I don’t game on phones much anymore. As someone used to desktop PC gaming, the mobile experience isn’t smooth enough for anything more than the occasional game of Scrabble in my eyes. Besides, squinting to snipe enemies on the cramped screen was taking a toll on my vision. So naturally when foldable phones arrived, I figured I’d give mobile gaming another shot except they were far too heavy and thick to be ergonomically comfortable. The new Porsche Design Honor Magic V2 RSR, however, might just do the trick.
Honor, the popular China-based brand, has refreshed the Magic V2 foldable phone, which we previewed last month, with a Porsche Design collaboration. It swaps out the plain frosted glass for a nicer, slate-grey grey that looks like it’s plucked out of a Porsche 911’s aerodynamic hood. Adding to its grip further is the bundled stitched faux leather case.
Of course, one reason this phone will appeal to gamers is its slender dimensions. In its folded state, the Honor Magic V2 is over 3 millimeters thinner than the competition like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 or the OnePlus Open. It also weighs about the same as the largest standard phones such as the Galaxy S24 Ultra and is 10-20 percent lighter than other foldables. Unfolded, Honor’s new foldable is only 4.9mm thick — as much as a pair of European coins.
Feed your need for speed
What compelled me to game on the Honor Magic V2, though, is it supports an exclusive, optimized version of Gameloft’s Asphalt 9. It’s tailored to its iPad Mini-like sharp and square 7.92-inch OLED, 120Hz screen. Honor says Asphalt 9’s rendering engine has been reconstructed to adapt to V2’s large display as opposed to what you have on other phones, where often a game’s one-size-fits-all doesn’t scale well, especially to unique foldable aspect ratios and resolutions.
Jargon aside, playing Asphalt 9 on the Honor Magic V2 is a joy. The race visuals stretch to the screen’s all four corners without distorting and take advantage of the OLED panel to project rich colors. I could particularly feel the smoother graphics when I switched to manual control, where they cut down steer response times, and let me better drift in tight turns.
So much screen space! For activities!
I soon moved on, though, from Asphalt 9, which is now far too cluttered with in-app purchases for my taste, to a handful of other Android games that support 120Hz refresh rates, most notably Call Of Duty: Mobile. Here too, the immersive experience I had was proof that foldables are a turning point for mobile gaming.
Unlike what I face on smartphones typically, the V2 offered ample space for me to access the on-screen controls, while still leaving more than plenty of room to focus on the battleground and track enemies. It also brings out the best of the precise, high-res assets modern mobile games ship with, which are usually overlooked and wasted even on my iPhone 15 Plus.
Several other titles work well on foldables and 120Hz refresh rate screens, including Player Unknown’s Battle Grounds. On the rest, you’ll have to deal with black bars at the top and the bottom. It took me a while to find them too and that speaks volumes of the Play Store’s state. Despite Google’s own Pixel Fold foldable phone, the Play Store lacks any labels to indicate apps and games optimized for foldables as well as high refresh rates. Even the “Get to know your new foldable” banner the Play Store showed me in the “For You” section led me to “No results found.”
We’ve reached out to Google for a comment and we’ll update the story once we hear back.
Not everything is magic
Though the Honor Magic V2 sold me on foldable gaming, it’s nowhere near a perfect phone in spite of its astronomical price tag. For starters, it can’t artificially upscale all games to 120Hz like, say, the OnePlus 12 can.
While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 had no troubles no matter the game I threw at it — including multitasking and overlaying demanding games with windows of other apps — it’s still a year old, and Qualcomm has recently rolled out a more capable successor. Speaking of which, the Magic V2 does get warm after prolonged sessions, but the complimentary case prevented that from reaching my fingers and hampering the gameplay.
Accomplishing such a thin structure came at a cost for Honor, as the Magic V2 has no official IP rating and you should probably keep it as away from dust and liquids as you can. There’s no wireless charging either.
Another trick up its sleeve
On the plus side, another foldable potential the Honor Magic V2 almost successfully realizes is that it doubles as an e-reader better than its competitors. At low brightness levels, its screen can flicker at a much higher frequency (3840Hz) that’s too quick for the human eye to perceive and hence, causes less strain than normal smartphones. Pairing that with the built-in monochrome e-reader mode meant I could leave behind my Kindle on trips.
The 5000mAH battery, spread across both halves of the phone, keeps up as well. Even with extensive use of the internal screen, including multiple rounds of Call of Duty and a 4K movie stream, the Magic V2 comfortably lasts a full day. The bundled 66W adapter can fast-charge it from 0 to 100% in under an hour.
Foldable tech breathes new life into Android gaming and I’m excited for what future, hopefully even slimmer models hold. It could also prove to be a game-changer once cloud gaming picks up on phones and chip makers potentially pave the way for AAA titles on Android, similar to the iPhone Pro models. The Porsche Design Honor Magic V2 may not be the one to deliver that dream to you and the mass market, but it offers an exciting glimpse into it.
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