Smartwatch sales really picked up in the US last year, but it's not the same situation in India. As per a Counterpoint research, the Indian smartwatch market only makes up 1 per cent of global share, which means smartwatches are yet to take off in a big way in the country. In that 1 per cent market share, Apple is still the dominant brand with the Apple Watch. Fitbit and Samsung have done well in India too, and now Honor hopes to join the game with the Honor Watch Magic.
The Honor Watch Magic looks like a regular watch, which means it should appeal to a wider audience. You have a circular dial with a chronometer and a non-rotating bezel as opposed to the Galaxy Watch which does offer a convenient rotating bezel. The surface of the body of the Honor Watch Magic and the buttons of the right side are stainless steel while the underside of the watch is plastic. has cowhide on the surface of what is actually a silicone strap. The leather and steel look is quite classic and is something you would like to sport for formal occasions or to a workplace.
The combination of these materials also help make the Honor Watch Magic quite lightweight. The straps can be detached easily if you want to replace them with something sportier. The two buttons on the right side of the watch are used to bring up actions on the display. The screen itself is 1.2 inches, which is a decent size so you can read content on the screen without squinting. The Honor Watch Magic comes with a heart rate sensor that can be seen on the bottom of the body and the watch itself is 5ATM water-resistant, so you can take it for a swim. The 1.2-inch AMOLED display offers a 390x390 pixel resolution. The display is bright and sharp, making it legible outdoors under intense sunlight. Colours look vivid and pleasing to the eyes and viewing angles are good too, so you can see the time even if you're looking at it from an angle.
To setup and pair the Honor Watch Magic, you will first need to download the Huawei Health app on Android or iOS. I paired the watch with an iPhone XR for review. The pairing process was simple enough and the app gives syncs with the watch to display your steps count, calories burnt, distance travelled and heart rate overview. It's important to know that the custom software that the Honor Watch Magic runs on is quite limiting. You won't be able to download third-party apps or watch faces as you would be able to on Wear OS. What you get is whatever is preloaded in the watch, nothing more or less. On one hand, this may disappoint customers who want to be able to download a bunch of apps (fitness, reminders, notes and so on) to make the most out the smartwatch, while on the other hand it may please some who want a no-frills and easy-to-use fitness watch. Overall, the UI is fairly easy to understand and work with. However, I feel the UI could have been smoother and more intuitive. There is a noticeable lag or stuttering while swiping on the display. It is also hard to distinguish the notifications you receive as they get a similar message icon rather than the actual icons of the apps you're getting the messages from. In such instances, the Galaxy Watch or the Apple Watch look far more visually appealing and helpful, but you will have to pay a higher price for that.
While you can't download apps, the Honor Watch is fairly populated with exercises that you might need and a few preloaded watch faces. You get trackers for running, cycling, swimming, climbing and walking, all of which can be accessed by pressing the bottom button. The button on the top will let you access heart rate, sleep, stress, barometer, compass, weather, messages and so on.
Most of the workouts offer fairly good readings, although the accuracy of it may be questionable, but it's honestly difficult to know how off the tracker is unless you also have another device to compare it with. For steps and heart rate, the Honor Watch Magic offered readings that were more or less similar to the Apple Watch Series 3.
You'll find it usually off by plus or minus 10 to 15 steps, which is acceptable. Swim tracking also gives a ballpark reading of the distance you've swum and calories burned. However, it doesn't provide a lap count, which is something you will get on the Fitbit Versa, for example.
The GPS tracking is quite excellent on the Honor Watch Magic as it measures the distance travelled and calories burned with a good amount of accuracy without your smartphone on you.
The Huawei Health app gives you a pretty good overview of stats that tell you how well you've done during the day, week, month or year. There is a sleep tracker will monitor REM sleep, deep and light sleep patterns with the help of Huawei's Trusleep tracking algorithm. The heart rate monitoring will provide regular and accurate updates on your heart rate. The stress measure, however, does not work in India yet and there is no word yet on when Honor will enable it in the country.
The Honor Watch Magic houses a 178mAh battery, which may not sound exciting enough but don't let that fool you. The smartwatch easily delivers 4 to 5 days of battery life like the Samsung Galaxy Watch and that's fantastic. Most smartwatches tend to give up after about a day or two, but the Honor Watch offers a long-lasting battery so you won't have to reach for the charger often.
It's not surprising considering one half of the dual chipset manages power efficiency coupled with a lightweight software. The small puck-shaped magnetic charger comes with a Type-C port. It takes a little less than an hour to fully charge the Honor Watch Magic.