Gadget Review: Huawei's FreeLace

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Gadget Review: Huaweis FreeLace

Dubai - Huawei's FreeLace gives you long hours of music without the hassle

By Anamika Chatterjee

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Published: Fri 27 Sep 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 27 Sep 2019, 2:00 AM

Don't ever forget that Huawei isn't just a smartphone company; they also have other nifty stuff (chief among them is their smart bathroom scale for me). And you can make the most out of a sturdy mobile with complementary accessories.
Which brings us to the Huawei FreeLace, a wireless and long-lasting audio device. This isn't completely wireless, since there are still actual wires you have to deal with - but they have a nice fit, wrapped around your neck all the way to your ears, and it's made of gentle-feeling "liquid silicone". The back of the earbuds are magnetic, so you can club them together when you put the device down. And the "Memory Cable", which wraps around your neck, adapts to its contour.
The control panel, meanwhile, comprises volume buttons and a multi-function button that controls the entire thing. You may notice a little ridge along that area: Pull it and it will reveal a USB-C jack, which enables you to charge it. Is it just my big head, or is the control panel too high?
On to its battery. Huawei promises that the FreeLace will last up to 18 hours. During my run (let's do some math), 30 minutes commuting to and from work plus two to three hours at the office, depending on use, gives a total of roughly 13.5 hours. Following my two off days, it still had enough juice to last until my trip to work - making it barely 14 hours. But if you need a quick charge, plugging it in for five minutes gives you four hours of use. That's not bad.
Pairing, meanwhile, is two-fold. Aside from Bluetooth, connecting to a Huawei device will automatically pair it, provided it runs on EMUI 9.1 or higher and has a USB-C port. Ditto if you want to charge it using your phone.
I find sound quality decent, with bass good enough to have me bobbing my head. It doesn't exactly have noise-cancelling tech but it's okay even in conditions that are a bit noisy, and I'm particularly impressed with its call quality.
This is a steal if you're not an audiophile. The built-in USB-C jack is a great idea, but its full potential limits it to Huawei devices. It's also nicely-priced, a tempting alternative to headsets that'll set you back a lot.
Bluetooth 5.0; plug and pair with Huawei devices (EMUI 9.1 and above)
120mAh, up to 18h music, 12h talk; 4h power in 5-minute charge
Material Memory Cable
Metal cavity, liquid silicone
IPX5, water-resistant (low-pressure)
Reasonably priced; good sound/call quality; long battery life
Need a Huawei phone to maximise capabilities; noise cancellation not available; control panel too high
Author's Rating
Speaking of Huawei, why not discuss Huawei's latest mobile operating system, the EMUI 10? The OS formerly known as Emotion UI has some new features for Huawei users.
I will always be biased for dark mode, so let's start with that. Android Q brings this feature to your Huawei device. It basically switches to a black (or darker) background that would be less strain to your eyes. Complementing that are EMUI 10's eye-pleasing hues, which have been refined further; I've always liked Huawei's colour schemes, and this time, their use of Morandi gradient does the trick.
One thing you'll notice on this new UI is its fluidity; flipping and switching through anything feels seamless and you won't even notice the slightest of lags.
The camera app has also been revamped with a new zoom slider, an AI toggle button and
11 new filters, including the original three, only this time it's
Huawei wants you to know this: EMUI 10 is inspired by a magazine layout, with more white space and more visible text. But, to be brutally honest, it doesn't make a difference to me, compared to 9.1.
Thankfully, save for Huawei's own apps, there isn't any app that you can really consider as bloatware here. They eat up space anyway and can sometimes be downright annoying.

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