Huawei has unveiled a brand new gadget that combines two wearables – a smartwatch and wireless earbuds – into one unlikely combination.
The not very creatively named Huawei Watch Buds will give users all the benefits of a smartwatch – being a device that is both a watch and an activity tracker – while also serving as a handy case for headphones. When you want to listen to a melody, just lift the watch face up and take out the donuts hidden inside.
While it’s not the first tech of its kind we’ve ever seen – Lance Ulanoff, our US editor-in-chief reviewed something very similar in 2020 – Huawei’s creation is nonetheless intriguing as it comes from a more mainstream brand. Although we’re not entirely sure it’ll find a place among our best wireless earbuds or best smartwatch lists.
Never lose your wireless earbuds again! They are in your smart watch! These are Wearbuds from Aipower. The smartwatch is a case and a charger. $179. #CES2020 pic.twitter.com/LIKRfYd9zvJanuary 7, 2020
For starters, the earbuds inside the Huawei Watch Buds look pretty basic. While we can’t properly assess their capabilities without hearing them, they don’t appear to be very large – which will limit their audio capabilities and feature set. We don’t expect them to be capable of thumping bass, nor that they come with tools like active noise cancellation or particularly long battery life.
Additionally, we are skeptical whether the watch itself will be practical. Based on the published photos and videos, the whole thing looks quite unwieldy. It doesn’t seem like the most comfortable gadget to wear on the wrist, and it’s certainly not something we’d happily wear while working out to track our fitness goals. We’re also concerned that the two-in-one approach will negatively impact total usage time – as both devices will draw the same limited battery power.
That said, we hope we won’t have to wait long before we see this technology in action and be able to evaluate it properly. Although Huawei has imposed a last-minute delay to the product launch for winter 2022 (supposed to be December 2), the video below suggests the device is ready to ship – but where it will be available and how much it will cost has yet to be revealed. All we know is that our US readers will surely miss this launch as new Huawei products are currently banned from sale.
However, if the Huawei Watch Buds prove popular, we wouldn’t be surprised if their rivals follow suit. Google already has separate Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds, and Apple has Apple Watch and Apple AirPods, so we wouldn’t be surprised if these or other brands combine their existing hardware into a hybrid device similar to the Huawei Watch Buds.
Need new fitness technologies now? Check out our picks for the best running headphones.