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Huawei adds Qi wireless charging to its Watch GT 2 Pro smartwatch

Huawei adds Qi wireless charging to its Watch GT 2 Pro smartwatch


Announced alongside the noise-canceling FreeBuds Pro

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Image: Huawei

Huawei announced a new smartwatch and a pair of wireless earbuds during its annual developer conference today. The Watch GT 2 Pro is an updated version of last year’s Watch GT 2, which can be recharged wirelessly using any Qi-compatible charger — a helpful inclusion that means you can recharge it using almost any mainstream wireless charger or even the back of certain smartphones like Samsung’s recent flagships.

Meanwhile, the FreeBuds Pro are new noise-canceling true wireless earbuds with an eye-catching design and interesting control scheme. Alongside them, Huawei also announced that its Watch Fit smartwatch and FreeLace Pro wireless earbuds are getting a global release.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is available in a couple of different variations, including sport and classic models, which come with silicon and leather straps, respectively. If you’re using the LiteOS-powered smartwatch for sport, then Huawei says you’ll find over 100 workout modes included, including a new golf driving range mode that’s capable of measuring your swing speed as well as new skiing and snowboarding modes. If you get lost, then there’s a new “route back” mode, which works without your phone and can help you retrace your steps using GPS. However, there’s no native mapping app like what you’ll find on the Apple Watch, and although Huawei says the watch can integrate with third-party services, there’s currently no support for popular activity-tracking service Strava.

Also new for this smartwatch are bad weather alerts as well as more accurate heart rate monitoring, thanks to a sensor with improved light transmission and better machine learning. The watch can also monitor your blood oxygen saturation (Sp02) levels and track your sleep like many other smartwatches, and it’s got a water-resistance rating of 5ATM, meaning it can survive being 50 meters underwater for up to 10 minutes.

The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro has a 1.39-inch circular OLED display with a resolution of 454 x 454, the same as its predecessor, and it’s powered by a Kirin A1 chipset. Huawei says its battery life is around two weeks, and that it can go for 30 hours in GPS mode or play music for 24 hours before it needs to charge, the same as the Watch GT 2. When wirelessly charging, you should see as much as an additional 10 hours of use from a 5-minute charge, according to Huawei, suggesting it could avoid the problems we had with slow charging speeds with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3.

Huawei says the Watch GT 2 Pro will be available from this month. Its Sport version will cost €329, while the Classic model with a leather strap will cost €349.

Image: Huawei
Image: Huawei

After years of producing true wireless earbuds with a very similar appearance to Apple’s AirPods, Huawei is finally switching things up with its new noise-canceling FreeBuds Pro. These true wireless headphones have a much more square stemmed design compared to Apple and Huawei’s existing earbuds, although the tip of the earbud itself is still curved for a more comfortable fit in your ear. You can control the earbuds by squeezing this stem and sliding your finger up and down the earbud to control volume, a departure from the exclusively tap-based controls we see on most earbuds.

Although Huawei has moved away from the design language of the AirPods, it’s not been afraid to borrow one of the AirPods Pro’s handier features. Huawei says the FreeBuds Pro will be able to intelligently test their fit while they’re in your ears using Huawei’s AI Life app to help determine which size silicone ear tips you should use.

Along with the typical noise-cancellation features like a transparency mode, Huawei also says that these are the first true wireless earbuds with “intelligent dynamic noise cancellation,” a feature that means they’re able to automatically detect your listening environment and switch between three different noise-canceling modes, depending on what it thinks is most appropriate for your current location. Huawei is claiming a maximum noise reduction of 40dB, which it says is higher than the AirPods Pro.

The FreeBuds Pro are available in black, white, or silver. Battery life varies depending on whether you’re using noise cancellation. While using noise cancellation, you’ll get up to 4.5 hours of listening out of the earbuds themselves, rising to seven hours with noise cancellation turned off. Combined with the charging case, Huawei says you’ll get up to 30 hours of charge, dropping to 20 if you have noise cancellation turned on. The earbuds will cost €199 and will be available in October, Huawei says.

As part of its presentation, Huawei also announced global releases for its Watch Fit smartwatch and FreeLace Pro wireless earbuds, which had previously been announced for the Chinese market. The Watch Fit features a rectangular 1.64-inch OLED display and should get 10 days of battery life, according to Huawei. Meanwhile, the FreeLace Pro are noise-canceling earbuds with a built-in USB-C cable for charging. Both will be available starting this month. The FreeLace Pro will cost €119, while the Watch Fit will cost €129.