Foldables have really started to take off in the last year or so, with the likes of Samsung, Motorola, Oppo and Huawei releasing models that prove the format is more than just a novelty.

Now, it's the turn of Chinese brand Honor, with its debut foldable – the Honor Magic V, which also happens to be the first in the category to sport the latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, as well.

When will the Honor Magic V be released?

Honor formally launched the Honor Magic V in China on 10 January, with pre-orders kicking off at the same time and retail availability from 18 January.

This was a China-specific launch, and it will likely be another few months before the phone gets a global launch (assuming it does at all); as not every Honor phone leaves China, and even bigger brands like Oppo and Xiaomi are currently keeping their foldables regional exclusives.

How much does the Honor Magic V cost?

Based on the assumption that it would be building on the foundation of Huawei's Mate X2 5G  - which costs CNY¥17,999 - the Magic V was anticipated to fetch a pretty penny.

Thankfully, the Magic V is markedly more competitive, starting at ¥9,999 (around £1,150/$1,575) for the 256GB model or ¥10,999 (around £1,275/$1,700) for the 512GB version. That's certainly still not cheap, but few foldables are.

For reference, here’s how other top foldables are priced:

What features does the Honor Magic V offer?

With specs like a 50Mp primary camera and 66W wired charging leaking alongside official teaser imagery from Honor itself, we already had a good (albeit incomplete) idea of what the Magic V would be bringing to the table, but now everything has been pulled into focus.

One of the big moves that the Honor Magic V is making is that this is the first foldable to showcase the latest Qualcomm-made Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset: the silicon likely to power the majority of 2022's flagship Android phones, already found on the likes of the Xiaomi 12, Realme GT 2 Pro and Motorola Edge X30.

Paired with 12GB of RAM, this should immediately give it an edge over other recent foldables, like the Huawei P50 Pocket and Oppo Find N, both of which run on variants of Qualcomm's previous Snapdragon 888 SoC, despite both only hitting the market last month (December 2021).

Following in the footsteps of the Honor Magic 3 Pro+, the Magic V is also the first foldable with IMAX Enhanced certification, which according to Honor means better image quality and optimisations for enjoying native content, along with DTS' X Ultra audio algorithm.

As well as multi and floating window support on the phone's 7.9in internal "creaseless" OLED display for multitasking, the V showcases Honor's Magic UI 6 user experience (atop Android 12), which the company states uses AI (under what it calls "Magic Live") to intelligently predict the user's needs, serving up travel reminders and boarding gate updates when relevant, for example.

Here's the Honor Magic V's full spec sheet:

  • 6.45in 21.3:9 curved OLED cover display
    • 2560x1080 resolution
    • 120Hz
    • 431ppi
    • HDR10+
    • DCI-P3
    • 1920Hz PWM
  • 7.9in "creaseless" folding main OLED display
    • 2272x1984 resolution
    • 90Hz
    • 381ppi
    • HDR10+
    • DCI-P3
    • Stylus support
    • 1920Hz PWM
  • IMAX Enhanced certified
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset
  • 12GB RAM
  • 256GB or 512GB storage
  • Rear cameras:
    • 50Mp f/1.9 23mm primary sensor
    • 50Mp f/2.2 13mm 122° ultrawide sensor
    • 50Mp f/2.0 20mm "Spectrum Enhanced" sensor
    • 8×8 dTOF laser focusing system
  • 42Mp f/2.4 front-facing hole-punch camera (both internal and external displays)
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Aluminium alloy frame
  • Foldable Dynamic Glass front
  • Glass back
  • Titanium alloy, zirconium liquid metal and carbon fibre floating waterdrop hinge made from 213 parts
  • AI-managed graphene cooling system
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3 microphones
  • DTS: X Ultra
  • H-TEE & Q-TEE security
  • Honor Magic UI 6.0 (based on Android 12) w/ Honor Magic Live
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • NFC
  • Dual SIM
  • 5G
  • IR remote control
  • USB-C
  • 4750mAh battery
  • 66W wired charging Honor SuperCharge (50% in 15 mins, 100% in 40 mins)
  • Finishes: Titanium Silver, black, Burnt Orange (leather)
  • 288 grams (Titanium Silver, black), 293 grams (Burnt Orange)
  • 160.4mm x 72.7mm x 14.3mm (folded)
  • 160.4mm x 141.1mm x 6.7mm (unfolded)

While Honor made no mention of the Magic V's availability outside of China, the company's newfound autonomy does free it from the restrictions imposed on its former parent company Huawei, meaning Honor could bring the Magic V to markets internationally, complete with traits like 5G, Android and Google Mobile Services – some aspects of which Huawei has been unable to offer globally with its own Mate X2.

For more devices that we’re looking forward to seeing, read our roundup of the best new phones coming in 2022.