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Huawei FreeBuds 3i review: Looks great, sounds even better

by Miles Warren
December 24,2021

  Huawei FreeBuds 3i bring features such as Active Noise Cancellation and an in-ear design at an affordable price. Read our review to find out if they are worth your money.


  Huawei FreeBuds 3i bring features such as ANC with them.

  The FreeBuds 3i feature an in-ear design.

  The Huawei FreeBuds 3i price are available for a of Rs 9,990.

  Despite going through a turbulent year, Huawei has remained relatively active in the market with a number of products that it has launched over the last few months. But faced with the politics of Trump's Android ban, Huawei has had to switch focus away from phones, and towards smart wearables -- a segment which has seen Huawei introduce some new entrants in 2020.

  The latest in the list are the Huawei FreeBuds 3i, which have been launched in India as slightly more affordable alternatives to the company's FreeBuds 3 which were launched earlier in the year. The new Huawei FreeBuds 3i offer pretty much the same promise of impressive sound, but at a price that's not exactly going to break your bank.

  The TWS earbuds do rival the ones launched Apple AirPods, but primarily take on the Galaxy Buds range from Samsung, the Vivo TWS Neo earbuds and other options in the market from Realme and Xiomi. The FreeBuds 3i are available in the market at a price of Rs 9,990. Here's what we think about them.

  Huawei FreeBuds 3i: Design

  The Huawei FreeBuds 3i brings with itself a design that will remind you a little of the one we've previously seen on the FreeBuds 3, but is essentially very different from the one seen on the latter. This is because the FreeBuds 3i feature an in-ear design, instead of the regular on-the-ear design as seen on the more expensive Freebuds 3 and many other TWS earbuds available in the market right now.


  We've reviewed both the FreedBuds devices in black, and in the colour the stem looks and feels almost the same on the two, thereby making it very difficult to differentiate them once the tips are hidden inside the user's ear.

  This particular design decision on the Huawei FreeBuds 3i provides it with a slight advantage over the FreeBuds 3, which do not offer the kind of customised fit that the former offers to the user. The tight in-ear design of the buds also provide Huawei's new offering with a tight seal to help it bring better passive noise isolation that overall improves the ability of the buds to cut the user fro outside sound.

  In our time with it, we found the design to be quite comfortable for everyday wear, and even suited for usage for sustained periods of time. The FreeBuds 3i are also quite lightweight with each earbud weighing 5.5g. The charging case is also quite stylish and modern, however, its a little broad in size, and will stick out if you carry it around in the pocket of your jeans. It's also not the lightest at 51g.

  Huawei FreeBuds 3i: Performance

  The FreeBuds 3i offer capacitive touch buttons on both the tips, which in their default state can be double tapped to pause media and answer calls, or tapped a single time to switch noise-cancelling on and off. This is the same as on Huawei FreeBuds 3, which allows for some level of customisation of these controls with the Huawei AI Life app.

  This software is also the main medium of communication between the phone and the earbuds when connected on an Android device. The app also provides a number of settings to edit the audio presets and more to enhance the sound quality of the earbuds.

  When you're attempting to connect the device for the first time with your Android device, you'll have to put the device into pairing mode by following instructions from within the AI Life app, which does a decent job at running the user through the steps involved in pairing the app.

  Invisible to the eye, the back of each bud harbours a capacitive touch sensor. Double tap to pause media and answer calls, or hold your finger there to switch noise-cancelling on and off. It’s a straightforward and reliable setup that’s adept at ignoring accidental inputs and doesn’t clutter the exterior with physical buttons.


  As for when you start using them, one off the first things you'd notice about the Huawei FreeBuds 3i is that they offer active noise cancellation which is right up there with the best in the business.

  Supplemented by the passive noise cancellation that the design of the buds provide, the Huawei FreeBuds 3i end up proving to be quite good at blocking out external sounds that you're bound to experience in moderately noisy environments.

  As for the sound, for this the earbuds rely on 10mm drivers which do offer good audio performance that supplemented by the powerful noise cancelling abilities of the device, do impress. However, compared to the more powerful FreeBuds 3, they do not offer the same punchy bass and crisp highs. But having said that, the audio output here iss tuned for impressing on most hip and and pop songs, and will as such be good enough for most users who pick these up for listening to music and watching movies.


  The FreeBuds 3i can also get plenty loud which should again help them against the existing competition in the market. As we found out, the FreeBuds 3i are also a really good option for video and voice calls. The audio again is quite crisp and lag free, putting the Huawei FreeBuds 3i in a strong position vis-a-vis the competition.

  Huawei FreeBuds 3i: Should you buy it?

  The truly wireless earbuds market in India is currently in a very exciting place. With the likes of Realme, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Huawei -- among others -- jumping in the fray with their own products, this is a great time for buyers in the hunt for TWS earbuds. However, with many of them offering a similar kind of design and functionality, Huawei's FreeBuds 3i automatically start to stand out as an interesting choice for purchase.

  With their in-ear design and ANC working in tandem, the FreeBuds 3i offer solid noise cancelling, which is further supplemented with their promise of crisp audio. The only sticking point here is the price which is a little higher than some other competing offers. However, if you're in the market for in-ear design TWS options, then the FreeBuds 3i may just be the answer to your requirements


  • Miles Warren
  • December 24,2021

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