Notebookcheck

Honor Magic 2 Smartphone Review

Inge Schwabe, 👁 Florian Schmitt (translated by Finn D. Boerne), 12/26/2018

The Magic Phone. Unfortunately, Honor does not officially sell or distribute the Honor 2 in Europe. Officially, Honor claims that the intelligence built into the Magic 2 was designed to make life easier for the Chinese, and it would not work at all in countries outside of China. However, there is something cooking, and Huawei's subsidiary is working on bringing the Magic 2 to other countries as well. We have decided to take a quick look at Honor's high-end smartphone.

Honor Magic 2

The Magic 2 is the second model in the Honor Magic series that never made it to Europe officially due to the fact that parts of the phone’s AI features would be either unavailable or would simply not work outside of China. Other characteristics include a pull-out front-facing camera, which means the Honor Magic’s display is a true full view display, triple-cameras on both sides, and high-end internal hardware.

Due to its performance prowess we have selected similarly powerful smartphones for our test group, including Apple’s iPhone XS and some Snapdragon 845-powered smartphones such as the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium and the Xiaomi Pocophone F1. We have also included the Huawei Mate 20, since it is based on the exact same SoC as the Magic 2. Let’s see which one does best.

Honor Magic 2
Processor
HiSilicon Kirin 980, octa-core, 64-bit
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
Display
6.39 inch 19.5:9, 2340 x 1080 pixel 403 PPI, capacitive, 10-point multitouch, AMOLED, glossy: yes
Storage
128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 128 GB 
, 116101 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: USB-C to 3.5-mm audio adapter included, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: proximity sensor, accelerometer, rotation sensor, orientation sensor, magnetometer, gyroscope, pedometer, USB-C
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.3 x 157.3 x 75.1 ( = 0.33 x 6.19 x 2.96 in)
Operating System
Android 9.0 Pie
Camera
Primary Camera: 24 MPix AI-supported triple-camera system with AIS (artificial image stabilization); 16 MP f/1.8 PDAF; 16 MP f/2.2; 24 MP monochrome f/1.8; LED, HDR; video: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
Secondary Camera: 16 MPix AI-supported triple-camera setup; 16 MP f/2.0; 2 MP f/2.4; 2 MP f/2.4
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, modular power supply (China), USB cable, SIM tool, quick-start guide (Chinese), safety- and warranty booklet (Chinese), Magic 2.0 (UI), Huawei Game Center, Dual SIM/Dual VoLTE, fanless
Weight
209 g ( = 7.37 oz / 0.46 pounds), Power Supply: 114 g ( = 4.02 oz / 0.25 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The last model’s multi-colored glass chassis design has survived the overhaul and made it into the new model as well. On the back, a light gray-blue fades into a darker tint, which looks very classy. To our surprise the back side was not as slippery and smooth as it looked, and we were able to push out the camera by gripping the phone with four fingers and using our thumb to slide down the display.

This sliding mechanism brings about a small yet visible gap that was slightly wider on the left-hand side of our review unit than on the right-hand side. Generally speaking, the Magic 2 was very sturdy and warp resistant, but it crossed the 200 g line due to the complexity of its sliding mechanism.

front
front
triple-camera system
gap between slider and display
front-facing camera
home screen (Play Store installed retroactively)

Size Comparison

158 mm / 6.22 inch 80 mm / 3.15 inch 11.9 mm / 0.4685 inch 236 g0.52 lbs158.2 mm / 6.23 inch 77.2 mm / 3.04 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 188 g0.4145 lbs157.3 mm / 6.19 inch 75.1 mm / 2.96 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 209 g0.4608 lbs155.5 mm / 6.12 inch 75.2 mm / 2.96 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 182 g0.4012 lbs143.6 mm / 5.65 inch 70.9 mm / 2.79 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 177 g0.3902 lbs

Connectivity

On a more positive note, this sliding mechanism results in a true full view display worthy of that name. The bezels at the top and bottom are practically non-existent, and the phone also lacks the dreaded notch. Those who love innovations will be thrilled by the fingerprint reader embedded into the layer underneath the display, just like on the Huawei Mate 20 and the OnePlus 6T.

Acoustic performance is a notable downside, though. We expect stereo speakers in smartphones larger than 6 inches, but the Magic 2 only features a single mono speaker. It is quite possible that Honor had to sacrifice the second speaker in order to make room for the sliding mechanism. Another current trend is the omission of the 3.5-mm headphone jack, and while Honor has joined that party it does fortunately still include an adapter. The downside of this is of course that the phone cannot be charged while the adapter is in use.

Our review unit was equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, and it featured the exact same very powerful Kirin 980 SoC as the Huawei Mate 20/Mate 20 Pro. The SIM tray can take a second nano SIM but no microSD card.

Right: power button, volume rocker
Right: power button, volume rocker
Bottom: mono speaker, USB-C, microphone
Bottom: mono speaker, USB-C, microphone
Top: antennas, microphone
Top: antennas, microphone
Left: SIM slot
Left: SIM slot

Software

Some parts have not been translated
Some parts have not been translated

As expected, the Magic 2 comes with Android 9 preinstalled, and to our delight Google’s security patches were up-to-date as well (as of 12/01/2018).

A difference between the Magic 2 and every other smartphone made and sold by Huawei or Honor is the user interface. Instead of the usual EMUI skin the Magic 2 comes with the so-called Magic UI. At first glance it looks identical to EMUI since several of the AI-supported features as well as the AI-driven digital assistant named YoYo are not available to users outside of China.

Another downside of importing an Android smartphone directly from China is the fact that Google’s Play Store is missing entirely. There is an app store called Huawei App Gallery, however, it is only usable for those who know how to read Chinese. Fortunately, the menus and notifications are mostly translated and only rarely did we encounter Chinese writing. One of those examples can be seen on the right - in this particular case, answering an incoming call was only possible by saying “jie ting dian hua”. Fortunately, we were able to uninstall all of the apps with Chinese names completely.

Communication and GPS

Honor did not yet officially specify the supported UMTS and LTE bands. However, in the past Huawei’s smartphones have usually been blessed with support for a very wide range of frequencies. Accordingly, we have had no trouble using the Magic 2 in both the German T-Mobile as well as the German O2 networks. However, if you need to be absolutely sure you may want to consider asking the merchant in question.

Wi-Fi download speeds were just as low as on the Mate 20 and the original Honor Magic when connected to our Linksys EA8500 reference router. Upload performance was much better, and four out of our five test candidates performed exceptionally well with the iPhone XS hard on their heels.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
677 MBit/s ∼100% +30%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
675 (min: 630, max: 704) MBit/s ∼100% +30%
Apple iPhone XS
A12 Bionic GPU, A12 Bionic, Apple 512 GB (iPhone Xs)
650 MBit/s ∼96% +25%
Honor Magic 2
Mali-G76 MP10, Kirin 980, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
521 (min: 505, max: 536) MBit/s ∼77%
Huawei Mate 20
Mali-G76 MP10, Kirin 980, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
507 (min: 496, max: 517) MBit/s ∼75% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=419)
223 MBit/s ∼33% -57%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei Mate 20
Mali-G76 MP10, Kirin 980, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
663 (min: 565, max: 714) MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
647 MBit/s ∼98% +2%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Adreno 630, 845, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
647 (min: 598, max: 665) MBit/s ∼98% +2%
Honor Magic 2
Mali-G76 MP10, Kirin 980, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
632 (min: 590, max: 660) MBit/s ∼95%
Apple iPhone XS
A12 Bionic GPU, A12 Bionic, Apple 512 GB (iPhone Xs)
587 MBit/s ∼89% -7%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=419)
212 MBit/s ∼32% -66%
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720Tooltip
Honor Magic 2 HiSilicon Kirin 980, ARM Mali-G76 MP10; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø521 (505-536)
Huawei Mate 20 HiSilicon Kirin 980, ARM Mali-G76 MP10; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø507 (496-517)
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø674 (630-704)
Honor Magic 2 HiSilicon Kirin 980, ARM Mali-G76 MP10; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø631 (590-660)
Huawei Mate 20 HiSilicon Kirin 980, ARM Mali-G76 MP10; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø663 (565-714)
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø647 (598-665)
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors

Outdoors, GPS lock was obtained after just a few seconds, and the Magic 2’s accuracy was very decent. Indoors, it took a bit longer but we were able to obtain GPS lock even with fewer satellites available.

We test every GPS module on a quick bicycle tour around the block where we compare it to a professional Garmin Edge 520 sat-nav unit. The latter is usually very accurate; however, on the day we ran our tests it showed some inaccuracies around a wooded area. Since the Magic 2 showed the same discrepancies we are going to ignore these. Unfortunately, Honor’s smartphone was inaccurate in more than just this one spot.

In the residential area the Honor’s recorded track was very close to the Garmin’s, and total track length was almost identical as well. In other words: The Honor Magic 2 is a very capable sat-nav.

Honor Magic 2 overview
Honor Magic 2 overview
Honor Magic 2 overpass
Honor Magic 2 overpass
Honor Magic 2 wooded area
Honor Magic 2 wooded area
Garmin Edge 520 overview
Garmin Edge 520 overview
Garmin Edge 520 overpass
Garmin Edge 520 overpass
Garmin Edge 520 wooded area
Garmin Edge 520 wooded area

Telephony and Call Quality

Telephony app with background photo
Telephony app with background photo
Live-translation (did not work in our tests)
Live-translation (did not work in our tests)

The telephony app features background wallpaper by default and thus looks nicer than on other phones. Its features include automatic recording and live translation, although these two are mutually exclusive and the latter is deemed experimental. In our tests, we had trouble connecting to the server.

Call quality is decent for both conversation partners. We noticed a slight and occasional whiz on speakerphone.

Cameras

Front-facing camera, theatre mode
Front-facing camera, theatre mode

Honor says that a triple-camera setup cannot necessarily do more than a dual-camera system, but it can do the things that a dual-camera system is so famous and renowned for much better. Most importantly, this includes multi-dimensional spacial detection in order to improve Bokeh in portrait mode. Unlike the Mate 20, the Magic 2 is still equipped with a monochrome sensor. At 24 MP its resolution is higher than the other two sensors’, which makes for very fine contrast in particularly bright and dark areas of the photo. The other two lenses, a standard and a 17-mm ultra-wide-angle, feature 16 MP sensors, respectively.

In addition, a neural processing unit improves photos with an artificial image stabilization feature in low-light scenarios, and it adjusts color temperature accordingly. In the photo below the AI noticed the need for portrait mode and applied an automatic mask to the edges of the doll. According to Honor, the software is capable of detecting over 60 different categories of objects and can improve the photos accordingly.

The 16 MP front-facing camera features a total of three lenses as well. The so-called theatre mode was capable of detecting the main photo motif and separating it from the background automatically, resulting in differential lighting for back- and foreground: The foreground is lit up while the background is kept very dark.

Depth information is also used for improving face detection. Unfortunately, face detection requires sliding the display down in order to expose the cameras. While this can be easily achieved one-handed it is much more complicated and time-consuming than simply using the in-screen fingerprint reader.

When comparing the daylight photos to those of the Magic 2’s competitors we noticed some minor shortcomings. When zoomed-in, the photos seemed somewhat blurry and often underexposed and too dark. Subjectively speaking, however, the photos looked superb due to the high-contrast ratio achieved thanks to the contrast information from the monochrome sensor. HDR photos also looked impressive, and the photos got better and better with decreasing light. In poor light, photos remained well exposed and crisp, and the only smartphone even better was Apple’s iPhone XS.

Main camera
Main camera
Main camera with AI activated
Main camera with AI activated
Monochrome photo
2x zoom with AI activated
2x zoom, monochrome

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
ColorChecker Passport
ColorChecker: Reference color in the lower half of each square

When looking at the ColorChecker Passport photo we noticed an almost perfect match for warm colors and a very close match for all other colors. You can see the reference color at the top of each square. The test chart below is ideal for exposing autofocus insufficiencies and blurriness around the edges. In this case, we found no evidence thereof whatsoever.

Test chart
Test chart
Test chart zoomed-in
Test chart zoomed-in

Accessories and Warranty

Included in the box was a Chinese 40 W fast-charging power supply, a USB-C cable, and a USB-C to 3.5-mm audio adapter.

Honor designed a special case for the Magic 2, which may or may not be included depending on where you purchase the phone. If it is not, you can purchase it directly from Honor’s or Huawei’s Chinese web shop. Keep in mind that warranty claims for imports can be quite tricky. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties article for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Handling

It takes quite a while to register a fingerprint with the new fingerprint reader located underneath the display but once it is registered unlocking the phone is surprisingly fast. Thus, those who consider having to slide the display open every time to unlock the phone via face detection overly complicated will find a viable alternative in the fingerprint reader.

By default, European versions of Honor’s smartphones come with the SwiftKey keyboard preinstalled. Since our review unit was a Chinese model it was missing, and instead we found a keyboard app called HiKeyboard that did not fully support the German keyboard layout. Thus, we decided to retroactively install Google’s Gboard keyboard app from the also retroactively installed Play Store. Google’s keyboard is an immensely popular choice with lots of customization options including haptic feedback, and the Honor Magic 2 was very usable thanks to it. The touchscreen was very snappy and responsive up to its edges.

Honor Magic 2 HiKeyboard
HiKeyboard

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

At 6.39 inches the Magic 2’s cinematic 19.5:9 display with a native resolution of 2340x1080 is quite big. It also turned out to be very bright: 594 nits is as bright for an OLED display as the Mate 20’s 782 nits is for an IPS display.

Unfortunately, we noticed PWM flickering at a comparatively low frequency of just 235 Hz, which could lead to headaches and eye strain for some users.

526
cd/m²
515
cd/m²
532
cd/m²
560
cd/m²
594
cd/m²
549
cd/m²
502
cd/m²
553
cd/m²
522
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 594 cd/m² Average: 539.2 cd/m² Minimum: 2.27 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 594 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.37 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
130.6% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.127
Honor Magic 2
AMOLED, 2340x1080, 6.39
Huawei Mate 20
TFT-LCD (IPS), 2244x1080, 6.53
Apple iPhone XS
OLED, 2436x1125, 5.8
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
LCD-IPS, 3840x2160, 5.8
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
IPS, 2246x1080, 6.18
Screen
33%
39%
14%
1%
Brightness middle
594
782
32%
639
8%
477
-20%
489
-18%
Brightness
539
784
45%
637
18%
453
-16%
486
-10%
Brightness Distribution
85
94
11%
94
11%
86
1%
93
9%
Black Level *
0.36
0.33
0.34
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.37
2.3
57%
1
81%
2.1
61%
3.8
29%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.32
7
16%
2.2
74%
8.2
1%
7.1
15%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.7
2.4
35%
2.2
41%
1.6
57%
4.4
-19%
Gamma
2.127 103%
2.22 99%
1.9 116%
2.28 96%
2.22 99%
CCT
7212 90%
6839 95%
6364 102%
6425 101%
7213 90%
Contrast
2172
1445
1438

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 235.8 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 235.8 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 235.8 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9435 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Color accuracy is determined with support of a spectrophotometer in combination with the CalMAN software. Most colors are oversaturated in standard mode, particularly blues resulting in a slight blue tint. Since manual color temperature adjustment is supported this can be easily alleviated. Color-space coverage (sRGB) was superb, and the Magic 2 manages to cover sRGB completely, and then some.

CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN color space (sRGB)
CalMAN color space (sRGB)
CalMAN color accuracy (sRGB)
CalMAN color accuracy (sRGB)
CalMAN saturation (sRGB)
CalMAN saturation (sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3 ms rise
↘ 3 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 4 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 3 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 5 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40 ms).

Outdoor usability is usually constricted somewhat by reflective displays, which we like to demonstrate by taking a photo in bright sunshine. Luckily for the Magic 2, the sun did not show even for a minute during our entire review period, so the best we can offer is the photo below taken on an overcast day. The display should however remain fairly usable even in bright sunlight thanks to its high brightness and its AMOLED technology.

Display reflections on an overcast day
Display reflections on an overcast day

Viewing angles were as wide as expected, and the display remained well readable from all sides. Colors remained fairly consistent overall.

Honor Magic 2, viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The Honor Magic 2 is equipped with Huawei’s current high-end Kirin 980 SoC combined with an ARM Mali-G76 GPU and 8 GB of RAM. Our high hopes in the Magic 2’s prowess were however disappointed, and the Magic 2 performed worse than most of its competitors. Only the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 performed similarly in some benchmarks. In 3DMark, the Magic 2 returned the lowest score of the entire test group most of the time.

The biggest surprise was the discrepancy between the Magic 2 and the Mate 20, which features the exact same SoC yet only half the RAM. Is Honor’s Magic UI really that detrimental to performance? If so this would be a very poor bodement for Honor’s AI ambitions.

Geekbench 4.3
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
6577 Points ∼46%
Huawei Mate 20
9870 Points ∼68% +50%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
14417 Points ∼100% +119%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
14369 Points ∼100% +118%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (5677 - 9870, n=9)
7355 Points ∼51% +12%
Average of class Smartphone (663 - 21070, n=317)
4565 Points ∼32% -31%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
9735 Points ∼84%
Huawei Mate 20
9965 Points ∼86% +2%
Apple iPhone XS
11598 Points ∼100% +19%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
8522 Points ∼73% -12%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
9182 Points ∼79% -6%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (9547 - 10024, n=9)
9838 Points ∼85% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (1174 - 11598, n=375)
4601 Points ∼40% -53%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
3316 Points ∼69%
Huawei Mate 20
3360 Points ∼70% +1%
Apple iPhone XS
4824 Points ∼100% +45%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
2457 Points ∼51% -26%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2468 Points ∼51% -26%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (3207 - 3378, n=9)
3303 Points ∼68% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (691 - 4824, n=377)
1374 Points ∼28% -59%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
7567 Points ∼81%
Huawei Mate 20
9326 Points ∼100% +23%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
8178 Points ∼88% +8%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
8101 Points ∼87% +7%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7567 - 9326, n=9)
8450 Points ∼91% +12%
Average of class Smartphone (3227 - 11440, n=373)
5046 Points ∼54% -33%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
9728 Points ∼72%
Huawei Mate 20
13531 Points ∼100% +39%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
9858 Points ∼73% +1%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
9664 Points ∼71% -1%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (9728 - 13531, n=9)
11270 Points ∼83% +16%
Average of class Smartphone (4096 - 14439, n=541)
5537 Points ∼41% -43%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
2371 Points ∼53%
Huawei Mate 20
4439 Points ∼100% +87%
Apple iPhone XS
2998 Points ∼68% +26%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
2713 Points ∼61% +14%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2257 Points ∼51% -5%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2227 - 4439, n=9)
3299 Points ∼74% +39%
Average of class Smartphone (573 - 4535, n=387)
1834 Points ∼41% -23%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
4093 Points ∼72%
Huawei Mate 20
4319 Points ∼76% +6%
Apple iPhone XS
5139 Points ∼91% +26%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
5651 Points ∼100% +38%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
4468 Points ∼79% +9%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2747 - 4361, n=9)
3868 Points ∼68% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (76 - 8206, n=387)
1602 Points ∼28% -61%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
3524 Points ∼77%
Huawei Mate 20
4315 Points ∼95% +22%
Apple iPhone XS
4436 Points ∼97% +26%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
4555 Points ∼100% +29%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
3669 Points ∼81% +4%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2611 - 4317, n=9)
3680 Points ∼81% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (94 - 6312, n=390)
1489 Points ∼33% -58%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
2421 Points ∼54%
Huawei Mate 20
4493 Points ∼100% +86%
Apple iPhone XS
2952 Points ∼66% +22%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
2721 Points ∼61% +12%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2832 Points ∼63% +17%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2421 - 4493, n=9)
3422 Points ∼76% +41%
Average of class Smartphone (375 - 4703, n=402)
1811 Points ∼40% -25%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
2659 Points ∼18%
Huawei Mate 20
5893 Points ∼39% +122%
Apple iPhone XS
14951 Points ∼100% +462%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
7609 Points ∼51% +186%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
6898 Points ∼46% +159%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2536 - 5893, n=9)
4289 Points ∼29% +61%
Average of class Smartphone (131 - 14951, n=402)
2185 Points ∼15% -18%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
2602 Points ∼33%
Huawei Mate 20
5511 Points ∼70% +112%
Apple iPhone XS
7856 Points ∼100% +202%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
5438 Points ∼69% +109%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
5230 Points ∼67% +101%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2525 - 5511, n=9)
4053 Points ∼52% +56%
Average of class Smartphone (159 - 8141, n=403)
1860 Points ∼24% -29%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
3643 Points ∼86%
Huawei Mate 20
4216 Points ∼100% +16%
Apple iPhone XS
2960 Points ∼70% -19%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
3620 Points ∼86% -1%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2528 Points ∼60% -31%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (3380 - 4216, n=9)
3820 Points ∼91% +5%
Average of class Smartphone (486 - 4320, n=463)
1772 Points ∼42% -51%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
3570 Points ∼69%
Huawei Mate 20
4232 Points ∼82% +19%
Apple iPhone XS
3712 Points ∼72% +4%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
5190 Points ∼100% +45%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
4746 Points ∼91% +33%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2082 - 4400, n=9)
3851 Points ∼74% +8%
Average of class Smartphone (65 - 6362, n=465)
1334 Points ∼26% -63%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
3586 Points ∼76%
Huawei Mate 20
4228 Points ∼89% +18%
Apple iPhone XS
3514 Points ∼74% -2%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
4734 Points ∼100% +32%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
3972 Points ∼84% +11%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2276 - 4264, n=9)
3828 Points ∼81% +7%
Average of class Smartphone (80 - 5734, n=473)
1273 Points ∼27% -65%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
3756 Points ∼89%
Huawei Mate 20
4215 Points ∼100% +12%
Apple iPhone XS
Points ∼0% -100%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
2541 Points ∼60% -32%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
2720 Points ∼65% -28%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (3548 - 4215, n=9)
3887 Points ∼92% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (512 - 4454, n=496)
1680 Points ∼40% -55%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
2755 Points ∼33%
Huawei Mate 20
5245 Points ∼63% +90%
Apple iPhone XS
Points ∼0% -100%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
8219 Points ∼99% +198%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
8261 Points ∼100% +200%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2347 - 5431, n=9)
4073 Points ∼49% +48%
Average of class Smartphone (43 - 10008, n=496)
1803 Points ∼22% -35%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
2928 Points ∼51%
Huawei Mate 20
4975 Points ∼87% +70%
Apple iPhone XS
Points ∼0% -100%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
5492 Points ∼97% +88%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
5687 Points ∼100% +94%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2567 - 4996, n=9)
3987 Points ∼70% +36%
Average of class Smartphone (55 - 7820, n=504)
1549 Points ∼27% -47%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
20851 Points ∼57%
Huawei Mate 20
35932 Points ∼98% +72%
Apple iPhone XS
27400 Points ∼75% +31%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
36762 Points ∼100% +76%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
34928 Points ∼95% +68%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (19993 - 37164, n=9)
27400 Points ∼75% +31%
Average of class Smartphone (4811 - 45072, n=654)
13712 Points ∼37% -34%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
42128 Points ∼26%
Huawei Mate 20
67956 Points ∼42% +61%
Apple iPhone XS
160199 Points ∼100% +280%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
81502 Points ∼51% +93%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
82125 Points ∼51% +95%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (42128 - 67956, n=9)
53493 Points ∼33% +27%
Average of class Smartphone (7567 - 162695, n=654)
20179 Points ∼13% -52%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
34341 Points ∼45%
Huawei Mate 20
56722 Points ∼74% +65%
Apple iPhone XS
77128 Points ∼100% +125%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
64152 Points ∼83% +87%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
63159 Points ∼82% +84%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (34035 - 57073, n=9)
44122 Points ∼57% +28%
Average of class Smartphone (8316 - 83518, n=655)
16716 Points ∼22% -51%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
70 fps ∼28%
Huawei Mate 20
134 fps ∼53% +91%
Apple iPhone XS
251 fps ∼100% +259%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
150 fps ∼60% +114%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
150 fps ∼60% +114%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (68 - 138, n=9)
106 fps ∼42% +51%
Average of class Smartphone (6 - 251, n=684)
35.2 fps ∼14% -50%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
55 fps ∼89%
Huawei Mate 20
62 fps ∼100% +13%
Apple iPhone XS
60 fps ∼97% +9%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
60 fps ∼97% +9%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
60 fps ∼97% +9%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (55 - 62, n=9)
58.6 fps ∼95% +7%
Average of class Smartphone (9.8 - 120, n=687)
27.1 fps ∼44% -51%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
48 fps ∼42%
Huawei Mate 20
87 fps ∼76% +81%
Apple iPhone XS
115 fps ∼100% +140%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
71 fps ∼62% +48%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
71 fps ∼62% +48%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (40 - 91, n=9)
68 fps ∼59% +42%
Average of class Smartphone (2.7 - 132, n=603)
19.4 fps ∼17% -60%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
58 fps ∼97%
Huawei Mate 20
60 fps ∼100% +3%
Apple iPhone XS
60 fps ∼100% +3%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
58 fps ∼97% 0%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
58 fps ∼97% 0%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (37 - 60, n=9)
54.3 fps ∼91% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (5.4 - 115, n=608)
18 fps ∼30% -69%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
53 fps ∼85%
Huawei Mate 20
55 fps ∼89% +4%
Apple iPhone XS
62 fps ∼100% +17%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
58 fps ∼94% +9%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
35 fps ∼56% -34%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (25 - 56, n=9)
44 fps ∼71% -17%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 88, n=464)
15.9 fps ∼26% -70%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
47 fps ∼84%
Huawei Mate 20
51 fps ∼91% +9%
Apple iPhone XS
48 fps ∼86% +2%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
56 fps ∼100% +19%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
54 fps ∼96% +15%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (24 - 54, n=9)
42.9 fps ∼77% -9%
Average of class Smartphone (3.4 - 110, n=467)
15.3 fps ∼27% -67%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
268359 Points ∼77%
Huawei Mate 20
302465 Points ∼87% +13%
Apple iPhone XS
348178 Points ∼100% +30%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
246366 Points ∼71% -8%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
263165 Points ∼76% -2%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (268359 - 316199, n=9)
292583 Points ∼84% +9%
Average of class Smartphone (52607 - 398720, n=286)
131662 Points ∼38% -51%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
253447 Points ∼100%
Huawei Mate 20
254229 Points ∼100% 0%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
226124 Points ∼89% -11%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
227026 Points ∼89% -10%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (245662 - 254229, n=9)
250407 Points ∼98% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 283270, n=486)
86413 Points ∼34% -66%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
1257 Points ∼73%
Huawei Mate 20
1430 Points ∼84% +14%
Apple iPhone XS
1711 Points ∼100% +36%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
1400 Points ∼82% +11%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
1296 Points ∼76% +3%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (1239 - 1430, n=9)
1329 Points ∼78% +6%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1731, n=616)
747 Points ∼44% -41%
Graphics (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
4963 Points ∼31%
Huawei Mate 20
5455 Points ∼34% +10%
Apple iPhone XS
15875 Points ∼100% +220%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
7743 Points ∼49% +56%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
7945 Points ∼50% +60%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (4963 - 7758, n=9)
6356 Points ∼40% +28%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 15969, n=616)
1965 Points ∼12% -60%
Memory (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
5431 Points ∼92%
Huawei Mate 20
5929 Points ∼100% +9%
Apple iPhone XS
4169 Points ∼70% -23%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
3704 Points ∼62% -32%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
3239 Points ∼55% -40%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (5210 - 6283, n=9)
5631 Points ∼95% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 7500, n=616)
1473 Points ∼25% -73%
System (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
7789 Points ∼64%
Huawei Mate 20
8602 Points ∼70% +10%
Apple iPhone XS
12202 Points ∼100% +57%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
8418 Points ∼69% +8%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
6506 Points ∼53% -16%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7597 - 8604, n=9)
8112 Points ∼66% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 12202, n=616)
2887 Points ∼24% -63%
Overall (sort by value)
Honor Magic 2
4014 Points ∼66%
Huawei Mate 20
4466 Points ∼73% +11%
Apple iPhone XS
6097 Points ∼100% +52%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
4288 Points ∼70% +7%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
3838 Points ∼63% -4%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (4014 - 4746, n=9)
4419 Points ∼72% +10%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 6097, n=620)
1437 Points ∼24% -64%

Legend

 
Honor Magic 2 HiSilicon Kirin 980, ARM Mali-G76 MP10, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei Mate 20 HiSilicon Kirin 980, ARM Mali-G76 MP10, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Apple iPhone XS Apple A12 Bionic, Apple A12 Bionic GPU, Apple 512 GB (iPhone Xs)
 
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm Adreno 630, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash

Web-browsing performance was not as bad, and the Magic 2 managed to outperform at least its two Qualcomm competitors in four of the five tests performed. As usual, Apple’s iPhone and its perfectly optimized Safari browser play in a different league.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Apple iPhone XS (Safari Mobile 12.0)
272.3 Points ∼100% +167%
Huawei Mate 20 (Chrome 70.0.3538.80)
106.97 Points ∼39% +5%
Honor Magic 2 (Huawei Browser 9.0.1.331)
102 Points ∼37%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (93.2 - 109, n=8)
101 Points ∼37% -1%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Chrome 68)
75.959 Points ∼28% -26%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (Chrome 68)
71.172 Points ∼26% -30%
Average of class Smartphone (12 - 273, n=516)
39.1 Points ∼14% -62%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPhone XS (Safari Mobile 12.0)
43280 Points ∼100% +106%
Huawei Mate 20 (Chrome 70.0.3538.80)
21849 Points ∼50% +4%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (20618 - 23285, n=9)
21662 Points ∼50% +3%
Honor Magic 2 (Huawei Browser 9.0.1.331)
20975 Points ∼48%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Chrome 68)
14514 Points ∼34% -31%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (Chrome 68)
13360 Points ∼31% -36%
Average of class Smartphone (1994 - 43280, n=677)
6359 Points ∼15% -70%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=697)
10720 ms * ∼100% -440%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (Chrome 68)
3179 ms * ∼30% -60%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Chrome 68)
2713.6 ms * ∼25% -37%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (1948 - 3098, n=9)
2189 ms * ∼20% -10%
Honor Magic 2 (Huawei Browser 9.0.1.331)
1984 ms * ∼19%
Huawei Mate 20 (Chrome 70.0.3538.80)
1947.9 ms * ∼18% +2%
Apple iPhone XS (Safari Mobile 12.0)
609.1 ms * ∼6% +69%
WebXPRT 3 - ---
Apple iPhone XS (Safari Mobile 12.0)
159 Points ∼100% +64%
Huawei Mate 20 (Chrome 70.0.3538.80)
124 Points ∼78% +28%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (86 - 124, n=9)
103 Points ∼65% +6%
Honor Magic 2
97 Points ∼61%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (Chrome 68)
75 Points ∼47% -23%
Average of class Smartphone (19 - 161, n=147)
63 Points ∼40% -35%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPhone XS (Safari Mobile 12.0)
345 Points ∼100% +51%
Huawei Mate 20 (Chrome 70.0.3538.80)
328 Points ∼95% +44%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980 (228 - 334, n=5)
277 Points ∼80% +21%
Honor Magic 2 (Huawei Browser 9.0.1.331)
228 Points ∼66%
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (Chrome 68)
223 Points ∼65% -2%
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (Chrome 68)
211 Points ∼61% -7%
Average of class Smartphone (66 - 362, n=332)
119 Points ∼34% -48%

* ... smaller is better

Neither Honor nor Huawei tend to forgo the microSD slot on their devices; however, in this case Honor had to sacrifice storage expansion to the sliding mechanism design. To make amends, Honor also offers a model with 256 GB of internal storage, and our review unit’s 128 GB was quite decent as well. As a bonus, they also turned out to be pretty fast.

Honor Magic 2Huawei Mate 20Sony Xperia XZ2 PremiumXiaomi Pocophone F1Average 128 GB UFS 2.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-7%
-31%
-40%
-19%
-70%
Random Write 4KB
250
158.15
-37%
21.75
-91%
17.81
-93%
86.8 (18.2 - 250, n=39)
-65%
20.6 (0.14 - 250, n=725)
-92%
Random Read 4KB
143
157.95
10%
135.99
-5%
101.01
-29%
139 (98.9 - 158, n=39)
-3%
45.4 (1.59 - 175, n=725)
-68%
Sequential Write 256KB
185
196.66
6%
170.98
-8%
155.57
-16%
205 (182 - 503, n=39)
11%
93 (2.99 - 503, n=725)
-50%
Sequential Read 256KB
908
839.57
-8%
748.59
-18%
705.38
-22%
751 (427 - 912, n=39)
-17%
262 (12.1 - 1468, n=725)
-71%

Gaming

Whether or not it makes sense to play Fortnite on a small smartphone screen is up for debate, however the Honor’s big high-contrast screen is most likely better than average for this scenario. Tapping and swiping were instantly recognized, but it was impossible to locate enemies by sound alone due to the device’s single speaker. A headset is thus inevitable.

Fortnite on the Honor Magic 2
Fortnite on the Honor Magic 2

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench battery test: SoC under load
GFXBench battery test: SoC under load

Our review unit did not break any performance records in our benchmarks, but in return it also remained fairly cool overall and did not throttle under load at all.

Surface temperatures remained at a very comfortable level during everyday use.

Max. Load
 37.3 °C
99 F
34.9 °C
95 F
33 °C
91 F
 
 37.1 °C
99 F
34.5 °C
94 F
33.8 °C
93 F
 
 37 °C
99 F
34.6 °C
94 F
33 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 37.3 °C = 99 F
Average: 35 °C = 95 F
32.5 °C
91 F
34.5 °C
94 F
39.2 °C
103 F
32.5 °C
91 F
35 °C
95 F
39.4 °C
103 F
32.7 °C
91 F
34.5 °C
94 F
39.4 °C
103 F
Maximum: 39.4 °C = 103 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  36.6 °C = 98 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37.3 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.4 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.2 °C / 83 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Honor Magic 2 thermal images
Honor Magic 2 thermal images

Speakers

The Honor Magic 2’s single speaker was loud enough even for video playback at less than maximum volume. At 89.7 dB(A) it was louder than the average smartphone. Very low bass frequencies were present, however at a frequency range that is inaudible to the human ear. Like on all other smartphones Huawei’s Histen Sound effects can only be enabled with a connected headset.

Huawei Histen menu
Huawei Histen menu
Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2044.456.82541.249.73139.252.84039.3405039.341.46334.438.78033.936.910037.335.712533.232.316031.841.620027.755.825026.660.431532.761.640026.366.650028.966.663025.265.980022.969.2100023.173.4125022.575.9160021.875.4200021.481.1250021.280.1315021.781.5400021.979.8500021.678.3630021.675.9800021.574.91000021.3721250021.467.31600021.452.3SPL76.835.689.7N36.62.676.9median 22.5median 69.2Delta3.49.932.635.828.930.825.227.926.125.230.235.926.928.928.732.229.126.418.429.42142.824.34317.449.316.853.815.352.815.656.114.159.215.262.114.161.314.663.214.667.114.267.213.868.11468.614.670.414.469.214.66614.458.814.854.314.654.114.742.82778.40.939.8median 14.6median 58.81.4103030.130.123.529.328.426.92632.826.624.824.520.723.219.535.718.644.221.451.72552.617.454.516.255.418.458.215.461.713.56513.764.213.768.414.673.414.975.914.476.414.777.114.677.414.878.314.776.914.676.51575.614.966.915.159.614.951.827.287.30.967.5median 14.9median 651.411.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseHonor Magic 2Huawei Mate 20Apple iPhone XS
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Honor Magic 2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.3% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 33% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 58% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Mate 20 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.5% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.5% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 22% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 51% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple iPhone XS audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.6% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 10.5% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 15% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 77% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 43% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 49% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life

Power Consumption

This is where the magic happens. The highly anticipated 40 W power supply was able to charge the Magic 2’s 3,500 mAh battery from near empty to 50% in just 18 minutes, and to 100% in just slightly over an hour (1:10 h).

Power consumption itself was less than magical, though. When idle and in low load scenarios the Magic 2 was the most efficient smartphone in our test group. This quickly changed under load, but the device remained inconspicuous throughout the test.

We should also mention that Honor’s Super Safe Charging Technology has been certified by the TÜV Rheinland, a German Technical Inspection Association that provides inspection and product certification services.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.6 / 0.9 / 1.9 Watt
Load midlight 6.3 / 7.05 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Honor Magic 2
3400 mAh
Huawei Mate 20
4000 mAh
Apple iPhone XS
2658 mAh
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
3540 mAh
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
4000 mAh
Average HiSilicon Kirin 980
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-41%
-4%
-37%
-26%
-34%
-18%
Idle Minimum *
0.6
0.69
-15%
0.95
-58%
0.67
-12%
0.65
-8%
0.794 (0.6 - 0.97, n=9)
-32%
0.878 (0.2 - 3.4, n=752)
-46%
Idle Average *
0.9
2.28
-153%
1.34
-49%
2.5
-178%
1.97
-119%
2.04 (0.9 - 2.6, n=9)
-127%
1.732 (0.6 - 6.2, n=751)
-92%
Idle Maximum *
1.9
2.52
-33%
1.48
22%
2.51
-32%
2.01
-6%
2.37 (1.83 - 2.77, n=9)
-25%
2.02 (0.74 - 6.6, n=752)
-6%
Load Average *
6.3
5.21
17%
4
37%
4.3
32%
4.29
32%
4.91 (3.74 - 6.3, n=9)
22%
4.06 (0.8 - 10.8, n=746)
36%
Load Maximum *
7.05
8.49
-20%
5.13
27%
6.87
3%
9.05
-28%
7.51 (6.15 - 9.85, n=9)
-7%
5.88 (1.2 - 14.2, n=746)
17%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

As with power consumption, battery life was largely inconspicuous as well, and the Magic 2 lasted for a decent amount of time. In direct comparison with its competitors it outperformed Sony's Xperia XZ2 Premium and Apple's iPhone XS in our Wi-Fi test, during which it lasted for almost 13 hours before it ran out of power. The Mate 20 and Xiaomi's Pocophone F1 lasted significantly longer, though.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 71)
12h 53min
Honor Magic 2
3400 mAh
Huawei Mate 20
4000 mAh
Apple iPhone XS
2658 mAh
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
3540 mAh
Xiaomi Pocophone F1
4000 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
773
885
14%
570
-26%
547
-29%
808
5%

Pros

+ full-view display
+ triple-camera setup
+ plenty of storage
+ plenty of RAM
+ dual SIM, dual VoLTE
+ modern, sleek design

Cons

- not officially available outside of China
- lacks Play Store and international keyboard layouts ex-factory
- special features unavailable outside of China
- storage not expandable
- heavy

Verdict

Honor Magic 2
Honor Magic 2

No doubt, Honor’s Magic 2 is a very special smartphone. Its true full view display is going to please anybody who prefers a bezel-less display but dreads the existence of a notch despite the fact that these design abominations are getting smaller and smaller (see OnePlus’ recent attempts). In addition, the Magic 2 also features an amazing triple-camera system offering great photo capabilities to amateurs and professionals alike.

As long as the phone is not officially exported you will have to import it directly from China via established import channels. Prices start at around $730, and thus significantly above Huawei’s Mate 20.

In direct comparison with the Huawei Mate 20 the Magic 2 gets the short end of the stick.

But even if the price was lower the Mate 20 would still be the better choice over the Magic 2. The latter’s performance is significantly worse, and so is battery life. If you like the idea of a slider design you may also want to take a look at the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.

Honor Magic 2 - 12/23/2018 v6
Inge Schwabe

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
95%
Connectivity
48 / 60 → 80%
Weight
88%
Battery
96%
Display
85%
Games Performance
63 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
81 / 70 → 100%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
78 / 91 → 86%
Camera
85%
Average
82%
88%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Honor Magic 2 Smartphone Review
Inge Schwabe, 2018-12-26 (Update: 2019-02-23)