HONOR MagicWatch 2

HONOR MagicWatch 2

The HONOR MagicWatch 2 is a sports focused smartwatch released in January 2020. While the 46mm version of this watch is discussed in this review, a 42mm version is available as well. HONOR was the budget or value brand of HUAWEI, but HUAWEI sold off the HONOR brand in November 2020. Typically HONOR smartwatches have nearly identical specifications as the HUAWEI watches but prices are less. The MagicWatch 2 is nearly a clone of the more expensive HUAWEI Watch GT 2.

Even though HUAWEI is one of the most popular smartwatch manufacturers globally, there continues to be political backlash against this company in the US, making it difficult to purchase in some channels.

The MagicWatch 2 is using the HUAWEI Kirin A1 processor. This processor is known for its low power consumption which leads to good battery life. While not the newest processor, it does perform well and the watch shows very little lag. Note this is the same processor used across many HUAWEI watches, including the popular GT Pro 2 which sells for more than double the price.

The operating system for this watch is HUAWEI’s proprietary Lite OS. This means that available apps are limited and you do not have access to a 3rd party app store like Google Play. This is a significant disadvantage and is common drawback for any smartwatch using a proprietary operating system.

Design

The MagicWatch 2 has a circular watch face design and nice design. The only colors available are black or silver. The case is made of stainless steel and plastic, while not the most premium feel, it is still decent quality. This smartwatch is not too big at 45.9 x 45.9 x 10.7 mm and weighs 41g. The watch is slim with a thickness of 10.7 mm. It is comfortable and can be worn while sleeping. The watch is a thinner and less bulky than the GT 2 Pro which is a nice positive.

The MagicWatch 2 can be purchased with either a fluoroelastomer strap in black or leather strap in brown.

HONOR MagicWatch 2 Straps
Black Strap vs Brown Strap

Fluoroelastomer is a synthetic rubber strap that is supposed to be more resistant to heat, moisture and oil than silicone. Both straps are 22 mm, interchangeable and are quite comfortable to wear.

You can interact with the watch using the touchscreen and 2 physical buttons. The touchscreen works very well with no lag. Fonts, menus and icons can easily be read and navigation is not too complex.

The MagicWatch 2 has a 5ATM water resistance rating which allows for swimming and showers. Only use the fluoroelastomer band for swimming, as the leather band will get damaged. Salt water or chlorine could be problematic so make sure to rinse, wipe and dry the watch after swimming.

Screen

The screen of the MagicWatch 2 is impressive and identical to the screen on higher priced HUAWEI smartwatches. The 1.39″ AMOLED Touchscreen, with 454 x 454 pixels and 326 ppi pixel density delivers a high-quality visual experience. Indoors the display is excellent while outdoors it is acceptable but not great.

HONOR does not indicate what screen protection is provided which is disappointing. The watch face can be easily scratched so a screen protector would be a good investment for this watch. If you are looking for a rugged watch, the HONOR Watch GS Pro has nearly equivalent specs but with a rugged design more suited for durability.

HONOR MagicWatch 2 Scratch

The watch has an always on screen option but this has a significant impact on battery life. The watch allows for custom watchfaces which is a nice feature.

Battery

The MagicWatch 2 comes with a 455 mAh battery. HONOR claims that typical usage battery life is 14 days. Real world battery life matches this claim and is quite good when compared to other smartwatches.

Connectivity Features

From a connectivity perspective, the MagicWatch 2 has limited functionality when compared to full featured smartwatches. The watch can only receive notifications and there is no ability to respond to notifications from the watch.

This is one of the biggest drawbacks of the watch and a very common complaint. The watch does not have WiFi connectivity as well. While not having this connectivity could be a deal breaker, at this low pricepoint, it may be a sacrifice worth making. The lack of these features on the more expensive $300 GT 2 Pro is less acceptable.

The MagicWatch 2 has both a speaker and a microphone and has the ability to both answer and place calls via bluetooth. The speaker and microphone work well for both incoming and outgoing calls. The speaker can be used to play music stored on the 4GB internal memory.

On the positive side, it does come with built-in GPS. GPS connectivity is fast and accuracy is good. Finally, Near Field Communication (NFC) is not supported, hence you cannot use this smartwatch to make payments. This feature is typically not provided at this price point so it is not surprising.

Health and Fitness Features

The MagicWatch 2 comes with 6 sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2). These cover quite a bit of fitness functions and even some health areas. These sensors allow you to track the following 11 metrics: Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max.

While the watch was initially launched with 15 sports modes, a firmware update in June 2020, added 85 more modes bringing it to 100.

HONOR MagicWatch 2 Sports

The MagicWatch 2 does a good job with monitoring. Sleep monitoring is very good and fitness tracking is decent.

HUAWEI Health App

The MagicWatch 2 uses the HUAWEI Health app, which is very good particularly for fitness and sports tracking. The app is not cluttered, easy to navigate and works quite well. You can see how the HUAWEI Health app ranks on our Smartwatch Apps Page.

One common complaint with all HUAWEI and HONOR smartwatches is the lack of Strava app support, a popular app for runners and cyclists.

HUAWEI Health App

Known Issues

Custom Watch Faces Not Available

For some regions, HUAWEI disables custom watch faces on the HUAWEI Health App. To get around this,

Step 1: Create a HUAWEI ID on cloud.huawei.com. Make sure to select your region as India or UK.
Step 2: Download HUAWEI health app but do not open it.
Step 3: Download HUAWEI mobile services application
Step 4: Turn on airplane mode, connect to wifi or mobile network and open the HUAWEI health app. Select the region as India or UK.
Step 5: Complete the pairing with your smart watch. You will be able to see option to use custom watch faces.
Step 6: You will not be able to download the custom watch faces yet. It will prompt you to login using HUAWEI ID.
Step 7: Goto settings > accounts > add new account and login using your created HUAWEI id.

Verdict

The HONOR MagicWatch 2 is an excellent value for a smartwatch. It is essentially a HUAWEI Watch GT 2 Pro with simpler build materials and no wireless charging. Fitness and sleep tracking are very good. Drawbacks include no notification reply ability, no 3rd party apps and no NFC. Overall an excellent smartwatch buy for the price.

Specifications

General

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Watch Type Sports Focused Smartwatch
Gender Men
Release Date January 2020
Operating System Proprietary - Lite OS
App HUAWEI Health
Supported Devices Android 5.0+, iOS 9.0+
Processor HUAWEI Kirin A1

Design

Shape Circular
Case Size 45.9 x 45.9 x 10.7 mm
Case Material Stainless Steel & Plastic
Weight 41g
Strap Width 22 mm
Strap Material Fluoroelastomer, Leather
Interchangeable Strap Yes
Watch Colors Black
Input Touchscreen, 2 Buttons
Water Resistance 5 ATM

Screen

Screen Size 1.39"
Screen Type AMOLED Touchscreen
Resolution 454 x 454
Pixels per Inch 326 ppi
Always On Yes
Custom Faces Yes
Screen Protection None

Battery

Typical Usage Battery Life (Days) 14
Watch Mode Battery Life (Days) Not Disclosed
GPS Mode Battery Life (Days) Not Disclosed
Charging System Magnetic
Capacity 455 mAh

Features

Notifications Receive Only
Bluetooth v5.1
Bluetooth Calling Receive and Place Calls
Bluetooth Music Yes
Speaker Yes
Microphone Yes
Camera No
Cellular No
GPS GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia)
Near Field Communication (NFC) No
Payments No
WiFi No
Voice Command No
Memory 4GB
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2)
Tracking Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max
Sport Modes 100+
Automatic Workout Detection Yes
Warranty 12 Months

Summary

Advantages Good price for specs
14 day battery life
Good quality screen
Excellent fitness and sports apps
Can receive and place calls with the watch when paired to your phone
Disadvantages Cannot respond to notifications
Limited apps, no app store with third-party apps
No NFC or payment capability
No Strava support
Verdict The HONOR MagicWatch 2 is an excellent value for a smartwatch. It is essentially a HUAWEI Watch GT 2 Pro with simpler build materials and no wireless charging. Fitness and sleep tracking are great. Drawbacks include no notification reply ability, no 3rd party apps and no NFC. Overall an excellent smartwatch buy.

Published: December 17, 2020

HONOR MagicWatch 2 - WatchSmarty
HONOR MagicWatch 2

The HONOR MagicWatch 2 is essentially a HUAWEI Watch GT 2 Pro with simpler build materials and no wireless charging. Overall an excellent smartwatch buy.

Product SKU: HONOR MagicWatch 2

Product Brand: HONOR

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 140

Price Valid Until: 2023-01-01

Product In-Stock: SoldOut

Editor's Rating:
6.9