The Honor Magic 4 Pro Wants The Galaxy S22 Plus' Crown

Honor is going it alone in the smartphone world, and for that you need a fitting flagship. The new models make their debut today at Mobile World Congress 2022, with the Honor Magic 4 Series promising the best of what the company is capable of post-Huawei. If first impressions are anything to go by, the answer to that is "a whole lot."

There are two versions of the model to begin with: the Honor Magic 4 Pro and the Honor Magic 4. Both get Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a 6.81-inch LTPO Gen 3 OLED screen, triple camera system, and Android 12, for the most performance we've seen from Honor devices yet.

Honor Magic 4 Pro

As the name suggests, top of the tree is the Magic 4 Pro. Its 1312 x 2848 display supports up to 120Hz adaptive refresh (that can go as low as 1Hz), HDR10+, 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, and 1,000 nits of maximum brightness, plus it can automatically upscale SDR content to HDR and HDR10 to HDR10+. It's covered with an 86-degree quad-curved glass, and supports high-frequency PWM dimming – at 1,920Hz, versus 480Hz on an iPhone 13 Pro, Honor points out – to cut eye strain.

The display frame is 0.94mm – down from the 1.89mm of the Magic 3 Pro – and there's a significantly smaller selfie camera cutout, too. Qualcomm's 3D Sonic Sensor is embedded, with a quoted 40% faster fingerprint unlock; Honor has an Independent Security Chip, too, which holds passwords, face and fingerprint unlock data, encrypted codes, and e-payment data, all with CC EAL5+ certification. The whole thing is IP68 water and dust resistant, around 9.15mm thick, and weighs around 215 grams.

As for cameras, on the back, there are three sensors in a new, circular layout. The primary is a 50-megapixel wide camera with an f/1.8 lens, alongside a 50-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide with a 120-degree lens and macro mode. Finally, there's a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto camera, for a 3.5x optical zoom; with AI trickery, Honor can extend that to 100x digitally using multi-frame fusion for more overall detail.

A true flagship from the Huawei spin-off

An 8x8 dTOF sensor and a flicker sensor complete the ring. Honor is promising 18% more light capture from its wide camera, along with greater definition across the frame. There's also support for 10-bit Log 4K 60fps video recording, and IMAX Enhanced Magic-Log. Blurring the lines between the modes, the Magic 4 Series has two different camera pipelines — that way, you can still get the benefits of multi-frame fusion for stills taken while you're simultaneously recording video.

On the front, there are dual cameras: a wide selfie camera with 100-degree FOV, and a 3D depth camera. Honor uses the latter to offer face unlock. As you'd expect, there's dual-SIM support, 5G connectivity, Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi 6, USB Type-C, and stereo speakers.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is paired with 8GB or 12GB of memory, up to 512GB of storage, and it runs Android 12 with Honor's own Magic UI 6.0. That includes new widgets – which promise to surface more information so that you may not actually need to open the apps themselves – along with smart app suggestions that adjust what's shown depending on time and location. AI Privacy Call claims to be able to reduce sound leakage in quiet environments by automatically adjusting the call depending on ambient conditions, while also making voice calls clearer in noisy environments.

There's a 4,600 mAh battery with support for a hefty 100W wired and 100W wireless charging rates. With Honor's 100W wireless charger – which packs a 135W power adapter that could make some laptop PSUs jealous – you're looking at up to 50% charge in 15 minutes, or a full charge in 35 minutes. There's also reverse wireless charging. 

Honor Magic 4

Promising to be more attainable – the Galaxy S22 to the Magic 4 Pro's Galaxy S22+, as it were – the Honor Magic 4 looks, at first glance, almost identical. Unlike Samsung's strategy of differing screen sizes, it also uses a 6.81-inch panel, though here running at a lower 1224 x 2664 resolution. You still get up to 120Hz adaptive refresh, HDR10+, 100% DCI-P3 coverage, and 1,000 nits of maximum brightness, however, along with the 1920Hz PWM support.

The bezels around that display are very slightly wider, though, and there's only IP54 water and dust resistance. It's slightly thinner (at 8.8mm) and lighter (at 199g) than the Magic 4 Pro, mind, and you still get the two 50-megapixel cameras on the rear. The zoom is an 8-megapixel 5x optical periscope telephoto, though, and it tops out at 50x digital zoom. Honor uses a regular laser focusing sensor, too, rather than the 8x8 dTOF sensor on the more expensive model.

The front has a single camera, with the 100-degree wide camera not getting a 3D depth sensor alongside it. Nonetheless, there are still 5G, dual-SIM, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and USB Type-C, plus stereo speakers. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is paired with either 8GB or 12GB of memory, and there's up to 512GB of storage. Interestingly, the Magic 4's battery is actually larger, at 4,800 mAh. The downside is that there's no wireless charging, and wired charging is limited to 66W (still, it's worth noting that's faster nonetheless than what Samsung's Galaxy S22 series supports).

The Honor Magic 4 will be priced from 899 euro ($1,029) while the Magic 4 Pro will be priced from 1,099 euro ($1,258) when they go on sale in Europe. US availability has not been confirmed yet.