Honor Magic4 Pro preview – PhoneArena


Things are much more interesting at the back, where we find the huge circular camera bump that has its own name. “Eye of Muse.” I’m not really sure what it means, but it’s definitely a catchy name, and the bump itself is quite fascinating. The center-positioned telephoto lens gives the illusion of looking right inside the eye of a… muse, I guess?

All jokes aside, I find the design fresh, especially with the Cyan-painted glass back – it really gives the impression of an eye. The back is also curved, though – making the metal frame extremely thin on the sides. Consequently, the volume rocker and power buttons are also quite thin and a bit stiff. They’re quite clicky, though.

One of the main features of the Honor Magic4 Pro is its 6.81-inch OLED screen with variable refresh rate. It’s capable of pinging the image all the way between 1 and 120 times per second, and that’s a fancy way of saying that it matches the LTPO tech used by other flagship phones.Honor claims that this is the first phone to sport a 1920 Hz PWM (Pulse Wide Modulation), the highest in any LTPO screen on the market. Now, this calls for some explaining. There are two ways to make a smartphone display dimmer or less bright.

One is to make it flicker at a certain rate (Pulse Width Modulation) – the human eye then perceives the result as a less bright image overall, and the second one is called DC (Direct Current) dimming – basically giving less energy to the diodes makes them lose brightness (just like turning down the dial on your dimmer light in your bedroom).

Obviously, the DC dimming method is easier on the eyes, as no flickering is involved but it is also problematic with OLED screens – when organic diodes receive less current, they tend to shift colors, switch off outright, etc. There are however AMOLED phones with DC dimming – the OnePlus 7 Pro being one.

So, the 1920 Hz PWM means that the screen of the Honor Magic4 Pro flicker at a higher rate (most manufacturers use 480 Hz or 960 Hz PWM) and should be easier on the eyes when not at full brightness.

The display is plenty bright at a glance, and it also looks crisp and really smooth. Honor also boasts that the display of the Magic4 Pro covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and is also HDR 10+ capable.

(Display tests and measurements coming soon).

Performance and software

The Honor Magic4 Pro is unsurprisingly equipped with the latest Qualcomm silicon – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – coupled with 8GB of RAM. The built-in storage is 256GB with no trace of a microSD card slot (it’s a dual SIM phone, though).

The overall performance seems to be really smooth, with no hiccups whatsoever, which is to be expected from such a configuration. It’s worth noting that the under-display fingerprint scanner works really well, and fast. I’m normally not a fan of these (as some of you might already know) but the implementation here is actually quite good.

Synthetic benchmarks are running as I type but I have no doubt that the Magic4 Pro will be up there with the big boys when it comes to test scores.

This phone comes with Android 12 out of the box (Google Services included), and on top of that we have Honor’s proprietary interface – Magic UI. The 6.0 version looks clean and offers some neat customization features.

Widgets are called Cards here, and there are a couple of useful ones – such as the All Notes widget (needless to say, it offers notes at your home screen), the Conversation card, the Weather widget, quick dial (very useful), and more.

You can choose your home screen style to sport an app drawer, or to show everything right on the home screen, customize the notification shade, the usual stuff. All in all, Magic UI 6.0 looks pretty and works smoothly. Nothing to complain about here.

Camera

We’ve arrived at the “Eye of Muse” finally! The Magic4 Pro proudly sports a triple camera system in this unusual arrangement, consisting of a 50MP Wide Camera, a 50MP 122° Ultra Wide Camera, and a 64MP Periscope Telephoto Camera.There are also some sensors to aid those three, most notably an 8×8 dToF laser focusing sensor, and a Flicker sensor (that detects the frequency of pulsed lights and adjusts shutter speed and ISO accordingly).

We’ll be looking at the system in much more detail once I finish with the samples but there’s much to be excited about. The telephoto periscope lens, for example, offers up to 100x digital zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and 3,5 optical, which will be tested, of course.

The main 50MP camera features a 1/1.56-inch Sony IMX766 sensor with f/1.8, so I’m pretty curious about the results. There’s also some AI “Magic” happening with portraits, colors, and other image parameters, and it will be tested in due time.

On the video front things are again pretty crowded – the Magic4 Pro can shoot 4K HDR 10 videos at 60fps, and also something called Log (Logarithmic video) at 4K. The latter is similar to what is RAW for photography – a flat format that’s perfect for post production and editing.

There’s also an IMAX-enhanced movie mode, and something similar to what Xperia has been doing with Cinema Pro – a preset of video filters to mimic classic and iconic Hollywood colors and moods. Here the system is called Cinematic 3D LUT (look up tables).

Audio and Haptics

The stereo system inside the Honor Magic4 Pro is splendid! I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality, and the amount of detail throughout the whole frequency range. Given that the speakers are bottom and top-firing respectively, the sound coming out of the Magic4 is well-balanced, with deep bass and clear high frequencies.

This thing also gets substantially loud with little to no distortion, and you can feel the bass vibrating though the chassis and in your palm. Even though Honor doesn’t say anything special about the speakers, I’m giving a solid “thumbs up” to the phone in that particular area.

On the other hand, vibration is a bit weak, and I just couldn’t manage to make the phone vibrate on touch or action. The UI only allows vibration for “key system events” (no idea what these are).

Battery life and Charging

The battery inside the Honor Magic4 Pro is rated at 4,600mAh, which is fine, I guess. We’re starting to see 5,000mAh cells in more and more flagship phones nowadays, but 4,600 should be enough to get you through the day. I’ve been poking the phone for half a day already, and the battery shows 75%, so I’m positive about the scores (battery tests to be carried out tonight).

When it comes to fast charging, this phone is a monster! It supports up to 100W charging, and the beefy charger is included in the retail box (along with an equally beefy cable). Charging the phone from 0 to 100% takes only 32 minutes and this has been already tested.

Amazingly enough, the Magic4 Pro also supports 100W WIRELESS charging but you’ll need a 135W compatible charger to get to these speeds. Very impressive nonetheless.

That’s it for now, guys. All test scores, benchmarks, samples and whatnot will be uploaded in the coming days, along with the final verdict and score. Stay tuned and watch this space!





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