Huawei Watch Buds with removable earphones is official from today. The main distinguishing characteristic from other wearable offerings is that the device opens up to reveal an earbuds compartment.
The two in one design is very unique. Some might even call it strange.
The device has a combination button/spring lever at the end of the display. Press this and the top part of the screen will slowly lift up. What sits below are two slots where you can rest the two magnetic Bluetooth buds. Huawei says the hinge structure has been tested over 100,000 times to ensure the opening and closing actions work without a hitch.
The device looks very neat. In order to host the buds, one can imagine something that has a large depth! But the earbuds are one directional in shape (symmetrical octagonal cylinder design), making them less bulky than what is typically available to buy. Plus they weigh only 4 grams each. Their actual dimensions come in at 21.8 x 10.3 x 10.3 mm.
As far as charging, the buds have a wrap around charging ring. This also makes it easy to lift them out of the watch.
Despite their small size, the earphones have triple real-time listening optimisation and sound customisation. They also provide AI noise reduction for music listening and voice calls.
The watch itself has a 1.43 inch touchscreen AMOLED colour display with excellent 466 x 466 pixel resolution and 326 PPI. This is supported by a stainless steel frame structure and drill-cut buttons. The device definitely looks very premium.
Health and fitness functionality is pretty standard. The HarmonyOS 3 operating system supports over 80 exercise modes, along with the usual fitness sensors. Smart abilities include quick replies, contactless payments and more.
There’s a 410mAh battery inside that is good for around 3 days on a single charge. Each bud contains a small 30mAh battery. They are enough for 4 hours of music listening and 2.5 hours of talk time. With noise reduction these figures fall slightly.
Todays news should not come as too much of a surprise. That’s because earlier this year, a trademark was discovered for a device called Huawei Watch Buds. The application from March 28th was filed with EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office). We’ve also saw a leak or two before the actual launch.
There are a handful of such products on the market
Huawei doesn’t currently have another such a device in its offering. In fact, few wearable brands do. Perhaps because it is a strange marriage with limited market potential. Most consumers are looking for something lightweight and simple to wear on their wrist.
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Having said that, there are a handful of similar products on the market. One example is the Kickstarter funded VOIXATCH. It comes with a bezel that can be extracted to become a Bluetooth earpiece. DrPhone also has several smarwatches with built-in headsets. Then there is Xiaomi which has filed a similar patent a while back. But, so far, none of the big wearable brands have brought such a concept to market.
Interestingly, Huawei has another patent dating back to 2018 which shows a version of Huawei Watch 3 which allows users to store earplugs via the side of the watch case. A release spring prevents the buds from falling out unintentionally. The idea is that this makes it easier to cary earplugs – you don’t have to keep them around your neck, in your pocket or rucksack.
That concept didn’t make it into a real-world product and Watch 3 ended up being a “traditional” smart timepiece. This just shows that patent applications often stay just on paper.
Huawei Watch Buds is certainly an interesting timepiece. The wearable starts selling in China from today priced at 2988 yuan. This equates to around $430. No word on a possible global launch, but we may see the buds displayed at the start of 2023 at CES in Las Vegas.
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