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Honor Magic 2 review – GSMArena.com tests

Introduction

The Honor Magic 2 is one of several recent handsets that mark the return of the slider – bringing back a level of tactile interaction almost forgotten in these times of incessant tapping and swiping. The top slab holds the display assembly – a 6.4-inch AMOLED with minimal bezel, while the bottom is home to the rest of the bits like the battery, chipset and cameras.

Honor Magic 2 review

Speaking of cameras, the Honor Magic 2 has no less than six of them. Admittedly, not all of them are strictly ‘picture taking cameras’ – the duo of 2MP modules that complement the 16MP selfie shooter are only used for depth detection. There’s no such trickery on the back where you’ll find three standalone units – a regular 16MP one, another 16MP one with an ultra wide angle lens, and finally a third, monochrome module.

There was a certain mechanical magic in the phones of old, but clamshells and sliders died out as regular displays gave way to touchscreens and physical keyboards became obsolete. A funny thing has been happening lately, however – the push for bezelless all-screen designs has forced engineers to come up with novel ways to arrange the stuff that typically goes above the display.

Those novel ways? The old mechanical ways of operating the phone with a slider.

The smartphone packs Huawei’s own latest Kirin 980 chipset that you’ll find in the Mate 20 and 20 Pro, so there’s some 7nm magic for the Magic 2, too. With no less than 6GB of RAM and 128GB of base storage, there’s hardly any grounds for complaint when it comes to the essentials. Add to that the Android 9.0 OS and the Honor slider is as current on the software side as it is on the internals.

Honor Magic 2 specs

Body: Aluminum frame, glass back; 157.3 x 75.1 x 8.3 mm, 206g; blue, black and red gradient color schemes.
Screen: 6.39″ AMOLED; 19.5:9 aspect ratio FullHD+ (2340x1080px), 403ppi.
Rear cameras: Primary: 16MP; f/1.8 aperture, 27mm equivalent lens, PDAF; Ultra wide-angle: 16MP; f/2.2 aperture, 17mm equivalent lens, fixed focus. Monochrome: 24MP; f/1.8 aperture, 27mm equivalent lens, PDAF.
Front cameras: Primary: 16MP, f/2.0 aperture, 27mm equivalent lens; Depth sensors: 2x2MP, f/2.4 aperture.
Chipset: Kirin 980 chipset, octa-core processor (2xA76 @2.6GHz + 2xA76 @1.92GHz +4xA55 @1.8GHz), Mali-G76 MP10 GPU.
Memory: 6GB of RAM + 128GB storage or 8GB of RAM + 128/256GB of storage.
OS: Android 9.0 Pie with Magic UI 2.0.0.
Battery: 3,500mAh Lithium Polymer (sealed); Huawei SuperCharge 40W fast charging.
Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A, 3-Band carrier aggregation, Cat.21 (1400Mbps/200Mbps); USB Type-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS; Bluetooth 5.0.
Misc: Under-display fingerprint reader; single bottom-firing speaker.

Staying current also means there’s no headphone jack – sadly, such are the trends. And being ahead of the curve in terms of design has resulted in less room for the battery than on the Mates we mentioned. But then the bundled SuperCharge power brick is there for quick top-ups. What else is in the package?

Honor Magic 2 unboxing

The Magic 2 comes in a blue cardboard box with the phone’s outline printed on top – with the slider mechanism extended, of course. We revealed the best bit in the contents – the Huawei SuperCharge fast charger, capable of supplying 40W of power to the phone. It takes a proprietary cable to do the trick and one is included.

Honor Magic 2 review

There’s also a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter bundled, which is the next best thing after actually having a 3.5mm jack on the phone. A nice treat awaits inside the sleeve that holds the warranty and other paperwork – Honor’s thrown in a hard case to protect (but also hide) the shiny back.