Huaweis Watch Buds Ask: “What If Your Smartwatch Also Contained Earbuds?”

Huaweis Watch Buds Ask: “What If Your Smartwatch Also Contained Earbuds?”

Huawei is still clinging to life despite being bombarded by the US government's ongoing trade war, and its latest project suggests that perhaps all the stress is starting to take its toll on the company. Huawei's new product, Huawei "Watch Buds", is now available internationally. As the packaging says, it's a smartwatch, but also… headphones? Imagine sticking the screen of your smartwatch to the cover of your wireless headphones and then connecting them to your bracelet. The smartwatch's screen sits on a hinge that lifts up, revealing two large slots inside the body of the watch that hold and charge the headphones. Your headphones are always ready, I guess.

In how many ways is this a bad idea? Smartwatches are mostly limited by size, so anything that makes a smartwatch look bigger is probably not a good design choice. Having a smartwatch open to be a container for something else, like a 90s wristwatch, is definitely a smart way to spend your limited budget on space. Typically, you want a space-constrained smartwatch to be 100% smartwatch parts, but it's about 50% smartwatch parts and 50% earphone parts. The watch body is officially "47mm × 47.5mm × 14.99mm", which is larger than the Apple Watch Ultra (49mm × 44mm × 14.4mm), which is already too big for some people.

In general, the limited size of smartwatches means that battery capacity is quite difficult to achieve. Huawei provides you with a 410mAh battery to power the watch and charge the earphones while in the earphone/smartwatch case. The Apple Watch Ultra, still with a smaller body, has a 542mAh battery, which is only for smartwatch functions. This device also features GPS, 24/7 heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. The only saving grace for battery life is that it doesn't run Android, it runs Huawei's "Harmony OS". The name "Harmony OS" means almost nothing when it comes to standard software. On phones, "Harmony OS" indicates a fork of Android, but on watches, "Harmony OS" is a completely different operating system based on Huawei's LiteOS. Huawei says you'll get three days of battery life "throughout the device," and a more regular LiteOS watch from the company will get "14 days" of "typical use."

Of course, the water resistance disappears when you open the entire watch body. You won't find an IP rating on the body of the watch (the headphones are IP54), and Huawei's fine print clearly says, "Avoid contact with water." This is a tough question if you have to wash your hands. Huawei doesn't say much about other specifications, mentioning only a 1.43-inch 466×466 OLED panel and nothing about the SoC, RAM or other components.

The headphones, with 30mAh batteries, are good for four hours of play or three hours with the optional noise cancellation on. Both measurements are taken at 50% volume, so the actual run time will be less than that. A nice feature of the little buttons are "on-ear touch controls," which means you can perform the usual touch controls directly on your ears , rather than having to tap a small button or touchpad on the headphones. To charge the headphones, they attach magnetically to the inside of the watch cover. When you close the watch, the earphones will be pushed into the large recesses in the body of the watch, where the charging clips will make contact with the silver rings around the earphones. Huawei notes that the charging clips "may slightly scratch the earphones when you take them off and put them back on. This is a normal phenomenon."

We do not know who this product is for. If you like to use your wireless earbuds so often that you want easy access to them via a wrist strap, you probably won't be happy with the headphones' three to four hours of battery life. If you don't like wearing headphones all the time, you probably don't want to wear them on your wrist all day. If you're interested in the idea of ​​a non-waterproof watch, the Watch Buds are now available to pre-order in Europe for £449.99, or about $542. They will be shipped on March 1st.


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