Simon Wittenberg takes the time to get to know the latest wearable technology from HONOR.
Who is HONOR?
You may not have heard of HONOR, but they are actually a brand owned by the Chinese conglomerate Huawei. Founded in 2013, they tend to focus their products on the younger demographic, and are now the largest smartphone e-brand in China.
What is the HONOR MagicWatch 2?
Made from aerospace-grade refined 316L stainless steel, and weighing in at only 41g, the MagicWatch 2 is HONOR’s latest generation ultra-thin smartwatch launched at the end of last year. There are two versions, the 42mm (coming out at some point this year), and the larger 46mm – the subject of our test. The RRP of the 46mm is £159.99, which is very reasonable, considering that the timepieces of other close competitors can be more than double this price.
The HONOR Magic Watch 2 comes in a Charcoal Black or Flax Brown shade, and as with many mainstream digital watches, it is waterproof and is submersible to a depth of 50 metres. There are also various options too when it comes to the strap material, with metal, elastic rubber and leather all available.
The MagicWatch 2 needs to be paired by Bluetooth to the free Huawei Health app for iPhone or Android smartphones, as this is needed for connectivity and the transfer of data between the two devices. This is in fact the only app that can be downloaded for this device, so some might find this a bit limiting.
What is the display like?
The circular HONOR Magic Watch 2 features an ‘Always-On’ 1.39-inch, 454-by-454-pixel touchscreen AMOLED display, which means that it stays lit so you don’t have to wait for the interface to brighten before using one of the functions, or to simply read information, such as the time, the date and the remaining battery life.
The layout of the watch face can actually be changed via one of the presets on the display menu within the main settings, or if you have an Android phone, you can customise the background picture with one of your own photos via the Huawei Health app.
As well as having a ‘swipe-able’ screen, the HONOR Magic Watch 2 has a double crown, meaning there are two buttons on the right-hand side of the device. The top one, which has a red centre, displays the main functions, whilst the lower one effectively illuminates the screen and the display of text messages.
What health and fitness modes does this wearable have?
The HONOR MagicWatch 2 is very much geared around health and fitness, and keeping you in shape. Your heart rate and steps can be displayed on the main screen, but swiping right will also reveal this information, as well as the stress test (if set).
When hitting the ‘Workout’ symbol via the top push button, there are 15 goal-based fitness modes all-in-all, so it’s not quite a mobile gym instructor, but it’s not far off. These are geared around eight outdoor sports (running, walking, hiking, climbing, trail runs, cycling, open water swimming and triathlons) and seven indoor categories (running, walking, cycling, pool swimming – you can adjust the exact pool length e.g. to 25 or 50 metres, free training, elliptical and rowing).
For these 15 modes, the watch provides monitoring, data recording and professional advice. To get a ‘Workout Status’, you will have needed to have exercised for at least a week.
Furthermore, the HONOR MagicWatch 2 supports dual-satellite positioning, including GPS and GLONASS to detect more satellites with higher accuracy, offering users real-time location tracking and positioning.