Huawei Watch Buds: Smartwatch with earbuds slumbering inside
Want to have your in-ear headphones available at all times without having to carry around a separate charging cradle? With the Huawei Watch Buds, the Chinese manufacturer has created a smartwatch that doubles as a container and charging station for your earbuds. Huawei/dpa
Why didn't anyone come up with the idea sooner? Earbuds and watch in one - say hello to the Huawei Watch Buds, a smartwatch whose face pops up to reveal a pair of earbuds slumbering inside.
The earbuds and the smartwatch connect to a smartphone using Bluetooth and this works for Android smartphones and Apple's iPhones as well as devices made by the Chinese manufacturer. However, you have to install the Huawei Health app to set it up.
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The earbuds weigh only 4 grams each but these true-wireless, in-ear headphones provide surprisingly full sound and crisp bass.
They are also compatible with either ear. Calls and media playback are controlled using touch surfaces on the earbuds. This is a bit fiddly for people with bigger fingers.
The active noise cancellation isn't quite as good as you find on Apple's Airpods Pro. In our test, Huawei's earpieces struggled to compensate for louder ambient noise. However, the mics built into the earbuds do a better job on phone calls.
While other in-ear headphones come with their own charging cradle, in the case of the Huawei earbuds the smartwatch not only takes over the function of a storage box, but also that of a charging station.
In our test we managed to get about three hours of use out of a single battery charge.
The smartwatch itself is charged inductively and the battery lasts up to eight days, depending on the power-saving settings selected. Charging doesn't only work with the included charging cable, but also with any charging cradle that supports the Qi standard.
Huawei's decision not to go it alone should hopefully set a precedent in the industry, which still too often relies on individual solutions from each manufacturer.
The watch does not look very discreet on the wrist with its dimensions of 47x47.5 millimeters, but it doesn’t look any more bulky than many competing models.
The thickness of 15 millimetres is also noticeable, but then an Apple Watch Ultra, for example, is 14 millimetres thick.
The AMOLED display measures 1.43 inches (466x466 pixels) and is easy to read. Like Huawei's other smartwatches, the device offers various fitness functions, heart rate measurement, and sleep analysis.
It can also determine the blood oxygen level but lacks a single-channel ECG for detecting atrial fibrillation. However, heart rate both at rest and during exercise is measured very accurately.
The watch also scores in recording sports activities, especially outdoors. The GPS-measured distances covered are reliable and precise.
Because of the hinged design on the face of the watch, the Watch Buds are not completely waterproof. The water protection standard provided is IPX7 (temporary submersion).
Some useful features are missing, for example, a payment function since the watch does not support services like Google Pay or Apple Pay. You also can't load an E-SIM to make calls without a smartphone nearby.
If you want to have your in-ear headphones available at all times without having to carry around a separate charging cradle, you won't be disappointed by the smartwatch-earphone combo that is the Huawei Watch Buds
The buds provide good sound quality and prove themselves in everyday use while the smartwatch impresses with its innovative concept. On the downside, other smartwatches can record more sports and health data and are more suitable for everyday use as a mobile wallet.
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