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Huawei's AirPods Clone Promises Double the Battery Life, Water Resistance

After the Samsung Galaxy Buds, the Xiaomi AirDots, and Huawei’s previous FreeBuds, the latter has now released its obligatory response to Apple’s AirPods 2. The Chinese company calls them FreeBuds Lite — and they look just like their previous FreeBuds. In other words, they are still AirPods ripoffs.

Even more than Xiaomi’s AirDots — which at least has a different external design — the FreeBuds Lite look strikingly similar to Apple’s popular product on the outside. If you flip them, however, you can see that the design is a bit different.

Instead of hanging in your ear like the AirPods, the FreeBuds Lite have a protuberance that gets into your ear canal, like most traditional in-ear headphones. The inner part contains an infrared sensor that detect when you have the earphones in your ear.

Like Apple’s, Huawei’s wireless in-ear headphones are touch-enabled too. A double-tap on the left earbud activates the voice assistant. Double tapping on right will play and pause music. And when a call comes in you can double tap on either earphone to answer or end it.

The compact wireless charging box is different from the AirPods’, opting to store the earbuds horizontally, side to side, rather the vertically like Apple’s. These buds promise a whopping 12-hour battery life -- that's 7 hours more than the AirPods rated 5-hour runtime, and a stat we'd like to put to the test in our labs.

But apart from the battery life bump announced by Huawei CEO Richard Yu, there are no details as to how the FreeBuds Lite are different from the previous version.

If the charging case is now wireless as Digital Trends seems to suggest, at $132 the FreeBuds Lite would beat the $199 price tag of the new AirPods with wireless case. As with many Huawei products, there's no word yet on whether these buds are headed to the U.S.

Credit: Huawei

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.