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As wearable technology continues to evolve, from Bluetooth headphones attached to air filters to smartwatches that use your body to charge, it's only natural that the wireless earbuds and watch subcategories begin to intertwine.
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Huawei's new Watch Buds give you the best of both worlds, with the goal of lessening the traditional burdens of wearable technology, like having to separately purchase earbuds and smartwatches, bulky and sometimes unattractive designs, and left and right earbud differentiation.
At a base level, the smartwatch half of the Watch Buds closely resembles a traditional timepiece, sporting a full-grain leather watchband, a 47mm AMOLED color screen, and the standard suite of fitness-tracking features.
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Huawei says the health tracking capabilities on the Watch Buds are comparable to the beefed-up health features on the Apple Watch Ultra; they solidify the notion that smartwatch manufacturers cater to both casual users and users with more rugged extracurriculars.
At 14.99mm thick, the Watch Buds are comprised of 21 layers of technological components, including photoelectric sensors, the charging unit for the earbuds, a magnetic attachment unit that keeps all the pieces intact, and of course, the earbuds.
The encapsulated earbuds are clearly the most exciting feature of the Watch Buds. According to Huawei, the earbuds use Adaptive Identification Technology, which eradicates the need for left or right-specific placements. Instead, Adaptive Identification Technology automatically regulates the left and right audio channels when users place the earbuds in their ears.
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The earbuds also support Triple Adaptive EQ, which optimizes sound quality based on the wearer's ear structure to deliver the best listening experience. Huawei achieves this by leveraging the earbuds' microphones and bone conduction sensors for a more accurate audio calibration.
Huawei says the earbuds are 50% smaller and 90% more space efficient than other earbuds on the market, which only makes sense if the actual smartwatch isn't counted as a charging case. They're also incredibly light; each bud weighing in at about a gram lighter than Apple's AirPods Pro and Bose's Quiet Comfort Earbuds.
As for battery life, Huawei estimates the watch to last up to three days per charge when used in factory default configurations. You can get up to seven days if the wearable is in power-saving mode.
Huawei's Watch Buds will start selling in the UK for £449.99 (roughly $540.32). Given the US ban on Huawei products, a US release is unlikely any time soon. By comparison, an Apple Watch Series 8 without cellular is about $399, and a pair of second-generation AirPods Pro retail for $249, a combined total of $648.