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Honor Magic

by Huawei

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Huawei Honor Magic Uses Its Own Magic Power Instead of USB Power Delivery to Charge Quickly Over USB Type-C

Huawei gets a lot of support from leading sub brand Honor in gaining a wider mass appeal. As Huawei's more affordable mass market brand, Honor is well received especially in India for decent smartphones like the low end Honor Holly 2 Plus. In fact this was probably a big push for the Chinese mobile company to share the recent top spot with giants Samsung and Apple.

Huawei Honor has a broad range of smartphones but the breakthrough would be the Huawei Honor Magic. Released around the same time as the Huawei Mate 9, the pre 2017 Huawei Honor Magic has the added advantage of Huawei's unique Magic Live UI and Magic Power charging capabilities. Through the Huawei Magic Power fast charging technology, the Honor Magic phone can enjoy 40 watts based charging over its USB Type-C connector when plugged to its own charger that comes with the phone. But unlike the Huawei Mate 9 or the current Huawei P10, the Huawei Honor Magic doesn't support USB Power Delivery fast charging over USB Type-C. Rather the phone is more similar to its predecessor Huawei Honor 8 or close competitor Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 which uses their own proprietary quick charging schemes. By comparison, other phones like the LG V20 released not far behind the Huawei Honor Magic does enable USB Power Delivery based charging over USB Type-C.

Like the Huawei Honor 8, the Huawei Honor Magic also runs on Android 6.0 and powered by the Huawei owned HiSilicon Kirin 950  processor with Mali-T880 MP4 GPU, 64 GB internal memory, 4 GB RAM, and dual SIM. Coincidentally other than the processor and GPU, the rest are also supported by the more budget Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 which had the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and Adreno GPU.  

We purchased the Huawei Honor Magic from Amazon which was delivered in good condition. The phone came in an almost Huawei P9 like but uninteresting packaging unlike its namesake.

Unpacking the Huawei Honor Magic doesn't seem much different than the Huawei P9, which also came with accessories like power charger, plastic phone cover, USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable, and SIM eject tool.

Given its release some time back where not many phones come without the traditional 3.5 mm analog audio port, the Honor Magic not surprisingly provides the same audio jack which also still exists on current Huawei mobiles.

The USB Type-A based power charger that comes with the Huawei Honor Magic supports Huawei's owned Magic Power based quick battery charging technology. The charger claims to output either a total of 40 watts (through two 5 volts @ 4 amps power channels) or 10 watts (5 volts @ 2 amps) to the phone when connected using the USB Type-A to Type-C cable. This is similar to the OPPO VOOC Ultra Fast Charger providing up to 20 watts (through two 5 volts @ 2 amps power channels) of rapid charging for supported OPPO phones. Ironically when compared to the 22.5 watts based Huawei SuperCharger that is supplied with the Huawei P10 and Huawei Mate 9, the Huawei Honor Magic supports an even faster charging rate with its own charger than both the Huawei flagships themselves. The Huawei Honor Magic even tops the Huawei P9 which only gets a measly 10 watts (5 volts @ 2 amps) charging with its own Huawei charger provided the P9 doesn't support any quick battery charging technology.

The Huawei Honor 8 on the other hand charges using its own Smart Power 4.0 charging capability which is also one of Huawei's proprietary fast charging schemes but at a much lower 18 watts (9 volts @ 2 amps) compared to successor Honor Magic. The mid 2016 Honor 8 however has a slightly higher capacity Li-Po 3000 mAh battery than the Li-Ion 2900 mAh battery on the Honor Magic, which both batteries are non-removable.

The plastic covering on the back of the Huawei Honor Magic is easy to remove. The phone provides dual 12 MP primary and 8 MP secondary cameras just like on the Huawei P9 and predecessor Huawei Honor 8. Given its more budget pricing, don't expect the Huawei Honor Magic to offer the same superior Leica camera quality as found on the more premium Huawei's flagships including the Huawei Mate 9Huawei P9, and Huawei P10. Huawei probably wants to maintain the status quo of its own brand name by not sharing its Leica camera partnership with Honor.

The USB Type-C host port of the Huawei Honor Magic allows USB peripherals such as storage drives or digital cameras to be connected to the phone. Unfortunately the same USB Type-C port can't take advantage of higher USB speeds thus lacking video output support via DisplayPort Alternate Mode unlike the higher end Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G5. For fast charging, the Huawei Honor Magic employs only its own Huawei Magic Power technology. 

The Huawei Honor Magic is a beauty with the right 'curves' on its glass like body. Each angle of the phone has a smooth downward arc on both front and back that gives the phone a symmetrical shape. This provides a great overall feel of the phone in your hand and a better grip over the Huawei Honor 8 which only had typical rounded edges.

The Huawei Honor Magic is as compact as the Huawei P10 sporting a 5.1 inch LCD screen with volume and power buttons lining up the side of the phone. A distinctive feature of the Huawei Honor Magic is the Huawei Magic Live user interface offering a range of customized smart functions. One of these include an app learning lockscreen that automatically displays shortcut icons for commonly used apps. There's also a face recognition capability that works via the front-facing infrared camera on the phone for user added security.

Rather than behind the phone like most Android's, the Huawei Honor Magic follows the Apple iPhone's way of having the fingerprint sensor on the bottom front just like the Huawei P10.

The Huawei Honor Magic caters well especially for the price sensitive who can benefit from the phone's intuitive user interface and fast charging capability besides flaunting off its stylish looks. 

Don't miss out on our coming reviews to see how the Huawei Honor Magic performs with different types of chargers supporting fast charging technology.

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