Honor MagicWatch 2 review: Solid on health and fitness, but light elsewhere Review

Smartwatches are not all carved from the exact stone — there are distinctive definitions of what ‘smart’ suggests, for example. Android people have more selections to opt for from than Apple people, but the principles should be protected perfectly. The attributes Honor headlines for its MagicWatch two are lengthy battery daily life, personalised check out faces and health modes.

There are two versions of the Honor MagicWatch two, intended for distinctive wrist sizes. I was despatched the larger sized 46mm edition, which is the only one offered in the United kingdom at the time of creating. It truly is offered from Amazon at £159.99 (inc. VAT). Pricing and availability of the lesser 42mm design is yet to be verified.


The 46mm edition is bulky, specially on a tiny wrist.

Impression: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The larger sized check out has a 46mm experience, and is fairly thick at 10mm which includes the protuberance on the back that residences the coronary heart fee monitor and a pair of connectors for the round, magnetic charger. It truly is fairly a beast to have on, and oversized for my wrist.

Even now, there is an upside to the measurement, and that is a huge display screen. The 1.39-inch diameter, 454-by-454 pixel, 326ppi AMOLED contact display can display screen a lot of detail. This matters, as you will be prodding at the display and studying the experience a lot if you might be going to make the most of this smartwatch.

Complementing the contact display are a pair of huge buttons on the appropriate rim. The higher button requires you to all the attributes of the MagicWatch two, which includes apps and options. The base button can be set to start any of the created-in apps or bounce to workout routines.

There is a lot of ‘stuff’ on board in the way of applets. These incorporate flashlight, alarm, timer, weather facts, notifications, compass, air tension readout, new music player, contacts, phone log — even breathing workouts. The check out experience alone can be swept left and appropriate to get to more screens of facts a sweep upwards reveals notifications, while a downward sweep presents shortcuts to a variety of options these as the alarm, ‘find my phone’ and ‘do not disturb’ attributes, as perfectly as reporting battery daily life. 


The MagicWatch 2’s strengths are wellness and health.

Impression: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

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For all its potential to display screen facts, enjoy new music, clearly show the weather and so on, it really is the wellness and health attributes that the MagicWatch two majors on. It can take care of metrics for functioning (indoor and outside), cycling (indoor and outside), swimming (pool and open up h2o), strolling (indoor and outside), climbing, mountaineering, trail runs, triathlon, elliptical trainers and rowing. The GPS tracking maps the place you have been, and I found this to be really accurate for the duration of testing. 

The health attributes do not stop at tough bodily workout routines. A snooze monitor picked up my patterns of light-weight, deep and REM snooze, matching these carefully more than enough to my Fitbit’s facts to allay any issue more than accuracy the step counter appears to be accurate both on quantity of techniques and length, and its coronary heart fee measurements were being near to my Fitbit’s as well. On coronary heart fee, by the way, the MagicWatch two has an on-display each day report, with lengthier-time period facts saved in the smartphone-based mostly Well being application. 

If you want to use the MagicWatch two to initiate calls by using Bluetooth, you will have to have the 46mm edition — in accordance to the product facts, the 42mm design isn’t going to assist that aspect. Neither edition of the check out has NFC created in, which suggests you will find no assist for mobile payments. 

It truly is difficult to add any third-occasion apps to the Honor MagicWatch two, so you might be going to have to stick with what is actually on board. To choose just one example, I’ve currently pointed out that you will find a new music player, and this will cope with tunes transferred throughout by using the Well being application (there is 4GB of storage in complete, and 2GB offered for new music). But if you are into streaming products and services, you are unable to put in applets for these. 

If you do have to have to put in third-occasion apps, then appear for a smartwatch functioning Google’s Dress in OS relatively than the tailor made LiteOS which is made use of listed here, which is dependent on firmware updates from Honor. 

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Battery daily life is quoted at 14 times for the 46mm edition I examined. The charger is a round plate which retains the MagicWatch two in put with a robust magnet. Leaving the battery to operate down from total left me needing to demand right after 7 times. A more sensible routine of making use of best-up charging as section of the exact morning schedule I use to demand my smartphone intended it hardly experienced to be off my wrist for charging. 

Battery daily life expertise will rely on how you use the MagicWatch two. For example, you can have a check out experience (either analogue or electronic) on standby, but as you set this up the machine warns that carrying out so will halve the battery daily life. 


View faces are offered onboard, and you can import more by using the smartphone-based mostly Well being application.

Images: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

There are a lot of check out faces to choose between. A lengthy press on the experience calls up some others on board, earning it quick to change if you fancy a improve. There are more faces in the Well being application, and they are conveniently transferred into the MagicWatch two. 

As perfectly as currently being the put the place cumulative wellness and activity facts is saved and exhibited, the Well being application handles facts sharing with other apps. At the moment this is limited to just Google Match and MyFitnessPal. It truly is not doable to export GPX data files (which consist of GPS metrics), or to share facts with other popular platforms these as Fitbit or Strava. Honor wants to give this part more assumed. 


Honor’s MagicWatch two has some powerful attributes. The principles of wellness and health checking are protected, and the companion Well being application does a good position of exhibiting aggregated facts that collects more than time, and of interacting with the watch’s inner storage. 

But Honor wants to perform tougher on its smartwatch offer you. Application updates have to have to add assist for more platforms for its wellness facts and enable the export of GPX data files. Harder to resolve is the absence of NFC, which is essential for mobile payments but calls for a hardware revision. The lack of assist for third-occasion apps is also a issue.

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