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Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR review – “A true technological marvel”

  • The Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR boasts an unbeatable unfolded display
  • The foldable is lightweight and ultra-thin and feels just like a regular smartphone when folded
  • Depending on the game, it can run a little hot after extended gaming sessions

With the dawn of ultra-hi-res games testing the boundaries of what’s possible on mobile these days (I’m looking at you, Death Stranding), expectations on gaming performance for devices are at an all-time high. Owning a secondary device dedicated to games alone has become second nature to mobile gamers now, with dedicated gaming smartphones dominating that niche market and not stopping anytime soon.

In an oversaturated market filled with RGB lights, transparent aesthetics, and performance beasts that can power hardcore multiplayer sessions for hours on end, is there still room for a foldable to carve its own space for on-the-go gamers?

The Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR is certainly bold enough to try – and here’s how it all went down for me.

Table of contents:

PORSCHE DESIGN HONOR MAGIC V2 RSR DESIGN AND HARDWARE

I’ve always judged the proverbial book by its cover, and in this case, I’m not even going to pretend that the packaging alone didn’t faze me. The Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR comes in a premium black box that includes two sets of chargers and Type-C cables, along with the HONOR Magic Pen that boasts its own magnetic leather case. With the “HONOR” brand etched into it, the case certainly adds to the elegant feel of the phone, which comes with a leather back case as well to keep the foldable grippy when folded. Additionally, the Agate Grey backing sports the “Flyline Backside Design” that’s supposedly reminiscent of the hood of the Porsche 911.

The phone itself, of course, immediately took my breath away as soon as I held it in my hands. The foldable boasts an impressive folded thickness of 9.9mm and an even more incredible 4.7mm thickness when unfolded – this means that using the device when folded (there are no gaps!) feels just like using a regular smartphone. It also weighs in at merely 234g, and for women like me who somehow always have one too many hefty un-necessities in my purse, the lightweight foldable is a godsend.

The exterior screen is bright, vivid, and protected by an anti-scratch NanoCrystal Shield – what’s even cooler is that it has stylus support just as much as the interior screen does. The foldable also features display settings you can tinker around with to reduce eye strain, which is something I really appreciate, especially after gaming for too long.

Understandably, I was initially tiptoeing around opening the foldable to its full size for fear of breaking the thing, but HONOR claims the foldable can withstand up to 400,000 folds in its lifetime thanks to its titanium hinge (I do, however, still struggle with prying open the foldable with my fingernails thinking I might damage the screen, but that might just be a “me” problem).

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THE PORSCHE DESIGN AND ASPHALT 9 COLLAB

Once unfolded, the Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR truly shines. With a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, the foldable is a luxurious gem that wears its premium flagship badge proudly, and it’s not hard to see why HONOR would want to team up with Gameloft to showcase its performance quality.

This is precisely the point of the Porsche Design and the epic collaboration with Asphalt 9: Legends at 120 FPS. With the new and improved large-screen adaptation of the game for an enhanced visual experience, HONOR is aiming to revolutionise the foldable ecosystem by boasting the foldable’s software and hardware capabilities when it comes to mobile gaming on Android.

With 120 FPS, you can expect to feed your competitive streak with more efficient stunts and even quicker reaction times. The foldable claims to use shader replacement technology to offer smoother, high-fidelity visuals and more immersive physical textures thanks to GPU-based edge reconstruction.

Now, I’ve been told that HONOR is planning on further optimising its software by working with game devs to enhance experiences even more with its lineup of products. It’s a bold move that honestly blows me away – not only has HONOR pushed the boundaries of what’s considered slim for a foldable, but it also basically took one look at dedicated gaming smartphones and replied with a confident, “Challenge accepted.” Insert mic drop here.

GAMING EXPERIENCE AND PERFORMANCE

But is it a true mic drop indeed? While I did test the foldable for regular daily use, I focused primarily on the gaming aspect for this review. The Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR boasts a jaw-dropping 1 TB of internal storage, with 16 GB + 7 GB HONOR RAM Turbo. It still chugs along with the old Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but it definitely does the job where games are concerned.

One particular semi-gripe I have is that the foldable only has a 5000mAh battery – a step back from the REDMAGIC 9 Pro‘s 6500mAh powerhouse and Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor. Of course, it wasn’t a problem while I was using the foldable for day-to-day activities like messaging, browsing, making calls, and even watching YouTube (a full charge lasted for a day and a half, which is actually very impressive).

To my surprise, while I initially thought I’d feel the drop once I started playing games for extended periods of time, the battery still held its own at only a 15% drain for a full hour of playing Asphalt 9: Legends. I also thought I’d have a hard time using the touchscreen in landscape mode while unfolded, but it surprisingly felt comfortable despite being less grippy.

Now, holding the foldable in landscape mode means that you’ll either be gaming while getting your fingerprints all over the external screen, or opting for the grippier back case but risking hitting the camera with your fingers from time to time. It’s not the optimal way to play games – especially when you’re prone to ragequitting – but whether or not you’re willing to hold the foldable that way in exchange for a bigger screen is entirely up to you.



One thing I did notice was that the foldable would run hot simply by playing – even just messing around with the camera warmed up the foldable pretty quickly for some reason. Asphalt 9, in particular, didn’t run hot – likely because the game was made and optimised for the device – as well as other less resource-heavy games like AFK Journey, Dead Cells, and TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. However, I did feel the heat (heh) with Love and Deepspace – an hour of playing the game while unfolded made me wish the foldable had some form of cooling system to keep me from needing to shut the game down and take a break for fear of the device getting too hot to handle.



If you do run out of power, the included 66w fast charger can give you that much-needed juice in a jiffy – it took me 30 minutes to charge the foldable with 50% power. As for the camera, shots are definitely more vivid and hi-res compared to my trusty old Samsung S21FE. I also really appreciated the rear selfie feature, where you can essentially take a selfie using the Triple lenses (50MP Ultra Wide Camera at f/2.0, 50MP Wide Camera at f/1.9, and 20MP Telephoto Lens Camera at f/2.4). The photo below compares the HONOR shot (top) versus the Samsung shot (bottom):

Connectivity is also a breeze for Bluetooth peripherals – I was able to test my different controllers without a hitch. You’re limited to wireless earbuds and Bluetooth headsets though, as the foldable doesn’t have a zero-latency 3.5mm jack. But thanks to its ultra-slim thickness, the foldable has no issues nesting nicely into the GameSir G8 Galileo, for example – it may look a bit awkward when you’re in public, but it’s still way better than relying on the touchscreen alone especially since the foldable feels a little fragile when you’re jabbing at the virtual buttons on-screen a little too enthusiastically.

WHAT’S THE VERDICT?

As a daily-use phone, the Porsche Design HONOR Magic V2 RSR is a technological marvel. In its folded form, the device feels just like a regular smartphone, so much so that you’ll likely be using it in this form for around 80% of the time. The beauty here, of course, is the power of choice – opening the foldable to its unfolded state is a matter of whether or not you want a bigger screen when you’re watching crisp Netflix shows or eye-candy IMAX films. The Symmetrical Stereo Dual Speakers as certified by IMAX Enhanced also work incredibly well with the visual quality of the device – I could watch music videos on YouTube continuously without my ears feeling like bleeding.

The fingerprint scanner on the power button is very efficient as well, along with the facial recognition. Both are quick and accurate compared to previous phones I’ve tried, which were always wonky in one way or another. 

I also absolutely love the multitasking and split-screen features of the phone’s unfolded state – I could easily open multiple apps and even rearrange up to three windows however way I wanted to. Now, while not all apps have built-in support for the bigger screen – some apps even crash completely when switching between folds – the device still recovers pretty quickly and adapts to whatever orientation you’re using, whether horizontal or vertical. I even tried folding and unfolding the device during an active Google Meet call, and the device didn’t falter in the slightest.

When it comes to gaming, the foldable does fall a little short compared to dedicated gaming smartphones when it comes to features like cooling systems and more player-centred elements. Wired projection, for instance, can’t be done via Type-C to Type-C cables (the other end needs to be HDMI, VGA, DVI, DP, or MiniDP), and wireless projection to a bigger computer screen needs a little bit of playing around with Windows’ display settings. You also can’t turn off your foldable’s screen or put it in sleep or standby mode while casting.

Now, I understand why it doesn’t have a waterproof rating, but with that, it would’ve been a nice touch to at least have a 3.5mm jack since there’s no IPX rating anyway. Also, with the back case on, laying the foldable flat on a surface is wobbly and awkward – you’ll have to deal with a shaky screen when you’re playing, or even when you’re using the stylus to draw. Even with the case off, the protruded design of the camera in the back still makes for a bit of a wobbly-er experience.

Still, all these minor gripes are greatly overshadowed by the truly gorgeous display and the slimness of the device. At the end of the day, you really can’t compare gaming smartphones with this foldable, as it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. It’s all a matter of priority for you – even without the cooling tech or the shoulder triggers, using this foldable over other dedicated gaming phones might just be your cup of tea based on the large and vivid visuals alone.

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