Back in December, I got to play with Honor’s second foldable, the Magic VS, but the first one it will sell in the West. It was a Chinese-market prototype with several rough edges, but even so, it made a fairly compelling case for its own existence. Now, three months later, the company has showed up to MWC with the finished version that’s intended to be sold on this side of the world. The big news is the price, which is pegged at €1,599 (around $1,690) for the one model, with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, the same as Samsung’s Z Flip 4. The only difference is that, with Samsung’s handset, you’ll get 12GB RAM but only 256GB storage.
When I spent a few days with the handset, I found plenty of features that merited praise, like the fact it folds flat. Certainly, Honor feels that its second-generation hinge, which keeps the handset tidy in your pocket, is worthy of shouting about. And it has promised that the hinge will withstand 400,000 folds before conking out, and you’ll find yourself gravitating towards that internal screen more than you might expect. While not as well-equipped as the 6.45-inch exterior screen, the 7.9-inch foldable OLED is good enough to sit back and enjoy a movie, or your emails, with. And it’s fast enough to run pretty much anything you’d want to throw at it without breaking much of a sweat.
If there’s one wrinkle, it’s that these devices may not be the future of foldables as much as the narrower, more fashionable clamshells. Devices like Oppo’s Find N2 and Samsung’s latest Z Flip are both more pocket-and-wallet-friendly than their swole counterparts. And that counts for a lot for folks who don’t feel the need to whip out a small tablet when they’re scrolling Instagram. But for the sort of people who, like me, are nerdy enough to want a machine they could theoretically do some work from while on the go, the meatier versions are still king.