Few things scream “GADGET” like a watch that flips open to reveal wireless earbuds, so for that reason alone, I have to thank Huawei. The Huawei Watch Buds sure is a gadget.

Huawei first teased its smartwatch and wireless earbuds combo on the Chinese social media site Weibo, with a proposed launch date of December 2. It followed that teaser video with another Weibo post announcing its planned hardware launch was postponed without a clear reason as to why. Tragic for anyone tickled by the possibility, but not a total lost cause, because the Huawei Watch Buds appear to have made it out in the wild.

Watch & Buds — In terms of appearance, the Huawei Watch Buds share surface-level similarities with the Huawei Watch 3, the company’s first smartwatch to run its in-house HarmonyOS after Google suspended its business with the company in 2019.

The major difference, based off a hands-on video of the device shared on YouTube, is the button along the bottom of the watch that, when pressed, pops up the screen to reveal two bullet-like earbuds on the top, and their charging slots below.

New features, new problems — Without a proper press rollout from Huawei, it’s hard to say how combining two of your smartphone’s most important accessories will impact using either of them. The Huawei Watch 3 reportedly lasted about two to three days between charges. But is that the same with wireless earbuds sipping from the same battery? I have to imagine there will be some drawbacks. Given the limited space, will these earbuds even be able to offer all of the audio features users expect?

What’s clear is that the switch to wireless audio and the abandonment of the headphone jack on smartphones created new problems (a whole new case you have to fit in your pocket). Huawei’s smartwatch is an interesting solution. I bet it’s hard to lose your AirPods case while wearing it on your wrist, and it’s pretty convenient to charge both at the same time. We’ll never see Huawei take on the idea in the U.S., but manufacturers should take note: it might be wild enough to work.

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