Tech

Something For The Ladies: Hot New Gear Coming To Canada From Huawei


Beautiful smartwatches, sleek monitors for gamers and creatives, and a head-turning earbuds/case set that could be confused with a luxury lipstick

Leading global consumer brand, Huawei, has been best known in the consumer space for its killer smartphones that have consistently led the market with superior camera quality and battery life. While the flagship phones have temporarily been facing challenges amidst a shift away from dependence on Google services, Huawei has been bringing wave after wave of exciting new products to market, and we have fortunately been seeing many of these category expansions available in Canada.

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen smartwatches and fitness trackers, laptops, tablets, earbuds and even a router arrive on Canadian shores, all either ground-breaking at best and at least providing better value than all or most competitors in their class.

Derek Yu, Huawei President, at Vienna launch event
Derek Yu, Huawei Consumer Group’s regional President, at the Q4 2021 new product launch event in Vienna, Austria

At the latest global launch event in Vienna recently we were treated to the latest generation of consumer gear for the Canadian market. A couple items had been recently released but were finally confirmed to be coming to Canada (the Watch 3 Pro and a Huawei smart scale) but it was a selection of brand new products that really wowed the attendees.

Two monitors, a new category for Huawei globally, were revealed: a 28″ pro super-hi res Huawei MateView (wireless!) monitor perfect for designers and creators, and a curved 34″ Huawei MateView GT gaming monitor. They were both gorgeous and tough to look away from. They’ll be arriving in Canada in time for the holiday season and we’re assuming they’ll be in high demand when they hit shelves. We’ll aim to review both of these before they are available in stores and provide final Canadian pricing when we have it.

 

Huawei MateView hi-res monitor
For designers and content creators, the 28.2″ Huawei MateView immediately stood out as a highlight of the launch
Huawei MateView GT gaming monitor
This 34″ 3440 x 1440 pixel (21:9) curved gaming monitor (165Hz refresh) will be the envy of many a gamer this Xmas

We have long admired the Huawei smartwatch as one of the best out there, particularly the Watch GT2 Pro, but wished a more feminine version was available in Canada (without stepping down to the fitness tracker category).

The new third generation of smartwatches has something for everyone, a handsome men’s version flagship model, the updated Watch 3 Pro, as well as two sleeker versions with the Watch GT3 in both 46mm and 42mm sizes. The latter is especially targeting the ladies, and as you can see from the images below, looks as stylish as any smartwatch on the market, without even getting into all the power and features within. We’ll have a full run-down on the Huawei Watch GT3 when review units are available ahead of the pre-holiday launch (just in time for holiday wish lists).

Huawei Watch GT3 - Ladies' Watch
While the larger, slightly more feature-rich, manly Watch 3 Pro is top of the class, the sleeker GT3 models shown above will be a hit with the gals

As if fulfilling our need for a high end, stylish, feminine smartwatch wasn’t enough at this event, Huawei continued with its female focused lineup. Quick aside, the main feature of the Vienna launch event was a sleek mid-range Huawei phone for the European market, the Huawei Nova 9. As always, it came with impressive camera specs and performance, and also was being mostly aimed at female consumers. Unfortunately it will not be coming to Canada.

The pièce de résistance that had the afternoon’s most oohs and ahhs from the hundreds in attendance at the Messe Vienna Exhibition hall (many of them female influencers, creators and journalists) was a clever re-imagining of the wireless earbuds case as a luxury lipstick case. Voila les Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick!

Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick - Vienna Model
One of the event hosts in Vienna extends us a good look at the new Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick

We had heard about the FreeBuds Lipstick product in the lead-up to the event, and many of the journalists in our group were skeptical. However, upon seeing it live, the consensus was that it worked, and will likely be a hot product for Huawei heading into the holidays. The biggest issue may be supply as it may be a bigger hit than originally anticipated, as its visual charm may generate a lot of social media shares.

While it’s essentially a really classy high-end case for a Ferrari-red pair of earbuds, the buds themselves are the latest version of the Huawei’s well-designed FreeBuds lineup (we reviewed the FreeBuds 4i here). They come with many of the features seen in previous models such as active noise cancellation (ANC) as well as Adaptive Ear Matching (AEM) which works to adjust the EQ to match your ear canal and wearing conditions.

Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick

Touch controls cover all the bases: call answer/end as well as as the nice addition of call rejection, noise cancellation on/off, music play/pause and previous/next song, voice assistant enable and thankfully volume control.

Huawei’s new products, and those coming in the future will feature full compatibility with Huawei’s own Harmony OS (now version 2). This is Huawei’s own operating system essentially allowing for their own version of the Apple (or Google’s) ecosystem with enhanced connectivity between Huawei devices and eventually thousands of devices from third party manufacturers. We visited a showroom at the newly opened Vienna Huawei store where a full range of Harmony-friendly (harmonious?) tech was on display, from refrigerators to toys to robot vacuum cleaners to tablets and scales.

Newly opened Huawei store in Vienna, Wien, Austria
We inadvertently stumbled across the brand new Huawei Store in Vienna on Kärntner Straße, the most famous shopping street in Austria

Despite a push to build out their own operating system and ecosystem, Huawei products remain appropriately connectable to existing platforms. The earbuds, watches and other wearables work with Android or Apple, and now Harmony. All Huawei laptops will continue to run Windows. The new monitors work with all input sources.

Huawei is doing an excellent job of maintaining and building their brand in Canada by introducing high-quality products. They continue to branch into new markets and demographics this coming holiday season with their gaming monitor (gamers), pro-level designer monitor (creatives) and high-fashion worthy products aimed at the female audience in their new sleek Watch GT3 smartwatch and FreeBuds Lipstick.

Rainbow over Huawei sign in Vienna, October 2021
A really good sign for Huawei? Yes, that’s a real Viennese rainbow we caught hovering over a colourful row of buildings near our hotel

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