HONOR Magic6 Pro Review: Falcon Eyed Flagship

HONOR Magic5 pro
Honor magic6 pro
The Honor Magic6 Pro isn’t your usual spec refresh, it’s an improvement from an already successful Magic5 Pro, with enough foundation and quality of life updates that could very well disrupt an industry.
Design
9
Display
10
Performance
9
Camera
8
Battery Life
9
Value
9
Good
Best Display
Consistent Great Results On All Cameras
Great Battery Life with Fast Charging
Priced Competitively
Ungood
Inconsistent Zoom colors between optical and digital
UI is subjectively still ‘boring’ looking
9

Out of 10


Specs


CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
Memory512GB (UFS 4.0) +12GB RAM
Display6.8″ LTPO OLED 120Hz, HDR10+ up to 5000 nits Peak Brightness
Camera50 MP, f/1.4-2.0, 23mm (wide), 1/1.3″, Laser AF, PDAF, OIS

180 MP, f/2.6, (periscope telephoto),
1/1.49″, PDAF, OIS, 2.5x optical zoom

50 MP, f/2.0, 13mm, 122˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.88″, AF

50MP, f/2.0 22mm (selfie)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3, USB Type-C 3.2, WiFi 7
OSAndroid 14, Magic UI 8
Battery5,600 mAh, 80W Fast Charging
66W Wireless Charging
Available ColorsBlack, Epi Green
Retail Price12GB/512GB – RM 4,499

What’s It Like To Use?

The Magic6 Pro definitely makes a good first impression with its design. In Malaysia, it comes in 2 colors, which means 2 different finishes to suit very different tastes. The hero color is the Epi Green, comes in a pleather finish in a dull pistachio color way, while for the less flashy but classy would be the Black, which is very similar to the Magic5 Pro, coming with a matte finish.

Following up to that is an internal circular camera module protected by glass that’s protected by another external rounded square rim that’s prominent and glossy. The module itself gets a beautiful reflective pattern that reminds of me brushed aluminum travelling in a wave, and I find that unique, especially when you’re moving the phone around.

In principle, it pretty much similar in layout as the Magic5 Pro, with newer design elements implemented via new materials. That’s not a bad thing tough, as the Magic5 Pro was also quite the good looking phone as well. As usual for flagships, the Magic 6 Pro comes with IP68 certification to do away with water and dust.

I like how it went this time around. The Magic5 Pro had a good design, and those looking to get an upgraded version of that gets to go for the Black Color while those hunting for a more unique look goes for the Epi Green.

6.8″ LTPO OLED 120Hz

The Honor Magic6 Pro probably is one of the few phones out there that really focused on updating almost every aspect of their hardware, and why I say this is because of the display. On paper it’s still very much an LTPO OLED panel capable of dynamic refresh rates of up to 120Hz, but there’s just so much more power added into the mix.

For starters, the Magic6 Pro now comes with Dolby Vision support and an even higher PWM dimming compared to the Magic5 Pro (4320Hz vs 2160Hz). This results in way better visibility when viewing content in the dark, but it’s not like the Magic5 Pro couldn’t do that either. 2160Hz is very very high, and honestly I feel like the only difference 4320Hz is going to make is during MINIMAL levels of brightness, which almost no one goes to anyway. Perhaps it’s because the panel itself has gone through many upgrades and this simply needed to catch up as an additional selling point. Either way, the smoothness is there, with no ghosting or flickering in sight so no complaints here.

The high-end market for smartphones has matured, with LTPO tech being the standard now, so you’ll enjoy a real dynamic 120Hz experience. It’ll switch refresh rates to cater to the content you’re consuming to save some juice (1Hz – 120Hz)

If you want more control of your refresh rate, you can choose from 3 settings :

Dynamic (smart switch between 1Hz-120Hz)
High (up to 120Hz,forced)
Standard (60Hz)

For media like movies and videos, colors are sharp and really vivid, you can even see from the home screen just how deep colors can be and just how beautiful blacks can get, with none of that grey nonsense from inferior panels. If you’re into super bright video watching, the Magic6 Pro supports HDR10+ content, you can definitely enjoy high-brightness content in gorgeous color without a bother. As for brightness, Honor claimed a 5000nit brightness during HDR content which is blindling high, while maximum viewable brightness could be up to 1600nits when you’re on adaptive brightness. In our measurements, you can only get up to 774nits manually, while in extremely sunny conditions it went up to 1580nits which is not far off the advertised mark, which is not bad at all.

Finally, wrapping this all up is how obscene durable the screen is. It’s no suprise considering

The Works

Of course being a flagship, you will get the current cream of the crop, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. You’ll be able to enjoy seamless 60FPS gaming on mainstream games like Genshin Impact and 90FPS on Mobile Legends on maximum graphic settings. It’s also notably cool thermal-wise, as most game titles I’ve played did not even bother to get past 42 degree celsius, which is impressive since the Magic6 Pro only has a passive cooling system.

Coupled with 12GB RAM and massive 512GB of internal storage, using this as a daily driver is definitely worthy of the flagship name. The competency in hardware extends to even the USB tech, many flagships of 2024 have begun support for USB Type-C 3.2 and even DisplayPort 1.2 output, and this benefit extends to even the Magic6 Pro. It will literally just mirror the screen out, and if your monitor supports PD charging, charge the device in tandem.

Speaking of charging, the battery life on the Magic6 Pro is pretty good. It packs a 5600 mAh battery, a 500mAh increase from the Magic5 Pro, and the battery itself is the same tech used previously, a silicon-carbon unit that holds more energy density without adding more bulk. This tech is also known to be able to handle extreme temperatures contributed by extreme weather (both hot and cold), and being in an extremely hot country such as Malaysia, the Magic6 Pro sits comfortably here in an environment where other smartphones would be sweating and begging to get indoors. This is simply an increase in capacity while using the same battery tech. After all, I’d expect myself to take lots of photos and videos outdoors, and that in itself generates a lot of heat, the same type of heat that the Magic6 Pro is able to handle without killing the battery’s lifecycle.

Screen-time is pretty long as well, outlasting even the Magic5 Pro which was a whole 2 days under heavy use. It’s simply not normal, this battery. I had to force myself to even do more things on this phone to make sure the battery drains, and even then, I still managed to make it to day 3 with just 5% left in the tank which was nuts! Does this mean I can make it to 5 days under consecutive use? Sadly not yet, but it’s nearly there at also 5% on the 4th day by the late afternoon. It seems like light users might be able to get a phone they can charge weekly if Honor keeps this up!

If you did run out of battery however, the Magic6 Pro is able to be charged up quickly, even faster than the Magic5 Pro since the charging speed has been upgraded from 66W to 80W. A full charge takes a little over 40 minutes which is still fast, while using the HONOR 100W Wireless SuperCharger takes about 50 minutes which makes it one of the fastest wirelessly charged phones in Malaysia right now. The wireless charger has been available in Malaysia for awhile now, for RM 299.


Camera System time.

This is what I was quite excited for. The Magic 6 Pro comes with a triple camera setup that’s unusual yet better. For starters,

The main 50MP sensor has a variable f/1.4 – f/2.0 aperture, which is a very unusual range, although on the bright side which makes it quite ideal for lowlight photos. It can be accessed via the Pro Mode in the camera. Alternatively, you are also able to access this mode via the dedicated Aperture Mode, but you will be able to get as bright as f/0.95 and as dark as f/16, though those values are digitally done as compared to hardware.

There’s also a 50MP Ultra Wide Sensor, which is locked to f/2.0, which is a sweet spot for bright but with a small tinge of darkness to give it some balance.

Finally, the star of the show is a 180MP Periscope Telephoto where the f/2.6 value here is the darkest of all sensors, which will really rely on stong lighting to capture excellent images. This sensor can go up to 2.5x zoom on an optical level, and up to 100x digital. To ensure sharp images even during some sudden movement, this ‘Falcon’ telephoto camera incorporates OIS for stability. Fortunately, all sensors get this benefit, including EIS.

The main sensor is quite the beast. Though what makes a good image is highly subjective, the Magic6 Pro excels in taking photos in both indoor and outdoor conditions, delivering sharp and well-processed images with dependable color science. The top image was taken in a dimly lit cafe with warm lights but also indirect sunlight, creating a complex lighting environment that most phones aren’t able to differentiate in post. This means that even the auto white balance is able to pick up differences, as well as making sure shades of the same color are not level, creating natural gradients caused by both the object itself and the lighting it is in. Add that with fast and sharp focusing and you get one of the best main sensors money can buy right now.

I’m very particular when it comes to post processing, and I feel this time the process feels a lot less exagerrated than the Magic5 Pro, though the I feel the Magic5 Pro was able to lead a bit more in sharpness due to a larger sized sensor. However, the trade off is worth it. Dual aperture in exchange for a slightly smaller sensor size? SIGN ME UP. The next following photos are darker, with less bright lights but its evenly distributed, thanks to overcast weather. No matter how glaring weather can get, the dynamic range is excellent, and manages to still capture some parts of the sky, making it look more natural, and without blowing up the subject I wanted to capture, which are the buildings in this case. In fact, I didn’t even need to adjust the exposure manually this time, it’s all auto and that’s impressive.

Motion Sensing

Motion Sensing Capture is probably Honor’s strongest weapon in its camera arsenal. This high-shutter, AI assisted mode can be enabled in the camera settings to capture fast moving objects across various focal lengths. Whether it’s still water, people dancing, riding a bicycle or even a fast spinning fan, the Magic6 Pro is able to catch it and give you its best shots.

It’s indeed a solid piece of AI magic that helps in capturing critical life moments in the smartphone camera age.

Ultrawide

The ultrawide experience on the Magic6 Pro is superb. First of all, it’s one of the widest lengths I’ve seen on a smartphone, followed by its performance in daylight shots. The sharpness is great, along with detail that really pops out to your eyes. Dynamic range is also working well, making sure the clouds are still visible without over/under exposing the buildings. Even in glaring conditions such as the sun roof, the sun is kept in check while even brightening the darknest parts, which is the area surrounding the round glass, impressive post-processing paired with impressive optics. I can see how much work Honor has put into its secondary lenses this time around. Also, post processing also doesn’t dial up saturation, making colors from the trees more natural as they should be.

Zoom Optics

The Honor Magic6 Pro also prides itself in zoom prowess, offering a sweetspot 2.5x zoom, nestled between 2x and 3x which is not very common in the industry. Again, the sharpness and colors are there, with a wide dynamic range that’s admirable and consistent with the other lenses.

But how far does that go? Right after 2.5x is 5x, which is also optically talented. You’ll get the same 180MP goodness in that order. This is where things might start being not as good as the main sensors, but that’s just comparing from within the Magic6 Pro itself when it comes to overall image quality. Compared to other phones however, it’s better than most this year. The sharpness and colors are there, but it does have a more processed look which would generally please most people, so it’s not really a complaint but it’s just a fact to really acknowledge.

At 100x, details aren’t as sharp but they’re there. For buildings the sensor begins to prioritize working on keeping the lines and windows as prominent as possible without overdoing it.


Selfies

The selfies are also good, but I feel that there’s a downgrade software-wise. Last year’s Magic5 Pro gave us 3 focal lengths, Wide, 0.8x and 1x. This year’s model leaves us with just 0.8x and 1x, to which some people might argue that 0.8x is already wide enough. I’m just saying it would’ve been nice to still take group shots at 18mm (wide), and not just 21mm and 26mm in 35mm equivalent.

Anyway, image quality is still good at 50MP, with really good detail on the face is well as the colors range wide enough to differentiate a variety of shades and how they turn out in a variety of conditions (my shirt vs my friend’s). Finer details such as facial hair and hair in general are notably pleasant with a good softness, which is a good change of pace since the industry approach is to always sharpen if not oversharpen.

For those asking, yes, the Honor Magic6 Pro supports 4K 30FPS video from the Front-Camera.


The Verdict

In terms of the Magic6 Pro as an upgrade over the Magic5 Pro, it’s massive and should be appreciated as such. As a cameraphone it really runs rings around the competition in versatility, consistency and AI implementation to capturing great photos regardless of lighting conditions.

As a phone, the performance is enough to tackle tough daily tasks and some gaming in-between, enough to keep yourself running for days before taking a short moment to charge it back up to full again. It’s also value for money still, as the RM 200 bump in price is easily justified from such a long list of upgrades compared to the Magic5 Pro. I still think people should still take another year to really enjoy their Magic5 Pro though, the cameras are still solid and it’s still Motion Sense capable, so if you’re that person, take a rest and wait for the Magic6 Pro.

If you’re however looking for one of the best camera phones out there for 2024 that isn’t the Galaxy S24 series, this is it.

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