Previously, we had reviewed the Honor Magic5 Pro ahead of the official launch, and were impressed by the progress Honor has made since being spun-off by HUAWEI. Launched for RM4,299, the Magic5 Pro is competitively priced especially considering the on-paper specifications.
Today’s review is a follow up on my user experience for the past month. If you want to check out our initial review that focuses more on the hardware and features, you can click here to find out more.
Currently, the Honor Magic5 Pro uses MagicOS 7.1, which shares a lot of similarities with HUAWEI’s EMUI. For example, the swipe gestures seem to be a carry over from earlier versions of EMUI.
However, Honor has implemented their own twist to the UI, such as Yoyo Suggestions, where the system will recommend certain apps based on the user’s app usage history. Unlike EMUI, the MagicOS 7.1 is still a full-fledged Android 13 experience with all of Google’s app suites available to users.
As with other Chinese smartphone brands, you get access to tons of customisation on Honor’s Themes store, such as AOD options, themes, wallpapers and fonts. Some of the products on the store are paid only, though you still have a lot of free options to choose from.
If I have to nitpick one aspect of MagicOS 7.1, that would be the app duplications on the phone. For example, you have App Market, which is basically Honor’s version of the Play Store. And funnily enough, I can only update the pre-installed apps such as Booking.com via the App Market, as it would not auto-update on Play Store unless I go to the app download page. I highly suggest you to stick to one app store instead of installing different apps from different platforms.
System Software Updates
Ever since I received the Honor Magic5 Pro for review, I already had 3 major system software updates. As of time of writing, the latest version is 220.127.116.11(SP8C636E2R2P2), which improves on the system optimisation on the device. Overall, after these updates the Honor Magic5 Pro feels smoother and less laggy to use.
While some users may be annoyed by the constant updates, I welcome it as Android tends to face fragmentation issues — where numerous manufacturers and devices have different versions of Android OS, as it is up to the manufacturers to implement OS upgrades without any supervision from Google. Not surprisingly, only 12% of devices in circulation is using Android 13.
Honor has also pledged 3 major OS upgrades (basically new OS versions) and 5 years of security patches, which is on par with Google’s own Pixel lineup. With Android 14 on the horizon, I can’t wait for the new OS version to be available on the Magic5 Pro.
I would also like to elaborate on the camera capabilities of the Honor Magic5 Pro. While most users won’t use this feature, Pro Mode allows users to save between compressed JPEG, full 50MP resolution JPEG, or RAW format.
If case you didn’t know, RAW format captures a lot more data (hence being a larger file), thus allowing more room for photo editing such as fixing under/over-exposed scenes.
Aside from that, there is also movie mode, which is basically the “pro mode” of cinematography. You get access to some pre-installed LUTs (colour grade preset), or shoot in LOG, of which you can adjust the LUT during editing.
All in all, the Honor Magic5 Pro is an attractive flagship offering from the company. Although there are some quirks in the UI and software side of things, the hardware features and excellent camera capabilities easily make up for it.
With 3 major OS upgrades and 5 years worth of security patches being guaranteed, Honor Magic5 Pro users have much to be excited for.
To learn more about the Honor Magic5 Pro, please visit the official website here.