Huawei Launches New FreeBuds 4, Watch 3, MateView Monitors and MatePad Tablets
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Huawei has been pretty quiet in 2021, with no news yet of their flagship P series phone unlike previous years, but they’ve come out swinging in their latest event with announcements for plenty of new devices.
The brand is clearly moving away from its focus on smartphones, which might be a smart move, considering all the problems they’ve been having with the bans from the US administration in the previous year, and we’re going to see the Huawei branding on a lot of other product types now.
The first new product isn’t entirely new; Huawei has been churning out some pretty great wireless audio products in the form of the FreeBuds Pro and most recently the FreeBuds 4i, but the new FreeBuds 4 are the open-fit successor to the FreeBuds 3 with improved ANC that Huawei claims can cancel out up to 25dB of noise, compared to 15dB on the FreeBuds 3.
There’s dual-device pairing and multipoint connectivity, 16 ANC modes, easy pop-up pairing with Huawei phones and four hours of battery life in the earbuds, 22 hours total with the charging case.
Huawei claims they’ve reduced the weight of the product by 20.8% and each earbud now weighs just 4.1 grams, which should result in a more comfortable wearing experience with less fatigue. We’ll definitely be looking forward to trying this out.
Next up, we have something quite unexpected. Huawei is going into the monitor business, and while we’ve heard about these previously, we now have confirmation that the MateView and MateView GT will be coming to Singapore later this year.
The MateView monitor is Huawei’s flagship offering for professionals with a 28.2-inch 4K+ display that is professionally calibrated in-factory and supports 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut and 100% of the sRGB colour gamut.
The monitor also has TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light and Flicker Free certifications that boast of its ability to filter out harmful light emissions.
The MateView GT, on the other hand, is a curved 32-inch WQHD gaming monitor that supports a 165Hz refresh rate. Something that’s really cool is that there’s actually a speaker/microphone soundbar built into the monitor stand, which means you might not even need to purchase standalone speakers or a microphone if the soundbar is good enough for you.
There’s AMD FreeSync Premium as well as a pretty interesting Dark Field Control feature that supposedly boosts colour contrast and lights up objects in darker regions of the screen.
It’s definitely nice to have two USB Type-C ports (one for power) and a DisplayPort 1.4 port, but it’s a bit disappointing that there are only two HDMI 2.0 ports, which means that if you have the newest gaming consoles like the PS5 or Xbox Series X, you won’t be able to take advantage of the 4K 120fps feature.
Moving on, we have the Huawei Watch 3 series. We previously reviewed the Watch GT 2 Pro and were really impressed by it, so let’s take a look at what Huawei is offering with their new smartwatch.
It’s the brand’s first-ever eSIM smartwatch, although it will only support 4G networks. The body will be made of stainless steel, with the glass on top being 3D curved glass. There’s a new 3D rotating crown that resembles Apple’s own Digital Crown, with the crown used for Huawei’s Swift View as well as control.
Under that curved glass, we get a 1.43-inch AMOLED display, with 326 PPI, a max 1000 nits brightness as well as a 60Hz refresh rate. There are a few models, with the Active model using the rubber watch band we’re used to, the Classic model sporting leather and woven watch bands and the Elite model coming with a metal bracelet.
Huawei’s smartwatches are usually jammed full of health and fitness features, and that’s not changed here. There are over 100 workout modes, six automatically detected exercise modes, upgraded TruSeen 4.5+ for increased heart rate accuracy, 24/7 SpO2 monitoring, emergency contact call with fall detection and more.
One cool new feature is the addition of a skin temperature detector. While the watch can’t detect your body temperature, having a consistent measurement of skin temperature could reveal illnesses or other underlying conditions when used as diagnostic data.
Battery life, unfortunately, is a bit on the short side. There are just three days in smart mode on a full charge, although you can get up to 14 days on the ultra-long battery life mode. It’s a pretty big difference from the Watch GT 2 Pro and GT 2’s 14-day battery life, although it’s most likely due to all the new additions in the watch, as well as the new eSIM capability.
There’s also a Watch 3 Pro version which comes in the Classic model. You get a more premium product here, with sapphire glass, titanium case and a ceramic back that helps to reduce heat. Battery life is slightly better here, at five days in smart mode and 21 days in ultra-long battery life mode.
Last but not least, we come to the tablets. Huawei is launching two new tablets in Singapore, the MatePad 11 and MatePad Pro 10.8-inch.
The MatePad 11 is a nice companion to existing Huawei laptops or even the new MateView monitors, with pairing available for multi-view collaboration. There’s even cross-device file dragging and transferring for ease of use and productivity. With a 10.9-inch display that supports a 120Hz refresh rate, 94% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut and a 1500:1 contrast ratio, content consumption and light work on this tablet will definitely not pose any issues at all.
There’s also a brand new multi-window multi-tasking functionality, with up to 10 floating windows in a floating bubble. Text and such can be dragged and dropped between apps, of which four are able to be open at one time. You’ll get around 10 hours of battery life when web browsing, and approximately 12 hours with local video playback.
So what’s the difference between the MatePad 11 and the MatePad Pro? Huawei has stated their main audience for the MatePad is young professionals, with the MatePad Pro targeted for experts.
The MatePad Pro 10.8-inch, on the other hand, has a bigger screen-to-body ratio of 90% and will come equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chip instead of a Kirin chip. Of course, all the new features will also be present on the MatePad Pro, and both tablets will be running on Huawei’s HarmonyOS 2. The MatePad Pro series also comes with eight Harman Kardon speakers, and support for Wi-Fi 6.
Pricing and availability in Singapore are yet to be announced for all the products.
Written by Cheryl Tan