How it’s like to live in the Huawei ecosystem
The Huawei brand has always fascinated us. They’re one of the leading brands out there when it comes to smartphones. They’re also probably the most exciting given their wide portfolio that includes tablets, wearables, laptops, and networking devices. Now they have monitors, smart TVs, and lifestyle devices. That’s an ecosystem right there. And we have always been wondering how it’s like to live in that ecosystem. Well, the company sent their latest devices under the Summer product lineup to find out. Here’s our take.
Here are the devices that are under Huawei’s new Summer product lineup:
• Huawei nova 8i
• Huawei Watch 3
• Huawei FreeBuds 4
• Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6″
• Huawei MateView
• Huawei MateView GT
I’m going to share our experiences in three scenarios: Fitness, Work, and Entertainment.
Let’s start with fitness. We decided to start my day by doing some exercise, so we got the Huawei Watch 3 to monitor our stats and the FreeBuds 4 for our tunes. These devices were already paired to the nova 8i, so we can check our progress later.
The Huawei Watch 3 is the company’s newest smartwatch that runs on HarmonyOS and is basically our fitness companion. Before we start our workout, you can already check your health stats like current heart rate, stress levels, SpO2 level, and skin temperature.
Once we’re ready for the workout, all we have to do is press the Watch 3’s crown then tap the workout button. Alternatively, we can press the down button to bring us quickly to that app. The Watch 3 has 100+ workout modes — 19 pro modes, for indoor and outdoor sports, and 85 custom modes. That’s a lot!
The running part alone already has 13 courses. We can even go for a swim, hike, play golf, ski, snowboard, join a triathlon, or row, the Watch 3 can provide us with health data for those activities. But let’s say we can’t be bothered to select a specific workout, or we forgot tracking it, the Watch 3 has automatic exercise detection for the 6 most common types of workout, so we can see all our health data later on the phone. But for now, we’re just going for some brisk walking and a run around the neighborhood.
Speaking of the phone, what we have here is the new nova 8i. It’s a mid-range phone with a 6.67-inch FHD+ IPS display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC, 8GB + 128GB memory, 64MP AI-assisted quad-rear cameras, 4,300mAh battery with 66W SuperCharge, and EMUI 11.0. More about this in our full review. As mentioned earlier, we have already paired the Watch 3 with the nova 8i. While the Watch 3 can monitor our fitness activities directly, we need the Huawei Health app on the phone for updates, tweaks (like watch faces), and to see a dashboard of our health stats. It can also provide a map of our run by taking advantage of the Watch 3’s GPS, and set running training plans to help us stay in shape.
Going out for a run is often boring without tunes, so good thing we have the Huawei FreeBuds 4. It’s the company’s latest TWS earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation 2.0 and swipe controls. It’s also one of the first TWS in the market to have Adaptive Ear Matching (AEM) technology for improved noise-cancellation. This one we already paired on the nova 8i using the Huawei AI Life app. The amazing thing about this is we just have to open the FreeBuds 4’s case and it will automatically connect to the phone. A prompt will also appear on the phone to indicate successful pairing and battery status.
From here, all we have to do is put on the FreeBuds 4, play our music collection on our phone, put the phone in our pocket, and go out for a run or exercise indoors. We don’t even need to hold the phone to control the music. We can either do it straight from the FreeBuds 4 via its touch controls, or via the Watch 3. Really convenient!
After the workout, we can now use the nova 8i to check on our health data to serve as benchmark for tomorrow’s session.
So, we’re done with our workout, it’s time to get some work done. In this case, we can add the following to our arsenal — the MatePad Pro 12.6″ with M-Pencil (2nd-gen) and Smart Magnetic Keyboard, and the MateView and MateView GT. Yes, Huawei has the MateBook series for actual productivity, but we want to see if the MatePad Pro 12.6″ can handle it.
This tablet runs on HarmonyOS 2.0, with full support for Android apps. There’s no Google Play Store but you can get popular apps via AppGallery. Apps that are not available are easily searchable via Petal Search, allowing you to download their APKs directly from safe sources.
For work, we’re not going to depend on apps that much as almost everything is done via browser. The MatePad Pro 12.6 already has a powerful browser, so all we need to do is log in to our accounts, but you’re free to download alternative browsers like Microsoft Edge or Opera. From here we can also access Google services including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, and Google Meet. We can even attend Zoom calls from here without having to download the app. As long as that service has a web version available, you can access it on the MatePad Pro 12.6.
Speaking of Google Meet and Zoom calls, audio shouldn’t be a problem thanks to its 4 microphones and 8 speakers, so everything is loud and clear on both ends. But if you want to listen to it privately, all we need to do is open the FreeBuds 4 case, and it will automatically connect to the MatePad Pro 12.6. The 8MP selfie camera, on the other hand, can provide better image/video quality than the standard VGA webcams found on most laptops.
Another thing that made working on a tablet enjoyable is its touch screen and support for a pen, which provides a more intuitive and interactive experience. The pen also allows us to quickly scribble notes or sign documents, something that’s difficult to do on a laptop. We can also easily transfer files from our nova 8i and vice versa using Huawei Share.
We’re also glad to know that we can use the MatePad Pro 12.6″ as a secondary monitor or as a dedicated sketching pad to the MateBook using Mirror Mode, as a secondary monitor with Extend Mode, and easily make cross-OS transfers with Collaborate Mode.
Lastly, since the MatePad Pro 12.6″ has a USB-C port we can connect it to the MateView or MateView GT and mirror the tablet’s screen to it, which is great for presentations.
When you’re done for the day and just want to relax, we can instantly go in entertainment mode with the MatePad Pro 12.6″. The large, color-accurate, screen and 90% screen-to-body ratio can make most entertainment tasks more immersive. We just easily remove it from its keyboard, activate eBook mode in the screen’s settings, and read all the eBooks we want. We can play our favorite music straight from it thanks to its powerful speakers, watch videos on YouTube via browser, or binge on our favorite TV series on Netflix. But if we want to listen privately, the FreeBuds 4 is just there waiting for us. All we need to do is open the case and it will automatically pair with the MatePad Pro 12.6.
Storage is not a problem for us as the MatePad Pro 12.6″ offers 256GB, which is more than enough for apps and a huge collection of videos. For games, the MatePad Pro 12.6″ can easily handle those demanding titles with its Kirin 9000E with an octa-core CPU (Huawei’s most powerful Kirin on a tablet) and Mali-G78 GPU. If we want to show off our gaming chops on a bigger screen, we can just connect it to the MateView or MateView GT via Mirror Mode.
So, how’s the whole experience?
Considering that Huawei has plenty of devices under its ecosystem, the experience we shared above is just the tip of the iceberg. We haven’t even included its Vision S and MateBook series, as well as its lifestyle and networking products. The joy of being an ecosystem is that you can expect each device the work seamlessly together, which is what Huawei’s 1+8+N strategy is all about. The ‘1’ represents the smartphone, which is central to the ecosystem, connecting and controlling the broader devices. The ‘8’ augments the smartphone with other devices like laptops, wearables, and peripherals. The ‘N’ stands for third-party IoT devices, like the OPPLE Smart Desk Lamp, to improve the experience using Huawei HiLink and Huawei Share.
Given the wide range of products, the barrier for entry is easy. You can even start the Huawei ecosystem even with just a couple of devices. And it doesn’t lock you in, as Huawei devices can work with other products using the Huawei Health and Huawei AI Life apps.
So, to answer the question, the experience was amazing. Of course, each product has its own limitations but once joined by other products in that ecosystem, the functionality expands. This greatly affects productivity, especially now that we’re in a hybrid work setting where interconnectivity, efficiency, and convenience are more highlighted. So, if you already own a Huawei device, and you think you need an upgrade, why not consider adding another Huawei device. Maybe this is what you need to make your tech life more interesting
The Huawei ecosystem products are priced as follows and are available via the links provided:
• Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6″ (8GB + 256GB) — PHP 55,899 (Huawei Store, Shopee, Lazada)
• Huawei Watch 3 — PHP 18,899 (Huawei Store, Shopee, Lazada)
• Huawei FreeBuds 4 — PHP 7,999 (Huawei Store, Shopee)
• Huawei MateView GT — PHP 28,899 (Huawei Store, Shopee, Lazada)