Huawei has unveiled an all-new gadget that merges two wearables — a smartwatch and wireless earbuds — into one unlikely combination.
The not-so-creatively named Huawei Watch Buds give users all the benefits of a smartwatch – a device that’s both a timepiece and a fitness tracker – while also serving as a handy case for their earbuds. If you want to listen to some tunes, all you have to do is lift the face of the watch and pop out the buttons hidden inside.
While this isn’t the first technology of this ilk we’ve ever seen – Lance Ulanoff, our US editor-in-chief has tried something similar in 2020 – Huawei’s creation is nonetheless intriguing, given that it comes from a more mainstream brand. Although we’re not entirely convinced it’ll find a place in our list of best wireless earbuds or best smartwatches.
Never lose your wireless earbuds again! They’re in your smartwatch! These are Wearbuds from Aipower. The smartwatch is a case and charger. $179. #CES2020 pic.twitter.com/LIKRfYd9zvJanuary 7, 2020
For starters, the earbuds in Huawei’s Watch Buds look a bit standard. While we can’t really judge their capabilities without listening to them, they don’t seem to be very big – which will limit their audio capabilities and feature set. We don’t expect them to be capable of booming bass, nor to expect them to come with tools like active noise canceling or particularly long battery life.
Plus, we’re skeptical that the watch itself will be practical. Based on the images and videos released, the whole thing looks rather bulky. It doesn’t seem like the most comfortable gadget to wear on your wrist and certainly not something we like to wear while working out so we can track our fitness goals. We’re also concerned that the two-gadgets-in-one approach will negatively impact overall usage time, as both devices will use the same limited battery power.
That said, hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before we see this technology in action and properly assess it. While Huawei delayed its winter 2022 product launch at the last minute (it was planned to happen on December 2), the video below suggests the device is ready to ship – but where it will be available and how much it will cost is not yet known. All we know is that our readers in the US will surely miss the release, as new Huawei products are not currently allowed to enter the market.
However, if Huawei’s Watch Buds prove to be popular, we wouldn’t be surprised if its rivals follow suit. Google already has its separate Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds, and Apple has the 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 some new fitness tech right now? Check out our picks for the best running headphones out there.