Huawei has built a new smartwatch with an unusual twist: a pair of earbuds stashed inside, which can be accessed and removed by flipping up the hinged face to reveal a hidden compartment. It certainly looks strange, but for runners it could be a real winner.
Huawei Central was the first to spot the footage, which was shared on Twitter by writer and self-professed Huawei enthusiast Deng Li. The video, which you can watch below, shows a chunky timepiece that seemingly doubles as a charging case for a pair of simple in-ear headphones.
Speaking as a runner who enjoys a good tune during a training session (I recommend the BBC Radio One Rock Show), only having to worry about finding and charging a single device seems like a real boon. No more hunting around for my best running headphones, only to discover that their batteries are dead.
The watch itself must be pretty huge, and much thicker than even the heftiest device from the likes of Garmin or Coros just to accommodate the buds. That'll be a dealbreaker for some smartwatch fans, but not such an issue for those who mainly use their watch for sports. As the Apple Watch Ultra demonstrates, when it comes to watches for adventurers, chunky is fine. Nobody wants to be fiddling with tiny touchscreens mid-run, or messing with delicate dials while halfway up a mountain.
Huawei Watch Buds hands-on leak pic.twitter.com/wLuWRdUmbqNovember 26, 2022
There will definitely be other compromises, though – particularly battery life. GPS watches are power-hungry beasts, and having a pair of earbuds drawing juice from the same battery means it'll drain even faster. We certainly shouldn't expect week-long battery life from the Huawei Buds Watch. It might even require the same daily charging as the Apple Watch Series 8 if used regularly.
Then there are the buds themselves. These have to be as compact as possible, and as James Stables of Wareable notes, their simple cylindrical shape may prove less comfortable than more ergonomically designed headphones. I suspect that they might not be particularly secure, either; there are no silicone fins or flanges to keep them in place while you're running hard.
Still, the watch is still at the concept stage, and there's plenty of time for innovation and improvement. If I don't have to worry about losing a little wireless charging case, I'm definitely willing to give it a shot.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.