Review, Smartwatch, Wearable

Honor MagicWatch 2 Quick Review: Incredibly Long-Lasting Smartwatch

One of the biggest pain points of wearables is limited battery life, which is especially true for full-fledged smartwatches. Well, that doesn’t really apply to this particular smartwatch: the Honor MagicWatch 2. Not only is it a handsome, sleek-looking smartwatch that looks almost like a traditional wristwatch, it also has incredibly good battery life.

After using the MagicWatch 2 as my daily driver for the past few weeks, I’m really quite impressed with how long it can last on a single charge. It does have its fair share of shortcomings, but if you want a long-lasting smartwatch, the MagicWatch 2 is one to consider.

What It Is

This variant of the MagicWatch 2 is the RM749 Flax Brown (46mm) model; the Charcoal Black variant – also 46mm in size – is slightly cheaper at RM699. Personally, I prefer the aesthetics of the Flax Brown option with its genuine leather strap and stainless steel case.

As mentioned, the MagicWatch 2 has very good battery life, thanks to its 455mAh battery. According to Honor, this battery capacity can return up to 14 days of use on a single charge, which is really, really impressive. I didn’t quite hit Honor’s quoted battery life, but I’ll elaborate more on this further down the review.

Besides that, the MagicWatch 2 also has a 1.4-inch 454 x 454 circular AMOLED display, a Kirin A1 chipset, 4GB of internal storage, 5 ATM water resistance rating, a heart rate sensor, and a speaker with a built-in microphone. This allows you to carry a phone conversation with just the watch.

The Good Stuff

Okay, so how good is the battery life of the MagicWatch 2? Well, I managed to squeeze about nine days of use out of the smartwatch. That’s not quite as long as Honor’s claim of 14-day use, but I did switch on the always on display. On top of that, I set the watch to measure my heart rate continuously.

If I had disabled these features, I’m pretty optimistic the MagicWatch 2 can last as long as 14 days. Or at the very least, close to that quoted figure. In any case, even though I didn’t get 14 days of use with this smartwatch, I’m still very happy with the battery life I got.

Beyond that, the MagicWatch 2’s AMOLED display is worth a mention too. Thanks to the bright, vibrant nature of AMOLED screens, this watch looks great with practically any watchface I select. The deep, true blacks further accentuate this, especially with the always on display.

I also really, really dig the design of the MagicWatch 2, especially this Flax Brown colourway. From a distance, it’s easy to mistake this smartwatch for a traditional wristwatch, though some may not be a fan of the watch’s sheer size. Regardless, I think the brown leather strap looks great, and it’s also quite comfortable on my wrist.

On that note, it also helps that this is a relatively light smartwatch, tipping the scales at only 41g. Personally, I like my watches to carry a bit more heft, but if you plan to use this smartwatch to track your workouts, you’ll appreciate its lightweight nature.

Oh, right. The MagicWatch 2’s workout tracking is quite good too. Although it doesn’t automatically track my workouts, it’s easy to begin and end a workout, and it presents all the data in a very clear manner. These include the duration of my exercise, calories burnt, and my heart rate throughout the workout.

Once you’re done with your workouts, you can always refer back to them at a later time on the MagicWatch 2 itself. Every single tracked workouts are saved to the watch itself, so you don’t even need to look it up with the app on your phone.

The Bad Stuff

Unfortunately, the MagicWatch 2 is better as a fitness tracker than a smartwatch. For example, its notification system is not quite as robust as its competition. I cannot interact with any of the notifications, they are cluttered, and I can’t even get additional details. In the end, I just resorted to taking out my phone to check the notifications whenever the watch vibrates.

Another gripe I have with the MagicWatch 2 is the sluggish nature of its operating system, LiteOS. Waking the watch from sleep isn’t immediate, and the user interface doesn’t feel particularly responsive at times. Granted, this had to be done to maximise the power efficiency of the smartwatch, but it does affect the user experience a tad.

Last but certainly not least is the issue I faced when trying to pair the MagicWatch 2 to my phone with Huawei Health. I wasn’t using a Huawei or Honor device when I was trying to pair the watch with the app, and for some reason, it kept crashing during the setup process.

In the end, I had to download a separate, more updated APK of the Huawei Health app from a third-party site to finally pair the MagicWatch 2 to my phone. Oddly enough, the app in the Google Play Store was not updated to the latest version at the time.

Of course, the Huawei Health app has been updated since then, but this should have never been an issue in the first place.

Is It Worth It?

Retailing from only RM699, the Honor MagicWatch 2 is a pretty affordable smartwatch, and it’s certainly worth the money if you fancy its feature set. It has incredibly good battery life, a bright, vibrant AMOLED display, and it’s arguably one of the sleekest-looking smartwatches in the market now.

The MagicWatch 2 does have some shortcomings here and there, but for the most part, it’s a good wearable. Plus, not many full-fledged smartwatch can match the MagicWatch 2’s fantastic battery life.