Huawei has been making quite amazing Wearables including the latest Freebuds 3 series.
Huawei launched Freebuds 3 series recently including Freebuds 3 and 3i. In this post, I’m
going to talk about budget-friendly 3i. Before going into the details, let’s have a look at the
Connection: Bluetooth 5
Bluetooth codecs: AAC, SBC
Active noise-cancelling: up to 32db
Driver: 10mm dynamic
Controls: Double-tap, long tap
Battery capacity: 37mAh/earbud. 410mAh charging case
Battery life: Up to three.5h of playback. Up to 14.5h with charging case
Charging: USB-C, wired only
Charging time: earbuds – about 1h; total – about 115 minutes
Water resistance: IPX4 (splashes only)
Weight: 5.5g/earbud, case 51g
Ear tips: 4 pairs – L, M, S, XS
Functions: Awareness mode, Pop hospitable connect (EMUI 10 only), Wear detection
(EMUI 10 only), virtual assistant, touch controls
Huawei Freebuds 3i Design
The FreeBuds 3i (€99) is the follow-up to the more expensive FreeBuds 3
(€149), which came out late last year. Despite being less expensive, the difference
between the FreeBuds 3i and the FreeBuds 3 isn’t massive.
If you would like an in-ear design and superior noise cancellation, the FreeBuds 3i comes
on top of priority. On the other side, FreeBuds 3 have longer battery life and better
sound quality in optimal conditions.
The FreeBuds 3i feature active noise-cancelling (ANC) and silicone tips that enter your ear
canals, dampening external noise and improving the sound quality. The FreeBuds 3i even
accompany Awareness mode, which works a bit like Apple’s Transparency mode.
You can use the FreeBuds 3i with any Bluetooth-enabled device, but you’ll get the simplest
experience with Huawei devices running EMUI 10 or later, which supply quicker connection
and wearing detection.
FreeBuds 3i Control
The FreeBuds 3i support two simple gestures – double-tap and tap-and-hold. Using the
companion app, Huawei AI Life, you’ll assign the double-tap gesture to playback controls,
while tap-and-hold cycles through ANC modes.
Huawei AI Life is compatible with almost any Android device, but it’s not available for iOS.
you can still use the FreeBuds 3i with an iPhone, but you won’t be able to customize the
gestures or get software updates unless you’ll connect to an Android device.
When used alongside a Huawei phone running EMUI 10 or later, the FreeBuds 3i connect quickly
by simply popping open the case, and that also detect wearing to automatically pause and resume.
You can assign different commands for double-tapping the left and right earbud, which provides
you a touch more flexibility. You can choose from play/pause, next song, previous song, and
wake voice assistant.
Huawei FreeBuds 3i Sound Quality
As for reviews I have gone through, Freebuds 3i sound great and almost equally as Freebuds 3. Vocals tend to be clear.
It helps that the FreeBuds 3i feature silicon tips that plug into your ears (there are four sizes
included within the package). These provide the solution that’s sorely missing from the open
fit FreeBuds 3, also from the AirPods and other earbuds of comparable design. Because of
this, the FreeBuds 3i sound louder than the FreeBuds 3, despite having a smaller driver:
10mm vs 14.2mm.
Huawei Freebuds 3i Active Noise Cancellation
In noise cancellation, Freebuds 3i are as good as Freebuds 3. The ear tips keep tons of the
ambient noise out, which makes it much easier for the ANC function to form an audible
difference. Like with all ANC headphones, you’ll get the simplest results with low, monotone
noises just like the humming of an airplane cabin or car engines. Meanwhile, high frequencies
come through, and ANC will struggle to adapt to variable noises just like the chatter of a
If you would like to figure – or simply relax – during a noisy environment, you’ll want to stay
the FreeBuds 3i in ANC mode. Even with music off, you’ll hear the difference. And once you
do hear music, you won’t get to crank up the quantity as high, which is sweet for your auditory
Huawei Freebuds 3i Awareness Mode
The FreeBuds 3i allows you to toggle during a special mode that helps outside sounds undergo,
making them easier to listen to even when taking note of music. It works tons just like the
AirPods Pro’s Transparency mode, it’s just called different: Awareness mode.
There’s a clear difference between Awareness mode and easily turning ANC off. Awareness
mode may additionally be handy when walking or jogging on busy roads or whenever you
would like to concentrate on your environment.
The Awareness mode need to be enabled from the Huawei AI Life app. If it’s not enabled,
the earbuds will simply turn ANC on and off.
Huawei Freebuds 3i Connectivity
The FreeBuds 3i uses Bluetooth 5 and support the SBC and AAC codecs. SBC is that the
most elementary Bluetooth codec around, sacrificing audio quality for lower data transfers.
Meanwhile, AAC may be a more advanced codec that permits better audio quality, but it’s
only really suitable to be used on Apple devices. Android devices tend to perform
inconsistently with this codec. Bluetooth multipoint isn’t supported, so you won’t be ready
to connect the FreeBuds 3i to your phone and laptop at the same time.
Huawei FreeBuds 3i Battery life
The FreeBuds 3i won’t win any prizes for battery life. They exhaust after about three hours
of use (with ANC on). It’s about an hour less than Huawei FreeBuds 3, and a quite a bit less
compared to other TWS.
The good point is you’ll be ready to use the case to charge them up 4 times at least, which
should push total battery life to over 13 hours.
For reference, Huawei claims up to 3.5 hours for the earbuds and 14.5 hours of playback
with the case included.
For this price point, Huawei has made the best of it taking all the latest features with great ANC and gesture control. Functionality with Huawei devices is superb and with other android devices but you will miss some features if you are iPhone user. So if you don’t want to go for €150+ than 3i is the best choice for you at this price point.
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