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Honor Magic 6 Pro Review — The Samsung and iPhone Killer?

How does Honor’s 2024 flagship stand up to the competition?

Jeremy Proome

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Honor’s high-end devices have been shamefully underrated in recent years. Not only has the Chinese brand been delivering some stellar devices, but their specs and features often outstrip those of their better-known competitors. However, the Honor Magic 6 Pro is a device that is packed with all the bells and whistles, along with a clean new look, that could just nab the smartphone throne in South Africa.

While Honor is also moving into the foldable phone market with the Honor Magic V2, the Magic 6 Pro is the more ‘traditional’ smartphone entry in the Magic line-up, featuring a more familiar form-factor and design, including the option of a vegan leather back that adds a premium feel to the phone when in-hand.

It features a 6.8-inch FHD+ OLED display, which is large, vivid, and incredibly responsive to any touch or gesture. Speaking of, a great feature of the Magic 6 Pro is the implementation of hand-tracking gesture controls. When activated, you can swipe through photos, take screenshots, or even close apps using different hand motions. Of course, you have to do them in a fairly choreographed manner, but it works well and is a great add-on if you’re showing friends photos or apps and don’t want to block the screen with your paws.

Under the hood, you’re getting a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, Adreno 750 GPU, 12GBs of RAM, and 512GBs of storage; with the device running runs on Honor’s MagicOS 8.0 (based on Android 14). The operating system UI is slick and uncluttered like some other Android skins tend to be, which is appreciated. And you get a lot of power and memory to run multiple apps simultaneously, play games, or store really large photos and media files.

Another handy feature that MagicOS 8.0 introduces is the AI-powered Magic Portal, which is an admittedly theatrical name for something that’s actually extremely convenient. It basically allows you to highlight a word or phrase (say from an article or text message), and then drag it into one of a few apps via small shortcuts that pop up on the side. You can then immediately open up that phrase in the corresponding app. For example, if your friend texts you an address, you can just drag it to the side, drop it onto the Google Maps logo and it’ll open up the destination, ready for your trip to begin. Yes, you could technically copy and paste it as usual, but that’s another step of opening the second app separately and pasting it in.

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This enables users to navigate various applications quickly with a single click for efficient multitasking. By pressing and holding text, pictures, or files and dragging them to screen edges, users can trigger diverse services, reducing steps and time. In addition to navigation, this feature supports services like search, shopping, password, printing, sharing, and global collection.

Of course, another focus of the Magic 6 Pro is the camera. There is a triple rear camera set-up, including a 50MP Wide Main Camera (f/1.4-f/2.0, OIS), 50MP ultra-wide Camera (f/2.0), and a 180MP periscope telephoto Camera (f/2.6, 2.5x optical Zoom, 100x digital zoom, OIS); along with a 50MP (f/2.0) and 3D depth camera on the front.

In action, the Magic 6 Pro’s camera thrives in a multitude of settings. The standard photo mode with with auto-focus function (what most people will probably be using) focuses incredibly quickly, and accurately, and delivers vivid images that aren’t overly contrasted or saturated — you get a rich, more real-looking photo. The telephoto camera works well too and you have to go pretty deep into the zoom scroll to begin seeing pixelation. Photo quality-wise, the Magic 6 Pro rivals the best on the market, and, for the everyday user, is more than capable of snapping anything you need in incredibly high detail.

The Magic6 Pro also houses a slightly larger 5,600 mAh battery with SuperCharge support, and in terms of longevity, it definitely pushes beyond a day or so of extended use but there’s no doubt putting the device through its paces using the camera and doing a lot of gaming will take its toll. Thankfully, it charges incredibly fast with the SuperCharge feature so you can top up whenever you’ve got a few minutes.

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Verdict

Ultimately, the Honor Magic 6 Pro may seem like a departure from other more recognised brands on the market. But, what you get is a familiar feeling device, a stellar camera an OS that is more akin to vanilla Android (in the best of ways), but which utilises some interesting new convenience tools.

Pricing for the Honor Magic 6 Pro is set at R27,999 (RRP).

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