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The HONOR Magic6 Pro is the new flagship standard for 2024

It has definitely cast its spell on the industry.

To talk about HONOR, we have to talk about its origins with HUAWEI. It’s been roughly a decade since HUAWEI’s offshoot line was launched and though HONOR focused primarily on mid-range devices, it soon found itself at a serendipitous moment because of the banning of its parent company by then president Donald Trump. As a direct result to consumers outside the USA (where the phones are banned), HUAWEI could not directly carry the Google Play Store, and not have access to other Google apps natively installed on Android. Let’s admit that this put HUAWEI in an awkward place as it would be the only phone brand in your mall that didn’t have Google apps and support. This would have affected HONOR as well, but the parent company sold them in the middle of the pandemic, and in 2021 they have made a comeback with partnerships with Google. It’s an odd technicality, but yes, when friends ask me if “HONOR is HUAWEI but with Google” I really just have to nod my head and say “yes” despite the fact that they are now separate and independent companies.

HONOR did not take this comeback for granted. Rather than focusing on just the midrange market, they sought to make a spectacle with high-end devices. A few weeks ago, they launched the thinnest foldable phone, the Magic V2 and today, the Magic6 Pro. I have spent two months using this device as my primary phone, so when I say that this device is currently the best in class for flagship phones – even rivaling the iPhone 15 Pro Max, it isn’t a hot take. I wanted to make sure the hype around this phone was real. If you do a quick YouTube search for the Magic6 Pro, there will already be other first impressions and teardowns from other countries where the device has launched and they all mention how amazing this phone is. I for one have used the phone with three firmware updates, one of which performed a hard reset to install the anticipated AI features. This means that I was able to experience the device in parts, with new software features being added every so often.

Being a flagship, the Magic6 Pro pulls its weight in all phone aspects: processing power, storage, battery, camera, and yes, surprisingly AI! 

After my initial unboxing I couldn’t help but compare the camera system aesthetics to that of a vintage Seiko 5 watch bezel housing from the 70’s. It’s really elegant and eye-catching.

Best in class battery

The Magic6 Pro really pushes the limits of battery technology, making use of newer silicon based battery tech, present in EVs. These batteries are slightly thinner and can hold more juice and operate at similar efficiencies with temperature changes. That would mean a more efficient battery use across time (like when your devices heat up during prolonged use). Because of its efficient use of space, the Magic6 Pro comes with a 5600mAh battery. Just to give you an idea of how premium this is, I have never gone home with battery less than 30% after more than 10 hours of use outside. There were even times I have gone for more than 20 hours at home without plugging the device into a charger. To sweeten the deal, the Magic6 Pro comes with an 80W HONOR FastCharger (also compatible with HUAWEI FastCharger tech) as well as support for 66W wireless charging. 

Falcon Punch (!!!) with the Falcon Camera System

The Magic6 Pro comes with a trifecta of cameras called the Falcon Camera System consisting of a 50MP wide camera, 50MP ultra-wide camera, and a 180MP Periscope telephoto camera. We’re looking at variable apertures of f/1.4 to f/2.0 so you can capture more vivid shots, especially portraits, even in low light.

During our Hong Kong tour up the cable car ride towards Ngong Ping Village, I was able to capture this shot using the telephoto lens of a fisherman by the water. We were probably about 200 ft above sea level. 

Once we disembarked from the cable car, I made use of the fog to capture this ‘Silent Hill-esque’ shot using Pro mode, and then converting it using a B&W filter.

At Hong Kong Disneyland, I was able to make use of the light leaks feature to capture the mirror reflection of Arendale at night.

Here are also some other shots I took across several weeks, some from Japan.

The HONOR Magic6 Pro’s Falcon Camera system  is versatile for any shooting situation and is also rather functional. It comes built in with text recognition software so I can take a photo of a page from a book, a menu, or anything with words, and the software allows me to highlight and copy text to paste in Notes or other apps.

Magic Portal

The Magic Portal firmware update came about two weeks into my usage of the device and this enabled a highly coveted feature that I haven’t seen in any phone as of late. Similar to Windows Taskbar, you can highlight lines of text or long press a photo and a list of frequently used apps will appear on the side of the screen, allowing you to drag and drop your media. This is particularly useful for wanting to immediately post Gallery photos on Facebook or Instagram, or in my case, copying an article link from my website and simultaneously highlighting a pull-out quote from the article. HONOR conveniently made this feature available on both sides of the screen – I’m left handed so dragging my media to the right of the screen is how I roll. This was a small but impactful UI consideration for us lefties.

The HONOR Magic6 Pro runs on a 3rd generation Snapdragon 8 processor which is as good as it gets. I’ve been able to run my graphics intensive games such as Nikke: Goddess of Victory and AFK Journey at 60fps. The 6.8 inch screen has a variable refresh rate, which by preference I keep to high for smoother operation. It is notable to mention that this device has the highest brightness rating for a screen at 5000 nits. In extremely sunny and hot Philippine weather, I can clearly see my screen when directly under the sun at full brightness. At the same time, low brightness is rather easy on the eyes in bed because of 4320Hz PWM dimming. In Shenzhen we were able to witness a teardown of the Magic6 Pro’s NanoCrystal Shield, which is one of the layers of screen protection that make it resistant by more than 10x traditional screens. HONOR engineers did emphasize that it wasn’t just this layer, but a series of other layers that create a durable touchscreen.

Should you buy?

So, is the HONOR Magic6 Pro for you? If you’re an iPhone 15 Pro Max owner currently experiencing Apple fatigue, I can highly recommend the Magic6 Pro as it outperforms Apple in many fronts. If you’re a mid-range Android user currently looking for that one big upgrade, then this phone may be for you as it ticks all the boxes for a true flagship: fast processor, great camera system, long-lasting battery life, tough screen with an elegant finish.

The HONOR Magic 6 Pro is available in two colors (Black and Epi Green) for P59,999. Pre-order the phone from May 9 to 17 2024 and get a FREE Harman Kardon Luna (P9,499) and HONOR Choice X3 Earbuds (P2,200) for a total of P11,699 worth of freebies.

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