Huawei FreeBuds 4i Hands-On and First Impressions
As numerous brands strive to produce more affordable and feature-packed wireless earbuds, Huawei nonetheless is on top of its game in this category. With their latest Huawei FreeBuds 4i, I can already tell that they’re listening to their consumers—not in a sketchy way okay. So it comes with a PHP 3,599 price tag which is far less than the FreeBuds 3i’s SRP of PHP 5,990. With that said, let’s see what it has to offer.
Design and Construction
Looking bold in this red color, the FreeBuds 4i comes in a pebble-like charging case that’s lightweight and easy to fit in your pocket. According to Huawei, its design is inspired by the black beaches of Iceland, which I’m assuming are specifically the smooth rocks that are composed of black hardened lava—it does make sense.
For a more classic look, you can opt for the Carbon Black or Ceramic White color variants. Do note that its glossy finish can be quite a fingerprint magnet.
The back has a flat surface so it won’t wobble on tables, while located upfront is the LED indicator together with a Huawei branding.
On the right is the pairing button and at the bottom is its USB Type-C port.
Opening the lid, we get the two in-ear buds with slightly thicker stems compared to the FreeBuds 3i. It comes with two other rubber tips in the box to fit your ears well. The magnets are visible at the bottom part of the stems and they do their purpose well in keeping the earbuds in-tacked with the case.
There are left (L) and right (R) indicators on the stems, as well as dual microphones on each. The earbuds fit in the ears comfortably and light so lying down on them won’t be too disturbing. They also don’t fall off easily even when running.
Its capacitive touch sensors can be found on the top part of the stems and they can only do two specific controls. That’s tap twice to pause/play music as well as answer/end calls. Then you can long-press on it to switch between three different modes, the Active Noice Canceling, Awareness, and Off mode which is the normal experience.
Setup and Features
Setting it up is a breeze. If you have a Huawei smartphone or tablet that’s running EMUI 10.0 or above, it should automatically show a pop-up on your screen for a quick connect once you flip the case open.
As for non-Huawei devices, simply flip the case open, then long-press on the pairing button until the LED indicator turns to white light, and you should immediately see the FreeBuds 4i in your Bluetooth list.
To access more features, you can download the Huawei AI Life app from the AppGallery or via the QR code that you can find in the manual for Android or iOS. Downloading from the Google Play Store isn’t really recommendable as it can encounter some issues.
Using the app provides more control over battery monitoring, touch sensor shortcuts, noise controls for the ANC, Awareness, and OFF mode. With the Huawei AI Life app, you can also access updates for the FreeBuds 4i.
Focusing on sound quality, it’s actually mind-boggling for its price. It’s equipped with a 10mm dynamic driver complimented with a high-grade PEEK+PU polymer diaphragm for better sound output. And for all modes, it produces well-rounded sound with crisp and clear details, plus you can really sense some depth in it. Although, setting the volume to maximum can make it a bit muffled.
One of the highlights of the FreeBuds 4i is its noise-canceling feature. I wouldn’t say it’s the best, but Huawei did an awesome job here. It perceives high-quality ANC that doesn’t feel much like you’re underwater. Using this mode can also boost the bass if you’re into that.
The Awareness mode, on the other hand, is built to amplify your background noise so you can still be aware of your surroundings. As for the default Off mode, you can expect such normal impressive quality.
Using the FreeBuds 4i for calls is also very good. With a dual-mic system, it picks up clear voice with lesser external noise.
Battery-wise, the charging case has a 215mAh capacity, while each earbud carries 55mAh capacity. Huawei claims that it can last you up to 10 hours long with noise-canceling mode turned off, and 7.5 hours with ANC turned on which is great. And as for charging, it takes around 30 minutes to a full 100%.
The Huawei FreeBuds 4i has an official price of PHP 3,599, and undeniably it’s a big leap from the FreeBuds 3i—except that the brand didn’t mention any IP water resistance rating.
It’s missing a few premium features such as wireless charging and wear detection, but it stands out in most of its aspects. You get that outstanding sound quality, long-lasting battery life, Active Noise Cancellation, and I’d even add comfortable ear fit. This is a solid bang-for-your-buck wireless earphones.
Huawei FreeBuds 4i specs:
10 mm Dynamic Driver
Sensitive Touch Sensors
Active noise cancellation
Call noise cancellation
55mAh (per earbud)
215mAh (charging case)
Ceramic White, Carbon Black, Red