Honor Magic 5 Pro Review - Reaching for the stars

Honor Magic 5 Pro Hands-on Preview: Reaching for the stars

Honor Magic 5 Pro Intro

You know a company is serious about its business when at the launch event you see quotes from titans such as Arthur C. Clarke. "Any sufficiently advanced technology can't be distinguished from magic." I can see why Honor decided to adopt these beautiful words as a motto for the Magic series.

Arthur C. Clarke was and continues to be one of my heroes as a science-fiction fan. And technology is truly magical nowadays. We can do amazing things with these devices we carry in our pockets, and to a time traveler coming just a couple of decades from the past, the Magic 5 Pro would seem like real magic.

Honor decided to continue with the evolution of the great Magic 4 Pro and polish an already great series even further. Last time around, the design revolved around the human eye, but with the Magic 5 Pro, Honor has decided to really reach for the stars. The shape of the camera bump was actually based on the first image of a black hole, which was released a few years ago by a group of astronomers from around the world.

Is the Honor Magic 5 Pro worthy of this amazing scientific milestone, and would Arthur C. Clarke be proud of this device? Let's find out!

What's new about the Honor Magic 5 Pro?

  • New Star Wheel Triple Camera design
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Chipset Platform
  • 6.81-inch LTPO Quad-Curved Floating Screen
  • 5,100 mAh battery—one of the largest in any flagship phone

Table of contents

Honor Magic 5 Pro Unboxing

Inside the retail box of the Honor Magic 5 Pro you'll find all the basic stuff to get you started. There's a 67W fast charging brick, a clear silicone case, and the USB-C cable plus some paperwork, and finally the SIM ejector tool.

There's also a pre-applied screen protector, so you don't have to worry about a thing (or buy anything extra) if you decide to pull the trigger on this phone. The whole package comes in a black rectangular box, almost identical to the one used in the previous generation.

Honor Magic 5 Pro Design

For those of you familiar with Honor's flagships, the new design won't be groundbreaking. It's a subtle evolution of an already great design, which Honor calls "Eye of Muse." This new camera bump is called "Star Wheel," and it looks even better than the previous iteration, with a gentle curve around the circular bump. The phone was globally announced in Barcelona, and this gentle curve was aptly called the Gaudi Curve.

The three cameras are set up in a triangle shape to look like the three bright spots in the picture of the black hole we mentioned earlier. The phone has a curved back and front, which is common in flagships from that region, but we can't deny that the design looks premium.


There's a pill-shaped selfie camera bump on the front, housing the two cameras, but it's placed in the upper left corner, so no Dynamic Island magic there, at least for now. Honor showed five colors at the official event, including a hot orange one, but the Magic 5 Pro will be initially available in Coral Green and Black.

Honor Magic 5 Pro Display

The display is another key point where Honor flagships normally excel, and the Honor Magic 5 Pro is no exception. The 6.81-inch LTPO panel is equipped with a new Display Luminance Enhancement Technology that allows it to reach a peak brightness of 1,800 nits. 

We did some testing in our lab and for sure this display is one of the brightest we've ever tested, reaching 1,253 nits in Auto mode. The color accuracy is also great with an average deltaE of 2.50, and the white balance is also very good. All in all, one of the best AMOLED panels out there. You can check the detailed test results below.

Other features include HDR10+ and IMAX Enhanced certification, TÜV-certified low blue light emission, and 2160Hz Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) dimming, which is intended to reduce flickering. It's also worth mentioning that the display of the Honor Magic 5 Pro received the top score of 151 from DXOMark but as always, these should be taken with a grain of salt.

Honor Magic 5 Pro Performance and Software

When it comes to performance, we expect the best from our flagship phones nowadays, and the Honor Magic 5 Pro is bound to deliver with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. There were some numbers thrown around at the official launch, citing a huge bump in performance and efficiency, and if you look down below, you'll see that most of these turn out to be true.

Another interesting hardware decision is the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standalone antenna architecture, which Honor boasts as the industry's first. This design should boost Wi-Fi performance by up to 200%, reduce latency, and allow for a much more stable connection in comparison with traditional antenna designs. 

The Magic 5 Pro comes with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, both using the latest and fastest technology in the industry - LPDDR5X for the RAM and UFS 4.0 for the storage.

Performance Benchmarks:

Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Honor Magic5 Pro1235
Xiaomi 13 Pro1912
Apple iPhone 142122
Google Pixel 71452
Samsung Galaxy S22884
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Honor Magic5 Pro3969
Xiaomi 13 Pro5098
Apple iPhone 144876
Google Pixel 73318
Samsung Galaxy S223081
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Honor Magic5 Pro3684
Xiaomi 13 Pro3727
Apple iPhone 143018
Google Pixel 71854
Samsung Galaxy S222009
Honor Magic4 Pro2628
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Honor Magic5 Pro1643
Xiaomi 13 Pro3017
Apple iPhone 142115
Google Pixel 71521
Samsung Galaxy S221351
Honor Magic4 Pro1651

On the software side of things, the Magic 5 Pro is running the latest MagicOS 7.1 based on Android 13, which looks polished and streamlined with a lot of cool features, such as MagicRing for multi-device collaboration and Magic Text for intelligent text recognition, probably aiming to make Google work a bit harder converting users to Pixel fans.

Honor Magic 5 Pro Camera

The camera system on the back of the Honor Magic 5 Pro deserves some attention, as it has a legacy to live up to. The phone is equipped with a Triple Main Camera setup (the Star Wheel Triple Camera) that includes a 50MP wide shooter, a 50MP ultra wide camera, and a 50MP telephoto.

The main camera features a f/1.6, customized 1/1.12 inch sensor that should excel at capturing those little photons, especially in low-light conditions, and even though it probably won't be able to snap a black hole, results should be good. The phone features a 50MP telephoto with a periscope lens system and 3.5x optical zoom, but thanks to clever image algorithms, the phone can go all the way up to 100x hybrid zoom levels.

Another fancy-named algorithm (the Millisecond Falcon Capture algorithm) helps the phone capture super fast-paced objects, and Honor partnered with Guinness World Records to use the Magic 5 Pro to capture the highest point of a jump during a slam dunk. While this may sound like a lot of PR work, there's a potential for this camera system to jump right on top of our list and find its place next to other camera champions.

The first thing that becomes apparent when taking photos with the Honor Magic 5 Pro is how fast the camera actually is. Fancy algorithms or not, it's one of the fastest shooting phones we've ever tried. Photos taken with the main camera look very detailed and sharp, with great focus, and even though the colors are a tad boosted, it's nothing radical. The results are quite pleasing to the eye.

The ultrawide camera has a pretty drastic FOV of 122°, but the good news is that going for a triple 50MP setup leaves a lot of wiggle room for resolution magics and all kinds of correction. And what's even more impressive is that the ultrawide camera snaps photos that are on par with the main one, when it comes to detail and tonality.

There's yet another 50MP sensor under the periscope zoom lens, with the equivalent of 3.5x optical zoom. Once again, the photos display decent detail and dynamic range, the only visible drawback is that sometimes they are just a bit overexposed, nothing too major.

There's also a 10x hybrid zoom mode, which is actually very usable and not overly-processed. Paring the 50MP sensor with the 3.5x optical lens system results in some nice crop/zoomed images. Again, just like the 3.5x shots, they are a little overexposed, but you can easily compensate for that either manually or in post.

There's a dedicated macro mode, and using the ultrawide camera with its 50MP sensor, you can get pretty good closeups if that's your thing.

When it comes to night shots and low light photography in general, the Honor Magic 5 Pro registers another slam dunk (that's a reference to the PR stunt with the basketball player, by the way). Normally, Honor phones tend to apply algorithms when low-light scenario is detected, no matter whether night mode is on or off.

That might be the case with the Honor Magic 5 Pro too, but I found night photos much more natural looking when it comes to color and detail. Yes, they are a bit bright, but in a good way. Low-light portraits also turn out really nice, and by the way, you must absolutely check out this retro-themed bar, should you decide to visit Sofia, Bulgaria.

Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail

Back to the phone, both video samples we took turned out great, with impressive image stabilization and a good level of detail. 4K at 60 fps is gorgeous, and you can zoom in while recording, preserving much of the said detail.

The double selfie camera also produces some decent results, you can choose portrait mode to add that bokeh effect, and the phone does a decent job at applying it. There are also your usual beautify effects, and the ability to take wide angle selfies (0.8x, and 0.7x) to get your friends in the frame.

The powerful camera system inside the Honor Magic 5 Pro impressed us. The 50MP trio, which represents the bright spots in our black hole analogy, performs really well. Stay tuned for a separate article and a camera deep-dive pretty soon, as well as some camera comparisons.

Honor Magic 5 Pro Battery and charging

The Honor Magic 5 Pro comes equipped with a beefy 5,100 mAh battery, one of the largest in a flagship. While Honor teased a new battery tech that would bump the capacity with 12% (silicon-carbon batteries), it's still some time away from the mainstream market. That being said, 5,100 mAh is plenty, especially in such a slim chassis (only 8.77mm).

Sadly, the fast charging took a hit and now it caps at 66W for wired fast charging, and 50W wireless. The previous generation was able to charge at 100W max but there's no huge difference in charging times.

Honor Magic 5 Pro charging profile:
15 min -> 38%
30 min -> 62%
Full - 51 minutes

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Now when it comes to the battery life, things are a bit complicated. Honor drives and manages display brightness in a manner that renders our battery test procedure a bit invalid. There's no way to set the brightness at a fixed value, and even when Auto is disabled, the phone undergoes some energy management and the brightness jumps all over the place. That being said, we decided to run the test anyway, just be sure to take those results with a grain of salt when comparing them to other competitors (in reality, you'll probably get very similar results in day-to-day use).

Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Honor Magic5 Pro15h 8 min
Xiaomi 12T14h 8 min
Xiaomi 13 Pro18h 43 min
Apple iPhone 1415h 23 min
Google Pixel 713h 56 min
Samsung Galaxy S2212h 23 min
Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Honor Magic5 Pro11h 3 min
Xiaomi 12T11h 13 min
Xiaomi 13 Pro10h 43 min
Apple iPhone 148h 35 min
Google Pixel 79h 13 min
Samsung Galaxy S227h 26 min
Honor Magic4 Pro10h 50 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Honor Magic5 Pro10h 33 min
Xiaomi 12T8h 45 min
Xiaomi 13 Pro6h 56 min
Apple iPhone 146h 44 min
Google Pixel 74h 43 min
Samsung Galaxy S224h 29 min

Audio quality and haptics

The stereo speaker setup of the Honor Magic 5 Pro deserves some praise, it's one of the loudest we've ever tested. The top and bottom firing loudspeakers produce a very powerful and punchy sound stage. You won't have any trouble with missed calls in a loud environment with this phone.

The overall sound quality is also pretty impressive, as there are almost no distortions at high volume. Granted, bass frequencies are not as deep or detailed as with a dedicated Bluetooth speaker but the sheer volume and detail are absolutely on par.

Honor Magic 5 Pro Competitors

This is where things get complicated. At 1,199 euros the Honor Magic 5 Pro is far from cheap. Actually, it's one of the most expensive non-folding flagships out there, outshining even the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Whether or not people would opt for an Honor device in place of the said iPhone 14 it's a very difficult question.

Another obvious competitor is the Xiaomi 13 Pro with its 1-inch camera sensor, and even more premium price tag of 1,299 euros. Another possible competitor outside of the Samsung/Apple duopoly is the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, which, despite the lack of GMS, shoots amazing photos.

Honor Magic 5 Pro Summary and Final verdict

The Honor Magic 5 Pro is a great evolution in the series. From the unique design (we can't deny the astrophysical reference gives us a nerdgasm), to the amazing display and great camera system, this phone is a legitimate flagship. It pushes several boundaries, sporting a huge battery inside a very slim and lightweight chassis, and all in all, performs great on all fronts.

The only real problem is the price and availability (okay, two problems), as getting an Honor device is not as easy as grabbing a Samsung or an Apple. At 1,199 euros the phone is not cheap, but looking at other flagships coming from the Far East, the price tag is actually within the expected margin (whatever that means). If you decide to get this phone, you won't regret your decision, it's one of the best flagships launched this year (also Best Of MWC'23 award winner).

 *Disclaimer: You may notice review scores have changed on PhoneArena! Since September 20th, we have started using a new scoring system. Learn more about the new PhoneArena Smartphone Review Rating system here.


  • Premium design
  • Bright AMOLED screen, 120 Hz, HDR 10+
  • Versatile and potent camera system
  • Big battery and fast charging
  • Snappy performance
  • IP68 dust and water resistance
  • Powerful stereo speakers


  • Pricey
  • Black version is a fingerprint magnet
  • Quad curved screen might not be for everyone

PhoneArena Rating:


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