In this price range, the Honor Magic 5 Lite hits the most essential points. It takes good photos, has a lengthy battery life, and looks great while doing so.
- 6.67in, FHD+, OLED, 120Hz, curved display
- In-display fingerprint sensor
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 695
- 6GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- 64Mp, f/1.8 main camera
- 5Mp ultra-wide camera
- 2Mp macro camera
- Up to 1080p @ 30fps rear video
- 16Mp front-facing camera
- Mono speaker
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 5.1
- 5100mAh battery
- 40W charging (no charger in box)
- 161.6 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm
- Launch colours: Midnight Black, Emerald Green, Titanium Silver
- Battery life
- Flagship Build Quality.
- 6.67inch 120Hz OLED display, Curved Display.
- Glass Back Panel.
- Older chipset
- No bundled charger
- Mono speaker.
- No IP Certification.
The Honor Magic 5 Lite, which will be available alongside the flagship Magic 5 Pro and folding Magic VS, aims to be a more affordable option for those whose budgets do not extend as far as those of the premium pair. The Magic 5 Lite is a well-rounded mid-range phone with a stylish design, virtually unbeatable battery life, and an appealing, curved display. With a slim 7.9mm body, a dual-curved display, and a smart glass rear, the phone looks undeniably premium. My model is the Emerald Green version, there is also a Titanium Silver, and Midnight Black colours available. Performance, while competent, won’t blow you away, and you’ll probably struggle to capture award-winning pictures after dark. At this price, concessions are to be expected, but the issue is whether the Honor Magic 5 Lite makes them in the right places.
The Magic 5 Lite, like the recent Honor 70, is a surprisingly stylish mid-range phone with a gorgeous, 120Hz OLED display that curves gracefully around the sides. The triple camera array on the rear includes a 64MP main lens, a 5MP ultrawide shutter, and a 2MP macro camera. Because of the smaller 6.67-inch screen, this phone is smaller than the surfboard-sized Magic 4 Lite. Despite having a larger battery, it’s also considerably lighter at 175g. The Magic 4 Lite’s ring-shaped camera design returns on the phone’s back. Indeed, Honor has relied heavily on the ‘Matrix Star Ring’ design. While the side frame is as thin as you want it to be, with thin and clicky volume and power buttons on the right edge, Honor has flattened out the top and bottom borders. Another indication that this is a low-cost phone is the absence of IP certification. This one should be kept clear from bodies of water.
Battery Life & Performance
The Honor Magic 5 Lite is powered by a Snapdragon 695 processor, 6GB of Memory, and 128GB of internal storage. This is a reliable, if unremarkable, processor that has lately appeared in devices such as the Motorola Edge 30 Neo and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. In the single-core CPU tests, all three performed equally, though the Xiaomi outperformed the competition by around 8% in the Geekbench 5 multicore test. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G performed even better, with multicore scores approximately 14% higher than the Honor Magic 5 Lite. While these cheaper versions may cast the 5 Lite in a negative light, it is still a very responsive handset to use. General scrolling is pleasingly fluid, aided by the 120Hz refresh rate, and running and switching between numerous applications resulted in no noticeable slowdowns.
On the GPU front, the Honor Magic 5 Lite competes with the Edge 30 Neo and Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, with scores that won’t get you the best frame rates in Call of Duty Mobile, but are more than enough to play lighter titles like Candy Crush. If you want more gaming power, the Nord CE 2 5G once again outperforms the competition, proving that it is still the top performer in this price range.
The Honor Magic 5 Lite comes with 5,100mAh battery, and it does not disappoint, this is closest Android phone I’ve used that comes close the iPhone’s stellar battery drain on standby. In practise, this resulted in a true two-day battery life for the Magic 5 Lite. You can expect to get through a full day of moderate-to-heavy use, with around 4 hours of screen time, and still have more than half a tank remaining. The Smart Resolution mode, which is enabled by default, allows you to stretch the stamina even further.
When that incredible battery life runs out, the Honor Magic 5 Lite supports 40W fast charging, enabling you to quickly recharge it. Unfortunately, no rapid charger is included in the package, but if you already have a compatible plug. Another disadvantage is the charging option, which is a bit of a double whammy. Not only does the Magic 5 Lite only allow 40W charging (as opposed to the Magic 4 Lite’s 66W), but it also does not come with a charger in the box.￼
- 64Mp main sensor
- 5Mp ultrawide
- 2Mp macro
- 16Mp selfie camera
Honor has opted for a more pixel-dense 64Mp primary camera sensor for the Magic 5 Lite, as well as a 5Mp ultrawide lens. However, there is still an unnecessary 2Mp macro sensor. In good lighting, that main sensor generates decent, sharp, fairly well-exposed images. I liked how realistic the colours looked here, with little of the oversaturation that many low-cost phones use. It also performs admirably in HDR scenarios, neatly balancing light and shade. The 5Mp ultrawide sensor isn’t nearly as capable as the main sensor, resulting in a significant loss of clarity and a much more muted colour palette. That is to be expected in a lower-priced phone.
Super Macro images.
It’s extremely difficult to get a properly focused picture, and even when you do, the images are extremely fuzzy and washed out. I got much better results using the main camera to capture close-up images.
Adjusting the aperture can get some good effects but it does take work
Shooting in dim light with that main sensor is a hit-or-miss challenge. Hit the Night mode option and take your time lining up your shot while maintaining a steady hand for some amazing crisp shots. However, if you don’t frame correctly, it’s easy to lose definition. It’s possible that the absence of OIS has something to do with it. The 16Mp front camera takes good selfies, but the selfie portrait mode smudges edges and skin tones equally.
Magic UI 6.1
The Honor Magic 5 Lite, like last year’s edition, is powered by, Android 12, whereas many decent phones have been upgraded to Android 13.That’s not all that important, though, because your primary point of contact is the custom Magic UI, which is on version 6.1 here. It’s another excellent, if somewhat cluttered, user interface. Once again, the home screen is clogged with too many custom apps, including Honor’s own app store, App Market, its own Themes store, and the My Honor system manager-meets-user handbook app. If you’re anything like me, your first inclination is to move all such apps to a folder, and there’s a lot to move. You’ll also be provided a slew of third-party pre-installations, such as Facebook, Netflix, TikTok, and Booking.com, although these can all be uninstalled.
The Magic5 Lite zipped along nicely and although the chipset might be on the older side, I didn’t notice and lag or stutters, the screen is clear, crisp and bright, with good colours and deep blacks. The in screen fingerprint sensor is of the optical variety and it worked for me flawlessly, that is if I got the chance to use it as the face unlock normally got the device unlocked first. I did find that device was a little bit on the slippery side, but a TPU case will sort that out, the back glass is of the frosted type so fingerprints didn’t show up at all, and the front oleophobic coating again did a good job of keeping them at bay. Everyone I passed the Magic5 Lite too, thought its retail price was a lot more than it actually was.
Price & Avaiabilty
The Honor Magic 5 Lite is now available in the United Kingdom on the Honor website, when the rest of the Magic 5 phones will be unveiled. It’s priced at £329/€369 for the single model, which gives you 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, but ordering now get you some goodies thrown in for free ( earbuds, case and 1 screen replacement in the first 6 months)
The Honor Magic 5 Lite competes with the Poco X5 Pro, which costs a little more at £369 and doesn’t appear or feel half as good. It does, however, provide twice the capacity (256GB) and a faster processor. The Motorola Edge 30 Neo, meanwhile, costs £350, which gives you the same processor as the Magic 5 Lite and faster charging.
The Honor Magic 5 Lite is yet another solid lower-midrange offering from the company, providing an unusual degree of fit and finish for the price. It’s a much more appealing phone than the Magic 4 Lite, with a much better OLED touchscreen. The larger battery in the Magic 5 Lite is equally remarkable, producing a level of endurance that can easily last two days of regular use. It’s just a pity Honor has cut corners by offering slower charging and no bundled brick.
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