Accessories

Huawei FreeBuds 4i Hands-On: Sound in a capsule

Is it the best set of ANC wireless earphones out there?

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Freebuds 4i

I’m no hardcore audiophile, but I regularly use earphones along with my devices to listen to my playlists and podcasts. From my smartphones to laptops, a decent pair of earphones is simply a must-have for everybody at this point. Some companies even go as far as making the sound experience a little better, even for mere earphone users.

Two years ago, I finally opted to buy wireless earphones because the wired life was not for me. Admittedly, I picked up the Huawei FreeBuds Lite when it first came out, and it was a decent first pair to say the least. Fast forward to the year 2021, Huawei comes out with their latest iteration: the Huawei FreeBuds 4i.

This iteration of Huawei’s own wireless earphones supposedly brings more technologies designed to give you a better sound experience. It’s the kind you can bring with you anywhere, and use at any time without interruption. Well, let’s actually see for ourselves, shall we?

Out of all the colors to choose from

When the FreeBuds 4i first arrived, I immediately looked at the label to find out what color it was. In the past, Huawei offered only black and white variants of their FreeBuds, with the black as an exclusive in some markets. I thought that I would be getting either one of the two colors, until apparently a third option was available: the Red edition.

Freebuds 4i

Objectively speaking, it’s a great color accent for the FreeBuds 4i. I mean, they did it in a simple yet glossy way, plus it somehow resembles an MnMs chocolate piece when zoomed in. Personally, it wasn’t my preferred color; in fact, I actually wanted the black one because of how sleek it looked. Well, to compensate, they also managed to sneak in a cute case for your FreeBuds.

For the cases, you have four options to choose from, and mine just so happened to be a bear case. Eventually, I figured that since I wasn’t that big of a fan of the red color, I’ll slap on the case and it’s quite great. In fact, it’s such a cute case that I even took the time to think of a name for it.

Everyone, meet Seulgi (if you follow Red Velvet, I’m pretty sure you’ll understand the reference):

Freebuds 4i

An auditory set up in some detail

Upon opening it up for the first time, I noticed that the design is quite similar to another popular set of wireless earphones out there. For me, that’s not a bad thing, and I think it’s something you’ll just brush aside with prolonged use. Also, it comes with the medium-sized ear caps already attached, with the other options tucked in the box.

Pairing it was quite seamless, like I literally just popped the cap and it connected to my phone. Of course, the intended way was to press the tiny button at the side to pair your phone or laptop to pair it successfully. For me, it’s great that I could just connect to the earphones by simply opening it up. It saves time configuring your Bluetooth settings, plus you already know it works.

Also, normally I don’t like downloading more apps on my phone just to properly set up a good pair of earphones. In the Freebuds 4i’s case, I was compelled to do so through Huawei’s AI Life app. Not only does it show the device’s battery levels, but it also shows you nifty settings to apply to both earbuds. Furthermore, you can use it to turn the active noise cancellation on and off, which is pretty great.

The initial sound trip

At first, the FreeBuds 4i surprised me for a bit mostly because of the active noise cancellation. Like most gaming headsets I own, it does a great job of blocking out a ton of noise when you’re at a distance from them. Of course, I kept turning the ANC on and off to test this, and the difference is staggering.

As for the sounds that this device produced, it’s quite great. Now, you don’t get an equalizer in the AI Life app to adjust any bass or treble levels to suit your ears. However, I felt it didn’t really need one since I had a fun time going on a full sound trip at night. Also, I mean Wendy’s “Best Friend” featuring Seulgi sounded incredibly soothing using the FreeBuds 4i, so I have no complaints.

In one of the updates for the earphones’ software, it mentioned that it has reduced sound latency when playing games. Honestly, I haven’t given this a full go just yet, but it’s quite nice that they added that in. 

Was this the play all along?

Initially, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i seemed to be — what I would consider — a great option for wireless earphones. In the short time I’ve used it so far, it manages to tick all the boxes just for listening to your Spotify playlist non-stop. Also, it comes in a variety of colors that will suit your style whenever you bring it around.

While I rave about the initial experience, I am looking forward to seeing how this device fairs in my day-to-day activities. With all the optimizations each software update brings, I want to see if the FreeBuds 4i can truly be one of the best options out there, and not just a great one.

The Huawei Freebuds 4i retais for PhP 3,599. It is available for pre-order from April 19 to 29 and comes with a free Bluetooth Speaker (worth PhP 1,499) during the pre-order period.

Accessories

Razer now has its own gaming finger sleeves

Keeping your thumbs dry

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Razer has somehow transformed into the ruler of gaming lifestyle accessories. After releasing treasure troves of peripherals and devices, the company has slowly branched off into stranger and stranger niches including toasters and SUVs. Razer is now blending peripheral with accessory in its latest product: Razer Gaming Finger Sleeves.

If you haven’t heard of finger sleeves before, think gloves but only for your fingers — or, in this case, finger. The Razer Gaming Finger Sleeves are meant to be worn on your thumbs. It’s specifically made for mobile gamers.

Made with a mixture of sliver fiber fabric, nylon, and spandex, the sleeves can keep your thumbs dry for serious gaming on your phone. Despite wrapping your thumbs, Razer says that the fabric is still breathable at 0.8 millimeters. They’re also a universal fit for any type of thumb.

Mobile gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment especially in Asian countries like the Philippines. Playing on your phone can easily whittle away the time spent in traffic or outdoors. However, since some countries are too warm and humid, sweat can just as easily accumulate and create an unsightly portrait on our otherwise pristine phone screens.

The Razer Gaming Finger Sleeves are out now and retails for US$ 9.99.

SEE ALSO: Razer unveils its Phantom Keycap Upgrade Set

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The Pulse 3D Wireless Headset now sports Midnight Black

Nicely paired with the DualSense controller and your “Midnight Black” PS5

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Pulse 3D Wireless

Back in June, Sony announced two additional colorways for its next-generation DualSense controller. Apart from the classic white, the PlayStation 5’s newest controller also received a Midnight Black and Cosmic Red. This time around, they’ve extended the invitation to another PS5 peripheral, the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset.

Much like the DualSense controller, the headset will also come in Midnight Black. Other than this, everything else is pretty much the same for the Pulse 3D Headset. In essence, it still gives you deeper, more immersive 3D sounds to games that fully take advantage of this. It’s just that now, you have other color options to choose from. Whether or not this also comes in Cosmic Red, Sony has yet to announce that.

It’s worth noting that included in the PS5’s second major update is an equalizer for the 3D Pulse. It adds another layer of control for players. This lets them enjoy the game precisely the way they want to. But if tweaking isn’t your thing, there are also three presets: Standard, Bass Boost, or Shooter.

The Pulse 3D Wireless Headset in Midnight Black will be available on October 29 for PhP 5,590/ SG$ 149 / MYR 469/ DR1,699,000 / THB3,490 / VND2,699,000.

SEE ALSO: How to use the DualSense controller with PC, Mac

 

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Xiaomi Pad 5, Mi Smart Projector 2 go official

Along with other AIoT products

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Xiaomi has always been rich with AIoT products. You need it, they have it. And now they’ve expanded their lineup even further with Xiaomi Pad 5 and Mi Smart Projector 2 just to name a few.

Xiaomi Pad 5

Meant for work, school, and then play, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is an all around tablet. You’re getting an 11-inch WQHD+ 120Hz display so you’ll definitely enjoy tapping on this slate. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor for all your work and play needs.

Taking work even further, you can pair it with the Xiaomi Smart Pen. Its 4096 pressure sensitivity and 240Hz touch sampling rate hopes to emulate a natural writing experience.

Mi Smart Projector 2

If you wanna enjoy media on a larger screen than the 11-inch Xiaomi Pad 5, you can consider getting the Mi Smart Projector 2.

It has a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution in a compact size. It’s a handy, portable, plug and play device with Dolby Audio support. The device can quickly project a perfectly square screen on most walls. It also runs on a certified Android TV system with built-in Google Assistant.

Mi Smart Band 6 NFC

Xiaomi takes its latest smart band further by adding NFC. It still has all the monitoring tools you know and love like SpO2 function, sleep tracker, and stress-level detection. And all the workout and exercise functions are still present.

What’s new with NFC? Xiaomi collaborated with Mastercard with a focus on contactless payment. Payments can now be fast, secure, and convenient. No need to pullout your card or cash. It now also has Amazon Alexa built-in.

Xiaomi Mesh System AX3000 (2-Pack)

Having connection problems at home. Have no fear, the Xiaomi Mesh System AX3000 is here. Two of them. It offers a strong and reliable Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 network coverage of up to 4,000 sq.ft. It also supports a maximum number of connections up to 254 devices.

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Pad 5 will be available in two colors: Cosmic Gray and Pearl White.

Xiaomi Pad 5

  • 6GB+128GB — EUR 349
  • 6GB+256GB — EUR 399

Mi Smart Projector 2 — EUR 599
Mi Smart Band 6 NFC — EUR 54.9
Xiaomi Mesh System AX3000 (2-Pack) — EUR 149

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