Mandatory starting of an article about Huawei with “they’ve had a tough time of it”. With that out of the way, Huawei is continuing to press on in the fallout of the Google Play Services ban. Their answer is to plough on with their own eco-system that is getting better and better with time. Today at a virtual launch event, the Chinese tech manufacturer announced the new Huawei Freebuds 4 and, arguably even more importantly, the Huawei Watch 3 which is running HarmonyOS, their own operating system.
Here’s everything we learned from today’s virtual launch event.
Today also marked the global launch of HarmonyOS. However, HarmonyOS has been in development since 2016, long before the US restrictions. Speaking at the launch Huawei Managing Director in Ireland, Byron Ma, said “HarmonyOS is not simply our response to the US”. Instead, HarmonyOS is being positioned by Huawei as the missing link between Huawei devices to complete a closed-loop eco-system. The biggest benefit of this is seamless transitioning between different devices.
The “closed-loop” bit might sound like a bad thing, but I’ve been testing lots of Apple products and their fairly closed eco-system is incredible. If Huawei can achieve something similar there’s a real challenge to the fractured world of Android. Whether or not this was kicked off or sped up by the US ban is somewhat irrelevant. Now, the focus will be on how quickly Huawei can develop HarmonyOS and the Huawei AppGallery.
Obviously, the biggest benefit here is if you are using a Huawei phone, watch, tablet and laptop. The big drawback is that Huawei AppGallery is still very much a work in progress so time will tell just how much of a challenge Huawei can present in this space.
Huawei Watch 3
The Huawei Watch has been around since 2015. I bought the first one which ran Android Wear at the time. It was great because it looked like a watch before a piece of tech. It’s developed quite a bit since and had multiple variations.
Still, the watch launched today is just the third new complete redesign and of course is the first watch featuring HarmonyOS. Key new features include a rotating crown control and a very intuitive looking Grid Launcher which makes access to apps much easier.
It is also the first Huawei Watch to feature eSIM. While there has yet to be an Irish network to provide this service, the potential is massive. It means you’ll be able to go for a run and leave your phone at home but have full access to your phone number.
There are loads of other features from fitness to general wellbeing, including skin temperature monitoring which in a pandemic-focused world will be of massive interest to many.
Right now, I’m only unboxed the Huawei Watch 3 Pro and had a quick look at it. It’s gorgeous but you’ll have to wait for the full review coming in a few days.
Huawei Watch 3 Pro Unboxing
Huawei Freebuds 4
Like many, I’ve had my fair share of conference calls over the past year and a bit. My goto audio accessory of choice has been the Huawei Freebuds 3. Naturally, I’m excited to test out the Freebuds 4 which Huawei has launched today and sent over for review.
While the Freebuds 4 look largely similar to the Freebuds 3, some subtle improvements have been made with these buds. Weighing in at 4.1g Huawei has focused on comfort with these new buds. They call this Air-like comfort and I have to say after popping them into my ear you do feel the difference.
Again, these just landed in so I’ve only got to unbox them and do one or two calls. No review just yet, so you’ll have to follow our social channels to make sure you don’t miss that.
The key features I’ll be keeping an eye on are the improved Active Noise Cancelling, sound quality, and, perhaps today most importantly, the call quality provided by the buds.
Huawei Freebuds 4 Unboxing
Huawei Lauching Monitors In Ireland
An interesting development at the Huawei launch today was the inclusion of the Huawei Mateview. It’s hard to look at tech these days without seeing how it can benefit a work-from-home mentality. Huawei has spotted that there are a lot of people with home office setups.
Huawei Mateview Monitor
The Huawei Mateview is an impressive 34-inch 4K+ true colour monitor retailing for €699. With a single cable you can connect and charge your laptop. It will of course work with most professional setups but remains but the idea here is to provide you with a monitor that seamlessly lets you turn your phone into a desktop or to give you the perfect monitor for your Huawei laptop. You can even project your mobile screen to enjoy a more wireless life.
Huawei Mateview GT Gaming Monitor
Huawei hasn’t just waded into monitors but has also slotted into gaming monitors with the Mateview GT. While it’s aimed at PC gamers it will even work with all modern games consoles too. This monitor is a 2K ultra-wide curved monitor with 165Hz refresh rate. Included is a wee soundbar to meet in all the entertainment, but specifically gaming, needs you might have. This one will retail for €569.
I first found out about the two of these a few weeks back and wasn’t too optimistic about them hitting the Irish market. It’s amazing news to see them in the Irish launch event today and I’ll be sure to monitor (sorry) these for launch dates.