Huawei Freebuds 4i Review Summary:

Editor’s Rating: 4/5

Design & Fit

Features & Audio

Settings & controls

Battery life & charging

Performance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Beautiful looks
  • Good battery life
  • ANC is decent
  • Good sound quality
  • Affordable

Cons

  • ANC can’t be controlled
  • No wireless charging
  • Bass reproduction is average No auto-pause/resume feature

Wireless audio has been a space that completely transformed in the last few years. With the arrival of wireless earbuds, hundreds of new brands have jumped into space with each one claiming to be the best. Huawei, a brand that has been going through a tough time due to sanctions imposed by the US, has also been trying to make its presence with Freebuds 4i wireless earbuds in this crazy segment.

Huawei Freebuds 4i TWS earbuds introduced a price of Rs. 7990. Right now they are available for Rs. 6990 on Amazon in 4 color variants.  The variant I got for review was Silver Frost and I have used it for around 15 days. It has a glossy finish and supports Active Noise Cancellation too. The earbuds are compatible with Android as well as iOS devices, but are they worth spending your money on? Read our review to find out.


Unboxing| Specs | Design & Fit | Features & Audio Quality | Setting up & Controls | Battery life & Charging| Verdict | Pros and Cons


Unboxing

Huawei Freebuds 4i

The box contains-

  • Earbuds
  • Charging case
  • Charging cable
  • Earbuds tip
  • User manual

Specs

  • Type- In the ear
  • Bluetooth- 5.2
  • Controls- Touch
  • Battery- 22 hours with the case. Earbud 55mAh, case- 215mAh
  • Battery life- 10 hours
  • Driver- 10mm dynamic
  • ANC- Yes
  • Dimensions (earbuds)- 37.5x21x23.9mm
  • Weight- 5.5 grams each bud
  • Dimensions (case)- 48×61.8×27.5mm
  • Weight of case- 36.5 grams

Price & Availability

Huawei Freebuds 4i in 4 color variants

Huawei Freebuds 4i was priced at Rs. 7990 in India when it launched, but now it is available for Rs. 6990 on e-commerce portals like Amazon and Flipkart. It comes in 4 attractive colors- Carbon Black, Ceramic White, Red, and Silver Frost.

Huawei Freebuds 4i Design & Fit

Huawei Freebuds 4i design looks inspired from AirPods Pro which is not actually a surprise, as companies often try to imitate Apple’s product designs to attract consumers. The stem is short and they are comfortable to wear. The fit was perfect for my ears and in mere 10 minutes, I forgot that I was wearing earbuds. These are improvements over Huawei Freebuds 3i as stems are thicker and rubber tips are present for a better fit. I wore them for over a 6-hour stretch while I was working on my laptop.

The earbuds come with two sizes of silicone ear tips to ensure a perfect fit for everyone’s ears. The one that it comes fitted with was perfect for me so I didn’t have to change the tips. The Freebuds 4i comes in a tiny egg-shaped case that charges them. I loved the unique shape of the charging case. The egg-shaped case could be slipped into my palm or pocket easily, but the only issue was its glossy finish. The glossy finish of the case attracted fingerprints and smudges which didn’t look good sometimes. The case has a flat section on the back to place it down for charging. The charging port is at the bottom but I could not open the lid of the case without holding it in my hand.

Huawei Freebuds 4i

The case has a pairing button on the right and a light indicator in the middle that changes color from red to white when charging and pairing respectively. The charging case weighs a mere 36.5 grams and doesn’t come with support for wireless charging. It supports USB Type-C charging.

The earbuds are fit inside the case with a magnet so that meant a little effort to pull them out with sweaty hands, but that’s fine because it prevents earbuds from getting lost if the case is open. The stems have strong magnets at the end which protected the buds from falling out and getting lost.

The variant I got was Silver Frost color and I was totally in awe of it as the color was not regular black or white. You can also get it in Carbon Black, White, and Red color options.  I loved my color variant because just like Black, this one could be paired with any attire too. There was no issue about it not matching with my dress.

Each bud has a microphone and a built-in capacitive touch sensor near the top of the stem. Double-tapping these sensors will play or pause music. Tapping and holding the touch sensor for 3 seconds will let you toggle between different modes, ‘ANC’, ‘Awareness’, and ‘Off’.

Like the AirPods 3, the Huawei Freebuds 4i are IPX4 rated which means I didn’t have to worry about it getting wet in rain. However, don’t submerge them in water as they can only rate to handle splashing water.

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Huawei Freebuds 4i Features & Audio Quality

Huawei Freebuds 4i comes with 10mm dynamic coil drivers and sensitive polymer composite diaphragms which give good sound quality. The buds are equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 offering solid connectivity and sound quality to be better than many other affordable audio devices. The Huawei TWS has a balanced sound with clear and crisp vocals. There is a decent amount of bass on offer here. If you are some who favor punchy bass this isn’t as punchy as the Nothing Ear 1 (review).

Mann Bhareya in B Praak’s voice is hard-hitting while the notes of Night Changes are soothing. I mostly kept the volume at mid-level and it was adequate. Overall Freebuds 4i gave me a rich and fulfilling music listening experience. Listening to podcasts and attending calls was ok too.  The microphones detect ambient noise well and reduce it significantly (but not completely). The Dual-mic system reduces outdoor wind noise during calls and talking on the phone becomes effortless.

ANC feature is one of the highlights of the Freebuds 4i. ANC is able to block sounds to a good level so much so that I couldn’t hear clicking sounds of my keyboard too. The only problem is that the ANC level can’t be adjusted but then this is something you would find in premium headphones.  Huawei has also introduced an awareness mode in ANC which worked for me as I could reply back to people around me without removing buds again and again. Just a little carefulness is needed when you are on busy roads, that’s it.

The latency is low which kept video in sync with earbuds and microphones too as we discussed are decent. There is a wear detection feature which meant I had to hear a sound first when I re-inserted them back into my ear, but the music had not paused.

Huawei Freebuds 4i- Setting it up & Controls

I paired the Freebuds 4i with Redmi Note 9 and the process was very simple though slightly different than other earbuds. I just tapped on the Bluetooth option on my smartphone to enable it and then opened the charging case of Huawei Freebuds 4i, pressed the pairing button on the side of the case and the buds got connected to my smartphone.

When I pressed the button, the light indicator at the front of the charging case turned white which showed it is charged and ready to pair. If you want to operate your buds via app then the Huawei AI Life app is available to download on the Play Store and Apple store. The app is basic, easy to use, and gives exact information about the battery left on each bud and the case, along with the ability to tweak the noise controls.

By default, double-tap buds for play/pause and touch and hold are for noise control modes. There are 3 modes- Noise cancellation, Off, and Awareness modes. While long press cycles through all of them one can disable some controls via the app. The OFF mode is by default and the Awareness mode as discussed helps you remain in touch with your surroundings along with listening to music.

Huawei Freebuds 4i Battery Life & Charging

Huawei Freebuds 4i has a 55mAh battery in each bud and a 215mAh battery in the case. Huawei claims 10 hours of continuous playback time at 50% volume with ANC turned off and the AAC mode enabled.  

Huawei Freebuds 4i

If I talk about my experience, then I realized that I got 7.5 hours of music listening time on a single charge with ANC enabled and 10 hours, as claimed when ANC was disabled. Otherwise, I got 6-7 hours of battery life with ANC disabled and 5 hours with ANC enabled. The case offered up to 22 hours of music playback. The charging case comes with a USB Type -C port, so any Android phone charger can be used. Sadly there is no wireless charging support but I can deal with it if I am going in for earbuds under the 7k price range.

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Huawei Freebuds 4i Verdict

Huawei Freebuds 4i comes with premium features like ANC, water-resistance, and awareness mode, all this for under the 8k price range. The overall design, fit and sound quality are above average and if you are a regular mainstream user then these earbuds can be a good investment for you. They are lightweight, comfortable, and easy to carry around. You can take them with you wherever you go and turn on the awareness mode if you traveling with earbuds on. They are a no-fuss pair of earbuds with good battery life and can be bought without burning a hole in your pocket. So, if you are looking to buy your 1st TWS audio device, then Huawei Freebuds 4i can be a viable option for you.

Huawei Freebuds 4i Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Beautiful looks
  • Good battery life
  • ANC is decent
  • Good sound quality
  • Affordable

Cons

  • ANC can’t be controlled
  • No wireless charging
  • Bass reproduction is average No auto-pause/resume feature

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