Huawei FreeBuds 4 series

Great news, that the Huawei FreeBuds 4 series of TWS earbuds are replacing the FreeBuds 3, which were released in 2019. We could say that The “light” FreeBuds 4i model was completely a trailblazer in the 2021 line. Basic FreeBuds 4 on the global market were announced in May 2021.

The design of the FreeBuds 4 is quite similar to the Huawei FreeBuds 3 TWS earbuds. Same round case with the same shape of the earphones is identical. But if in the last generation the colors were white and black, then this one comes in white and silver (safe for the case).

The case is made of plastic, slightly smaller than the 3rd generation case. Due to its rounded shape with flattened sides and a semi-matte or semi-glossy texture, it is very pleasant to hold and twist in hands, like an antistress toy.

At front, under the cover, there is a charge level indicator and on the right side is the only mechanical button, which was placed so that it is barely visible on the case.

The charging connector (USB Type-C) is at the bottom, and the brand logo is behind, which stands out on a contrasting black square. On the back under the “Huawei” logo there is the inscription, and on the front and directly on the earphones there are some technical markings.

The earphones look shiny, almost chrome-plated. At first, the difference in textures has a completely logical and practical motive. Honestly, bright silver buds look extraordinary and impressive and really attract attention. Matte silver for the case is practical.

It look like similar to Freebuds 3, except in a different color. The same long “leg” and the identical upper part of the body. It is worth adding that the earphone housing has an IPX4 protection, which means that they are not afraid of splashes of rain or drops of sweat. As for the quality of materials and build quality, everything is great.

These FreeBuds 4 can be connected to any smartphone in two ways, as a Bluetooth device or using the AI. Life application, which displays sound settings and controls. All you need is to turn on Bluetooth on the smartphone, take the buds out of the case, find them in the list of available devices and connect. If you need to connect the buds to another smartphone, or reset the settings by holding the button on the case for a long time and connect to another device.

While using a Huawei or Honor smartphone, the connection is even faster. After turning on Bluetooth and opening the headphone case, a window will appear on the smartphone in which will offer you to connect the device with just one click.

The devices on EMUI, the AI. Life app can be installed. But for smartphones other than Huawei or Honor, there is one important nuance in installing the app because, the version of AI Life from the Play Store or App Store does not allow you to connect the earphones to the smartphone. An easier way to successfully connect, you need to install the AI Life APK file, the link to which can be found on the manufacturer’s website or simply read the QR code in the user manual.

Additionally, in AI Life, remaining charge of both earphones and the case can be viewed, configure the function of connecting to two devices and select the main one, improve the sound quality by creating your own preset, turn on the search for buds, enable position detection and update the software.

The FreeBuds 4 comes with 3 types of gestures like double tap, long hold and swipe along the “leg”. But earbud position sensors are also provided, which will stop playback when you remove the headphone and automatically resume it when the earphone is back in place. The function works perfectly, even though the testing took place on a smartphone from another manufacturer.

While Double-clicking by default performs the Play/Pause function or answer/end a call. But in the app, you would be able to choose a different action for each earphone like rewind to the next or previous track, call the voice assistant, or you can leave like it.

By pressing and holding activates the ANC mode or reject an incoming call. A swipe along the “leg” is to adjust the volume, similarly to vivo TWS Neo. However, The sensitivity of the sensor when changing the volume level needs to be improved.

The audio situation changes when pairing the headset through AI Life. Without an equalizer, the sound becomes smoother and more balanced, the distortions will almost get completely leveled out. And when In all genres, the headset proves to be good. The sound does not disintegrate when listening at high volume, the vocals sound nice and clear.

Most people might not need sound enhancers, since by default, the sound is decent.

As discussed earlier, these FreeBuds 4 has an active noise control system which works well and mainly cuts off the lower frequency range. The difference between activated and deactivated ANC can be noticed. A decent chunk of surrounding sounds will not be suppressed even by ANC like, human speech, for example, can be heard at about the same level as without ANC.

In my opinion, this is the best option for a city, where you can’t afford to completely block out all the sounds. On the other hand, you will not be able to completely dissolve into music and forget about the world.

FreeBuds 4 are quite impressive while having a conversation. On a busy street the sound is clear in both directions. It is especially convenient while receiving an incoming call without taking your smartphone out of your bag and you have the ability to adjust the call volume directly on the buds.

Here, the FreeBuds 4 also do not disappoint. The connection with the smartphone is instant. You do not have time to remove the earphones from the case in order for them to connect. The connection is stable. In addition, the FreeBuds 4 support simultaneous connection to two sound sources, and in the settings you can select a priority device.

When it comes to delays, then are none. I noticed some kind of sound “frieze” only when scrolling through stories in social networks, literally for a split second. In all other cases – calls, videos, music – no complaints.

In terms of battery capacity, the picture is as follows: each earphone has a 30 mAh battery, and there is another 410 mAh in the case. So, that’s 6 full charges or, as the manufacturer assures, another 22 hours of music listening.

The battery life directly depends on the format in which you use them. So, for example, when listening to music with the noise control turned on at a volume of about 70%, the buds lasted about 2 hours. Moreover, if you turn off ANC, then they will live on one charge for twice as long. And, as usual, the right earphone loses charge a little faster.

These aren’t record times, but quite comfortable if you do not spend hours on end listening to music. The FreeBuds 4i are the opposite: the earphones themselves boast really good battery life (55 mAh per earpiece, up to 10 hours of battery life), but the case provides a little more than one full charge (215 mAh). In this case, buds will last all day. But in the case of the FreeBuds 4, you will periodically have to pause to charge them, especially if you are using ANC.

One thing is clear: the FreeBuds 4 are damn good at what they do. And now it does not matter whether you use a smartphone from Huawei or not the basic functions work perfectly on any device, which can’t be said about the FreeBuds 3.

What I can definitely note is the design (bright and eye-catching earbuds and practical design of the case), decent sound quality (depends on the app you use), lightning-fast connection and reliable connection retention, quite convenient touch controls and excellent work in headset mode. What I didn’t like was the app. We all understand that Huawei is not to blame, and still wait for for the situation with the American partners to be resolved as soon as possible. Also, the ANC is not perfect as well. Yes, it works, but its effectiveness leaves much to be desired. I don’t think we would have lost much if, for example, there was no ANC at all.

Type: TWS

Drivers: dynamic, 14.3 mm

Bluetooth version: 5.2

Audio: SBC, AAC

Active noise control: AI ANC 25 db

Controls: touch

Battery capacity: earphones – 30 mAh, case – 410 mAh

Battery life: listening to music – up to 4 hours without ANC, more than 2.5 hours with ANC enabled, calls – about 2 hours 20 minutes without ANC, up to 2 hours with ANC

Case battery life: up to 22 hours

Charging: wired USB Type-C, wireless Qi

Charging time: earphones + case – up to 1.5 hours, case – up to 1 hour, fast charging of earphones (15 minutes of charging = 2.5 hours of listening)

Dimensions and weight: 41.4×16.8×18.55 mm, 4.1 g

Dimensions and weight of the case: 58×21.2 mm, 38 g

Water protection: IPX4 (earphones)

Colors: Ceramic White and Silver Frost

Price: Rs. 12000 (Approx)

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