Le Parisien to the test: the Honor Magic 4 Pro, a new entry in the high range

Le Parisien to the test: the Honor Magic 4 Pro, a new entry in the high range

Previously a satellite brand of the giant Huawei, Honor has been flying on its own for a year. A strategic choice that allows the Chinese manufacturer to recover essential Google services, while its former older brother remains deprived of them. Another advantage of this emancipation: the possibility of marketing smartphones at all prices, and especially premium mobiles, to break with its low cost image. To get the message across, the firm launches its first flagship, the Honor Magic 4 Pro, marketed at 1,099 euros, and available from May 30. We tested it for a few weeks and this is what we think.

We liked it

A screen that dazzles. Curved edges, definition close to WQHD (2848×1312 pixels), vibrant colors, very good brightness… The Honor Magic 4 Pro’s 6.8-inch OLED panel is a sight for sore eyes. We are happy to watch videos, edit photos or just browse the Internet. The icing on the cake: it offers an adaptive refresh rate that goes from 1 to 120 Hz (120 frames per second), for greater fluidity, but also compatibility with HDR10 +. Guaranteed surprise effect.

A racing beast. As expected, the Honor Magic 4 Pro integrates the fastest Android chip of the moment, namely Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the one found in all high-end devices. It is paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (not expandable). An efficient setup: the phone is fluid in all circumstances and the most demanding games run without flinching.

Onion finishes. Honor has meticulously finished your baby using noble materials. Thus, we find glass (glossy) on the back and aluminum for the edges. Everything is perfectly integrated, the physical buttons seem robust and fall well under the fingers. The dorsal photo module, which we will talk about later, occupies a large part of the back and protrudes little from the body of the mobile, which is quite thin. We also appreciate the IP68 certification that makes the device waterproof.

Good and versatile in photography. The Honor Magic 4 Pro has no less than five modules dedicated to photography on the back:

– A main sensor of 50 Megapixels (MP),

– An ultra wide angle of 50 MP too,

– A 64 MP telephoto lens,

– A module that measures the depth of field,

– A module that manages the blinking.

During the day, the Honor takes beautiful photos. Photos are well contrasted, rich in detail, and the shot fires up very quickly. However, there is a slight overexposure in some photos. The overall result is still very satisfactory.

The ultra wide angle also offers a good result: the sharpness is good, as is the color rendering. Edge warping remains limited.

The 3.5x optical zoom does an excellent job: color reproduction and sharpness are good, detail is high, and sharpness is well preserved. At X10, again, it’s even very good: sharpness and sharpness are there. The smartphone can go up to X100, but the result is no longer really usable.

At night, when the dedicated mode is activated and using the main sensor, the phone works fine most of the time. The rendering remains natural even if, at times, the colors fade a bit and the exposure is a bit too far. The result is nice but it is still below what the Pixel 6 range or an Oppo Find X5 Pro can offer.

We will avoid using the ultra wide angle at night, as well as the zoom: the level of detail drops and the blur appears too often.

Portrait mode works very well, most of the time offering a well-controlled crop and natural blur.

The 12 MP selfie camera handles backlight quite well and offers a decent level of detail. However, the skin is a bit too smooth, even when the “beautification” option is turned off. We also appreciate the possibility of taking group selfies by playing with the shooting angle.

Super efficient fast charging. Honor integrates a 100 W block in the box that allows refueling in about half an hour. And 15 minutes is enough to recover about 50% of the energy. Through a dock that is sold separately (179.80 euros), the firm also offers wireless charging that promises to go from 0 to 100 in just 35 minutes. In terms of autonomy, the Honor Magic 4 Pro does not particularly stand out: in mixed use, it will last approximately a day and a half. Count just one day if you use the device a lot. Average, nothing more.

we liked it less

A back sensitive to fingerprints. The shiny glass back is very picky for fingerprints. The phone gets oily and dirty pretty quickly. A phenomenon that we observe both for the cyan color, that of our test model, and for the black model.

A huge block that makes it difficult to grab. Impossible to miss it. The impressive dorsal photo module, baptized as “Eye of Muse”, will attract attention… and cause many doubts: beautiful or not beautiful? Beyond its aesthetic considerations, its size has made our grip a bit uneasy because it is not uncommon for fingers to land on it, and therefore obstruct the photographic modules.

A piece of software that could be better. The phone runs Android 12, with an internal overlay called Magic UI. This interface is very similar to that of… Huawei. If kept complete and functional, it lacks refinement in our opinion. Icons look outdated, animations a bit slow and basic. We regret Google’s Material You style, minimalist and elegant… Above all, this interface integrates a good number of applications that duplicate those of the American giant. Not to mention the bloatware, these third-party apps from associated brands, installed by default, that taint a premium phone…

Verdict

Honor offers an excellent high-end smartphone, looking strong, gifted and versatile in photography. We also like the efficiency of fast charging, whether by cable or induction, the quality of the finish and the sumptuous screen. The only real downside is a bit of software that looks a bit dated and this huge block of photos that makes it slightly difficult to grip. But these flaws weigh little with respect to the general qualities of the device, which stands out as a reference of choice. Honor has her napkin holder on the adult table.

The (good) alternatives: the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Oppo Find X5 Pro, the Xiaomi 12 Pro, the Pixel 6 Pro.

honor Magic 4 Pro, 5G, NFC, dual SIM. One configuration available: 8GB/256GB (not expandable). Without jack plug. Two colors: cyan and black.

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