Huawei has launched new Watch Buds, which function as both a smartwatch and true wireless earbuds.
The Watch Buds were unveiled today and take an atypical form factor, with the main smartwatch chassis acting as the charging case for a pair of true wireless earbuds.
The Watch unit looks like a modified version of Huawei’s current flagship, the GT3, which runs on Huawei’s own operating system and has a strong focus on fitness tracking. The big difference is that the unit’s 1.43-inch AMOLED screen pops up to reveal the wireless earbuds.
We haven’t had any hands-on time with the buds, but Huawei claims the hinge has been designed to survive 100,000 openings and a 5kg stress test.
Huawei hasn’t provided a full specs list for the buds themselves, but they’re surprisingly small considering the charge case/watch’s quoted 14.99mm thickness. To put that in context, 14.99mm makes the unit about the same size as a regular fitness tracker, like a Garmin Forerunner, and slightly slimmer than many of the dedicated true wireless charging cases that pass through our labs.
Huawei claims the watch and buds can last up to three days total use. The buds are listed as offering around 4 hours of listening time with ANC off or two hours of it with noise cancelling on.
Outside of this, info stats we have about the buds are that they are outright tiny, weighing a quoted 4g each, have "six sound drivers" and will support Huawei’s Triple Adaptive EQ and Adaptive Identification Technology.
Triple Adaptive EQ is a scanning tech, that aims to let the buds intelligently adjust their sound based on the shape of the listener's ear canal. Adaptive Identification Technology works to auto-correct the Watch Buds’ audio channels, so either bud can work as the left or right earbud.
We can’t attest to the Watch Buds’ audio quality until we get them into our listening rooms. Connectivity-wise the buds support Bluetooth 5.2 and the AAC, SBC and L2HC HD audio formats - Max bit rate 320kbps.
Questions aside, the Watch Buds’ design did cause some commotion in the What Hi-Fi? office. Prior to them, the weirdest bud designs we’ve spotted included the bizarrely “sci-fi” themed Gravastar Sirius Pro, kidney-bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live and Sony LinkBuds, whose atypical 12mm ring driver gave them a distinctly ’90s look.
The Watch Buds’ leap into hybrid form factors is so striking that it immediately earned the Watch Buds the “weirdest true wireless we’ve seen” accolade from the What Hi-Fi? Team – one member even described them as “the Frankenstein child” of earbuds and sports watches…
If you’re equally curious and want to pick them up before we’ve had a chance to test them, then you’ll be pleased to hear the Huawei Watch Buds are available for preorder now on the Huawei Store now for £449.99.
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