Huawei updates its wireless earphones with the FreeBuds 3i

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This month Huawei is getting ready to release its P40 series of smartphones in the country, but that isn’t the only device headed here from the Chinese manufacturer, with the company’s updated FreeBuds 3i wireless earphones seeing the light of day.

This new offering is a subtle refresh on the FreeBuds 3 which launched last year, and as was the case with those wireless earphones, it looks like Huawei has taken a few design cues from Apple and its AirPods Pro devices.

One of the biggest changes in terms of design is the introduction of a silicon ear tip, which should certainly help with comfort and listening for long periods.

We reviewed the FreeBuds 3 when they landed in South Africa, and that was one of the issues we encountered in our time with the earphones. Huawei is also making four different silicon tips available in different sizes, so there should be one that fits well in the bunch.

The other key features include an improved active noise cancelling function, with the previous generation already pretty good at blocking out external noise when activated. It is the inward facing mic which is doing a lot of the extra work here, according to Huawei.

As for the rest, the FreeBuds 3i support Bluetooth 5.1 for connectivity, with battery life from a single full charge listed at 3.5 hours. The additional battery charging case extends this battery life to 14.5 hours. For reference the charging case on the AirPods Pro can last up to 24 hours, so Apple has Huawei beat on that front.

Price though, at least in the UK, falls to Huawei though, with the FreeBuds 3i expected to cost £90 (~R2 066), according to Android Central. The wireless earphones are expected to launch on 20th May in that region, but no word yet on South Africa at this stage.

Local pricing is amiss too, but hopefully more details will follow in coming weeks, along with some sort of bundled offer for the P40 series phones.

For now we’ll have to wait to see.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.