Huawei brought its nova 9 smartphone to Europe last month and brought a new Watch GT3, and new TWS earphones called Huawei Freebuds Lipstick alongside it. The audio accessory comes with a striking new design that truly resembles lipstick, and we got a pair to test whether there is more to it than cool looks.
Cosmetics stores have hundreds of colors of lipstick but Huawei is offering the earphones in only one shade, which is somewhere between Rojo and Cornell (yes, these are real shades of red).
On the inside, the earphones are just like the Freebuds 4 – open ear design, a standard length of the stem, and even the battery capacity has remained the same – 30 mAh in each bud, 410 mAh more in the case. The difference here is the color and the unusual case.
The case consists of two parts – the bottom one where is the battery, one magnet, the holes for the stems, while the top side is just a passive lid with an extra magnet to provide a tight seal. The left and right buds have dedicated slots, but it is extremely easy to get them confused if you aren’t looking at the case while inserting them.
You also need to look to make sure you are adding the lid the correct way – you have to actively seek the visual clue, or there’s a 50% chance you’ll put the top the wrong way and it just won’t slide all the way down.
As we said the buds themselves are familiar and just like the Freebuds 4 they are somewhat prone to slipping out of your ears during rapid movements, but they are pretty comfortable for prolonged listening sessions when sitting stationary.
One charge of the buds got us through 4 hours of listening without ANC. The same scenario with ANC only lasts 2.5 hours, but the buds do not provide the best noise cancellation (due to the less than stellar seal), so we doubt many will have ANC enabled all the time.
The buds fill up in about 30 minutes in the case, while the case itself needs 60 minutes. If all the power cells are drained, it takes about 80-90 minutes. We did the test with a proprietary Huawei charging cable, but any 5V/1A charger could do the job. The Freebuds Lipstick does not support wireless charging, though.
Just like the regular Freebuds 4, the Huawei Freebuds Lipstick can be connected through Bluetooth to pretty much any device, but need the Huawei AI Life app to unlock the full functionality.
The app allows you to customize what single tap, double tap and press and hold do, as well as volume control, noise cancellation and finding the buds if they are gone missing.
No surprises in the audio performance as well – the 14mm dynamic driver The earphones delivered well defined sound in all use cases without artificially boosting the bass. They could be louder, but overall the balanced output is a going to be please most people.
Which means that the Huawei Freebuds Lipstick are essentially the same pair of TWS headphones as the Freebuds 4, which are currently available for about half of the Lipstick’s €229 asking price. That alone means the new pair won’t be a favorite with the audiophile public.
However those that appreciate its very plausible Lipstick impression would certainly consider spending that extra on what is a clearly unique accessory and a conversation starter. With the timing of the launch we have little doubt the Freebuds Lipstick will also end up under a bunch of Christmas trees as well.
And knowing Huawei’s track record the upcoming holiday season will see the unique TWS earphones appear in a number of different bundles and promos that will make them a significantly better deal.