Honor Magic 2: unboxing and hands-on first look

Aluminum chassis, beautiful glass back, pop-up design: this is the new Honor Magic 2, one of the first in a new class of futuristic all-screen devices with practically no bezel. Excited? So are we, so we rushed to unbox the new Magic 2 and spend some time with the handset.

Inside the box you have the phone of course and it comes with a beautiful gradient finish. There are three different color gradients, we have the blue one, and there is a red gradient and a black one as well. Glass can shatter, though, and that’s why we’re glad to see a basic silicone case in the box.

And yes, in case you wondered, you can easily slide the bottom part with the case on as there is a cut out specifically made to allow this movement at the bottom of the case. Since the Magic 2 does not have a headphone jack, you do get a dongle in the box. You also have a SIM ejector tool and the absolutely awesome 40-watt SuperCharger, the fastest charger currently available that will top up your battery to 50% in just 15 to 20 minutes.

What's in the box:
Silicone Case
40-watt SuperCharger (0 to 50% in under 20 minutes)
USB-C to standard USB cable
Dongle (3.5mm headphone jack to USB-C)
SIM tool
User manuals


We’ve already set up the phone and it’s worth mentioning that it ships with the latest Android 9 Pie on board, but on top of that you have Huawei’s custom EMUI interface. However, right after starting the phone, you will receive an update that changes the interfoace to Honor’s own Magic UI 2.0, which looks different and has a focus on AI. We guess Honor was in a rush to release the phone and that's why it shipped it with Huawei's EMUI at the start. Also worth noting is that this phone is currently sold in China only and our unit came with local apps only (this is to say there were no Google apps, not even the Google Play Store!).

Up front, you have a 6.4” AMOLED screen that looks gorgeous. The resolution is 1080 x 2340 pixels, or Full HD+, but it still looks plenty sharp to us. It’s amazing that this phone has practically no bezel, no chin and it just feels like you are holding one giant screen in your hand. Truly magical.

The other magical part is the slider of course. Every slide is accompanied with a sound that you can turn on or off, and it does feel reliable and very, very addictive. We love that this phone has 3D face recognition similar to what you have on the Mate 20 Pro. Face recognition is very fast and very secure, with a depth scan of your face, infrared and the whole Face ID story that we know from the iPhone X. However, here you have to first slide the phone down to reveal the cameras and that slows down the process a bit.

You also have an in-screen fingerprint scanner, which is not as fast as a traditional fingerprint, and we actually find it often fails to recognize fingerprint scans from the first attempt, but it’s here.

Specs and Performance

What’s impressive is under the hood: the Kirin 980 chip powers the show here. Currently, this is Android’s fastest chip, beating the Snapdragon 845. Of course, you also have Honor’s signature GPU Turbo mode enabled, making this a great phone for gaming as it runs even the most demanding games without dropping frames or getting too hot.

Here is a quick look at the...

Specs Highlights:
6.4” AMOLED screen, 1080 x 2340 px Full HD+ resolution
In-screen fingerprint scanner + Face recognition, similar to what we have on the Mate 20 Pro
Android 9.0 Pie, with Honor’s own Magic UI 2.0 interface
Kirin 980 processor, first 7nm chip on Android, fastest on the platform
GPU Turbo for faster gaming performance
Triple rear camera:
16MP f/1.8 main camera
16MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide secondary camera
24MP, f/1.8 monochrome (B&W) sensor
Pop-up front cameras
128GB / 256GB versions with microSD card support
3,500mAh battery with 40-watt fast charging


On the back, you have a triple rear camera, a 16-megapixel main one, an ultra-wide angle sensor and a monochrome sensor. They come with AI digital stabilization and there is no optical image stabilization on board.

In addition to all the standard photo and video modes, there is a cool new AR Lens mode that allows you to add characters to still photos or video, and this is one fun gimmick.

Price, Release date and Final Words

The Magic 2 comes in either a 128GB or 256GB storage versions and it does have microSD card support.

The battery is 3,500mAh and again, the support for 40-watt SuperCharge is just really impressive.

At the end of the day, the Honor Magic 2 lives up to the hype: it’s a true bezel-less phone with flagship specs from the future. The slider feels addictive, but slows you down a bit, especially if you use face recognition. 

Finally, the Magic 2 is still only available in China with prices from $550 for the 6GB RAM / 128GB storage model to nearly $700 for the 8GB RAM / 256GB version. These preices are still much more affordable than the $950 that Huawei charges for the Mate 20 Pro in China and definitely intriguing. So is the Magic 2 itself, a first peek to a future world of truly bezel-less handsets and we can't wait to learn more about Honor's plans to bring it to global markets in the near future.



2. AmashAziz

Posts: 2923; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I wish for Android One. Every Huawei phone doesn't need to have a custom bloated UI

3. Subie

Posts: 2361; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Yup, or how about phones that gave you the option to run stock or the brand's own UI? That would be my pick.

24. sheyikojo

Posts: 31; Member since: Dec 03, 2018

That’s true.

4. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1113; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I've been waiting for this beast to be available internationally however I doubt it'll ever make it outside China.

6. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 691; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

This phone looks amazing. I would give Huawei a try for this if it came to a U.S. network.

10. J2017

Posts: 74; Member since: Oct 25, 2017

Import. That's what I did. I have a P20pro was considering a mate 20pro but not sure it's worth upgrading to

11. AngelicusMaximus

Posts: 691; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Wouldn't be worth it to me if it doesn't take advantage of all of the bands for my carrier.

7. Poptart2828

Posts: 395; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

I cringe everytime PA gets their hands on a phone not made by Apple.

9. ShaikhJGI

Posts: 359; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

7.4 for such an amazing phone? I mean you must be bloody serious about this. One of the fastest charging tech in business itself should get 0.5 plus points. And that gorgeous notchless screen deserves 1 point alone. And considering the price point at which this is available, this should at least get no less than Huawei Mate 20 Pro which is 8.9.

13. Sparkxster

Posts: 1228; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Honor bring this beast to the US please.

14. Poptart2828

Posts: 395; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Most likely not. Apple would have a field day in the courtroom with the Honor brand just because they can

15. Subie

Posts: 2361; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Why would that be regarding this device? And if it's the brand itself that's the issue as your post alludes to, why isn't Apple having a field day in the courtroom now as Honor sells several phones in the States already? Or were you just reaching for an excuse to troll Apple in a non related article...?

20. Valinor

Posts: 175; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

Wait, last time I checked the version with the mate 20 pro face technology wasnt released yet. The versions that were on the market have a 2 camera basic face unlock.......

22. sheyikojo

Posts: 31; Member since: Dec 03, 2018

That, you are right mate.

21. sheyikojo

Posts: 31; Member since: Dec 03, 2018

HUAWEI is one of the best when it comes to specs of phones like the Y9

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.