Honor Magic 4 Pro review: an ultra-premium that fills the VOID left by Huawei

Honor Magic 4 Pro review review photo video sample

Honor Magic 4 Pro it's a first for the brand. Of course, it is actually not the first time we have dealt with it (we tried it for a day during the Mobile World Congress 2022), but it is certainly the first time that Honor tries to enter our market with an ultra-premium. : it is a very high-end smartphone, with features that we have never seen in the company's device portfolio, and which competes directly with the various Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Oppo Find X5 Pro, Xiaomi 12 Pro and similar.

It is a gamble, this is true, also because it costs nothing poco. And I'll tell you right away, the problem is neither the performance nor the general quality of the smartphone, but the obstacle that the brand must overcome is much more difficult: to convince users to spend amounts that are around 1000 euros to buy the first. , true, top of the range with the Honor brand.

In short, a bit like Huawei did in its heyday.

Honor Magic 4 Pro review: good first?

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Unboxing

The packaging of Honor Magic 4 Pro contains a nice surprise inside. Ok, no headphones, but open the box in addition to the phone you will find a good silicone cover and above all the 100w charger, to take advantage of the excellent fast wired charging that the device is equipped with.

Design and materials

From an aesthetic point of view, Honor Magic 4 Pro is one of those smartphones that make you go back in time a bit. It's big, and weighs 209 grams, but - to be direct - the touch and feel is what you had with Huawei's older P-series and Mate-series smartphones. Devices that I have to say poco adored.

The panel has very curved edges and integrates a rather large hole in which the front camera and the 3D unlocking system of the device have been positioned (actually it is the only top of the range of 2022 to integrate this technology), the display is then separated from the back cover by a solid and very resistant shiny metal frame.

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Heading in the back is a huge bump camera, circular and perfectly symmetrical in the positioning of its various components, at the center of which the zoom has been positioned. Now, regardless of whether you like it or not (taste is clearly a very personal factor), the back cover of Honor Magic 4 Pro in reality it has two advantages: the fact that the bump chamber is centered in the body means that even if it is slightly protruding the device does not dance if it is placed on a surface, furthermore the oleophobic treatment of the rear glass is exceptional, and in the color we have received in test can manage the fingerprints very well.

It is an IP68 device, it also integrates an IR blaster and it is built very well but you know, when you hold it you have the feeling of actually holding a device from a couple of years ago and, I know, even here we are talking about a very personal matter and yes, the separation of Honor from Huawei is certainly not a process that can be done in that way poco time, but it is still a factor that in my opinion must be taken into consideration, above all because the direct competitors with which it will go up against Honor Magic 4 Pro they went ahead in the study of design.

There are those who have succeeded well, there are those who have totally failed. But at least they did.

Display

What has left me positively impressed is the screen. Honor Magic 4 Pro uses a 6.8-inch quad-curve panel capable of guaranteeing a maximum resolution WQHD + at a refresh rate of 120 Hz and with a peak brightness of 1000 nit. It is not among the brightest in circulation, but when used it is as if the images were painted on a cloth, also thanks to a very small space between the touch surface and the panel itself.

It also integrates a fingerprint sensor which, listen, is not optical but is ultrasonic: in a nutshell it does not use the backlight of the screen to analyze the fingerprint, in such a way as to be much more precise and faster than the competition. . Good Honor.

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In reality, however, the ace in the hole of the display of Honor Magic 4 Pro it is much more technical, and even if it is a feature that might seem to many poco influential, in reality it is proof of how much the company has focused on the quality of every little detail.

In order not to get too involved in the technical, I will try to explain the gem of the display of Honor Magic 4 Pro in simple terms. That LTPO 2.0 technology is able to manage a variable refresh rate from 1 Hz to 120 Hz is now something we all know, what we do not know, however, is that in the vast majority of smartphones that use this technology, the presence is not taken for granted. of DC Dimming, despite being a very important technology with which we tried to solve the problem of PWM Dimming, which modifies the width of the light pulse in order to act on the brightness of the screen.

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In short, the soldoni to lower the brightness the display "turns off" even if it is impossible for the human eye to notice it due to the high frequency of the impulses (above 200 Hz): From here an effect is generated flicker, which - even if impossible for the eye to "see" - is still perceived and brings harmful consequences (such as eyestrain and headache, in fact). 

Now, why all this pippin? Also because in the market we have already seen smartphones with LTPO 2.0 display and DC Dimming. The point is that the Honor Magic 4 Pro supports high frequency PWM Dimming which, with its 1920 Hz, not only does not "turn off" the reproduced colors (which happens with low frequency PWM Dimming), but also eliminates the flickering effect at low brightness and protects the eyes .

And considering that most of us are always with our eyes turned to the smartphone, even at night or in dark environments, this feature in my opinion is really important and actually I wonder why no one has talked about it carefully.

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But now we come to one, in my opinion, negative aspect of this display: the edges are too, too curved. Especially those on the right and left for my taste are too rounded which not only leads to an annoying chromatic aberration especially with light shades, but it is actually uncomfortable even in the game and even in the gestures to go back.

In short, even if the color cast of the Honor Magic 4 Pro it is managed better than the E3 panels, from the point of view of the "curvature" and ease of use I prefer the solution chosen by Samsung with its S22 Ultra.

Hardware and Performance

Under the body, too Honor Magic 4 Pro integrates a Snapdragon 8 Gen. 1. And let me tell you one thing: even if there are those around who praise the top of the range among the SoCs currently available, in my opinion this processor was a half flop. And it was because it heats up, because it has forced brands to do a hard job of balancing performance and temperature management and, above all, in some cases it has "forced" them to produce devices with huge bump chambers that are also used to dissipate better (like OnePlus 10 Pro and the IQOO 9 Pro).

Now, in Honor Magic 4 Pro the Snap 8 is managed rather well, it is flanked by 8 GB of RAM and UFS 3.1 memories, but there is nothing to do: it warms up when under stress.

In “traditional” conditions of use there will be no operation that you will not be able to complete as quickly as possible with Honor Magic 4 Pro: the system and applications flow beautifully, and the gaming of the most complex 3D games can be carried out at high framerates for a long time but, as in 99% of smartphones that use this SoC, after a while there is thermal throtteling and rather annoying temperatures are reached.

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As for raw numbers, the results obtained in the various benchmark applications are in line with what one would expect from a smartphone powered by this processor: Honor Magic 4 Pro it does not reach the numbers we have seen in the IQOO 9 Pro, this is true, but it still guarantees excellent scores.

Unfortunately in the sample that I received in the test I was unable to run AnTuTu, and therefore I could not proceed with the usual stress test, but it is in the 3D Mark stress test that I encountered the first problems: in performance mode the device is not managed to complete the 20 minutes of testing because, once it overheated, the process was blocked several times.

Furthermore, by deactivating the performance mode, I was able to complete the operation, but, as the temperatures rise, the test shows a slight drop in the framerate: at low temperatures there are peaks of even 70 fps, but going on for a long time time the temperature rises and falls towards 40 fps. Which, let's face it, are still a good framerate.

In a nutshell, Honor Magic 4 Pro manages the Snap 8 quite well, but in my opinion those of Honor have aimed at a somewhat conservative management just to try to tame this fire monster which is the 8 generation Snap 1.

What is really exceptional is the speed of the internal memory, which guarantee 1603 MB / s in reading and 1203 MB / s in writing. Again, great work Honor.

The audio in the capsule and the connection to the cellular network are excellent, the stereo audio is excellent, which is particularly well balanced both as regards the channels and the balance of frequencies: from this point of view Honor Magic 4 Pro if he plays it with the Xiaomi 12 Pro without too much difficulty.

Camera

There is no doubt that the camera sector is the undisputed protagonist of theHonor Magic 4 Pro. In the ultra-premium range, 90% of the competition is based precisely on the performance of the cameras and the new smartphone absolutely does not hold back. As for sensors we are talking about a 50 megapixel ƒ / 1.8 main, 50 megapixel ƒ / 2.2 wide angle, 64 megapixel ƒ / 3.5 3.5X zoom, ToF sensor and anti flickering sensor. While at the front there is an excellent 12 megapixel ƒ / 2.4 flanked by a ToF sensor.

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The shots taken with the main sensor are excellent and (don't kill me) they play it hands down with those taken with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, at least in terms of detail and dynamic range management. In the South Korean smartphone, the temperatures are colder, but the raw and raw quality is the same. With the main sensor you can take great photos even in low light conditions and the night mode is hardly ever needed.

Also good is the ultra-wide-angle camera which, yes, produces slightly less bright images than the main one but still definitely of quality even in low light conditions. With the night mode in super dark environments there are very small losses in terms of dynamic range and noise management, but they are still very enjoyable photographs and, since it integrates autofocus, it is also used for close-up macro shots wine to 4 cm.

What left me a little perplexed is the zoom. In conditions of good brightness it is able to guarantee excellent images both when using it at 3.5x and when using it in hybrid mode at 10x, the quality is decent up to a magnification factor of 15x, but going beyond a considerable deterioration is obtained. Then when the light starts to fade, I am of the opinion that the zoom of Honor Magic 4 Pro is not able to withstand the competition from Samsung, despite integrating an OIS system.

What is truly impressive inHonor Magic 4 Pro is the image optimization algorithm. Ok, in some cases it might be a little too "invasive", but if you take a picture and immediately open the preview, it is obvious the work done by the software in optimizing the image.

However, there are a couple of things that have left me perplexed: the first is the lack of an OIS in the main camera, the second is an autofocus that in some conditions tends to falter a little, despite the presence of a ToF sensor.

Good videos, which can be recorded at the maximum resolution of 4K fps from the main and 40 to 30 fps from the wide angle and from the front, which enjoy all the functions already seen in the Honor 50, but which in my opinion need to be improved as to stabilization. And even if they can be recorded at maximum resolution and framerates also in HDR and LOG, through a Pro mode, personally I would have focused more on an improvement in stabilization rather than on these modes for videomakers.

However, there is a great mode for recording night videos which, when activated, really tends to make scenes much brighter and more enjoyable even when recorded in low light conditions. It is an option that does not always pay off, but under certain conditions the differences between a video recorded with this mode and a video recorded without, are truly remarkable.

Excellent shots with the front, which can also be used in ultra-wide mode, with which, however, the portrait mode that uses the front ToF is automatically activated: personally it is something that I do not like very much, because I prefer to activate this type of modalities in a completely autonomous way.

Software

Honor Magic 4 Pro arrives in stores with Android 12 updated with the April 2012 patches, with fully functional Google services, and customized with Magic UI 6.0. Now, it is a software that in itself is functional, fast, never lags and blocks and which essentially has no negative aspect to report, except the fact that from the graphic point of view those of Honor have remained at 2 years ago.

On the part of the Chinese company it is as if there has been a sort of immobility in terms of graphic interface and functionality, and from a smartphone so advanced from the hardware point of view I would have expected some steps forward also from the software point of view. . In short, the time has come for the Magic UI to “rejuvenate” a little, and leave behind all the reminiscences deriving from the EMUI.

That said, the company has still integrated some very convenient functions. There is the always-on always-on that you can customize, there is the sidebar that can also be used for the split screen mode and there is an AI function with which you can improve privacy in phone calls, with the which if you spoke on the phone those close to you would not hear the conversation.

Finally, a small note: the dialer that manages the telephone part is proprietary, but is unable to report spam calls and does not allow calls to be recorded. In my opinion, it is best to download the Google one from the Play Store.

Battery and recharge

Considering the size and weight of Honor Magic 4 Pro, the 4600 mAh battery that it integrates may not make you scream a miracle. Of course, the capacity is not the best, but let's get to the point immediately: the energy management is well optimized and with a rather intensive use, I managed to get to the end of the day with about 17% of residual charge.

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What is exceptional however is the charging system. Honor Magic 4 Pro it is able to recharge at 100W with the charger in the package, which reaches 15% in 50% and 32% in 100 minutes. But the great thing is that the same performance is guaranteed even if you recharge it wirelessly: with an optional charger, Honor Magic 4 Pro it charges 100w wirelessly, and let's face it, having the same charging performance in both wired and wireless mode is a great thing.

Price and considerations

The official selling price of Honor Magic 4 Pro is 1099 euros. Yes there are many, but they are actually in focus with the competition. However, you can buy it with a 100 euro discount on HiHonor, receiving the 100w wireless charger for free.

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And here we return to the speech I made at the beginning of the review. Although the hardware sector of Honor Magic 4 Pro is more than in line with other premium smartphones and, in some cases, you even overcome them and yes, the technology pays for itself, the real obstacle that this smartphone will have to overcome is neither hardware nor software: it is a smartphone that there is poco to complain, but I am of the idea that the brand will still have some work to do to convince the masses to buy a product of this category, sold at this price, when in the same range of devices of more well-known and established brands in the world of ultra-premiums.

However, it is true that Honor's straight-leg entry into this market segment can only be good news. The lack of competition from Huawei has been felt so much in recent years, and a more competitive market is a more active market.



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With the special offer you will receive HONOR Magic4 Pro (worth € 1099,90), a HONOR wireless charger (worth € 99,90) and a 135W SuperCharge charger (worth € 79,90)

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