[Review] Budget Hi-Res Buds - HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i
+ Multi ANC mode
- Companion app can only be sideloaded
+ Dual-device connections
- Lack of EQ effects
+ Hi-res codec support
HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i
Price: RM 399
In terms of appearance, the new HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i retains the round pebble design charging case, and the wireless earbuds are in the shape of a stem just like its predecessor. Min min today will be reviewing the HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i - Isle Blue.
The HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i comes in 3 colorways, Isle Blue, Nebula Black, and Ceramic White. As my reviewing unit today will be the Isle Blue Earbuds. The Isle Blue Earbuds get a frosted texture on the charging case with a mottled effect, making the earbuds look like a skin-soothing pebble on the beach.
Inside the box, you will find:
HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i
Quick Start Guide
USB Type-C Charging Cable
3-Month Free Trial Card (HUAWEI Music)
Silicone ear tips
Apps and Features
The FreeBuds 5i provides a rich audio experience, with Hi-Res Audio Wireless (Hi-Res) certification and wider frequency response, as well as lossless high-resolution sound for HD audio sources.
Aside from that, you can download the HUAWEI AI Life companion app to get access to more features including noise controls, sound quality, gesture customization, and more.
However, you will need to download the HUAWEI AI Life companion application directly from the HUAWEI website or HUAWEI AppGallery since it will be not available on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
The Gestures tab inside HUAWEI AI Life app allows you to customize each earbud from Double-tap, Press & hold, and Swipe gestures. These customizations always come in handy as they provide more functionality rather than pause and play.
Next, there’s also an EQ adjustment tab to choose from depending on your usage which are default mode, bass boost, and treble boost. Addition to the Noise canceling feature varies from Cozy, General, and Ultra modes to choose from based on your environment.
Battery Life & Charging
As promised by HUAWEI, the FreeBuds 5i offers up to 6 hours (total of 18.5 hours with charging case) of music playback on 1 charge with ANC enabled, extending to 7.5 hours (total of 28 hours with charging case) with ANC disabled which serves enough uptime for your daily usage.
The FreeBuds 5i houses a 55 mAh battery capacity per earbud and a 410 mAh battery capacity on the charging case. As advertised, the charging case does support fast charging where 15 minutes of charging equals 4 hours of music playback.
Buy or no buy?
As a result, the HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i is an impressive TWS earbud you can get for the price of RM399 comes along with IP54 water and dust resistance and LDAC support. Speaking of aesthetics and hardware wise, the FreeBuds 5i does stand out a lot compared to its competitors, making it one of the best picks if you’re looking for affordable earbuds in 2023.
The only downside is that the HUAWEI AI Life companion app has to be sideloaded for non-HUAWEI users as it takes extra steps to fully access the functionality of the FreeBuds 5i.