“Honor Magic Watch 2 will launch in India in January 2020 with a Kirin A1 SoC, always-on display and 14-day battery life”

In addition to the Honor 9X, the brand will also be launching the Honor Magic Watch 2 in India next month as well. Honor confirmed its plans to bring its newest smartwatch to India as the company looks to expand it portfolio in the country beyond smartphones. The brand’s parent company Huawei has already launched a few smartwatches in India, with the most recent one being the Watch GT 2. The Honor Magic Watch 2 is similar to the Huawei Watch GT 2 (review) in terms of design and performance, and we got the chance to spend a brief amount of time with the smartwatch to understand what makes it tick.

Talking about design, there is indeed an uncanny resemblance to the Huawei Watch GT 2. The Honor Magic Watch 2 gets a similar circular dial with a tachymeter that is inscribed around the rim to offer a very familiar watch-like look and feel. The smartwatch comes in two sizes, 42mm and 46mm, and in different colour and strap options such as a stainless steel body w/ leather straps, a charcoal black body with silicone straps or a gold-plated body with rose gold steel straps. There is a good range of options that should make sure you find something to suit your taste. 

The 46mm Honor Magic Watch 2 feels light on the wrist despite its large size. The leather strap felt smooth and offers a classy look compared to the silicone strap. The 46mm size variant comes with a 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, while the 42mm version gets a 1.2-inch screen. The larger display is far more convenient to ingeract with. Since you don’t get the rotating bezel-style navigation, you will have to touch the screen to scroll through the UI. Doing this on the 1.39-inch screen felt easy enough and there’s plenty of screen real estate that you won’t be blocking while navigating.

The screen itself is quite bright even when viewing it outdoors under sunlight. The AMOLED display on the Honor Magic Watch 2 is vibrant, offering plenty of colours and good viewing angles so the screen is quite visible even with your wrist angled away from your face. The Honor Magic Watch 2 features a coloured always-on display, which is a feature missing on the Huawei Watch GT 2. Enabling the always-on display will affect the battery life, but it is unclear by how much unless we test the smartwatch for a few days.

The Honor Magic Watch 2 is powered by the new Kirin A1 chipset, which is the same SoC that powers the Huawei Watch GT 2 and FreeBuds 3  as well. The Kirin A1 has a dual-chip design and supports Bluetooth 5.1 and Bluetooth Low Energy, which means the chip can be quite power efficient. In our brief time with the Honor Magic Watch 2, we could not run a lot of applications or activities to understand how the chipset performs though. 

The smartwatch ships with Huawei’s custom software, which is fairly simple and user friendly. You can press the top right button to access the menu carousel that includes workout, heart rate, sleep, stress, contacts, weather, alarm and settings, among other things. You need to swipe down from the main screen to show quick action options, while swiping up will show you recent unread notifications. 

The Honor Magic Watch 2 comes preloaded with 15 fitness modes that include indoor cycle, running, hiking, pool swim, climbing and so on. There is also a voice assistant that guides you in each activity. In our brief time with the smartwatch, we could not check out the accuracy of these exercise modes, and we’ll have a better idea about its fitness tracking performance in our full review.

Honor Magic Watch 2 46mm variant touts a 14-day battery life on a single charge, but this may vary with always-on display enabled. The 42mm size variant houses a smaller battery, so it will likely offer around a week to 10 days of battery life on a single charge. You will be able to charge the smartwatch via a magnetic dock. 

Since the smartwatch does not run Wear OS and lacks a dedicated app store, it will be limited in terms of third-party app support and customisability. That being said, if all you want is a good-looking smartwatch with enough fitness modes to keep you active, sleep tracking and a long-lasting battery life, then the Honor Magic Watch 2 should be enough. But this is just our initial impressions about the smartwatch, and we will reserve our judgement after an in-depth review of the Honor Magic Watch 2 following its launch in India next month.