Honor Magic 4 Pro review: Can it compete with the big boys?

Honor’s flagship offers fast charging, a large display, and a great camera

Honor Magic 4 Pro
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Honor Magic 4 Pro review

Bottom line

The Honor Magic 4 Pro offers top-of-the-line performance, a capable camera, a brilliant display, and super-fast charging, which all contribute to making the Honor Magic 4 Pro a capable flagship in 2022.

Overall
4.2

Pros

  • Great camera
  • Fast wireless and wired charging
  • Brilliant large display
  • Speedy performance

Cons

  • Fingerprint prone and heavy
  • Battery life isn’t as good as the competition
  • Bokeh issues
  • Dated UI overlay

It has been nearly 4 years since we’ve reviewed an Honor phone. Back then Honor had a strong track record for releasing superb phones that were feature-rich despite having a low price tag. If you’re not familiar with Honor, the company was originally a subsidiary of Huawei, but it became an independent brand after Huawei sold them back in 2020.

Fast forward to 2022, and we have the Honor Magic 4 Pro. The Honor Magic 4 Pro was first announced at Mobile World Congress last February. It’s a flagship-level smartphone with premium specs that is designed to compete against the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi’s flagship phones. This premium flagship is somewhat of a departure for Honor which is best known for its budget smartphones. So can the Honor Magic 4 Pro compete with other flagships in 2022?

Honor Magic 4 Pro design

The design of the Honor Magic 4 Pro is quite distinctive thanks to the large black circular camera module on its backside that Honors calls ‘Eye of Muse’. While we appreciate that Honor has come up with a design that is pretty unique, we don’t think that this circular camera module is particularly attractive.

The phone is available in a choice of 4 colors – cyan, gold, black, and white, all made of a glass backside. The glass back is unsurprisingly a fingerprint magnet. Fortunately, a free transparent plastic case is included in the box. You’re definitely going to want to use that case since the phone doesn’t use Gorilla Glass to help protect from cracks, scratches, and drops. Fortunately, the Magic 4 Pro does have an IP68 rating.

Measuring 157.3mm x 75.1mm x 8.3mm and weighing 215g, the Honor Magic 4 Pro is too big and hefty for our taste. To that effect, when it comes to weight, it’s as heavy as the Pixel 6 Pro, which we also consider to be too hefty. To that effect, most users are going to need two hands to operate the Magic 4 Pro. However, the Magic 4 Pro’s curved display edges do help make it look less large than it actually is.

Honor Magic 4 Pro display

The Honor Magic 4 Pro packs in one of the largest smartphone displays on the market. It’s a quad-curved 6.81-inch OLED display with a 1-120Hz variable refresh rate and a pill-shaped dual selfie camera cut-out.  We’re not a fan of the pill-shaped dual selfie camera cut-out, since it can be quite a bit distracting and ultimately takes up some precious display real estate.

The display features LTPO tech that will scale down the display’s responsiveness to save power as needed. The display’s peak brightness of 1,000 nits isn’t the best out there for a flagship, but we found that the display still holds up very well under direct sunlight.

There’s an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor located under the display which is very responsive. The phone also supports face unlock which is extra secure thanks to the selfie camera’s extra depth sensor.

Honor Magic 4 Pro performance

Under the hood, the Honor Magic 4 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and 8GB of RAM alongside 256GB of storage. Testing the device with Geekbench, the Honor Magic 4 Pro managed to marginally outperform the speedy Oppo Find X5 Pro, and it lags just behind the OnePlus 10 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22+. Overall, the Honor Magic 4 Pro’s benchmark scores are impressive – the Honor Magic 4 Pro offers excellent performance for a flagship.

Honor Magic 4 Pro cameras

The large circular read camera module on the rear of the Honor Magic 4 Pro is packed with a 50MP main camera, a 50MP ultrawide, and a 64MP periscopic zoom. The main camera is very good – it’s able to produce excellent details and true-to-life colors with great dynamic range. Night mode shots on the other hand are mediocre and tend to look artificial, likely due to the phone’s AI software. The Ultrawide camera is solid but suffers from some over-exposed shots.

The selfie camera is made up of a 12MP f/2.4 camera. It’s able to produce solid selfies with a solid color profile, but the bokeh effect used in portraits is often messy, as we discovered that it often struggles to separate hair accurately from a background.

The periscope camera offers very good zoom shots that offer plenty of detail with accurate and vibrant colors. The phone is technically capable of 100x zoom, which is emblazoned on its camera module, but this feature is more of a gimmick than it is practical to use, because photos zoomed out at that range tend to be shaky and blurry.

Overall we’d say that the Hono Magic 4 Pro offers a great camera experience, but it’s not one of the best available on a flagship.

Honor Magic 4 Pro battery life

The Honor Magic 4 Pro is powered by a respectable 4,600 mAh battery. It will get you through a day of regular use, but that’s about it. Fortunately, it’s able to charge up super fast thanks to its support for both 100W wired and wireless charging. Yep, you heard that right – the Honor Magic 4 Pro is the fastest wireless charging phone available right now. Using its 100W wired charger it’s able to charge to 100% in under half an hour. Using the 100W wireless charger, the phone can charge to full in 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the 100W wireless charger is sold separately and is pretty pricey, costing £84.99.

The Honor Magic 4 Pro also supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and ultra-wideband. There’s no 3.5mm audio jack, but most phones don’t offer that these days.

Honor Magic 4 Pro software

The Honor Magic 4 Pro comes running Android 12 and Honor’s Magic UI 6. The aging UI brings some iOS-like aesthetics to Android which we think are unnecessary. There are also some bloatware apps pre-installed, but they can be easily uninstalled.

It’s worth noting that Honor has promised that the phone will receive updates for Android 13 and Android 14, but nothing beyond that.

Honor Magic 4 Pro pricing and availability

The Honor Magic 4 Pro is available to purchase now in the UK, Europe, Asia, and some other countries, but unfortunately, it’s not available in the U.S. It retails for £949/€1,099.

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Should you buy the Honor Magic 4 Pro?

We’re not crazy about the Honor Magic 4 Pro’s ‘Eye of Muse’ design and its overall heftiness, and there are some minor software issues ranging from poor bokeh in selfies, to a UI overlay that is due for a refresh.

But because it’s packed with high-end flagship specs, there’s certainly a lot to like about the Honor Magic 4 Pro. To that effect, the Honor Magic 4 Pro offers speedy performance, a premium build, a great camera, a brilliant large display, and super-fast charging, which all contribute to making the Honor Magic 4 Pro a capable flagship in 2022.

That said, while we’re certainly happy to see Honor working on top-specced flagships, we’d like to see a more affordable flagship offering from Honor that could better compete with the likes of OnePlus and RealMe’s flagship pricing.