movements.
The included movie modes also looked great, much like with still images I was shocked by the incredible levels of detail.
Fueled by a 4300mAh battery, it’s certainly not the highest capacity I've seen, especially in a flagship phone, but Honor has made up for this by making it the fastest wireless charging phone currently available.
Featuring 100-Watt Supercharge technology, the Honor Magic 4 Pro can be fully charged and ready to go in around 35mins, which is actually faster than me getting ready to leave the house.
Why should fast charging technology be limited to a cabled charger? The Magic 4 Pro is compatible with Honor's new 100W wireless charger stand. The wireless charging is so fast and convenient to just drop it on my desk and pick it up when I’m ready to face the world.
Using the new Honor Wireless Supercharge technology I managed to get just under half charged in only 15 mins, so whenever I forgot to charge it the night before after a short charge and I was good to go for most of the day.
Featuring Honor's latest iteration of its Magic UI, based on Android 12, Magic UI 6 offers a range of enhanced, customized features including larger customizable folders.
Magic UI 6.0 is a very familiar experience if you use any android UI but especially if you've used Huawei's EMUI 11. Some of that is to be expected given their shared past.
The Honor Magic 4 Pro is not a mid-tier device with a few premium features slapped in for good measure – this one is the big guns, and that shows in its tech and incredible performance.
The camera is one of the most impressive I've used on a smartphone and is an invaluable tool for photographers and filmmakers on the go even when hindered by low light.
The Magic 4 Pro has a screen that was great for gaming and watching films with its incredible sharpness, detail, and colour reproduction.
The battery life was a little underwhelming but its 100-watt ability to fully charge back up and get back in the game was astounding and very handy.
While it has lost some of the affordability that Honor is known for, it’s still pretty competitive for a top-end flagship smartphone.
The Magic 4 pro isn't just smoke and mirrors. It really delivers with a combination of fast and powerful performance, cutting edge technology, and features, making it not only the best Honor phone I've ever used but also one of the best Android devices of 2022, with tech and features making it indistinguishable from magic.
The Honor Magic 4 Pro is available from 13 May for £949.99 from the Honor website , Three, Amazon, Currys and Carphone Warehouse
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Honor Magic 4 Pro Review: Honor’s flagship offers powerhouse performance and a premium look that goes above and beyond have 1978 words, post on www.mirror.co.uk at May 12, 2022. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.