Honor Magic6 Pro hands-on review: Oh, ho, ho it’s Magic, you know?

Performance you can enjoy all day long

Honor Magic6 Pro
(Image: © Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

Early Verdict

There’s more than a little bit of Magic housed within Honor’s flagship phone, including a fantastic trio of cameras, impeccable design, and powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 performance. But availability and network compatibility in North America will hold it back far more than anything else.


  • +

    Bright, vivid display

  • +

    Incredible performance

  • +

    Swish design

  • +

    Impressive 108MP camera

  • +

    Great stereo and spatial audio


  • -

    Uncanny Valley iOS UI

  • -

    80W charging, but no charge in the box

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    Lack of availability/compatibility in North America

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Honor is back at it again with yet another incredibly swanky flagship smartphone in the Magic6 Pro. Depending on which continent you call home, you may or may not be familiar with this Chinese brand, as they typically target the Asian and European markets, but there’s every reason you should pay attention to what they’re capable of manufacturing.

If you’re willing to call your smartphone “Magic” then there’d better be some substantial proof to back up the claim, and this week I’ve been hands-on with the evidence. So, what is it? Magic, or just a flashy illusion? Does Honor’s flagship-level handset have what it takes to tackle the best smartphones on the market today? Let’s find out.

Honor Magic6 Pro: Price and availability

Oh, boo and hiss, it’s another one of those majestic flagship phones that companies like Honor refuse to print money with by releasing them in the US. In all fairness, Honor isn’t a big enough name stateside to rival the likes of Samsung or Apple, even if its devices are more than up to the task (at times).

You can still import one if you choose, in which case you’ll be expected to pay 1,299 Euro or £1,099 (€999/£899 for those preordering) for the handset before any of the extra fees involved with getting the phone physically to you.

However, that decision comes with drawbacks as carrier and network support isn’t guaranteed for the device, so do so at your own peril. That’s a lot of money to plonk down on a smartphone, after all — evenly matched with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, Google Pixel 8 Pro, and Apple iPhone 15 Pro. Especially when you could be left with access to only the ‘smart’ part of the device and not the actual ‘phone.’

Honor Magic6 Pro: Design

While I’ve never been a fan of curved displays, I can’t help but admire the artistry that went into the design of the Magic6 Pro. While inheriting much from the Magic5 Pro that came before it, the Magic6 Pro does enough to elevate the look.

The large circular star wheel rear camera array is now framed by a “squircle” of metal gently rising from glass backing, softly textured to luxuriously emulate silk or satin. The edges gently curl around the phone to a chromed frame, slender at the sides to accommodate the arch of the front and rear panels before transitioning into the NanoCrystal Shield-protected 6.8-inch, quad-curved, floating OLED panel — now housing a centered pill-shaped cutout eerily reminiscent of the iPhone’s Dynamic Island, though marketed as a “Magic Capsule.”

Honor Magic6 Pro smartphone review photos

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

It’s a densely packed flow of aesthetic pleasantries that measures just 8.9mm in depth, with the phone’s other dimensions mustering a more sizable 6.4 x 3 inches tall and wide. The soft curvature of the edges of the Magic6 Pro is comfortable and easy to palm, making it almost effortless to contain its top-heavy 8 ounces of weight.

IP68 rated and certified five stars for SGS Glass Drop Resistance Ability, the Magic6 Pro is protected from dust along with water resistance in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for 30 minutes, and drops and shocks to both front and rear glass panels.

Honor Magic6 Pro: Display

The Magic6 Pro’s stunning 6.8-inch OLED display with its slender bezels and curved edges is an all-together joy to behold, especially when paired with a 1280 x 2800-pixel resolution, a pixel density of 453ppi, and a dynamic refresh rate of up to 120Hz for ultra-smooth, and ultra-crisp visuals at all times. 

Not only that, this phone is brighter than Einstein, touting a claimed maximum brightness of 5000 nits of peak HDR brightness. But before you dash for your Ray-Bans in sheer fear of your corneas being melted right off of your jellied eyeballs, know that your vision is as safe as ever thanks to dynamic dimming with an impressive 4320Hz PWM dimming rate and full care and circadian-friendly certifications from TÜV Rheinland.

Honor Magic6 Pro smartphone review photos

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

The Magic6 Pro’s claimed standard peak brightness of 1600 nits is no slouch either, helping to pop colors left, right, and center in daylight or indoors, maintaining a vivid and eye-catching performance in general use, browsing, and through media or games.

It put my poor Google Pixel 7a to shame with both phones’ brightness turned up full, with its speedy screen backed by HDR10+ and a billion-plus color gamut going hell for leather as it sang for its supper through the trailer for “Deadpool & Wolverine” — drawing out the red of Deadpool's costume against a snowy backdrop perfectly.

Honor Magic6 Pro: Audio

While many of us rely on earbuds to soak in the sounds of our Spotify libraries, there are still times in life when a pair of powerful speakers is exactly what we need for a fuller soundscape, and a pair of powerful speakers is exactly what the Honor Magic6 Pro has.

The dual speaker setup delivers one of the stronger walls of sound you’re likely to encounter from a smartphone, with its peak volume reaching eardrum-shattering levels of volume, but that sound remains mostly distortion-free.

Honor Magic6 Pro smartphone review photos

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

The Magic6 Pro delivers a striking balance between mids, trebles, and bass, with the latter in particular quite impressive for how it drove through much of the album “Songs for the Deaf” by Queens of the Stone Age without muddying bassist Nick Olivieri’s bass lines into oblivion.

When it comes to gaming, the Magic6 Pro’s soundscapes are worthy of incredible praise, offering immersive canvases of sound with directionally accurate audio readily picked up by ear.

Honor Magic6 Pro: Performance

Remember all that fuss about the power of Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor? It’s a shame we don’t make equal ado when other companies go for the high-spec smartphone, too.

While Samsung has seemingly diverted all the praise to themselves for the title of the world’s most powerful Android smartphone (and to be fair, rightly so), phones of a similar ilk like the Honor Magic6 Pro are at risk of passing by relatively unnoticed, even if they are decked out with the same uber-powerful processor, and that’s a crying shame.

Not that I have any tears to shed, mind you. Holding the Magic6 Pro is akin to barehanded grabbing a live wire transmitting 50,000 volts of pure happiness through your central nervous system.

As performance goes, I couldn’t be happier. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s potential is no modern-day myth, and the Honor Magic6 Pro puts it to work wonderfully with impeccable results aided fantastically by 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

Honor Magic6 Pro smartphone review photos

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

We’re talking super-smooth scrolling, lag-free input detection, and rapid app access with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it responsiveness. Juggle all the tabs you want in Google Chrome, multitask across a deluge of apps and flick between them all at your whimsy, and immerse yourself in the most demanding Android games, no task is too large and no program too performance-heavy to parry the Snapdragon’s onslaught of power.

From “Alien: Isolation” to “Black Desert Mobile” and “Call of Duty: Mobile” the Honor Magic6 Pro schools lesser-equipped phones in the ABCs of buttery smooth performance right across the board.

And I mean right across the board, beyond the number of polygons the Magic6 Pro’s processor can present to its panel, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 performance extends to making the most of the available 120Hz refresh rate, with impeccably smooth on-screen results when it comes to navigating menus and switching between apps.

Honor Magic6 Pro: Battery life and charging


Sadly, we couldn’t put the Magic6 Pro through our in-house Laptop Mag battery test due to time constraints. That’s a sad thing because Honor has seemingly developed some form of zero-point energy battery, as churning through a full charge took considerably longer than I’d have expected for a device of its kind.

With the brute power of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC, a dazzlingly bright screen, impressively loud speakers, and a rapid 120Hz refresh rate, I’d have expected the Magic6 Pro to cry out pretty consistently for a fix from the nearest power outlet. However, the real magic of Honor’s flagship device is being able to reach into a hat and pull out the Energizer bunny, as this thing keeps going, and going, and going, and going, and going, and going, and… You get the idea.

The Magic6 Pro can draw from a considerably deep well of power thanks to its 5,600mAh second-generation, silicon-carbon battery. Said battery is controlled by the HONOR E1 Power Enhanced Chip, which controls power management and performance to ensure maximum effectiveness at all times, even in low or high-temperature conditions.

Honor Magic6 Pro smartphone review photos

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

After a typical day’s use, involving taking photos, general browsing, catching up on my Android game shovelware addiction, and helplessly falling down the YouTube Shorts rabbit hole, I’d usually be sat somewhere below the 30% threshold of my daily driver. However, it was a rare occurrence that I saw the Magic6 Pro ever drop below 50% charge naturally.

I’m not the world’s heaviest smartphone user, but I am often caught short and in need of a top-up because I generally forget to charge my phone overnight. Over the last three days of light usage, the Honor Magic6 Pro hasn’t been charged a single time, and it’s still sitting at 57% charge.

Speaking of charging, the Magic6 Pro is capable of 80W of super fast wired charging and 66W wireless with Honor SuperCharge. Frustratingly, Honor doesn’t supply a charger in the box. This means you’re highly unlikely to have anything to hand to take advantage of those speeds from the get-go.

However, after leaving the Honor Magic6 Pro to get familiar with the YouTube video “Crumb Cat dancing to Wii shop music for 10 hours” I gave the device a shot of juice from a Baseus GaN charger. The results? Not using the proprietary charger did limit things to just 20W of top-up power, taking just short of 3 hours to reach 100% charge.

Honor Magic6 Pro: Cameras

The Magic6 Pro’s cameras will be a joy for shutterbugs and an all-around fantastic trio of lenses that provide solid shots at a range of zoom levels and lighting conditions. Just looking at the spec sheet alone suggests a challenge toward Samsung’s zoom-prowess, and there’s definitely something to that.

The Magic6 Pro’s periscope telephoto lens has been given a nifty upgrade from 50MP to 180MP (1/1.14”, f/2.6). That improvement does have its downside, however. The available optical zoom is now limited to just 2.5x. Still, I was able to take some fairly impressive snaps well into digital zoom territory of 10x as seen below.

Though, while Honor makes somewhat of a pomp and show about labeling the camera array with the telephoto lens’ 100x digital zoom capabilities, it’s absolutely abysmal. So maybe play that down a little bit as a quirky extra, instead.

The 50MP Ultrawide camera (1/2.88”, f/2.0) produces some interesting images with a decent 122-degree field of view. The quality is nothing to scoff at, either. However, it’s best not to overly rely on the auto zoom here as it can result in an occasional muddy image even in bright and clear conditions.

Finally, the 50MP main sensor (1/1.3”, f/1.4-f/2.0) offers an adjustable aperture, that’s ideal for depth-of-field shots or macro photography. Shots taken are rich in detail and the wider aperture allows for better low-light snaps in the process.

The Honor camera app offers a range of presets to choose from, including your standard fare of night, portrait, and panorama modes, with more specific additions such as aperture mode, that lets you make use of the main sensor to fine-tune your depth of field for some impressive focusing shots; light painting mode, for long exposure-like captures; super macro mode, for impressive close-up photography; and pro mode, which gives you DSLR levels of control over the image you want to capture.

All-in-all, as smartphone camera experiences go, this is one of the more well-rounded efforts with results that are bound to please many.

Honor Magic6 Pro: Software

There is a dimension that exists within your very palm. It’s a dimension where productivity collides with entertainment in an eerily reminiscent manner you just can’t quite finger. From the frame of the smartphone acting as a portal into this strange dimension of parallel yet unaligned likeness, you are pulled into this disturbing void forevermore. You’ve just crossed over into… The iLite Zone.

Honor Magic6 Pro smartphone review photos

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

When people talk about ‘the iPhone of Android phones’, they typically mean something premium with a focus on strong supporting software and a strikingly modern design. What it doesn’t mean is that the phone diminishes itself by actively and unashamedly attempting to copycat Apple’s devices or software. Someone take a memo of that and send it to Honor HQ.

MagicOS 8 is built upon Android 14, but you wouldn’t know that to look at it, despite its unique elements such as eye-tracking capabilities, air gestures, and Magic Portal—an AI feature that allows you to drag text and image elements to one side of the screen and view suggestions for how to make use of them—the overall aesthetic borrows heavily from Apple’s iOS, though does so in a way that leaves MagicOS residing somewhere deep in the canyons of the Uncanny Valley.

Honor Magic6 Pro smartphone review photos

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

It doesn’t look bad. It just feels weird. At least at first, as it’s far from a deal breaker when it comes to the complete experience. While the Honor Magic6 Pro features a pretty unique and striking overall design, rich in premium aesthetics and classiness, this blatant iOS pilfering cheapens things somewhat. Even if the overall performance, smoothness, and navigation of the operating system are otherwise excellent. 

Bottom line

There’s more than a little bit of Magic housed within Honor’s flagship smartphone, but its availability and compatibility within the borders of North America are what will hold it back far more than any of my trifles with the device.

For the price you’d pay, you’re acquiring a top-of-the-line device touting the kind of components you’d expect from only the biggest names in the US market. That’s paired with a sensationally sleek design that oozes class, and an Android wrapper in MagicOS that, while leaning a little too heavily on its influences, has plenty to offer in terms of unique features and future support.

I think Honor has produced a fantastic smartphone here, and I almost feel bad we can’t give it a star rating due to being unable to get it to our lab in time for testing. So, instead of a star rating, hear me loud and clear when I say this, for I’ll only say it once. As an Englishman, the fact I can acquire tech like this almost makes it bearable that I live on the same continent as the French.

High praise indeed.

Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.