For its new high-end smartphone, Honor didn’t do things by halves. According to him, the Magic 4 Pro is equipped with the best in photography, an almost perfect screen, an ultra-fast charging system and incredible processing power. All for €1099, which is far from cheap, we will agree. Obviously, we wanted to verify all of this with a copy that was loaned to us by the manufacturer a month before its official launch. We tell you everything in this test!
The Magic 4 Pro is available for pre-order from May 18 in an 8 GB + 256 GB version available in black and cyan versions. Its public price including tax is €1,099 excluding subscription and operator subsidy. When pre-ordered, Honor will offer a 100-watt induction charger as well as an Honor GS3 smartwatch at no price increase.
The least we can say is that the front and rear cameras of the Magic 4 Pro do not go unnoticed. The first takes the form of a capsule-shaped punch which houses two modules. The second, much more imposing, takes place in a disc reminiscent of the lens of a traditional camera. While not being discreet, it stands out from what the competition offers… and that's not so bad!
© Lemon squeezer
The rear camera of the Magic 4 Pro is made up of three modules:
- Main: 50 Mpxl (size 1/1.56’’; photosites 1 μm); f/1.8 lens
- Ultra wide-angle: 50 Mpxl sensor (1/2, 5″ size); f/2.2 lens; 122° viewing angle; macro at 25 mm
- Telephoto lens: 64 Mpxl sensor; (size 1/2’’); f/3.5 lens; 3.5x periscopic optical zoom; optical and electronic stabilization
They are supplemented by two technical modules providing laser autofocus, spatial detection of objects in the scene as well as exposure control.
The front camera is built around a 12 Mpxl sensor ( photosites 1.22 μm) and an objective whose field of view reaches 100°. A 3D module accompanies it to ensure unlocking by facial recognition.
At the time of writing this test, Honor provides a minimum service in terms of communicating the technical specifications of the photo part. For example, some important information is missing such as the focal length of the lenses and sometimes even their aperture (front camera). Finally, let's move on.
The 3.5x optical zoom gives great results indoors © Presse-citron
Very good, but what does that actually mean? To be honest, we were amazed by the quality of the images produced at ultra wide angle up to 3.5x optical zoom. Whether taken in direct sunlight, in a shaded area or even in a room with suitable artificial lighting, they are correctly defined and offer a very respectable level of detail.
Digital noise remains discreet in dark areas of the scene, pixel binningand AI being well mastered. The latter tends to exaggerate the saturation in certain cases (landscape photos or photos with a large area of sky). This can be corrected by temporarily deactivating it or using the “pro” shooting mode. The shots remain beautiful and highly usable between 3.5x and 10x, with the AI interpreting the information from the sensors relevantly.
Ultra-Fusion technology uses information from two or three modules in a single shot as quickly as possible. She uses it to produce a sharper image and it works quite well. Ultra-Fusion is also used to generate good HDR photos.
Main module © Lemon squeezer
Zoom 10x © Presse-citron
Artificial bokeh is sometimes approximate on complex scenes (at the nozzle and trigger, for example) © Presse-citron
The management of artificial Bokeh is a little less convincing. On simple scenes, the AI succeeds in creating beautiful images in good or average brightness. But as soon as things get complicated, errors of interpretation become more frequent. All of this works without any major problems for traditional use, but could quickly make an amateur photographer's eyes bleed.
We also regret the impossibility of varying the amount of background blur after shooting. This capacity, although mastered by many manufacturers (Huawei, Samsung and Apple, to name a few), is sorely lacking here. It would make it possible to correct some AI errors in this area by simply canceling the artificial blur. Perhaps in a future evolution of the software?
The Super Macro mode allows you to take magnificent views as long as you take care to position the smartphone 2.5 cm from the subject in order to have a very clear result . Let us also mention the presence of pleasant creative filters and the “Pro” shooting mode. to give free rein to your creativity.
In low light, the images are very respectable © Presse-citron
The Magic 4 Pro also spoils amateur or more demanding videographers. The first will take advantage of the “Video” function where all settings are managed automatically. The others will jump on the “cinema” function where they will access manual settings, but also V-LOG shooting (ideal for post-production on a computer) or LUTs. These make it possible to create a specific atmosphere of the shot while maintaining a welcome cinematic aspect. Finally, we can also force HDR capture, something impossible in simple video mode.
© Lemon squeezer
In any case, the Magic 4 pro can create 4K 60fps footage. The sequences benefit from decent stabilization, but not as impressive as what we have seen on other products. Zoom can be activated while shooting up to 2x. The image produced is very correct, but sometimes a little jerky. Good point also for the possibility of shooting still images while recording a video without disturbance. The image is in all cases in high definition, but not in 4K. Finally, the sound is captured and then reproduced very correctly.
The AI is sometimes a little too enthusiastic about colors outdoors © Presse-citron
A word about the front camera, which we consider to have very good performance. Taking selfies in broad daylight or average light remains very satisfactory. We appreciate being able to widen the camera angle in order to take nice group photos. In night mode, the screen acts as additional lighting to produce correct images. The video is of good quality and can be played in up to 4K.
If it is not the best smartphone of the moment in terms of photography, the Magic 4 Pro is undoubtedly in the lead. To its credit, excellent optical quality and good management of night shooting are to its credit. All that remains is to refine the portrait mode so that the whole thing is even more convincing!
If we rely on its technical sheet, the Magic 4 Pro screen has all the characteristics of a very high-end one. It is designed around a 6.81” AMOLED LPTO panel in 19.5:9 format displaying 1312 x 2848 pixels (density of 460 dots per inch). It is surrounded by very thin black borders, the verticals being almost invisible thanks to the curvature of the slab.
The latter benefits from a refresh rate varying from 1 to 120 Hz, HDR10+ compatibility and can display just over a billion colors. No worries about the brightness which can reach a maximum of 1000 nits: the screen remains readable in direct sunlight, provided you do not opt for dark mode.
The screen covers 100% of standard color spaces (sRGB and P3). By default, its calibration is very good, with colors being reproduced accurately. Depending on your tastes and habits, you can use the “bright colors” setting. which increases the contrast (image more pleasing to the eye) or keep the default setting “normal”. This automatically selects the color space best suited to the application on the screen.
During our tests, we did not once fault the quality of the screen . The image remains fluid and contrasted on all occasions, the colors are more than satisfactory. The presence of devices for improving videos in standard definition and/or with hesitant framerates can be helpful. You will have to activate them in the display settings.
We understand, the Magic 4 pro screen is really killerand is undoubtedly one of the best we've come across this year.
The Magic 4 Pro is built around a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, the most powerful currently available from Qualcomm .It comes with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage (non-expandable). After reading its technical sheet, we had no particular concerns about the performance of the smartphone… and we were right.
© Lemon squeezer
We're not going to bombard you with benchmark results, but rather tell you about our feelings. The Magic 4 Pro is a real pleasure to use for “serious” tasks. (video editing, photo editing, etc.) only for fun activities. The games that require the most computing power like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Mobile and especially Asphalt 9 run smoothly, even at maximum detail. Of course the device can sometimes heat up, but it has never become unpleasant to hold.
It is clear that the Magic 4 Pro keeps Honor's promise in terms of of computing power.And if we didn't fall on the floor, it's just because we were sitting while this test was carried out!
The Magic 4 Pro comes with a 100 Watt SuperCharge power adapter, which is supposed to charge the 4600 mAh battery to 50% in 15 minutes. We verified this in the conditions of daily life, where we do not have a humidity and temperature controlled testing laboratory. It then took us 18 minutes instead of 15, with the transition to 100% requiring 38 minutes.In any case, the charging speed is more than satisfactory, with some major manufacturers like Apple or Samsung being very far behind (not to mention the absence of a charger).
If you swear by induction, you'll be happy to know that Honor is selling a 100-Watt SuperCharge wireless base. The manufacturer announces a transition from 0 to 100% in 35 minutes, provided you use a Supercherie 135 Watt power supply (not supplied). Here too, Honor errs on the side of optimism, since it took us on average between 40 and 45 minutes to complete the operation. This does not prevent us from praising the performance, to our knowledge unrivaled at the time this test was written.
Things are a bit less glorious for autonomy, inevitably weighed down by the gigantism of the screen , the activation of 5 G and above all by the use of a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. We can thus exceed day and a half in normal use(some video, internet, media playback and moderate gaming sessions). In intensive use, you will have to be content with at most a day of geeking. It's not extraordinary, but it's not ridiculous either: the Magic 4 Pro is in line with its direct competitors.
Design: lens or vinyl…
Classic in its design, the Magic 4 Pro? Yes, as long as you don't care about the rear camera. As mentioned above, Honor chose to place it in a huge black disk. If it irresistibly reminds us of the lens of a camera, others see it more as a good old vinyl record…
© Lemon squeezer
By aligning it with the upper part of the vertical median, Honor gives it a significant advantage. When placed flat on a table, the smartphone is not wobbly like those equipped with an off-center rear camera can be. We can therefore use it with complete peace of mind in this position. And casually, that counts, even if the camera does not protrude much from the rear panel.
For the rest, nothing very transcendent to report: mechanical keys grouped on the right side, nano drawer -SIM and USB-C connector on the bottom and audio jack on the hatch. Ha yes: the smartphone is pleasant to hold, despite its thickness which flirts with a centimeter (9.15 mm to be exact) and a respectable weight (215 grams).
Software: Magic UI reaches maturity
The Magic 4 Pro is the brand's first smartphone to integrate Android 12 and the in-house Magic UI 6.0 overlay(the others are currently capped at Magic UI 4.2). Without going into details, we will nevertheless point out that Magic UI 6.0 takes up the spirit of Android Stock while filling in some of its shortcomings. We particularly appreciate the very intuitive multitasking management, the enlarged folders (whose content is much more visible on the home page) or the possibility of transforming the icons of certain applications into “cards” (very close to widgets).
At the end of this test, it is clear that the Magic 4 Pro keeps all the promises made by Honor. We particularly appreciate its very successful screen, the computing power it offers as well as the ultra-fast charging mechanism.
Photography and video are not left out — far from it — even if some functions deserve to be improved (hello portrait mode…)
Autonomy is average, nothing more. Of course, we would have loved to be able to last two or three days before having to go through the recharge box. But in the current state of technology, this remains in the realm of dreams.
It remains to be seen whether we are ready to pay 1100 euros for an Honor smartphone… In our opinion, the answer is positive both this Magic 4 Pro holds its own against competitors a few hundred euros more expensive.