Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

HONOR Magic 6 Pro hero on stand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
HONOR Magic 6 Pro

HONOR Magic 6 Pro review: Should you buy it?

Is a 180MP zoom camera more than just a gimmick?
By

Published onApril 7, 2024

HONOR Magic 6 Pro

HONOR Magic 6 Pro

HONOR knows how to build great hardware, and the Magic 6 Pro smashes the fundamentals out of the park. The camera setup continues to improve too, and, while not quite as consistent as the very best, it has enough overall sparkle to give any affordable flagship a run for its money.

What we like

Excellent battery life
Flexible camera package
Great video features
Top performance

What we don't like

Hit-and-miss portraits
Zoom pictures lack detail
Slow to charge over USB PD
Magic OS remains cluttered
HONOR Magic 6 Pro

HONOR Magic 6 Pro

HONOR knows how to build great hardware, and the Magic 6 Pro smashes the fundamentals out of the park. The camera setup continues to improve too, and, while not quite as consistent as the very best, it has enough overall sparkle to give any affordable flagship a run for its money.

HONOR Magic 6 Pro review: At a glance

  • What is it? The HONOR Magic 6 Pro is a direct follow-up to 2023's impressive Magic 5 Pro and the brand's third flagship smartphone under its own stewardship, post-HUAWEI. With a powerhouse camera setup and top-tier hardware, HONOR positions the Magic 6 Pro as a contender for one of the best Android phones.
  • What is the price? The HONOR Magic 6 Pro costs £1,099.99 (~$1,389) in the UK and €1,299.90 in other parts of Europe, marginally undercutting other ultra-premium flagships. This model comes with 12GB RAM and 512GB of storage.
  • Where can you buy it? HONOR sells the Magic 6 Pro directly from its online store in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The handset is also available on Amazon and from select other retailers.
  • How did we test it? I tested the HONOR Magic 6 Pro for seven days. The review unit was supplied by HONOR.
  • Is it worth it? The HONOR Magic 6 Pro nails the core smartphone requirements with a brilliant display, snappy performance, fast charging, and more than a day of battery life, matching and even surpassing more expensive flagships. The camera setup is a mostly brilliant piece of kit for the price too, albeit with a few caveats for the pickest mobile photographers. However, the design and software are likely to split the crowd, and the high price tag prevents the phone from being a slam-dunk recommendation for everyone.

What can the HONOR Magic 6 Pro’s 180MP camera do?

HONOR Magic 6 Pro camera close up
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

One of the most eye-catching features on the HONOR Magic 6 Pro’s spec sheet is its 180-megapixel 1/1.49-inch telephoto zoom camera, so let’s start there. That’s a ton of pixels, more than most of the best camera phones pack into their primary camera, and HONOR puts this image data to some interesting uses.

First, the telephoto camera sports a native 2.5x zoom. Hardly very far, but this can be extended to a lossless 5x shot. Beyond that, you’ll find AI upscaling to boost image quality a little better than your typical digital zoom. This sensor is paired with a 50MP ultrawide and a large 1/1.3-inch 50MP main camera with a self-adjustable f/1.4 to f/2.0 aperture. That’s a small aperture variation that’s unlikely to make a huge difference to light capture or depth of field but helps keep macro shots a little more in focus.

Looking at the broader package (see the full-res samples here), exposure and HDR is very solid on all lenses. Color saturation is a little on the high side, with vivid greens and blues, while an extra dose of contrast gives images a social-ready pop. Sometimes this works great, but other times it’s not quite to my taste. It’s somewhat inconsistent. You can tweak how hard the levels are pushed with HONOR’s Natural, Vivid (default), and Authentic color profiles, the latter offering the most significant change in appearance.

The triple camera array provides plenty of shooting flexibility too. The 13mm ultrawide takes a big step back while avoiding common issues like an aberration or a skewed color pallet. Likewise, the 108MP 2.5x telephoto is great for framing shots, particularly for moderate macro images, and provides reasonable-looking pictures at 5x as well. I love flexible zoom cameras and the 180MP, 2.5x zoom is my favorite of the lot.

Low light performance is awe-inspiring, although you could call the results unrealistically vivid. Even with very little light, the Magic 6 Pro’s camera is able to pull out an exceptional amount of color from all its lenses and passable details from the main snapper too. See the results versus the Pixel 8 Pro’s Night Sight above.

Punchy and flexible, the Magic 6 Pro produces sharable camera snaps out of the box.

However, despite the large sensor size, the small pixels in the 180MP zoom camera don’t hold up well at long distances or in dimmer lighting. Small details quickly fall away, and HONOR’s AI-based upscaling (which isn’t present in Pro mode) introduces artifacts to clean up the image. The 100% crop comparison (below) against the Pixel 8 Pro at 10x showcases the harshness, overprocessing, and lack of detail that HONOR’s camera provides at range. The Pixel is far from perfect, but the softer presentation is at least easier on the eyes. Likewise, I observed smudged text and a general lack of detail when using this camera in lower light, even without pushing the zoom as far.

Portrait photography is also hit-and-miss. Out of the box, the portrait mode defaults to a 2x zoom, meaning a 27mm focal length cropped from the main sensor. Familiar enough, if not ideal, but this lens seems to struggle with image desaturation in indoor lighting, regularly producing washed-out portraits with an almost negative film effect. This drawback isn’t present outdoors, where color saturation is, if anything, too vibrant for portraits, highlighting red skin blemishes. Switching to the 2.5x camera inverts the problem; saturation is overblown in indoor lighting. The camera setup really shouldn’t be this inconsistent with steady daylight, especially for all important portraits. The 2.5x camera’s 67mm focal length provides a more natural face shape and, paired with a large sensor and wide aperture, is less reliant on software for bokeh. I’m not sure why HONOR doesn’t use this lens by default. It should be perfect for portraits and is the better lens, in my opinion.

Selfies are a more consistent affair, with robust skin textures and tones in both indoor and outdoor lighting. Again saturation levels are a little pushed, but not aggressively so. The wide aperture and decent-sized camera sensor pay dividends for selfie lovers. The only drawback is the ultrawide focal length; it is great for fitting all your friends in but comes at the expense of very narrow face shapes.

Once you get into the finer points, the Magic 6 Pro's camera package misses as often as it hits.

Video recording is equally compelling, albeit with a few caveats. 4K 60fps is available on all lenses this time, though transitions are made with a jump rather than smooth blending. HONOR’s powerful Night Video mode works great but is restricted to the main lens. Movie mode is the most fun video feature, offering software bokeh that’s one of the more accurate implementations I’ve seen, and eight LUT options to heavily influence color grading, allowing for a huge variety of moods. You can get seriously creative here, thanks to great quality stabilization and robust dynamic range capture.

The Magic 6 Pro packs a powerful video editing suite to take things further. There are traditional cut and align tools to splice videos together, sharpness and contrast toggles, filters, various effects, and other modifiers. Unfortunately, HONOR locks some of its filters, background, and other options behind a VIP membership that costs $7.99 a month or $64.99 a year. I can’t say a handful of extra effects seems like good value when Google One costs just $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year to unlock extra Google Photos editing tools, 100GB of cloud storage, a VPN, and more. But perhaps serious video creatives will see the added value here.

Should you buy the HONOR Magic 6 Pro?

HONOR Magic 6 Pro back in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

So the camera is (mostly) good, but what about the rest of the phone?

Well, the revamped design is sure to split the crowd. I like the texture of the back and the gray-green of the Epi Green colorway. However, I find the metal accents around the gargantuan camera housing rather gaudy, and the added bezel around each camera only makes the array more pronounced. It’s certainly a statement piece. I’d opt for the black if you’re not after a head-turner.

The Magic 6 Pro is unique in a few other ways. It’s one of the few Android phones sporting a front-facing 3D depth sensor for fast and secure fact unlocking (most phones use optical recognition, which is less secure). HONOR debuts its discrete Security Chip S1 that houses important credentials away from the central processor. A robust IP68 rating, snappy Wi-Fi 7 support, and a great-looking 120Hz dynamic refresh OLED display round out the high-end specifications that you would expect at this price point. Be in no doubt, this is a proper flagship package.

The HONOR Magic 6 Pro seamlessly blends high-end performance will all-day battery life.

Battery life is a step up from its predecessor, and is one of the best phones we’ve passed through our battery test suite. The only less-than-stellar result is 4K video recording, but even here, we’re looking at just over four hours of continuous shooting. Hardly a concern. Overall you’re easily looking at a day of heavy use from a full charge and possibly even longer with lighter workloads. All-day battery life doesn’t come at the cost of performance either; this is a potent Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 implementation that keeps up with rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

When you need to top up, the HONOR Magic 6 Pro supports up to 80W wired charging with a compatible SuperCharge plug. However, there isn’t a plug or cable in the box this time. HONOR will sell you a 100W model for £50, discounted to £15 when bundled with the phone. We made do with a 66W plug we had lying around from last year, which charged the phone to full in about 44 minutes.

If you don’t fancy buying a HONOR changer, note that the phone supports USB Power Delivery PPS at a rather pedestrian 23W. It takes over an hour to charge the phone to full when not using a SuperCharge adapter. Ultra-snappy 66W wireless charging is also supported with a compatible HONOR stand.

Magic OS software returns for another outing. There doesn’t seem to be much immediately different from the version I saw on the Magic 5 Pro a year ago, other than being based on Android 14. The theme is still heavily reminiscent of the EMUI days with a sprinkling of iOS elements. “AI” app recommendations and resizable folders adorn the home screen, and a left/right notification/quick settings menu swipes make up the key elements. Magic OS has a few tricks to call its own, including text extraction from images, Magic Portal to quickly drag and drop images between apps (though this only works in some instances), and Air Gestures that are more gimmicky than time savers. HONOR’s software does the trick once you look past the unnecessary extras like the HONOR App Market, but it struggles to stand out for genuinely useful additions to the core Android formula, especially in the face of adventurous ideas like Samsung’s Galaxy AI.

Three years of OS updates and five years of security updates is your lot for long-term support. The security updates are probably good enough to see you to the end of the handset’s lifecycle. However, other brands support their phones for up to seven years at a similar price. Those after a really long-term purchase should definitely check out the competition.

HONOR Magic 6 ProHONOR Magic 6 Pro
AA Recommended
HONOR Magic 6 Pro
Excellent battery life • Flexible camera package • Top performance
MSRP: $1,389.00
A sparkle of magic.
The HONOR Magic 6 Pro is a direct follow-up to 2023's impressive Magic 5 Pro and the brand's third flagship smartphone under its own stewardship, post-HUAWEI. With a powerhouse camera setup and top-tier hardware, HONOR positions the Magic 6 Pro as a contender for one of the best Android phones.

What are the best HONOR Magic 6 Pro alternatives?

HONOR Magic 6 Pro vs iPhone vs Galaxy in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Priced at just under the market’s ultra-premium models, the HONOR Magic 6 Pro can get away with the odd flaw and still be considered a solid purchase. That said, there’s excellent competition at this price, and you may find that another brand suits your needs slightly better.

  • Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus ($1119.99 at Amazon): Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Plus has a slightly older camera setup and is perhaps not quite as versatile as HONOR’s latest, but its pictures still hold up quite well. On top of that, you’ll receive a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy, Galaxy AI features, and seven years of updates. This is the phone to beat, even if it takes a little longer to charge than the Magic 6 Pro.
  • Apple iPhone 15 Pro ($999 at Amazon): If you’re looking for a powerhouse phone, Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro remains a top pick, thanks to a benchmark-topping processor, good battery life, and solid cameras. It’s a slightly smaller phone, is comparatively slow to charge, and you’d have to get used to iOS, but it’s hard to go wrong here.
  • Google Pixel 8 Pro ($999 at Amazon): When it comes to photography-focused phones, Google’s Pixel 8 Pro is the king of consistency, and I’d recommend it over the Magic 6 Pro if you want great pictures every time. You also gain seven years of support with the latest Pixel but do trade down a lot of other specs, including a slower processor, slower charging, and worse battery life.
  • ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra ($899.99 at Amazon): Another phone that undercuts the competition, ASUS’s powerhouse Zenfone 11 Ultra offers top-tier performance, fast charging, a lovely display, and all-day battery life. Again, the camera is not the absolute best, nor is the update pledge, but ASUS’ more stock-like software might suit you better.
  • OnePlus 12 ($899.99 at Amazon): If you’re looking to spend a little less but still want top-tier performance, fast charging, and a huge battery, the OnePlus 12 is a great alternative. The lower price trades off for an IP65 rating and an iffier camera setup, but it’s a solid all-around pick at a notably lower price.

HONOR Magic 6 Pro specs

Honor Magic 6 Pro
Display
6.8-inch OLED, FHD+ resolution (2,800 x 1,280)
120Hz dynamic refresh rate (1-120Hz)
HDR
5,000 nits peak brightness, 1,600 nits HMB
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM
12GB
LPDDR5X
Storage
512GB
UFS4.0
Battery
5,600mAh
Power
80W wired charging
66W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
No charger in box
Cameras
Rear:
- 50MP main
f/1.4-2.0 variable aperture, 23mm
1/1.3-inch sensor
OIS, PDAF

- 50MP ultrawide
f/2.0, 13mm
1/2.88-inch sensor
AF

- 180MP telephoto
2.5x optical zoom
f/2.6
1/1.49-inch sensor
OIS, PDAF

Front:
- 50MP
f/2.0, 22mm, AF
1/2.93-inch sensor
3D depth
Video
Rear:
4K at 30/60fps (all lenses)

Front:
4K at 30fps
Audio
Stereo speakers
Connectivity
5G (Sub6)
Wi-Fi 7
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
USB 3.2
SIM
Dual nano-SIM tray
eSIM support
Security
Optical under-display fingerprint sensor
3D face unlock
Discrete Security Chip S1
Durability
IP68
Software
Android 14
MagicOS 8.0
Update Policy
3 years of OS updates
5 years of security updates
Dimensions and weight
162.5 x 75.8 x 8.9mm
229g
Colors
Epi Green, Black

HONOR Magic 6 Pro review: FAQ

Yes, the HONOR Magic 6 Pro comes with the Play Store and several other Google apps pre-installed.

Wireless charging is supported at up to 66W when you have a compatible pad for the HONOR Magic 6 Pro.

We tested the Magic 6 Pro with a 66W SuperCharge plug and hit full in 44 minutes. The phone supports up to 80W charging, which may shave a few more minutes off the time.

No. Unlike previous generations, the HONOR Magic 6 Pro does not ship with a charger in the box. You’ll want one that supports HONOR’s SuperCharge technology for the fastest speeds.

Yes, the HONOR Magic 6 Pro sports an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance against submersion for short periods.

You might like