Honor Magic 6 Pro Review: The Jade Warrior

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Honor Magic 6 Pro Review

Honor Magic 6 Pro Intro


The Honor Magic 6 Pro is the latest flagship phone from the Chinese company. As far as flagships go, this series has proven over the years that the days of Chinese knockoffs and copycat devices are now long gone.

What's more, in the past couple of years, Honor has proven that its R&D department is working overtime to bring people cutting edge innovations when other, more popular brands just bask in their past glory.

The Magic 6 Pro has a lot going on for it. The phone comes with a lithium-silicon battery, a technology that has allowed stuffing a 5,600 mAh battery into a slim and sleek body. The display is top-notch, albeit still sticking to the curved sides that Chinese flagship phones can't shake off.

The telephoto camera also deserves attention with its massive 180MP sensor, and there's a variable aperture on the main camera as well. Last but not least, there is an AI-centric OS, as per the latest smartphone trends.

So, without further ado, let's dive deep into the magic of the Honor Magic 6 Pro.

7.9
Honor Magic 6 Pro
Honor Magic 6 Pro
What we like
  • Bright and vivid OLED screen
  • Snappy performance
  • Great camera system
What we don't like
  • Pricey
  • Quad-curved display might not be everyone's cup of tea
  • Limited availability
7.9
PhoneArena Rating
7.7
Price Class Average
Battery Life
9
8.1
Photo Quality
8
8.3
Video Quality
6
6.9
Charging
7
7
Performance Peak
6
5.8
Performance Daily
9
8.6
Display Quality
9
8.6
Design
8
8.4
Wireless Charging
7
8.2
Biometrics
8
7.6
Audio
9
7.6
Software
5
7
Why the score?
This device scores 2.5% better than the average for this price class, which includes devices like the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, OPPO Find X7 Ultra and Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro


What’s new about the Honor Magic 6 Pro?
  • 6.8-inch LTPO screen, 5,000 nits peak brightness, 4320Hz PWM dimming
  • Lithium-silicon battery with 5,600 mAh capacity
  • 108MP telephoto camera
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform
  • AI-clad Magic OS

Table of Contents:

Honor Magic 6 Pro Specs

Cutting edge

The specs below show some impressive numbers and technology across the Honor Magic 6 Pro. The combined megapixels of all the cameras are probably the biggest number we've seen on a phone so far, and the 5,000 nits brightness also raises eyebrows, but we did some tests and posted the results further down.

 
Also see: Honor Magic 6 Pro full specs

Honor Magic 6 Pro Design & Colors

Squircle?



The design of the Honor Magic 6 Pro is an evolution; there's nothing groundbreaking compared to the previous model. Honor calls the camera bump a "squircle," and this sounds pretty funny to me. Previously, the company made some analogies to luxury watches and also the traditional Jade Cong shape.

In practice, it looks very similar to the Star Wheel camera bump on the Magic 5 Pro, but with slightly square-ish outer lines. It's an acquired taste and might not please everyone, but when it comes to design, most things you can say are subjective anyway.

What I do find objectively stylish is the textured Epi Green back. It reminds me of leather, it's also nice to the touch, grippy, and looks premium. It's also scratch- and fingerprint resistant, and it would be a shame to hide it in a case.



The front is a typical quad-curved flagship experience, and even though I personally don't like curved screens, it definitely adds to the premium look and feel of the device. There's a pill-shape camera cutout, which also houses the 3D face recognition sensor; more on that later.

Honor Magic 6 Pro Unboxing



The Honor Magic 6 Pro tries to compete with models such as the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and to mimic the sleek appearance of the retail boxes of the aforementioned devices, Honor had to remove the charger.

Now, you can probably sense the irony here, and I'm a bit disappointed that Chinese companies are now following this trend. We used to get a hefty charger, a case, and even a screen protector bundled with Chinese flagship phones. With the Honor Magic 6 Pro, you're getting a USB-C cable and a SIM ejector tool. And that's it.

Honor Magic 6 Pro Display

Shine like a star



We're up to our noses in the modern brightness wars when it comes to smartphone displays, and the Honor Magic 6 Pro doesn't disappoint. Its 6.8-inch OLED screen is a joy to look at, but that's not a surprise.

Honor has a great tradition when it comes to slapping good displays on flagship smartphones. This one is a LTPO screen capable of going between 1 and 120 Hz dynamically. The resolution is 2800 x 1280 pixels (453 PPI); it also supports Dolby Vision, covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, and supports HDR10+.

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These are all specs and numbers, but in real life, the display of the Honor Magic 6 Pro is crisp, bright, and vivid. You can fine-tune the color temperature and also choose from a slew of Always On options.

Speaking of brightness, Honor quotes some crazy numbers in the peak brightness department. We couldn't get it to output 5,000 nits, but as we all know, it's a bit controversial, and companies sometimes tend to measure just a small portion of the display for a very short time.

Having said that, the display is mighty bright under direct sunlight, and there's no problem reading what's on it. No fancy anti-glare coating, though.

We managed to measure more than 1,500 nits of "real-life" brightness, which is one of the highest results we've seen so far. The color temperature and accuracy are also top-notch. All in all, nothing to complain about… except for the curved sides, but to be honest, it's not an aggressive radius. Moving on!

Display Measurements:




As far as biometrics go, Honor says the Magic 6 Pro has a 3D face recognition system, and it looks like it's scanning your face in depth. Whether it's on par with what Apple has, we can't tell. The usual under-display fingerprint sensor is also present, and it works fast and accurately.

It's also worth mentioning that the display is protected by a new NanoCrystal Shield glass that's supposed to be ten times stronger than regular glass. The Honor Magic 6 Pro also comes with a pre-applied screen protector.

Honor Magic 6 Pro Camera

180MP sensor under a zoom lens?



The Honor Magic 6 Pro comes with three cameras on its back, in the familiar Star Wheel configuration. The top one is a periscope zoom, and it's rather big, there's no way to miss it. There's a reason behind this, as under the lens you'll find a 180MP sensor, one of the biggest pixel counts (if not THE biggest) for a dedicated telephoto camera.

The main camera utilizes a 50MP H9000 OmniVision sensor with variable aperture support. There is a physical diaphragm that allows for apertures between 1.4 and 2.0, which is a handy system, especially for portrait shots.

The ultrawide camera is again 50 MP with a 122-degree field of view. All this hardware is supported by new AI algorithms; we left the system on, as today's smartphone photography is mainly computational.

There are two selfie cameras in the pill-shaped cutout and a ToF sensor between them. Honor lists only one of them as being a 50MP snapper; the second one is probably for depth purposes.

Time for some samples.

Main Camera - Day




The main camera produces some very nice shots, both in bright daylight and on much gloomier days. Detail and dynamic range are both impressive, and colors look close to what we saw with our own eyes while taking the samples. When the AI takes charge, though, sometimes you end up with various aspects of your frame boosted. One example is blue skies. When the algorithms detect that part of your frame is indeed a picture of the sky, it will get HDR boosted. If you don't like the end result, you can just turn off the AI assistance with a tap of the finger and get a much more realistic result.

Main Camera - Low-light




Night shots look good too, although sometimes bright lights tend to produce artifacts such as glare or bloom, but again, the end result was pretty close to what we saw with our own eyes. The AI turns on NightMode when it detects that light is below a certain threshold, but there's no aggressive stitching or overly bright and processed pictures in the end. Overall, we were impressed with the main camera of the Magic 6 Pro, both during our lab tests and in real-life conditions.

Zoom Quality


This year, we've seen a trend in smartphone telephoto cameras, especially on smartphones coming from the Far East. Even the OnePlus 12 packs an impressive 64MP sensor under its zoom lens, but the Honor Magic 6 Pro takes that to a whole new level with a huge count of pixels—180 million—under the periscope system. Funnily enough, the optical zoom is just 2.5x (compared to what the main camera sees), and you can get a 5x optical-quality zoom with a sprinkle of sensor cropping into the equation. Honor has retained the 100x zoom capabilities, but it is digital, and at such high magnifications, the end result is almost unusable. So, we will focus on 2.5x and 5x zoom levels.



The high pixel count definitely helps with detail, and photos taken at 2.5x look very good. In good lighting conditions, they are pretty close to what you're getting from the main camera. The level of magnification won't get you a Pulitzer in wild life photography, but it will help you with framing and give you a helpful tool to frame your shots and get the object closer.



The same goes for 5x samples, they look pretty good, with a nice level of detail and decent dynamic range. When the sensor underneath has that many pixels, cropping in to get an additional zoom doesn't result in loss of detail.

Portrait Mode




Portrait mode is pretty interesting, as the main camera in theory has the ability to change its aperture. In practice, we weren't able to get it to physically open the diaphragm and all the bokeh in Portrait mode seems to be software. One way to control the aperture is to switch to Pro mode but even then you can only switch between f/1.4 and f/2.0 with nothing in between. This might change with a software update but at the moment Portrait mode doesn't take much advantage of the variable aperture.

That being said, the software bokeh is pretty convincing if you don't go to extremes. At f/0.95 the background looks pretty smudge, especially if there are people in the frame. So, be careful and don't go overboard with this tool.

Ultra-wide Camera



The 50MP ultrawide camera does the job, and when we were a bit spoiled by how good the main camera and the telephoto turned out to be. At 122 FOV there's a slight distortion toward the edge of the frame but that's to be expected. The dynamic range isn't on the level of the other two sensors as well, but again, not much to complain about, ultrawide cameras have been lagging behind in the past couple of years when it comes to smartphones.

Selfies




Selfies are quite good too, the 50MP selfie camera system offers enough detail, even on a gloomy day, colors look natural, and thanks to the dual setup and the 3D ToF sensor, you can get a pretty convincing bokeh effect on your shots. You can, of course beautify your selfies, if that's your thing, but the polish is not as aggressive as you might think. Overall, the selfie camera completes what seems to be a very good camera package.

Video Quality


Video Thumbnail

Looking at the 4K 60fps video sample above, it's pretty clear that the AI is doing a great job behind the scene. The video itself is detailed and smooth, even though the lighting conditions weren't perfect. The image stabilization is great, almost as if you're shooting from a dolly. The focusing is rather smooth when you switch between different objects and you can also switch between the cameras while recording, and pause the video.

Honor Magic 6 Pro Performance & Benchmarks

Snappy as a Snapdragon



The beating heart of the Honor Magic 6 Pro is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, the latest Qualcomm has to offer. If you jump further down, you'll see that the synthetic benchmarks paint an expected picture, which is mirrored in real-life scenarios. The phone is snappy and fluid, no hiccups of any kind.

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
Single
Higher is better
Geekbench 6
Multi
Higher is better
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better3DMark
Extreme(Low)
Higher is better
Honor Magic 6 Pro2188
6844
5212
2907
Honor Magic5 Pro1235
3969
3684
1643
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra2187
6669
4960
2710
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max2958
7288
4236
2632
Google Pixel 8 Pro1720
4268
2382
1622


The base memory configuration is 12GB of RAM coupled with 512GB of storage, but there are variants up to 1TB. Nothing too interesting here, modern smartphones nowadays come with enough storage and RAM to tackle pretty much any task. There are no extras, such as a microSD card slot or a 3.5mm audio jack, but we all should have accepted their demise by now.

Honor Magic 6 Pro OS / Android version




The Honor Magic 6 Pro comes with MagicOS 8 onboard on top of Android 14. Apart from the usual MagicOS stuff, there are some cool new features that are meant to bring the Magic Pro into the AI era.

There's the AI Suggestion feature, which will give you apps based on your behavior. Nothing unseen so far. The Magic Text feature lets you extract text from images and use it contextually. Again, nothing ground-breaking; OCR software has been doing it for years without the AI moniker.



The Magic Portal, on the other hand, is quite helpful. It lets you select text or an image, and when you drag it to the right corner of the screen, you can send it directly to an app, as suggested by the AI algorithm.

It sounds simple, but it works, and it's a useful tool rather than a gimmick. Now, Honor says that the full functionality of Magic Portal is yet to come, including integration with third party apps, seemless cross-device functionality, and more.

When it comes to software updates, Honor has promised to bump up the support to 3 years of major OS updates and 5 years of security patches. It's not seven years like what Google and Samsung are currently offering, but still better than the usual two years.

Honor Magic 6 Pro Battery

Advanced chemistry



There's a silicon-carbon battery inside the Honor Magic 6 Pro. It's the second generation (the first one was reserved for the Magic 5 Pro, but it was only in China due to regulations), and the technology has matured enough to make it to Europe.

We have a separate article explaining this battery tech in detail, but long story short, by introducing silicon crystals into the graphite anode, Honor has been able to bump up the capacity by around 20%, resulting in a pretty hefty 5,600mAh battery in a relatively compact flagship phone.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Video StreamingHigher is betterWeb Browsing(hours)Higher is better3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Honor Magic 6 Pro14h 44 min
20h 37 min
11h 37 min
Honor Magic5 Pro11h 3 min
15h 8 min
10h 33 min
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra8h 18 min
20h 6 min
6h 28 min
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max9h 45 min
19h 20 min
9h 36 min
Google Pixel 8 Pro10h 32 min
15h 51 min
6h 42 min


This capacity translates into some impressive numbers in our battery benchmark test, scoring 20+ hours in continuous web browsing, one of our top results so far (neck and neck with the Galaxy S24 Plus). YouTube streaming and gaming at 120Hz also impress, so this silicon-carbon battery tech is definitely not just snake oil. The Honor Magic 6 Pro comes with support for up to 80W of wired charging power and up to 66W wireless charging using a proprietary Honor wireless charger.

Honor Magic 6 Pro Audio Quality and Haptics


Now, the Honor Magic 6 Pro features the usual dual speaker stereo setup, where the earpiece doubles as a second speaker. Even though Honor doesn't specifically boasts about the audio quality of the Magic 6 Pro, we found that the phone sound excellent!

The frequency response is very wide, producing rich and detailed sound, with enough base and a certain sparkle in the high frequency range. Put next to the Galaxy S24 Ultra, subjectively two of my colleagues agreed that the Honor Magic 6 Pro sounded better.

As fat as haptics go, there's nothing to report, the vibration motor in the Magic 6 Pro does the job without too much fanfare.

Honor Magic 6 Pro Competitors


Honor aims to take down the big guys—your Galaxy Ultras and iPhone Pro Max devices. The prices of those devices are similar, and even though the Honor Magic 6 Pro manages to live up to the expectations and absolutely keeps up with the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the status quo won't be changed anytime soon. The power of habit, the geopolitical situation, and sheer availability work against the Magic 6 Pro. Which is really a shame, because it's a very potent phone.

There are a couple of things that could sway you away from the Honor Magic 6 Pro. If you're not into curved screens and prefer flatter sides on your phone, maybe you should look elsewhere. The OS is also unmistakably Honor and comes with it's own devices, so to speak. When you get used to it, there are no problems but if you're coming from a cleaner Android or a OneUI-equipped phone, or an iOS device, there is a learning curve.

Honor Magic 6 Pro Summary and Final Verdict



The Honor Magic 6 Pro is an impressive device, no doubt about it. Honor has brought the silicon-carbon battery outside China, and now we can enjoy the added capacity globally. The battery life is great, and the camera system is up there with the big boys, challenging even the S24 Ultra in some scenarios. There's a potent chipset inside, and the AI magic sprinkled on the OS is really helpful, although the functionality is a bit limited at the moment.

We can definitely recommend this device if you're willing to try something different. On the flip side, the phone isn't exactly cheap, and you'll need to put in some extra effort to get one (no Magic 6 Pro in the US). But if you're feeling adventurous and you're willing to take this leap of faith, the Honor Magic 6 Pro won't disappoint.

Pros

  • Bright and vivid OLED screen
  • Snappy performance
  • Great camera system
  • 5,600 mAh battery
  • Useful AI tricks
  • Fast wired and wireless charging
  • Impressive stereo speakers

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Quad-curved display might not be everyone's cup of tea
  • Limited availability

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