Honor Magic5 Pro Best Mobile Review 2023

The Honor Magic5 Pro is a powerful high-end smartphone with a very good triple camera, a large 5,100-mAh battery, fast charging, 3D face recognition, and finally also with a long period of guaranteed updates. On the other hand, our test also shows a few small equipment gaps.

As expected, the Magic4 Pro is followed by the Honor Magic5 Pro. Honor has upgraded its already powerful flagship smartphone, bringing it to the current state of technology in many areas, but there is also a couple of downgrades as well.

Honor Magic5 Pro Best Mobile Review 2023

In Germany, only the large storage version with 12 GB of working memory and 512 GB of internal storage will be available. In other countries, you can additionally purchase a model with 8 GB and 256 GB.

Honor also improves the availability of updates, extending the period of guaranteed updates. The price increases by 100 Euros ($109) compared to the predecessor, now reaching 1,200 Euros ($1310). Find out in our test, whether it is worth the price.

Case – Magic5 Pro with a Catalonian bulge

Here in Germany, the Honor Magic5 Pro is available in the colors Black and Meadow Green, with the rest of the color options Coral, Orange (artificial leather), and Blue remaining reserved for the Asian market. While the black model is polished to a high gloss, the green model is matte with a slight shimmer.

The thickness of the Magic5 Pro is specified as 8.77 millimeters (0.35 in), but we measure a clean 9 millimeters, and it is even 12.15 millimeters (0.48 in) with the camera. The rounded corners all around make the Honor smartphone appear slimmer, and it fits comfortably in the hand. Despite its prominent camera module, it is not too top-heavy. The slightly rising bulge toward the camera is called Gaudí Curve as a tribute to the famous Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudí.

The workmanship of the Magic5 Pro is excellent and appears to be of high quality. In both front and back, glass is used, but the type isn’t specified. In the state of delivery, the glass is covered by a protective foil. Another particularity is the rounded display edges on all four sides. The gaps are very tight and even. When trying to warp the smartphone, it appears very robust but creaks easily.

The color of the SIM tray cover is identical to that of the aluminum frame, but it is slightly darker in the green model. The card tray is able to accept up to two Nano SIM cards. In addition, the Magic5 Pro is dust and waterproof according to the IP68 certification.

Magic5 Pro Equipment – Fast USB 3.2 but no UWB

Like its predecessor, the Magic5 Pro uses a fast USB 3.2 port as the physical connection. In our test of the data transfers, it achieves a transfer speed of 502 MB/s. With this, it presents itself as significantly faster than for example the Galaxy S23 Ultra (285 MB/s), which nominally uses the same standard. OTG is also supported, allowing you to connect peripheral devices and external storage media to the smartphone. Wired display output is also possible.

The is an infrared transmitter to control home multimedia devices, air conditioning units, or cameras. NFC is available for contactless payments, but you have to make do without UWB.

Honor MagicOS: Software 7.1 and five years of updates

The Honor Magic5 Pro is delivered with Google Android 13 and the in-house MagicOS 7.1 user interface. At the time of this test, the security patches are at the level of February 1, 2023, so they are still fairly current. Honor has extended the period of updates, promising three major software updates up to Android 16 and five years of security patches.

MagicOS offers some new features, including a note app that can be synchronized across devices and the option to copy text and phone numbers from pictures. If you connect the Honor smartphone via cable to a display or TV, you can simply mirror the display contents or use a desktop mode. The smartphone can then be used as a trackpad to control the mouse cursor.

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In addition to a few apps from the manufacturer, Honor also installs several third-party apps, including Booking, Netflix, and TikTok, but these can all be uninstalled completely.

Magic5 Pro: Communication and GNSS – comes without 6-GHz WLAN

In terms of communication characteristics, the Honor Magic5 Pro presents itself as very modern on the spec sheet, also handling 5G Sub6 with a wide frequency band support and Wi-Fi 7. However, the latter comes with some limitations in practice, since although the smartphone supports the “be” standard for WLAN, it is not able to use the 6-GHz network. This limits the options for a potentially fast wireless connection unnecessarily.

In combination with our Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 reference router, the transfer rates of the Magic5 Pro still turn out very good, since Honor uses the 160-MHz spectrum (VHT160). The connection stability also gives no reason for complaint.

Even indoors, the Honor Magic5 Pro creates a satellite connection very quickly and accurately. To locate itself, the smartphone supports the four largest satellite networks in all the possible frequency bands.
We compare the Magic5 Pro with a Garmin Venu 2, taking them on a short bike tour. The length of the recorded route is almost identical, and the accuracy of the recording is at a similar level, making the Honor smartphone very well-suited for navigation tasks.

Magic5 Pro: Phone Functions and Voice Quality

In terms of phone functions, the Honor Magic5 Pro supports VoLTE and WLAN calls, but SIP Konen management is not implemented in the system. The smartphone is also dual SIM capable and can either use two Nano SIMs or an eSIM instead. You can also combine eSIM and a Nano SIM, but dual eSIM is not possible.

Holding the phone to your ear, the voice quality is really good, and the Magic5 Pro also succeeds in suppressing surrounding noises very well. In speaker mode, the smartphone has only a minimal echo, but the volume could be louder.

A special function is an AI-protected call, where the volume of the call is adjusted according to the noise level of the surroundings, thereby ensuring that the caller cannot be heard by others that are around, while still making sure that the user can be understood easily.

Magic5 Pro: Cameras – Three 50-MP sensors and 100x zoom

In front are two lenses behind the slightly larger display notch. One of them is a 12-MP camera and the other, is a 3D sensor for face recognition. Although the camera doesn’t have an autofocus, it still succeeds in taking very attractive selfies, even under weaker light conditions. The portrait mode offers many setting options for the object, such as a softening mode or an adjustment of the face contours and skin tone. In addition, you can also deactivate the Bokeh mode. Even though that blurs the background very nicely, it has some difficulties with hair sticking out. Videos can be recorded in Ultra HD at 30 FPS.

The main camera offers a resolution of up to 50 MP and possesses a relatively large sensor area, even if those of the Vivo X90 Pro and Xiaomi 13 Pro are even larger. With the pixel binning process, four adjacent pixels are combined into one large pixel, resulting in 12.2-MP photos. You can choose among the 4:3, 1:1, and full-screen image formats. Pictures are taken in daylight impress with a balanced color composition without any exaggerated sharpening. In pictures taken in the dark, objects are brightened significantly, easily causing the details to look washed out. In this regard, Honor will probably still provide some improvements via updates.

The ultrawide-angle lens also offers a 50-MP resolution, delivering attractive pictures. The depth sharpness is rich in detail and convincing even in the edge areas. In addition, this lens is also handling macro recording. However, here the algorithm tends to even out some areas too much. It can also take some time before the phone realizes that it has to switch. But the settings also offer a manual switching mode.

The third 50-MP lens of the group is a 3.5x zoom lens with optical image stabilization (OIS). Although the quality of the lens drops quickly in low light conditions, it still strikes a good figure in daylight, even with longer focal distances. While a maximum zoom level of 100x sounds pretty good, it hardly succeeds in taking attractive pictures. The image stabilization succeeds fairly well, but the Galaxy S23 Ultra still stays noticeably more composed when holding it in the hand, particularly with long focal lengths.

In summary, the Magic5 Pro succeeds in taking good to very good pictures, and the smartphone offers a very complete overall package that is additionally rounded by a high camera speed. Not only does the camera start up quickly, but the autofocus is also very fast, and the shutter release delay turns out very short.

In terms of recording videos, the Honor Magic5 Pro also offers some good features, being able to record videos in Ultra HD resolution at up to 60 FPS, if you use the 16:9 format. If you also want to record in HDR10+ or need the 21:9 format, you have to switch to filming mode, but then you can only choose between 24 and 30 FPS. In addition, a 10-bit LOG mode is also available. You can switch to ultrawide-angle during a recording, but zooming only works digitally with zoom levels up to 10x.

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Magic5 Pro: Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One-click changes the position of the touchscreens. One-click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

When recording our test chart under controlled light conditions, the picture looks attractive at first glance, but the details are slightly blurry.

The color reproduction is not exaggerated but presents the colors relatively naturally. Only bright red has a DeltaE > 10. However, the white balance could have been slightly brighter.

Magic5 Pro: Accessories and Warranty – Plenty of accessories

Honor offers a warranty of 24 months on the Magic5 Pro 24, which cannot be expanded or extended. However, Honor also offers additional display protection in the first six months, with a maximum service charge of 65 Euros (~$71) if the display has to be replaced.

There are no compromises in the number of accessories, and the box of the smartphone includes a modular 66-Watt charger, a USB cable (Type-A to Type-C), a SIM tool, and a transparent TPU protective case.

Input Devices and Operation – The Magic5 Pro becomes even more secure

The capacitive touchscreen of the Honor Magic5 Pro recognizes up to 10 touchpoints simultaneously and offers very good sliding characteristics, particularly also with the protective foil above the screen. Inputs are recognized reliably and implemented accurately. There is also an ultrasound fingerprint sensor in the display. Not only does it unlock the smartphone quickly, but it also shows very good recognition rates.

Unlocking via 3D face recognition (ToF) succeeds even faster while being no less safe. In order to improve the security further, the Magic5 Pro uses a so-called Discrete Security Chipset, which provides additional protection for passwords and biometric data, in order to ensure maximum privacy.

In addition to Google Assistant, the Yoyo Assistant is also included, handling app suggestions and enabling functions such as Magic Text. The knuckle gestures that we already know from previous models are available again, and otherwise Honor also offers a few additional features such as Multi Window or Smart Sensing, which can be activated in the settings. A mode for single-handed operation is also included.

Magi5 Pro: Display & Bright OLED with LTPO and 2.160-Hz DC dimming

The Honor Magi5 Pro has a 6.81-inch display that ensures a high pixel density with an extended Full-HD resolution. The system can adjust the refresh rate dynamically between 1 and 120 Hz, but you can also set this manually to 60, 90, or 120 Hz in the settings. Aside from Dolby Vision, all the usual HDR standards are supported.

The display brightness is very high with a pure white display and activated brightness sensor, reaching a very bright 1,289 cd/m² on average. With an even distribution of light and dark areas (APL18), this value doesn’t increase much higher, reaching only 1,439 cd/m², which is significantly lower than the promised top brightness of 1,800 cd/m². If you adjust the brightness manually, up to 794 cd/m² are available.

In our measurement with the oscilloscope, we see only a constant flickering at 120 Hz. Behind this is some powerful DC dimming at 2,160 Hz, so that the eyes of the users should be protected as much as possible from the typical OLED flickering.

The color reproduction of the display can be very natural if you choose the right settings. For this, you need to select the Normal color mode and Standard color temperature in the display options. While you then won’t be able to detect any color deviations with your bare eyes anymore, the white balance will also show a minimal green tint, although that won’t be noticeable in daily operation. In the standard settings, the reproduction is cooler and the colors are more saturated, but the Magic5 Pro will then also cover the larger DCI P3 color space.

Performance – The Magic5 Pro uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

The Honor Magic5 Pro is run by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with 12 GB of LPDDR5x working memory. This promises a very high performance, which is also confirmed by our benchmark results to a large extent. However other smartphones with the same SoC are often slightly faster, which already leads us to suspect that Honor is unable to optimally dissipate the heat of the chip.

In the system benchmarks, the smartphone performs at the expected level, placing with the top group in PCMark and AnTuTu and only remaining behind the expectations in CrossMark. However, we cannot complain in everyday operation, since the system runs butter smooth.

The high-end Adreno 740 GPU handles the graphics acceleration. In the benchmarks, this results in a similar picture as in the CPU performance, with only the differences being smaller here. Only in the onscreen tests, the frame rates are often capped at 60 frames per second.

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In the browser benchmarks with Chrome, the Magic5 Pro delivers mostly rather average results within its performance class. However, this is not noticeable in everyday operations, since websites load very fast.

Magic5 Pro Games – PUBG Mobile at up to 90 FPS

The Adreno 740 offers more than sufficient performance for all the games from the Play Store and in addition supports all the current graphics connections. However, we can still see a few limitations in the Honor Magic5 Pro.

But this isn’t the case in PUBG Mobile. The shooter game runs absolutely free from any stutters in all the graphics settings. In Ultra-HD mode, this means a stable 40 FPS, and if you reduce the settings to a minimum, you even get 90 FPS. World of Tanks likewise doesn’t show any stutters at any time and can be run in all its glory, but the 120-FPS option is unfortunately not available. We tested both games using GameBench.

In addition, the Honor offers a so-called Game Manager in its system, which includes a few comfort functions. However, screen recordings are only created at the slightly peculiar resolution of 1,280 x 588 pixels.

Magic5 Pro Emissions – Honor smartphone with weak SoC cooling


During idle operation, the Honor Magic5 Pro remains comfortably cool at all times. Under load, it gets noticeably warmer, without ever getting too hot at a maximum of 34 °C (93 °F).

We already saw some indications in the benchmarks, and the stress test of 3DMark Wild Life (Extreme) then confirms that the performance doesn’t remain stable over long time periods. In all three scenarios, the performance of the Honor smartphone drops by at least 50% of its original value. Until now, this has not been the case for any other smartphone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that we tested. While this is not noticeable in system operation or while gaming, it also explains the FPS limit in World of Tanks.


The Honor Magic5 Pro offers an attractive pair of speakers that ensure a good sound output including DTS:X. While the mids could be slightly more present, this isn’t very noticeable at medium volume levels.

Those who want to connect headphones or speakers to the smartphone can use the USB port for wired connections or Bluetooth 5.2 for a wireless connection. Unfortunately, there is no readout of the audio-codec support, but using headphones with SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC worked without any problems.

Magic5 Pro: Battery Life – 5,100 mAh for long runtimes

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the Honor Magic5 Pro is at a low level, and it was improved particularly at maximum brightness.

In our tests at an adjusted display brightness (150 cd/m²), the Honor smartphone presents itself as efficient, with the consumption only being fairly high during idle operation. Using the included 66-Watt charger, the battery can be completely recharged within 47 minutes, reaching the 50% mark already after 16, and 80% after 32 minutes.

While this is still very fast, Honor has reduced the charging performance compared to the predecessor (100 watts) here. On the other hand, you can still use wireless charging at up to 50 watts, and reverse charging is also supported.

Magic5 Pro Verdict – A powerful high-end smartphone with few weaknesses

With the Magic5 Pro, Honor continues to improve its predecessor, offering an overall package that includes powerful technology and doesn’t have to hide from any competitors. Particularly in terms of security, Honor takes an additional step, introducing a dedicated security chipset for the first time, and it is currently also the only Android smartphone with 3D face recognition.

In our test, the smartphone impresses with its bright and accurate LTPO display, even though the top brightness remains clearly behind the promised 1,800 cd/m². An additional highlight is the 50-MP triple-camera system that offers a convincing performance in terms of photography as well as recording videos, although it still needs some refinement. In addition, Honor has again increased the period of guaranteed updates, now offering the same time period as Google does for its Pixel smartphones.

The Magic5 Pro deserves some critique, particularly for its weak SoC cooling. Under a longer load, the performance drop turns out higher than on average. It is also a little strange that Wi-Fi 7 is nominally supported, but the Honor smartphone is unable to use a 6-GHz net.

Other powerful alternatives to the Magic5 Pro are the Xiaomi 13 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, even though they also emphasize some different areas.
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Magic5 Pro Price and Availability

The Honor Magic5 Pro is supposed to be available in Europe including the UK, but not the US where you will only be able to purchase it from international vendors. The official price information is not available yet.

Sunil Kumar writes about smartphones and laptops for Gadgets360TechNews, out of Delhi. He is the Deputy Editor (Reviews) at Gadgets360TechNews. He has frequently written about the smartphone and PC industry and also has an interest in photography.

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