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Honor Watch Magic review: Lots of features, not expensive

Shruti Dhapola
The Honor Watch Magic is priced at Rs 13,999 for the Lava Black variant and the Silver colour option will cost Rs 14,999.

Honor Watch Magic is a new smartwatch with Retina AMOLED display, claims of week-long battery life and fitness tracking features. The Honor Watch Magic is priced at Rs 13,999 for the Lava Black variant and the Silver colour option will cost Rs 14,999. Here's our review of Honor Watch Magic

Honor Watch Magic specifications: 1.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen | dual-core processor | 178 mAh battery | heart rate monitor | water and dust resistant up to 50 meters

The average heart rate that the Honor watch recorded for most of my sessions was in line with what Apple was showing.

Honor Watch price in India: Rs 13,999

Honor Watch Magic review

The Honor Watch Magic is a circular smartwatch with a somewhat bulky design. Honor says the Watch Magic is only 9.8 in thick at its bulkiest point, but the watch certainly has a weight to it. In comparison to my 38mm Apple Watch Series 3, which is 26.7 grams, Honor Watch Magic at 31.7 grams felt a little heavier.

I wish smartwatch companies would introduce different for those with extra bony wrists. However, the watch stayed in place once I had strapped it really tight. The band is a bit plasticky and hopefully there will be more stylish straps on offer soon.

The Honor Watch Magic is a circular smartwatch with a somewhat bulky design.

The Honor Magic Watch has a simple and easy to understand interface. You can keep swiping left or right to go to different modes like seeing the weather, switch Watch Faces, check your activity for the day and check Stress levels. There's also an option for AliPay in my version of the watch, which is the Chinese variant. India variants are unlikely to have this option.

You can swipe down from the top of the screen to see the other settings like DND mode, Find phone, go to the Settings, Lock the watch and see how much battery you have left for the day. The AMOLED display is bright and works well even outside, which is what you would want from a smartwatch with a focus on fitness activities.

The Honor Magic Watch has a simple and easy to understand interface.

For fitness tracking, the Honor Watch Magic has running courses, outdoor and indoor run, outdoor walk, climb, cycle (indoor and outdoor), pool swim and open water swim along with other options.

Honor could have added more modes like those for Strength training, cross training, etc, since users who regularly go to a gym are likely doing all of this. I found the fitness tracking to be a hit and miss in some cases.

When it came to over all step count, the Honor Watch Magic is accurate, in fact a little conservative than my Apple Watch Series 3. The average heart rate that the Honor watch recorded for most of my sessions was in line with what Apple was showing. Even the calorie burn count was nearly similar, though it was never exactly the same on both devices, for the exact same session.

I found the fitness tracking to be a hit and miss in some cases.

There were some problems too. I found the Honor Magic Watch to be off when it came to recording the distance in my treadmill walk. It would record in miles, and I did not see an option to change this on the watch itself to metric, which is a miss in my view. The metric system setting has to be activated from Huawei Health with which the watch is paired.

When it came to over all step count, the Honor Watch Magic is accurate, in fact a little conservative than my Apple Watch Series 3.

Either way it recorded that my walk on the treadmill was close to 1.12 km, which is a lot more than what the Apple Watch recorded for that session at 0.87 km. I'm likely to go with the second number, since I keep some of these cardio sessions short with relatively lower pace.

Barring the treadmill distance count, the watch recorded other sessions like cycling accurately in terms of average heart-rate, active heart-rate, and even calorie count, which did not appear to be extremely high.

For fitness tracking, the Honor Watch Magic has running courses, outdoor and indoor run, outdoor walk, climb, cycle (indoor and outdoor), pool swim and open water swim along with other options.

I liked that while exercising the watch can also show the zone in which your heart-rate is — for instance, if you have gone from the fat-burning to aerobic or anaerobic, or even extreme, which is 190 beats per minute. This is a good indicator of when to slow down, especially if you have just started exercising, and it might all be a bit too much for your heart.

One issue that I did have with heart-rate sensor was that during some sessions, it would just stop registering the spike and be in the under 100 zone, while the Apple Watch was showing around 140 bpm or higher. I would find myself repositioning the watch in the hopes of getting an accurate reading. The issue occurred in at least two of my exercise sessions, where I know my heart was racing, given the kind of exercises I was doing or rather struggling to do.

The Honor Watch Magic can also be used to track sleep, though I only wore it once while sleeping.

Honor Watch Magic is also swim-proof and that's not a claim I've been able to test yet given the winters in Delhi. I would like to do certainly take it for a swim too, given several of Honor's fitness products like the Honor Band 4, Honor Band Magic all claim to be swim-ready. That's one sport where I have seen that many bands are off on accuracy, especially when it comes to calculating distance. If the Honor Watch Magic performs well in that segment, then it would certainly be an excellent option for its price.

I would say the average battery life was around three-to four days, even in weeks where I was not so active. The Watch's battery life could be better, given what the company claims. Still this is not as bad as my Apple Watch, which I have to charge daily.

The Honor Watch Magic can also be used to track sleep, though I only wore it once while sleeping. While the data was accurate, ( I really don't know a watch to tell me I am a deep sleeper), the bulkiness of the watch does not make it very appealing to wear during sleep.

Honor Watch Magic verdict

For its price, Honor Watch Magic does most of what it claims to offer reasonably well. For fitness-focused inpiduals, the watch certainly packs a lot of features for what is a good price. The design of Honor Watch Magic will appeal to most people. The watch's battery life could be better, especially for the claims that the company is making. Try the Honor Watch Magic, if you want options beyond the Fitbit and Apple Watch.