Huawei smartwatch pulls double duty as charging case for wireless earphones
Though smartwatches and true-wireless earphones have only been around for a fairly short time, their respective marketplaces are already pretty crowded. To stand out, companies need to create something different – and Huawei has certainly done that by combining the two for the Watch Buds.
It was perhaps easy to dismiss the Chinese mobile tech giant's idea as a fanciful concept when it was teased toward the end of last year (though it's not the first time we've seen earbuds housed within a smart device), but Huawei has forged ahead and actually put the Watch Buds up for sale in China.
As its name suggests, the 47 x 47.5 x 14.99-mm (1.85 x 1.87 x 0.59-in) wearable has a pair of TWS earbuds hidden inside, with the user flipping the cover up to grab them from their magnetic mounts. The body of each earphone measures 21.8 x 10.3 x 10.3 mm (0.85 x 0.4 x 0.4 in) and tips the scales at around 4 g (0.14 oz) apiece, including a medium tip.
Each bud rocks a magnetic driver with a planar voice coil for the promise of rich sound and, usefully, you can pop an earphone in any ear and adaptive recognition technology will take care of left and right audio delivery.
Instead of touching the earphone housing to control playback, activate onboard noise reduction or take a call from a compatible paired smartphone, the user can tap anywhere on the pinna (outer ear) thanks to included vibration sensors. Neat.
The wrist candy, meanwhile, has the look of Huawei's Watch 3, albeit a tad chunkier, and delivers capable smartwatch functionality as well as effectively being a charging case for the wireless earphones. It sports a 1.43-inch OLED display at 466 x 466 resolution and 326 ppi, comes with a stainless steel case, and can monitor heart rate, blood oxygen saturation and stress levels, while also coming with the latest TruSleep technology for sleep management. It runs HarmonyOS 3 for access to the Huawei app marketplace, supports contactless payments plus WeChat, and works with Huawei's Sport Health app with more than 80 activities cooked in.
Having to keep hidden earphones topped up will naturally be something of a serious drain on its battery, with the company saying that the watch and buds have a combined battery life of up to 3 days for average use – which is a good deal less than regular smart wristwear from the likes of Garmin, for example.
Also, though the TWS earphones are rated IP54 splashproof, the smartwatch doesn't come with a waterproof rating at all, and Huawei advises users to avoid the wet stuff altogether.
The Huawei smartwatch with wireless earbuds is on sale in China now for CNY 2988 (about US$440, though this funky combo won't be available in the US).
Product page: Watch Buds