OPINION: Honor made a big splash at this year’s MWC in Barcelona. The company has three flagship phones to show off at the show, but what really caught my attention was Honor CEO George Zhao’s statement during the Q&A session.
When asked about any potential plans to release a phone in the same vein as the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Mr. Zhao decried the form factor as focusing on “status” rather than functionality. As part of his response, Mr. Zhao also admitted that he sees more potential in the centerfold style that can be seen in the new campaign Honor Magic Vs smartphone. While this statement may infuriate Galaxy Z Flip fans, I agree with Mr. Zhao.
I’ve been using the Honor Magic Vs as my primary phone while touring the halls of MWC, and while you might expect to read our final verdict after a while, I’m quite surprised at how much use I got from the device’s primary 7.9-inch display.
It’s much easier to type on the big screen, which helped tremendously with the many notes I had to keep up with, and when I needed to respond to a colleague via Slack or email, I was able to get this secondary program to hover up in a smaller window to I never miss an opportunity to write something down when some important information reaches my ears.
There is also the much more obvious benefit of a larger display in that documents, photos and articles are much easier to read and view. In fact, I found myself reaching for the Honor Magic Vs more than myself iPad throughout this trip because the convenience of having a larger screen in my pocket continues to win out.
I’m not convinced that foldable phones are completely useless – they still present an intriguing prospect for content creators, as their form factor and external displays allow you to mount a makeshift tripod at any time and even use an improved rear-facing selfie camera. The problem is that I could find a similar or even better experience simply by buying a specialized smartphone tripod or gimbal, while I can’t add the benefit of a larger display to an existing smartphone – it’s either a case of choosing a foldable phone or carrying around tablet.
The only major issue standing in the way of foldable phones is cost, and I don’t see a solution anytime soon. Honor introduced a price of 1,599 euros for the Magic Vs, which is not too far from the high-end Galaxy Z Fold 4. And as long as folding phones are available at more affordable prices, they will remain an attractive prospect for consumers. Honor is definitely doing something, but whether the sophisticated devices will see the sun remains to be seen.