True wireless earbuds with noise-cancellation sprouted like crazy in 2019. Not to be outdone, Huawei, along with a few other wearables, launched the Freebuds 3. And these earbuds are actually pretty darn good.
Comfy fit, on the fence about the look
Let’s get it out of the way before anything else. The Huawei Freebuds 3 looks a lot like Apple’s Airpods. In fact, the entire Freebuds line has looked like this since it’s first iteration.
But is it fair to reduce it as simply an AirPods knockoff? Not quite.
Looks-wise, I kind of get why they went with this design. Not everyone’s a fan of in-ear earbuds. Some feel they are too invasive.
I can definitely say that the in-ear ones feel more secure but the Freebuds can cling onto your ear just fine. The only time I saw one fall off was during a Huawei demo but that was only because a dancer wore it and she was moving pretty intensely.
Also, perhaps the only way to put all the tech that Huawei managed to pack in the Freebuds 3 is to have them look the way they do now. I’m personally not too wild about it, but that’s just me.
Noise-cancelling all star
Speaking of “all the tech” in these earbuds, at the heart of it is the Kirin A1 chip. Made specifically for wearables, this is what enables a lot of what makes these earbuds great.
Chief of those features is the intelligent noise cancellation. I’m quite skeptical about noise cancellation claims especially on wireless earbuds, but the Freebuds 3 performs just about as good as advertised.
It doesn’t quite shut you out of your environment the way noise-cancelling headphones do. However, it does it well enough that your attention won’t easily be taken away when you have these on even when you’re in a crowded area.
The noise cancellation is still a tier and a half below the Sony WF-1000XM3 which I consider to be a superstar in that department. That said, the Freebuds 3 still does an awesome job and should be more than enough for most users.
Surprising bass, fantastic sound quality
The default bass setting on the Freebuds 3 is such a pleasant surprise. Coupled with the noise cancellation, it gives you such a full sound that if you close your eyes you’d almost feel like you’re surrounded by the music you’re listening to.
I wasn’t even playing bass heavy tracks when I noticed this. I was in a bit of a slow jams mood while trying these earbuds out and listened to tracks like Nice and Slow by Usher and I Wanna Know by Joe and man, the bass was really banging in a really good way.
This level of bass can be achieved in other true wireless earbuds but they’re usually not turned on by default. On the Freebuds 3, there isn’t any option to tweak the sound quality but I don’t imagine anyone needing to do this.
There is significant leak out of the audio though when you turn the volume to maximum. But I never felt the need to do this. Only tried it for the heck of it.
Easy pairing and controls
Pairing these are pretty straightforward, you only need to hold the button on the case for about two to five seconds to enter pairing mode. Make sure the case’s lid is open.
It’s even easier when your using a device that already has EMUI10. It’ll automatically find the Freebuds 3 once you pop the lid open. Similar to how Samsung Galaxy phones quickly detect the Galaxy Buds.
Controls are straightforward. Double tap on the left to turn on/off noise cancelling, tap on the right to play or pause, and double tap to skip to the next track. You can switch this up on the Huawei AI Life but that’s about the level of tweaking you can do on these.
I paired our review unit with both the iPhone 11 Pro and the Huawei P30 Pro. It’s worth noting that at the moment, you won’t be able to make these control changes on the Huawei AI Life/Smart Home app on iOS. Then again, if you’re using an iPhone, you’ll probably just get an AirPods or AirPods Pro anyway.
Is the Freebuds 3 your GadgetMatch?
There’s a lot to love with the Freebuds 3. The noise cancellation is pretty good, sound quality is superb, and the carrying case is small enough to be pocketable but not too small that they’re easy to misplace.
The battery is also pretty darn good. I’ve only had to charge it once in my week with the device. Speaking of charging, you can do so through a USB-C cable which comes with the device on the box or through wireless charging.
My only real gripe is how it looks. I’m still not a fan of how Apple has normalized wireless earbuds with stems sticking out. I find it frustrating that it’s now somehow considered trendy and fashionable.
That said, if you like rocking these types of earbuds, that’s completely fine. Live and let live, right? But part of me is hoping the next version has a different look. These do come in two colors: Ceramic Black and Carbon White so you can at least go with the black one if you think the white looks too much like a knockoff.
The Freebuds 3 is priced as follows: UK (GBP 147), Singapore (SG$ 238), Philippines (PhP 8,990), Malaysia (MY R679). That’s very competitive considering everything you get. These might just be the value upper tier true wireless earbuds with noise cancellation. Everything works as advertised and that is truly satisfying.
If you’re looking to splurge a little for a better audio experience, either for you or as a gift for someone else, then it’s hard not to recommend the Freebuds 3.
Best iPhone 13 Accessories
Wireless Charging, Wallets, Mounts for Creators and Fitness Buffs
Just bought a new iPhone 13? Then this one’s for you.
The newest iPhone 13 series still rock the same MagSafe system from last year — and all of the new accessories got even better.
Here’s our Best iPhone 13 accessories video.
Amazfit GTR 3 series smartwatches now official
Powering your health and fitness
Amazfit has unveiled three new smartwatches to suit its market of health and fitness enthusiasts: the GTR 3 Pro, GTR 3 and GTS 3.
The brand’s latest series of wearables enables users to improve their health and upgrade their lifestyle in an innovative and stylish manner.
Packed with “smart health made easy” features, the smartwatches combine cutting-edge health and fitness features into a sleek and stylish design powered by the company’s Zepp OS.
Through its powerful interface, this OS empowers users to unleash their full potential as they work on their health and fitness for living a more positive life.
Health and Lifestyle Features
All three of Amazfit’s new smartwatches bring an array of helpful features showcased through the Zepp OS.
The new OS is tailored to optimize the performance of Amazfit smart wearable devices as it consumes less power.
Taking into consideration simplicity and practicality, the OS also enables easier interaction and helps users eliminate confusion or complicated processes compared to the previous operating system.
Compatible with Android, iOS
Amazfit’s new smartwatches also work across Android and iOS devices and connect to popular health apps, like Apple Health or Google Fit.
You can sync your health data as well, like achievements and tracking stats on Strava, Relive, Runkeeper, and TrainingPeaks.
Other highlights include:
The watches include 150+ skins with matching always-on displays for every mood or occasion, as well as dynamic effects and smooth animations.
In the future, Zepp Health plans wearers to be able to design their own watch faces and mini apps with the app developer kit.
The GTR 3 Pro, GTR 3 and GTS 3 can easily test heart rate, blood-oxygen, stress level and breathing rate with the built-in 6PD (photodiodes) BioTrackerTM PPG 3.0 in as little as 45 seconds.
24/7 health tracking
The watches also monitor heart rate all day–even while swimming. Alerts can also be set on for abnormally high or low heart rates, as well as tracking heart rate zones every time you work out.
Easy to understand
Health data collected by the devices are converted into a single PAI score, which is an aggregation of data from your past seven days of activity.
Light, deep and REM sleep stages, plus your waking times during the night, daytime naps over 20 minutes, and even sleep breathing quality can also be tallied.
For female users, the watch allows for planning ahead. After recording your menstrual period, you are smartly aided when it comes to predicting the time and length of the next cycle.
Shortcut Cards allows wearers to save time by customizing what matters to them, so they can get easy access to key information with a swipe or a tap.
With Alexa, you can set an alarm, ask a question or more when online. The Offline Voice Assistant may also be utilized even without internet to open a sports mode or health feature, or even access Home Connect to control smart home devices.
Swift and accurate GPS
For runners and bikers, routines start faster with accurate location tracking based on five satellite systems.
Prioritize your preferred features, upload a photo to customize your watch face background, or choose from 15 dynamic animated designs to match your outfit whether at work, rest or play.
Pair your runs with Virtual Pacer to track then optimize your progress and recovery with the PeakBeats performance algorithm.
Life admin tools
Manage your entire day with message notifications, reminders, calendar events and to-do lists, weather forecasts, Bluetooth remote camera control, and more.
The Zepp OS also comes loaded with a host of comprehensive health and fitness insights, and the Zepp App on the smartphone serves as a hub to access additional advice to help users achieve their goals.
The GTR 3 Pro, GTR 3 and GTS 3 aim to bring out the inner go-getter and peak performer in people, helping them navigate effortlessly in and out of their digital lives with balance.
Amazfit GTR 3 Pro: Built to Empower
The GTR 3 Pro smartwatch is Amazfit’s major choice in its new line of wearables which encourages leading a healthy lifestyle and fueling one’s inner drive.
It boasts a vibrant 1.45-inch, 331 ppi AMOLED ultra HD display for dazzling visuals and an easy-to-use interface—all in a comfortable and lightweight size.
Its large circular screen showcases a high refresh rate for seamless and smooth interaction and an impressive 70.6% screen-to-body ratio for no wasted space.
The GTR 3 Pro has over 150 built-in sports modes to help suit your smartwatch to your activity. It helps users to be on top of their health, 24/7.
A smart recognition feature can also kick in even if you accidentally forget to activate your sport mode, so you would never have to miss out on tracking.
Its 450 mAh cell provides the GTR 3 Pro with up to 12 days of non-stop battery life on a single charge.
Additionally, the GTR 3 Pro’s 2.3GB of onboard memory is a hit to music lovers as it is capable of storing up to 470 songs.
This means independent music playback directly from your watch without holding your phone is made possible for convenience.
The watch can also take and make phone calls when connected to your smartphone over Bluetooth, so you can have a hands-free conversation.
GTR 3: Built to Last
Meanwhile, the GTR 3 puts premium on durability and style, as it is made from lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum alloy.
The watch has a rotatable crown, which along with its bezel-less design seamlessly integrates the curved glass screen for a more immersive experience.
The stylish design is complemented by comfortable antibacterial silicone straps which wearers can match to different outfits—for both sports and business.
The GTR 3 sports a1.39-inch AMOLED HD and is powered by a 450 mAh battery for an even more extensive life of up to 21 days on a single charge, or even longer on the Battery Saver Mode.
GTS 3: Built to Move
The third of their latest smartwatch releases, the GTS 3 is one of the slimmest and lightest smartwatches around.
It has a modern square 1.75-inch, ultra HD AMOLED screen with 341 ppi or a generous 72.4% screen-to-body ratio.
Primarily designed for those who want a slimmer and more stylish smartwatch display, the shape basically mirrors a smartphone with most GTR 3 features included.
Designed for anyone who wants a stylish, slim smartwatch display, its shape mirrors your smartphone in style, but its features match those of the GTR 3 almost across the board.
Pricing and availability
The Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3 Series will launch globally on October 11th, 2021 (GMT+1).
Europe — pricing will start from EUR 149.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3, and from EUR 199.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.
The UK — pricing will start from GBP 149.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3, and from GBP 179.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.
Australia, — pricing will start from AU$ 359 for the Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3, and from AU$ 439 for the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.
All three products will be available via Amazfit stores, from October 11th, 2021.
In the US, pricing will start from US$ 179.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3, and from US $229.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.
The GTR 3 Pro and GTR 3 will be available at the US Amazfit store from October 11th, 2021. The GTS 3 will be available soon.
Moshi unveils accessories for new iPads, iPhone 13 series
Protected… in style!
Moshi, a Californian accessory brand that pioneered in Apple accessories, unveiled a new line of products apt for Apple’s iPhone 13 series as well as the new iPads.
Moshi has just designed a holster perfect for the iPhone 13 series and those who don’t want to lug a bag around. The Crossbody Phone Holster (US$ 70) comes with an adjustable strap that can be worn in the style you prefer.
It has allotted storage for essentials — phone, cash, and cards — making it perfect for those who want to travel light while needing their phones frequently.
When buying new cases, MagSafe is something you need to consider especially when you’re knee-deep in Apple’s ecosystem. Moshi’s new Arx series is compatible with Apple’s MagSafe magnetic wireless charging protocol. And it comes in a slim, protective design that lets you look stylish without an added bulk.
It’s available in two variants: Mirage Black (US$ 50) for those who like a sophisticated finish, and Crystal Clear (US$ 40) for those who want to show off their iPhone’s colors and logo.
For iPads, there’s Moshi’s VersaCover — an award-winning product with a multi-fold design. Refreshed to fit the latest iPads, the case provides 360-degree protection. Moreover, it can be transformed to enable three different viewing angles.
The VersaCover for the 9th-generation iPad retails for US$ 55. Meanwhile, the VersaCover for the 6th-generation iPad mini retails for US$ 50.
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