Does it have the same value-for-money as its bigger sibling?
The Huawei Watch GT is arguably one of the better smartwatches in recent memory with its stellar battery life and stylish looks. But because of its large 46mm watch face, it looked weird and oversized on daintier wrists. It was also out of the price range of most buyers, easily surpassing the Php 10K mark.
Enter Honor’s Watch Magic: it’s the first smartwatch from Huawei’s sub-brand, and sports a smaller diameter watch face, a slimmer body and more importantly, a more palatable price tag.
Most smartwatches are big and chunky to accommodate many of the sensors that are required for modern wearables. That’s not the case for the Honor Watch Magic – the smartwatch has a relatively compact 9.8mm thickness and 42mm diameter that is similar to most mechanical sport watches offered today. It’s also pretty lightweight, weighing in at just 32 grams.
The watch looks similar to a sports watch, down to the tachymeter scale which is there for purely aesthetic purposes. The watch face is a 1.2-inch AMOLED display that has the same great viewing angles and vibrant colors as the AMOLED panel used on the Honor Band 5. Like Honor’s fitness tracker, you can change the Watch Magic’s face depending on what you like and what information you need on the spot.
The Watch Magic’s body is made out of 916L stainless steel with a plastic underbody, where you have your heart rate sensors and Pogo pins for the charging disc. Like the Watch GT, the Watch Magic’s charging disc uses a USB-C port.
The Watch Magic comes with a silicone strap that is black on the outside and red underneath it. The buckle is made out of the same 916L stainless steel used for the body.
The Watch Magic uses LiteOS, and like the Watch GT, you get essential fitness tracking data that includes heart rate, sleep quality, barometer, compass, activity records, and workout records. On top of that, the WatchOS also has summarized weather and notification information, stopwatch, timer, alarm, and a find my phone feature. Like all Huawei and Honor wearables, the Watch Magic syncs via the Huawei Health App.
Compared to the Honor Band 5, the Watch Magic does not have music player controls, remote camera shutter, and a SpO2 sensor. While I missed those features, the Watch Magic has all the basics I expect on a smartwatch. With its bigger display (compared to the Honor Band 5), reading notifications and messages is much easier.
Being a smaller version of the Huawei Watch GT, Honor made a few changes to keep the Watch Magic as compact and as affordable as possible, including shaving down the battery.
The Honor Watch Magic has a 178mAh battery, smaller than the one in the Watch GT. Because of this, the Watch Magic can’t match the Watch GT’s impressive 2-week battery life that endeared it to us when we reviewed a few months ago. With actual use, the Watch Magic lasted for almost 4 days—that’s with continuous heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, and raise to wake enabled. While it is far from the Watch GT’s insane battery life, it is right on par with most smartwatches in the market today.
The Watch Magic has a standby watch face option, but we advise against using it: enabling this option dramatically reduces its battery life to roughly two days.
For those who want the Huawei Watch GT but find it a tad too big for them, the Honor Watch Magic is the perfect option. While Honor made a few compromises to keep it smaller and affordable, the Watch Magic has almost all of the things we loved about the Watch GT.
The Honor Watch Magic is still a deal for Php 7,490 as it has the same style of the 46mm Watch GT 2—while having a more wrist-friendly 42.8mm diameter. While there is a 42mm Watch GT 2 in the market, it does not have the aesthetically-pleasing bezel found on the 46mm Watch GT 2 and Watch Magic.