How can a smart watch be innovative? Additional health and/or sports features or something totally different than anything seen before in this segment? Huawei opted for the second hypothesis and presented the see buds. A smart watch that hides a couple of headphones.
But does this innovation have enough arguments to win over users? More importantly, the equipment has performance and utility that justifies the cost of ownership. €499.99? For the past week, Watch Buds have “lived” on my wrist to answer these and other equally pertinent questions.
Now I invite you to read my experience with the first two-in-one smartwatch available on the market.
Attractive design for “the boy and the girl”
As a premium product, the Watch Buds are packed in a sleek black case, with gold accents that match one of the available dial faces.
At first sight, and limiting the analysis to the design, the model is attractive and appeals to both male and female audiences. Its black aspect and its round dial give it a eternal that will please everyone.
The leather strap is comfortable to wear and sits perfectly on the wrist. This is especially relevant information if the main idea of a potential user is to use this smart watch for physical activity.
The great WOW factor of the Watch Buds
But of course, any user who has the Watch Buds in their hands will immediately test the innovation of this equipment. This is pop up magnetic lid that below “hides” the headphones that are integrated into this smart watch.
With a simple touch of a dedicated button, the mechanism is activated and the dial up around 75 to 100 degrees to show the two earphones magnetically attached to the back of the screen.
This is the innovation and also the WOW factor of the Watch Buds. When we press the button and the people around us see everything that happens, the surprise and amazement is evident and obvious. I confess that myself, more accustomed to technological innovations, I get carried away by this idea that actually has the potential to win over users.
Now we go to the practical part. With Watch Buds, we basically never reach for the tiny (sometimes too many) earbuds. Because these are on the clock. When we go out to do some physical activity in the open air and want to listen to our music, the Watch Buds also eliminate the need to carry the charging base for the headphones. For this reason it is also inserted into the clock.
And best of all, the lid’s pop-up mechanism provides security to the user I have (actually) opened the lid many times and never did the mechanism fail or take time to open. Nor did I ever feel that it would be a mechanism that works very well in the first months, but that with longer use over time it would begin to fail.
Rather, the mechanism is robust and competent in its function: open and close smoothly, and also securely lock the two small earpieces. As a bonus: the WOW factor that it brings to the crowd around us. This is definitely a smartwatch that dazzles with its idea.
Heavy and less elegant than other Huawei models
Of course, in order to integrate the earphones and the charging base into the smartwatch itself, some specifications had to suffer. And in this case it was thickness of the dial that carried the consequences of being a two-in-one device.
The dial is less elegant than other models of the brand. it is also more heavy. It’s not heavy enough to be uncomfortable, but we always feel it on the wrist. The leather strap helps to secure the model to the arm, so we end up getting used to the weight of the equipment.
However, after a night spent with the Watch Buds or practicing physical activity for an hour, the heaviness makes itself felt and also the sweat in the place of the arm, where the dial rests. The immediate result is that the back panel of the display needs to be cleaned regularly with a dry cloth so as not to leave marks.
Common sports and health resources in this segment
As for the integrated health and sports resources, there is not much new here. Monitor heartbeat, blood oxygen levels, daily stress, among others equally common in the segment.
Present reports in the App Huawei Health in the form of graphs, which facilitates the reading and understanding of the data.
In sports characteristics – the same. has more than 80 training modeswith modes for all tastes, and also includes personalized career plans.
But beware, this is not the ideal smartwatch for swimming. With the lid properly closed, the model is rated IPX7 for water resistance; With the lid open, the rating drops to IPX4. Of course, there are brave and adventurous users who try this spec of Watch Buds, but I chose not to risk it. In theory, we can shower with the model, as long as the lid is closed tightly.
These features work well. Integrated sensors capture the signals necessary to deliver data with the precision possible today. In other words, I know that my heartbeat has the values that this watch shows, as well as my ability to breathe without difficulty, it was the reflection of 98% captured by SpO2.
I confess to being a fan of sleep reports. And there, too, the Watch Buds took accurate readings of my rest periods.
And the sound quality?
Of course, the earphones built into the Watch Buds were also the subject of a performance analysis. the headphones fit well in ear canal and amazingly they stay put and don’t fall over. Considering the small size, you would expect them to jump a few times, but they didn’t.
Another novelty is that the user does not need to try to understand which is the right and left earphone to place them in the correct ears. The Buds of this watch automatically identify the ear in which they are placed and fit the ear canal.
And works. I never bothered to check which earphone was left or right, I just put them in my ears and never felt any discomfort in use or difference in sound output. This is a great advantage and a powerful argument for this innovative concept.
Speaking of output sound, Watch Buds provide a good sound quality. Both for playing music playlists and answering incoming phone calls. Voices are clear and crisp, and background noise is masked.
Also have active noise cancellation, in immersive mode and in ambient mode. In the first option, the sound coming from outside is blocked, while the ambient mode allows the user to be aware of everything that surrounds him.
There is some room for improvement here. Watch Buds provide the usual noise cancellation for these types of headphones. This design blocks outside noise immediately; after all, they are covering the ear canal.
However, we can’t expect noise cancellation to be as effective as that provided by full-band headphones. And this is a design issue that brands will have to solve through technology (whether hardware or software), of a minimum size, to integrate into this type of very small headphones.
This type of design doesn’t cover your entire ear, so some outside noise always makes it through the narrow enclosure of the built-in noise cancellation.
Another novelty is that these headphones are tactilebut all the gestures are made in the outer ear area Two taps at the junction between the ear and the face stop music and accept incoming phone calls. This is a system that It works well and provides a convenience in use very welcome.
It charges quickly and has autonomy for more days than expected
Huawei announces that the Watch Buds have autonomy for three days in your function Smart watch. already the headphoneson a full charge, it provides music for four hours either 2.5 hours on phone calls without noise cancellation. With this option activated, autonomy drops to three and two hours, respectively.
During my experience I checked the autonomy announced in all points. I confess that the three days of autonomy of the smartwatch surprised me. After all, the watch is always charging the headphones, and that part could take away the life of your battery.
Watch Buds comes with a charging station also with a magnetic system. Which means simply placing the back panel on the base of the dock will start charging. And it loads fast; In just over an hour the battery, already with a percentage of autonomy in one digit, reaches 100%.
Huawei Watch Buds is the embodiment of an innovative idea that came to the market as something unique. This two-in-one device works well as a smartwatch and also offers good sound quality as a headset.
Rarely does the first attempt at an innovative concept result in something truly positive. But the Huawei Watch Buds are actually a good product. It is ideal for users who are always on the go. The autonomy it provides, as both a wearable and a headset, is capable of keeping up with even the most dynamic person in the world.
Of course, it can improve on some points, namely active noise cancellation, its weight and even the thickness of the sphere. But, being the brand’s first attempt, the results are well above average.
But its cost of 499.99 euros is high. While the Watch Buds do provide good audio and make for a good smartwatch, this is a steep price for the specs it packs into its two distinct features. Innovation pays for itself, but wouldn’t Huawei be even more innovative and disruptive if it priced lower? This assuming that the final price would be lowered, without removing quality components from the equipment.
In fact, the Huawei Watch Buds won me over for their boldness and quality, but their high price point puts even the most enthusiastic user down to earth. Although this wearable runs the risk of being one of Huawei’s best, cost will always be an obstacle to its full success.
– two in one device
– Innovative concept
– Convenience of headphones stored in the smart watch
– Timeless elegant design
– Wow factor
– Good sound quality
– Automatic identification of left and right ears
– Noise cancellation could be improved