Huawei's Watch Buds. It's a watch and earbud case combo. [credit:
Ron Amadeo ]
Huawei is still clinging to life despite constant
trade war bombardment
from the US government, and its latest project suggests that maybe all the stress is starting to get to the company. Huawei's newest product, the Huawei "Watch Buds," is now getting an international release. Like it says on the tin, this is a smartwatch that is also... earbuds? Imagine sticking a smartwatch display onto the lid of a wireless earbuds case and then strapping that whole contraption to your wrist. The smartwatch display sits on a hinge that lifts up, revealing two big chasms inside the watch body that hold and charge your earbuds. Your earbuds are always at the ready, I guess.
How many ways is this a bad idea? Smartwatches are primarily limited by their size, so anything that makes a smartwatch bigger is probably not a great design choice. Having a smartwatch open up to be a
for something else, like a
1990s wrist fanny pack
, is certainly an interesting way to spend your limited space budget. You generally want your space-limited smartwatch to contain 100 percent smartwatch parts, but this one is about 50 percent smartwatch parts and 50 percent earbuds parts. The watch body is officially "47 mm×47.5 mm×14.99 mm"—a massive size that's more volume than even an Apple Watch Ultra (49 mm×44 mm×14.4 mm), which is already too big for some people.
Generally, the space-limited size of smartwatches means battery capacity is pretty tough to come by. Huawei is giving you a 410 mAh battery to both run the watch
charge the earbuds while they're in your earbuds/smartwatch case. The Apple Watch Ultra, which, again, has a smaller body, has a
542 mAh battery
, and that's just for smartwatch duties. This device also has GPS, a 24/7 heart rate monitor, and sleep tracking. The one saving grace for the battery life is that it doesn't run Android—instead it uses Huawei's "Harmony OS." The name "Harmony OS" means almost nothing in terms of a software stock. On phones, "Harmony OS" means it's
an Android fork
, but on watches, "Harmony OS" is a completely different OS based on Huawei's LiteOS. Huawei claims you'll get three days of battery life for "the entire device," while a
LiteOS watch from the company gets a claimed "14 days" of "typical usage."