This Huawei smartwatch could feature built-in wireless earbuds - but why?

Huawei Watch 3 GT
(Image credit: Huawei)

A trademark application for the Huawei Watch Buds has been discovered, presenting a smartwatch with built-in wireless earbuds. That means that a pair of buds will come slotted in the sides of the smartwatch by default - but why? It turns out it could be a lot more useful than it actually sounds.

The trademark application, spotted by LetsGoDigital, was filed on March 28, but it isn't the first time Huawei has tried to get the concept of a smartwatch with built-in earbuds off the ground. Back in 2018, patents for the Huawei Watch 3 showed that the smartwatch was initially planned to feature built-in wireless earbuds.

It's also not the first manufacturer to the table here, as the DrPhone brand already has several smartwatches with built-in earbuds available. However, Huawei could be the first well-known brand to bring the concept to market.

There's currently no info pointing to a release date or an official announcement on the Huawei Watch Buds - a patent can't be taken as a guarantee that a device will actually come to market.

Still, it's possible we'll get a reveal for the ambitious device sometime this year. We also imagine that the Huawei Watch Buds will run on Huawei's bespoke HarmonyOS operating system, but that's yet to be confirmed.

Analysis: what's the point?

The idea of a smartwatch featuring built-in wireless earbuds initially sounds counter intuitive. After all, most of the best smartwatches you can buy are impressively small, and adding in a pair of built-in buds could lead to the watch itself being a bit bulkier than what many might be comfortable with.

On the other hand, a pair of built-in true wireless earbuds does have its benefits. On the surface, you're getting a pair of earbuds thrown in with the cost of a smartwatch, and if they're slotted into the sides of the device by default, you might not have to pair them externally via a smartphone.

There's also a possibility that the earbuds would be able to charge while slotted into the Huawei Watch Buds smartwatch. This hasn't been confirmed, but such a feature would also eschew the need for a charging case to keep the earbuds topped up. The downside there, then, would be that the smartwatch itself may take a bigger hit to its battery life while the buds are slotted and charging.

We also can't currently speak to the audio quality the buds themselves will provide. That said, we've been impressed with Huawei's earbuds in the past, particularly the Huawei FreeBuds Pro, which featured fantastic noise-cancellation and decent sound. They're by no means among the best wireless earbuds you can buy, but are a solid purchase nonetheless.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.