Hands-On with Magic UI 2.1

Hands-On with Magic UI 2.1

Magic UI 2.1 is the latest version of the software found on many newer Honor and Huawei phones. Most notably, Magic UI 2.1 can be found on Honor’s 20 and 20 Pro devices. For this article, I will be looking at Magic UI 2.1 loaded onto the Honor 20 and see everything Honor has included in this update. Here is a look at all of the new features you can expect to find in the latest update of Magic UI 2.1.


New Features


Wallpapers and Icons

The latest update to Honor’s Magic UI comes with a great selection of wallpaper presets. The selection of icon packs have always left a lot to be desired in Magic UI, and this update is no different. Fortunately, there is a thriving community of artists that create high quality themes for Honor and Huawei phones. You can download a theme compatible with Magic UI 2.1 and give your phone a much improved look, over the default themes.

Magic UI Wallpaper Options 1/2

Magic UI Wallpaper Options 2/2

Magic UI 2.1 Preloaded Icons Packs

Magic UI 2.1 Lockscreen Style Options

GPU Turbo 3.0

The early days of GPU Turbo showed a lot of promise. Specific games would be optimized to work with GPU Turbo, improving the performance and frame rate of the game. With GPU Turbo 3.0, this feature continues to improve the gaming experience. The feature is compatible with 25 games from the Play store, including Fortnite, Real Racing 3, PES 2019, Fifa Mobile, Minecraft, and others. The update brings improvements like reduced power consumption. This will pull up to 10% less power during gameplay, without compromising on graphics quality.

GPU Turbo 3.0 will be available for the following devices:

EROFS File System

One of the biggest updates in the new Magic UI update, is the implementation of the EROFS file system. EROFS stands for “Extendable Read-Only File System”, and it’s designed to have an improved compression mode that prioritizes performance and speed. According to Huawei, this new update will have an increase in random read performance by an average of 20% along with an increase in app start-up speed by 10%. The new file system will also improve data reading in low-memory conditions, as well as improve the security of system files.

AR Measure

One of the features we looked forward to in the new update is the AR Measure app. This is an app that takes advantage of the ToF (Time of Flight) sensors to measure surfaces and distances. While this app is not compatible with the honor 20, I tested it on the Honor View 20 and it feels like it’s still a work in progress. I see a lot of potential for the tool once the polish the app a little bit.

AR Measure App Splash Screen

AR Measure App Menu

AR Measure App UI

Intelligent Vlog Video Editing

Many media outlets reported a new feature that includes an AI editing system designed for vloggers. This system is supposed to take your video clips, cut and arrange them, add music and more. Unfortunately I could not find any evidence that this feature exists in Magic UI 2.1. We might still see it in a future update.


How to Update to the Latest Magic UI

To make sure that your Honor phone is running the latest version of Magic UI, use one of the following options.

  • Update VIA OTA: To update your phone from within your Android system, you’ll need to navigate to the update menu. Go to Settings > System > Software update > Check for updates. This will search for available updates for your phone. If one is available, download the update. Once the update download has complete, restart your phone to install it.
  • Update VIA HiSuite: Huawei makes a desktop client software that provides several different functions for Honor and Huawei phones. One of these functions is the ability to check for updates for your phone. Download the latest HiSuite version here. Plug your phone into your computer with a USB cable and launch the HiSuite software. You will get a prompt on your phone asking you to allow HiSuite to have access to your device. Approve this request. On the desktop software, select “Update”. If there is an update for your phone, you will be able to download it and side-load the update to your phone.

Stay up to date with the latest developments surrounding the Honor 20 and Magic UI in the XDA community forums.

Honor 20 Forums
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