Not for everyone, but original in every respect: The Chinese manufacturer Huawei marries two products that have little in common. Will this result in a happy relationship? The Watch Buds are a combination of earphones and sports watch. Huawei has miniaturized the former and provided the latter with a flap so that you can lift the display lid up to store the earphones inside the watch. The Smartwatch charges the earplugs, which weigh only four grams, so a separate charging case for the earphones is superfluous.

Michael Spehr

Editor in the "Technology and Motor" department.

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What's the point? The scenario is that the earphones are always with you. If there is a longer phone call during a walk, the plugs are within reach. You don't have to pack anything beforehand. Even the annoying search for the earphones in the backpack has been done.

We tried the Watch Buds. To set up the watch and plugs, you need the Huawei app Health, which is available for both smartphone platforms. Bluetooth is only paired once, then the watch and earplugs are connected to the mobile phone. The watch measures 47 x 47 millimeters and is 15 millimeters high, so it is a rather larger smartwatch. The housing is made of black stainless steel, the underside is not quite flat, but has a small hubbel with heart rate sensor in the middle. The missing plug contacts already indicate it: The battery can be filled inductively, which works not only with the enclosed charging cradle, but also with many QI stations for smartphones. A very nice detail, which you also want for the Apple Watch.

Solid hinge

Our test unit came with black leather strap, which is interchangeable. To open the watch cover, press a button at the bottom of the display, and the top then pops open a few millimeters. To remove or insert the earplugs, you have to manually move the cover vertically. The hinge makes a solid impression, Huawei promises at least 100,000 opening and closing operations.

The two buds dock magnetically to the top of the cover, and you're surprised how small they are. They look like a bullet, and it doesn't matter which one you wear in which ear, because the plugs identify their own whereabouts.

Crisp bass

For music playback and telephony, the acoustics of the small plugs are surprisingly good. Even the bass is amazingly crisp and deep. We were pleasantly surprised, although their larger colleagues offer much more acoustically. Disappointing, however, is the active background noise suppression, which brings next to nothing. Huawei can usually do this better.

With one battery charge you can listen for about three hours, then the plugs are refueled in the watch. If you want to save the power for the watch, deactivate the corresponding setting. You can also choose whether the earplugs should play the music from the watch, the smartphone or another Bluetooth device. Overall, the earphones are good middle class.

But how does the associated clock perform? Those who know the Huawei sports watches will find their way around immediately, are happy about the bright, high-contrast Amoled display, which is a splendor with lush 466 x 466 pixels over a diagonal of 1.43 inches. It can be set to an always-on mode and then permanently shows the time in reduced display. Depending on the setting, the watch's battery lasts from a few days to a week.

Not suitable for swimming training

Some limitations compared to other sports watches of the Chinese, however, are quickly recognizable. According to protection class IPX7, the housing is only protected against temporary immersion against water. For swimming training and all sports that require complete water protection, the watch is therefore not suitable. Furthermore, the payment function and some sensors such as barometer and compass are omitted, and the watch does not write a single-lead ECG to detect atrial fibrillation. The heart rate both at rest and during sports is measured very accurately. There is a stress and sleep recording and, of course, during sports activities outside, the GPS recording of the distances traveled.

Here, Huawei draws as usual from the full and offers in the app a considerable data evaluation, which is even more powerful with Garmin or Polar. What is also missing is the possibility to export the fitness data of individual workouts in order to have them evaluated in another ecosystem, for example. Assistants and training plans in the app are subject to a fee. Huawei Health Plus costs eight euros a month or 60 euros a year and is unmistakably based on Apple's Fitness Plus subscription, which offers more for the money with elaborately produced training videos.

Overall, the Watch Buds is an interesting combination of two products. However, both components have to let feathers and do not reach the level that arises from two separate individual products. A Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro in a more elegant and resistant titanium case with more equipment costs 300 euros, and the Freebuds Pro 2 earplugs with better sound and more effective noise cancellation have an official retail price of 160 euros. The Watch Buds, however, starts with 500 euros in the race and is the idea winner, but not the winner in terms of equipment and sophistication.