Honor MagicWatch 2 review: Everything you get with Huawei Watch GT 2, except the price tag

Honor MagicWatch 2 review: Everything you get with Huawei Watch GT 2, except the price tag

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The best feature of the MagicWatch 2’s display is certainly its always-on functionality (Image: Express Newspapers)

Honor made a big song and dance about the design and feature set included in the MagicWatch 2 ahead of its launch. Once you’ve waded through the marketing jargon, you’ll discover the new device is essentially a re-badged Huawei Watch GT 2 with a lower price tag.

That’s certainly not a criticism of the device – we back in October and were hugely impressed with its array of fitness features, outstanding battery life, and build quality. The MagicWatch 2 matches the GT 2 in every regard but has one advantage: price.

Instead of taking on the same £159.99 price tag as the GT 2, the MagicWatch 2 starts at £149.99 (for the 42mm sizes of each, anyway). That means unless you’re particularly excited about having a Huawei logo on aluminium clasp of your wearable, the MagicWatch 2 is a no-brainer.

The price disparity between the two watches also exists on the beefier 46mm edition. Huawei’s GT 2 comes in at £179.99 while the MagicWatch 2 undercuts it at £159.99, although it’s currently on sale for £139.99 until February 16.

So are there any differences between the MagicWatch 2 and the Huawei Watch GT 2? Well, apart from the red accent on the former’s menu button …no.

Although you can read all about the design, specs and features of the Huawei Watch GT 2 (all of which apply to Honor’s new wearable) here are our main takeaways from the MagicWatch 2 you should know about before you rush out and buy one.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE HONOR MAGICWATCH 2

Honor MagicWatch 2 review

The MagicWatch 2 comes in a 42mm or 46mm case (Image: Express Newspapers)

Honor MagicWatch 2 review: Design and Display

Don’t expect the craftsmanship of a Rolex, but the MagicWatch 2 does look great in its own right and is built to withstand arduous workouts. The frame is made of aluminium and has a matte finish, so you won’t have to worry about any scuffs tarnishing its aesthetic.

The MagicWatch 2 comes in a 42mm or 46mm case. We tested the latter and it certainly feels beefy, but Honor has done a great job of reducing its thickness so you won’t have to worry about carrying extra weight on your next 5-kilometre run.

The biggest benefit of picking up the larger edition of the MagicWatch 2 is the display. The timepiece comes with a 1.39-inch AMOLED screen with the resolution of 454×454. All in all, the panel is vibrant and can get bright enough for easy outdoor viewing.

Honor’s smaller MagicWatch 2 model comes with a 1.2-inch AMOLED screen that similarly boasts an HD resolution.

The best feature of the MagicWatch 2’s display is certainly its always-on functionality that, while cutting the device’s battery life in half, is probably worth switching on anyway. Honor certainly has to be commended for giving owners the option to choose between an always-on display and the best possible battery life, rather than forcing either upon owners.

Honor MagicWatch 2 review

The Honor MagicWatch 2 is exactly the same as the Huawei Watch GT 2 when it comes to performance (Image: Express Newspapers)

Honor MagicWatch 2 review: Performance

The Honor MagicWatch 2 is exactly the same as the Huawei Watch GT 2 when it comes to performance. That means it totes the same bevy of health and fitness features and proprietary operating system as its Chinese brother. Unfortunately, that means the wearable also has the same limitations.

Using the MagicWatch 2 for fitness is excellent. During our testing, the device was able to accurately highlight heart rate information, the amount of calories burned and much more.

As someone that goes the gym pretty regularly and does a mixture of weight training and cardio, I found the MagicWatch 2 fed me with useful data, but also acted as a great motivational tool, too. Having a constant feed of my heart rate pushed me to work a bit harder to get it in the “fat burning” zone and having a timer readily available to monitor rest times was invaluable.

Don’t think the MagicWatch 2 becomes useless the moment you leave the gym though. The device is also capable of monitoring your stress levels, sleep and can even provide you with a range of breathing exercises to try.

All the data collected by the MagicWatch 2 is stored in the Huawei Health app which is available for Android and iPhone.