The Honor Magic5 Lite is a mid ranger in Honor’s flagship Magic series, launched and announced on 15th February 2023, and later on released on February 20th and now available for sales. It offers quite a few upgrades over initial releases from the same brand. While Magic4 Lite was released last year with somewhat underwhelming features, hopes are high for this new release to meet expectations.
Note that the Honor Magic5 Lite is a rebranded Honor x9a; Honor X9A was released back in January for some Asian markets, therefore both phones are identical. This review can help decide if Honor x9a is worthwhile.
Honor Magic5 Lite Review and Features
The Honor Magic5 Lite is made with a superior OLED panel instead of IPS and still runs at 120Hz. even has a better main camera, an ultrawide on the back, an upgrade on the battery capacity, with an entirely new back design.
This device still maintains Honor’s established design language, but still maintains the minimalist ring on the back better than before, which gives it a distinctive look that no other midrange has.
The device also has an updated Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12, which has more features and improvements. Google’s Mobile Services are embedded in this device since it is now a separate entity from Huawei.
In the box
Surprisingly there is no charger in the box; just a USB-A to USB-C cable used for charging and data transfers. There is no case either, which is quite different from Magic4 Lite which shipped with a 66W charger.
The Honor Magic5 Lite has a smaller design but with similar features. It features a more compact 6.67-inch display, which makes it lighter, smaller and easier to handle. The device weighs only 175 grams, you won’t even know you are holding something.
The smallness of this device is not only attributed to weight; the chassis is made of plastic, with the back panel imitating frosted glass, and the display curved to the sides. These curvatures at the back and front panels look identical, and makes a smooth transition into the thin side frame easy, without forming any gaps or ridges.
However, we notice the under-display fingerprint reader isn’t placed adequately. It is positioned too close to the bottom edge of the display and requires some finger gymnastics to be able to reach it. Since the device uses an OLED display, the bezels all-around are thinner.
The Magic5 Lite runs on the newer 6.1 version of Honor’s proprietary Magic user interface alongside Android 12. The Magic UI still maintains the usual customizations, including the themes, wallpapers, icons and most of the home screen-related customizations. You also get to choose from a wide variety of Always-on display styles and layouts, all thanks to the Magic5 Lite c OLED panel.
Unlike EMUI 12, the notification shade is not separated into two parts, instead of the usual design with rearrange-able quick toggles and notifications. But you can’t get to it with the usual swipe-down gesture on the Home screen, it requires a little finger gymnastics to reach for the status bar to pull it down. Also the toggle for automatic brightness control is not readily visible, one has to dig deep into the general Settings menu to switch it on or off.
But we also noticed that the Magic UI feels snappy and responsive, and animations are not a problem. You should also know that almost all pre-installed default apps aren’t Google’s stock ones but are proprietary; this includes the Gallery, Phone, Weather, Calculator, Files, Notepad, etc. however, there are a few of them that you can remove if you wish. The Honor Share feature is still available, and seems like it is here to stay as long as you have an eligible Honor Magic Book to use it with. This feature allows for a seamless file transfer across devices as well as some multitasking features.
The new Magic5 Lite is a big improvement as regards overall picture quality. The colors as we notice are considerably more pleasant, and the photos appear sharper, in good light. As the light drops, noise becomes more magnified, and the overall picture quality quickly deteriorates. The 2x zoom samples so far are soft, and there is a night mode that produces clearer overall pictures with more sharpness and less noise. The video recording caps up to 1080@360 fps.
But users get to enjoy excellent battery life and a great display.
- A curved 120Hz OLED panel.
- Lightweight design.
- Boasts of an Excellent battery life.
- Camera quality is underwhelming and no 4K video recording.
- Single loudspeakers have unimpressive loudness and quality.
- Slower charging than last year.
- Slower charging than last year.
- Ships without a charger in some regions.