Honor Magic 5 Pro Packs Meaty Camera Specs and a High Price

Over $1,100 is a lot to ask for a phone these days.

Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
3 min read
Hand holding a phone with its screen on.
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Honor's latest flagship phone, the Magic 5 Pro, packs a strong lineup of specs, including the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and a triple camera array. Mix in the vibrant 6.8-inch display and IP68 water resistance rating and this phone ticks most of the boxes you'd expect from a flagship in 2023. 

But it needs to pack as much as it can as its expected £1,000 price tag puts it squarely in the elite category. There's no word on US availability, but for reference that UK price converts to $1,195.

Honor used to be a sub-brand of Chinese mobile firm Huawei. More recently, Honor separated out to become its own company, which crucially allows Honor to make full use of Google services and 5G connectivity -- two things which Huawei is still unable to do due to ongoing restrictions from the US. 

Phone on a tablet, close up on camera.
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The Magic 5 Pro looks good, with a curving glass back and large circular camera unit. The display is big and bright enough to do justice to YouTube videos. In my brief hands on time, the phone seems powerful and nippy with no annoying lag as I navigated around the Android 13 interface. Demanding 3D game Asphalt 9: Legends played with extremely smooth frame rates at max settings.

The rear cameras include a 50-megapixel main camera, a 50 megapixel ultrawide and a 50-megapixel zoom lens offering 3.5x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom. My early tests look decent, with even exposures and accurate colors. 


Honor Magic 5 Pro, main camera

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Taken from the main camera, this image has quite a strong HDR look, with very toned-down skies and lifted shadows on the buildings. But it's captured the details well and the colors are vibrant.


Honor Magic 5 Pro, ultra wide lens

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Switching to the ultra-wide, I'm pleased to see a good grasp on exposure and no major shift in color tones. 


Honor Magic 5 Pro, 3.5x optical zoom

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Zooming in to 3.5x, the phone has captured a sharp shot here.


Honor Magic 5 Pro, 10x zoom

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And even digitally zooming up to 10x, the image still has plenty of detail.


Honor Magic 5 Pro, portrait mode

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The portrait mode has captured me well here, with a decent blur around the edge. 


Honor Magic 5 Pro, selfie camera

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And the 12-megapixel selfie camera delivers vibrant, crisp shots too.


Honor Magic 5 Pro, macro mode

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There's also a macro mode that can be great fun for getting close up views on various subjects. 

Honor also boasts some AI smarts, with a motion function that's designed to help you take better pictures of subjects in action like skateboarders or basketball players. The AI will apparently be able to learn when the best moment is to take a photo, but how this works in practice remains to be seen. 

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Other specs include 5G connectivity, a capacious 5,100mAh battery, 66W fast charging, 8 or 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. 

The phone certainly ticks many top-end boxes, but it's got stiff competition and with such a high price I feel Honor will struggle to get many takers, especially when phones like the OnePlus 11 offers many similar features at a much lower price. I'm looking forward to see how the phone fares in our full tests, and how it compares to the competition.