Smart watches have become a part of our everyday life. No matter how they were made – large and small, beautiful and brutal, with different sets of functions. It would seem that there is nothing more to surprise, but HUAWEI manages to break the mold. After all, Watch Buds are not just a watch, but also wireless headphones. Sounds great, but is it true in practice?
Outside – a regular clock
Of course, HUAWEI Watch Buds look so that you won’t even guess their main feature. The watch measures 47 x 47.5 x 15 mm, which, considering the contents, is quite acceptable. The included black strap is made of leather that is pleasant to the touch, and the streamlined glass does not cling to clothing or door frames – the device looks neat and expensive.
The body is made of metal that is pleasant to the touch, the screen is completely covered with glass with rounded edges, merging with the body. The display frames are wide, but not striking. In addition to the wheel on the side, which, by the way, does not respond to rotation, there is another button with a rough surface at the bottom of the case. And here is the most interesting thing – when you press the corrugated panel, the screen rises, exposing the insides of the gadget.
Inside we are greeted by the HUAWEI inscription and two recesses in which the headphones are charged. They themselves are located on the inside of the screen, where they are securely held by magnets. It looks impressive enough to impress colleagues at work. The headphones are miniature (22 x 10 x 10 mm) – these are neat rectangular blocks made of dark plastic with metal inserts along the contour. There are no usual legs or other devices here.
Filling with compromises
HUAWEI Watch Buds can do the same thing as other wearable gadgets of the brand, but with some reservations – after all, the presence of headphones inside imposes some restrictions. The watch counts steps and measures pulse, monitors blood oxygen levels, assesses stress levels and sleep quality. But there was no place for analyzing the ECG and measuring body temperature, as well as for a barometer with a compass. It’s good that they haven’t forgotten about GPS and NFC. I would like to note right away that there is no talk of serious water resistance, so swimming with the watch is not recommended. But the headphones are protected from splashes and sweat according to the IP54 standard.
The 1.43-inch AMOLED color screen with a resolution of 466×466 pixels has a good reserve of brightness and performs well in everyday work. The watch runs HarmonyOS 3 paired with the HUAWEI Health application – the OS has long pleased users with its efficiency and convenience. Also, Watch Buds do not have a microphone or speaker – headphones handle their role.
The smartwatch can receive incoming calls and make calls directly from the contacts menu. When there is an incoming call, just take out at least one earphone to start a conversation. You can’t reply to messages using the keyboard, but there is an editable list of quick replies. HUAWEI Health allows you to choose from pre-installed watch faces and, if desired, download new ones from a large library, customize functions and notifications, and add contacts and bank cards to your watch.
With sports, Watch Buds have everything as standard. It is possible to create individual training plans, a virtual running coach, goal setting, automatic activity recognition, and so on. There is a lot of useful information available in the HUAWEI Health app. The watch supports about 80 types of workouts – slightly less than similar models, but only because there are no modes for swimming.
What headphones can do
Despite their more than modest size, the headphones are equipped with active noise cancellation, transparency mode and equalizer presets. They also have an interesting implementation of playback control: they read the vibrations of the ear, so there is no need to feel the miniature panel – just put your finger in your own ear.
Double and triple taps are supported, and gestures are easy to configure within the app. In addition, the headphones are not divided into left and right: they can be installed in the mounts in any way, and when put on, you can shake your head so that the device automatically detects the channels. Separately, it is worth noting the ability to control headphones and monitor their charge directly from the top curtain of the watch, and many preset dials carefully show the charge level for each headphone on the main screen.
What about the sound? it is surprisingly balanced and bright, there are no obvious frequency roll-offs or distortions. Of course, you shouldn’t expect professional-level headphones, but they cope with the tasks of TWS in the mid-price segment. Noise cancellation doesn’t work perfectly. Achieving absolute blocking of extraneous noise is problematic, but in general, with ANC, music is listened to much more pleasantly than in normal mode. Conversations are also in order: the interlocutor’s voice is clear and clearly distinguishable.
How are things going with autonomy?
According to the manufacturer, the watch lasts up to three days with recharging the headphones, and if this function is not used, then up to seven. In general, the result is acceptable – without using headphones in mixed mode, HUAWEI Watch Buds are discharged by 10-15% per day. Constantly recharging the headphones, of course, does not change the autonomy for the better, but they themselves work for up to 4 hours – if, for example, you turn off noise reduction and reduce the volume by half.
With ANC turned on and the volume increased, the headphones are discharged by 40-45% in about an hour. Replenishing energy from 0 to 100% inside the watch takes about 40 minutes, but the watch itself, along with the headphones, needs about two hours on wireless charging. Let us add that when the charge level of the smartwatch is less than 10%, they stop powering the headphones.
- DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
- watch: 47 x 47.5 x 14.99 mm, 66.5 grams without strap
headphones: 21.8 x 10.3 x 10.3 mm, one earphone – 4 grams
- 1.43”, AMOLED, 466×466
- watch – 410 mAh
earphone – 30 mAh
- OPERATING SYSTEM
- HarmonyOS 3.0
- accelerometer, gyroscope, optical heart rate sensor, optical heart rate sensor 5.0, optical environmental sensor, Hall effect sensor, capacitive sensor, bone conduction component (VACC)
- WATCH FEATURES
- fast charging, NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, heart rate and blood oxygen measurement, sleep monitoring, built-in headphones
- HEADPHONE FEATURES
- codecs: A2DP, AAC, SBC, L2HC up to 320 kbps
volume: 104 dB
frequencies: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
ANC (Active Noise Cancellation)
microphones for conversations with noise reduction
HUAWEI Watch Buds are first and foremost an experiment. But it was successful, because the device turned out to be really interesting. Smartwatches not only accommodate headphones, but also retain a relatively compact body, functionality and impressive design. And the headphones turned out to be not just “plugs” – they are quite a decent gadget with active noise cancellation and interesting controls.