Huawei has recently introduced a new model of wireless earbuds called Huawei FreeBuds 4i. I think you will definitely be surprised by its features after reading my full review. But there are also disadvantages since it is difficult to find an ideal product on the mobile device market.
In this review, I will not only talk about the sound quality but also analyze how the microphone works. In addition, you can find out about the build quality, the main control functions of the touch panel, modes of operation, and battery life.
As for the cost, it is clearly not the sweetest. For example, at the time of this writing, the price tag for the Huawei FreeBuds 4i was around $80. I think that in the near future the cost will fall and will be slightly lower. This has usually happened with other models in the FreeBuds line.
If we talk about technical features, then in the new earbuds you can find a Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connection. There is also an active noise canceling function, a transparency mode, an auto-pause sensor, and many other interesting features.
So, I propose to start my full and detailed review and find out if everything is so good with the new FreeBuds 4i model in real life?
Huawei FreeBuds 4i: Specifications
|Huawei FreeBuds 4i:||Specs|
|Driver size:||10 mm driver|
|Wireless connection:||Bluetooth 5.2|
|Frequency response:||20-20000 Hz|
|Bluetooth protocol:||AAC and SBC|
|Battery:||55 (215) mAh|
|Charging time:||90 mins|
|Weight:||5.3 (36) grans|
|Music time:||10 hours|
Unboxing and packaging
A very simple and compact package came to my review. It is made in a minimalistic form of white, but rather thick cardboard. On the front, there is a drawing of earbuds and a charging box with the designation of the company name and model.
But on the back of the package, there is a list of the main features. But what upset me a little was that all the inscriptions were made in Chinese. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand that this version was created only for the Chinese market. But I do not see any problems with this, since the mobile application can be used with your native language.
Inside the box, I was also a little surprised by the high-quality packaging and the decent package bundle. For example, here I found – this is a charging box with earbuds inside. The package also includes a rather long Type-C charging cable, a set of replaceable silicone ear tips, and various documentation.
Design, workmanship, and materials
Like the packaging itself, the new model of Huawei FreeBuds 4i wireless earbuds is made in a very simple and minimalist style at another time. The manufacturer Huawei offers two color options to choose from – it is in white and black. I have earbuds in white on my test and they look very typical, like other models of competitors.
For example, the appearance of the FreeBuds 4i model is very similar to products from Apple or other Chinese brands. In turn, the design does not stand out for any uniqueness. Even I would say on the contrary, the device is made very simple, as for its price. Therefore, the appearance of the earbuds did not surprise me for sure.
Ok, you can ask me, what about the build quality? Here I have no complaints at all since I did not find any extraneous sounds, squeaks or other questions. It is also worth mentioning the protection against water under the IP54 standard. Most likely it is suitable for sweat and splashes since I cannot name full IP54 protection.
But the material used is glossy white plastic. As my practice has shown once again, the use of glossy plastic will do nothing good. Here I would prefer matte plastic over glossy.
As for the convenience of landing, they did not cause any particular problems for me. Look, the weight of one earbud was about 5 grams. That is, even if you wear earbuds for up to 3 hours, you will not notice severe fatigue. But your ears will be asked to rest after 3 hours since you should not forget that these are in-ear earbuds and not semi in-ear earbuds.
If you are considering sports earbuds, then the Huawei FreeBuds 4i is also a good choice. For example, during my workouts, the earbuds sat in my ear canal well and without any questions. Even while running, the earbuds did not fall out and were held firmly in the ear canal.
On the outside, there is a platform for touch control. But I’ll tell you about its functions a little later. Meanwhile, on the inside, there are contacts for charging, and on the bottom leg, there is a hole for a microphone. Also on the sound guide itself, you can find a proximity sensor for automatic pause. I want to note that this sensor works well and I had no problems with its performance.
Now let’s take a look at the charging box of the new earbud model from the Huawei brand. It, like the earbuds, is made of glossy plastic. After several days of use, you will find many scuffs and even minor scratches on its surface.
Although, if we talk about the build quality, then I did not identify any special problems. That is, the body was made of monolithic plastic, and the lid opened without a single backlash. In addition, I liked the shape of the charging box, which was not quite usual. As you can see, the shape of the case resembles an oval egg of the correct shape and it fits very well in the palm of your hand. At the same time, the weight of the charging box is only 36 grams and can easily be put into a large jeans pocket.
On the front of the case, there is a company logo with an indicator of the remaining charge level. Also on the side, you can find a button for automatic pairing or reset. But at the bottom, there is a Type-C charging connection. I note right away that the box does not have wireless charging, although this is a bit strange given its cost.
Connectivity, signal quality, latency, and touch controls
I did not find any problems with the quality of the transmitted signal, since the device uses Bluetooth 5.2 version on board. This is the latest generation in wireless communication, and as my practice has shown, the signal was picked up stably even at a distance of 10 meters from the signal source.
If we talk about the connection itself, then it is the same as on most wireless earbuds. In addition, if you have a Huawei device, then a pop-up menu with the connection and the level of the remaining battery charge will appear in the smartphone.
Other than that, I didn’t notice any latency issues. Yes, it may not be a gaming headset, but I felt comfortable playing games. The latency level was approximately in the range from 150 to 200 ms. Of course, while watching movies or TV shows, you will not have any problems either.
The branded application will give you the ability to customize your headphones even more. For example, in the app, you can select touch control functions. Receive updates, which by the way are already available and I was able to positively update. In general, the application itself is very simple but necessary to fully use the FreeBuds 4i headphones. But what I didn’t like was the lack of equalizer settings.
In terms of touch control, not everything is so bad here. But again, there are many functions through the mobile application, but there are only two switching modes – double-tap and hold for a few seconds.
Sound quality, microphones, and modes of operation
Inside the case of the new model of Huawei FreeBuds 4i earbuds, a 10 mm dynamic driver is used. Its power is enough for 100%, both in terms of the margin of the maximum volume level and in sound quality.
I have not yet met a single earbud from the Huawei brand that would play very badly. Indeed, my practice has shown that the FreeBuds 4i has a well-balanced sound at all its frequencies. For example, the bass level was good, while there were decent bass and good dynamics. Also, I can not say that the mid and high frequencies are very bad.
If you compare the quality of sounds between the previous generations of the FreeBuds line, then you will hardly notice the difference. But yes, it is possible, although not as large as you can see with more budget versions of TWS earbuds.
If I say a few words about the active noise canceling mode, then it really does the job well. For example, in noisy places, the sound quality becomes much better and your favorite music is filled with good positivity and energy. But if we compare more expensive models, then the value of the noise reduction level in the FreeBuds 4i model will not be so high.
But the work of the transparency mode made me very happy. For example, during its activation, I could hear my interlocutors without even taking off my earbuds. At first glance, I thought I was using in-ear headphones, not semi in-ear vacuum earbuds.
If we talk about the sound quality of the microphones, then it made me very happy. My interlocutors heard me for no reason. Even in noisy places, the passive noise canceling function worked and I can easily talk to my interlocutors without raising my voice.
Battery and run time
A 55mAh battery was installed in each earbud. You might think that it will not be enough. But in fact, even this capacity will be enough for long-term listening to your music.
For example, during measurements, I managed to achieve a result of 9 hours and 50 minutes at a 50% volume level. The manufacturer promises 10 hours of battery life and I was really surprised by the battery life. Yes, if you always use Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency mode, the battery life will be reduced by 1-2 hours.
At the same time, there is even a fast charge, according to the manufacturer, in 5 minutes of charging, the earbuds can work for 4 hours. I think this is a bit different, but about 2 hours may well be. In this case, a full charge of the earbuds will take you 1 hour. As I said, there is no wireless charging on board the case and this is a little frustrating.
Conclusion, reviews, pros, and cons
After testing the new model of TWS earbuds Huawei FreeBuds 4i, I have quite positive emotions.
For example, I liked the quality of workmanship and build, as well as the comfort of the fit in the ear canal, both during everyday wear and during sports.
I can also highlight the good work of the active noise reduction and transparency mode. Of course, the sound and microphone quality is very good for its value.
But the disadvantages are not the best workmanship, the lack of an equalizer in the application settings, and there is also no wireless charging function.
Price and where to buy cheaper?
Currently, the price tag for Huawei FreeBuds 4i is very interesting, which was $83.05 with a 45% discount.
But I think it’s worth waiting for a little since, at the official start of sales, the cost of earbuds from Huawei is always high. But in 1-2 months the price tag will fall by several tens of dollars.