Honor Magic 4 Pro review: successful return with a real high-end smartphone

Honor Magic 4 Pro review: successful return with a real high-end smartphone
Written by madishthestylebar

To face fierce competition on the high end (including smartphones over 1000 €), Honor has armed itself at the photo level. The Chinese firm offers two 50-megapixel modules, wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle, as well as a 64 Mpx periscopic telephoto lens. To these three modules is added a ToF sensor (for Time of Flight) which will help in particular for depth. The set is reminiscent of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, a few million pixels less.

Main module: 50 Mpx, f/1.8, eq. 27mm

Oppo Find X5 (12.5 MP, f/1.8, ISO 186, 1/250 sec)
Honor Magic 4 Pro (12.5MP, f/1.8, 1/100s)

On the wide-angle, the Magic 4 Pro has a tendency to overexpose. This can be seen very clearly in comparison with the Find X5 from Oppo. However, the Honor model tries to offer an image with colors that are fairly close to natural, without forcing too much on the contrast as is the case with the Find X5. That said, the latter delivers a much better sharpness and a less pronounced smoothing.

Oppo Find X5 (12.5MP, f/1.8, ISO 5201, 1/20s)
Honor Magic 4 Pro (12.5MP, f/1.8, 1/15s)

The observation is almost identical at night. The shot captured by the Magic 4 Pro drools somewhat, probably because of the too high increase in sensitivity to try to hide the digital noise. At Oppo, the philosophy is different since it reveals these rough edges of the image, even if it means losing a little detail.

Let’s add that our notation takes into account our entire test scene, and not just its center, isolated in the images above. The Honor Magic 4 Pro is doing very well on the outskirts, an often vague area among the competition. This allows him to grab additional points.

50MP mode

50MP (100% crop)
12.5MP (100% crop)

50MP (100% crop)
12.5MP (100% crop)

In full definition, there is a marked improvement in daytime photos. The 50 Mpx mode corrects this problem of exposure, offers more sharpness and slightly improved sharpness. It’s not really hair-raising, but is undeniably better. On the other hand, in low light, it’s a disaster; prefer it pixel binding if you want to capture night shots.

Ultra-wide-angle module: 50 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 13mm

Oppo Find X5 (12.5 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 16 mm, ISO 399, 1/125 s)
Honor Magic 4 Pro (12.5 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 13 mm, 1/125 s)

The trend is reversed with the ultra wide-angle since the Honor Magic 4 Pro manages to provide a much more satisfactory image. The exposure is better – even if still too strong in some places – the colorimetry much more pleasant and the sharpness rather good.

Oppo Find X5 (12.5 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 16 mm, ISO 6326, 1/10 s)
Honor Magic 4 Pro (12.5 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 13 mm, 1/15 s)

At night, it’s a cold shower: the shot captured is rough, where the Oppo Find X5 is much more convincing.

Periscope x3.5 telephoto lens: 64 Mpx, f/3.5, eq. 95mm

Oppo Find X5
Honor Magic 4 Pro

The zoom is quite effective during the day. It offers good colorimetric rendering, good exposure and a more flattering sharpness than its competition. Note that the magnification of the Oppo is less powerful than that of the Honor, since it is only x2.

Oppo Find X5
Honor Magic 4 Pro

As often, the smartphone does not use its telephoto lens when capturing a night shot. It then bases itself on the main module in which the image is cropped to match the promised magnification. This explains the more than degraded quality of our photo in which the scene is very messy.

Front module, portrait and video mode

At the front, the Magic 4 Pro incorporates a 12 Mpx module coupled with a ToF sensor which is mainly used for facial recognition. This front module is an ultra wide-angle to bring more people into your selfies. The latter are also very good, even if we regret a slight lack of sharpness.

Same thing for shots taken in portrait mode with the front module. With the one present at the back, the result is excellent. The clipping is almost perfect, the Magic 4 Pro easily managing to capture the subjects. Hair is not a problem, just like beards, for example. The user will only take care to deactivate the beauty tricks to benefit from the “purest” photo possible. The remark also applies to selfies without portrait mode.

In video, the smartphone is capable of filming up to 4K at 60 fps. It allows filming in LOG, a mode that is close to raw and allows filming without processing directly applied to the video, to then modify it at will in post-production. The Honor Magic 4 Pro also offers to film in LUT (Look-Up Table), that is to say with an image already calibrated, therefore with variable tones and colors – sorts of video filters to sum up. These LUTs are also applicable to files filmed in LOG, which can be reworked directly from the phone. As for the realization, the wide-angle module and the periscopic telephoto lens are equipped with an optical stabilizer to limit tremors as much as possible. The only small concern noted is the jolts that occur when changing focal length. Either way, this Magic 4 Pro is a serious proposition when it comes to video.

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