Fashionable Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick

Nobody's ever accused me of being fashionable... like ever.

But, let's change that as I'm starting to use a new set of earbuds.  The new Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick!

They really are a quality built set of earbuds.  Very similar to the FreeBuds 3 in terms of sturdy feel and then some of the cool anti noise feature of the FreeBuds 4i that I liked.

Topped off by being in a hot red colour and then cased in a fashionable holder that looks more at home in a purse than some techies gear bag.

You've seen my unboxing, so let's dive into the review.

So, the unit looks so much a lipstick tube (I had to google what a lipstick container looks like) that it  has a black case, and when you pull up the lid there's some gold band that holds the red buds that is so reminiscent of a makeup item.

The buds are held in place with some magnets so that they don't fall out easily, yet they are easy enough to just pull out by the bud tops.

To set them up, you'll need to pair them and if they've never been set up before you should notice that the bottom LED is blinking white meaning it's looking to pair up with something.  

If it isn't blinking (the buds should be in the holder) you can hold the button on the bottom for about 5 seconds to put it into a pairing mode.  

To pair it up you can either do that just through normal Bluetooth settings, but then it's just a set of Bluetooth earbuds.  To do it better you'll need the Huawei AI Life app.

Get it on Google Play

The real interesting thing is that you install the app from the Play Store, but then it tells you to update the app, which it then needs to install the Huawei App Gallery version (essentially sideload it).  So then you have 2 apps with the same icon.

That's kind of annoying.  On my one tablet I had the App Gallery version - yet it didn't have the Lipstick model to add in so it wouldn't pair... so I went back to the Play Store version, had it tell me to install the other, but it'd just open... I had to delete the App Gallery version, so that it could be installed, it was kinda frustrating.

But in the end it worked.

And then it had a device update to apply.

When it's all ready to go you can start playing some media on your device.

As a set of earbuds, they fit well into the ear and are pretty comfortable.

It doesn't have a rubbery tip like some to have a little friction when it's in the ear canal to keep it snug, so you do have to just keep a mind on how the buds are sitting in your ear as I did have them fall out once while I was at the rink leaning forward watching my kid.

The sound of the buds are good.  They're not loud - but they're enough volume.  The bass is there, the treble is clear ... it 's just not super punchy to make me go 'ooh!'.  Maybe I'm just spoiled with the working from home and just using my sets of either the TMA-2 or the H3 Pro Hybrids.  It's hard to compare a set of earbuds to a full proper set of cans.

But even comparing to my Pixel Buds I think they are at the 'good' level.  Not bad, not awesome.

Where it gets awesome is how it has the ANC (auto noise cancelling) like with the FreeBuds 4i.  You turn it on (either in the app there's the setting) or with the gesture of long pressing either bud.

It turned a fairly noisy rink to just near utter silence - which makes the music that much clearer.  In the app you can have 2 sets of settings for the noise cancelling.  I didn't notice too much difference between either

Like most wireless buds you control the sound and playback by tapping either earbud.  

With these we have 3 kinds of gesture controls.  All customizable by the app.

  • Double Tap - play/pause
  • Long press - noise cancellation on/off
  • Swipe up/down - volume up/down

Having that control is great to not have to get the phone out.

One thing you find interesting is that with the noise cancelling on it is just a little more sensitive to touching.

And when you swipe you have to swipe on the 'rod' and you'll notice there's a microphone on the outside there for it to sample the noise and reduce, and if you brush against it swiping for volume it can make a ruffling sound.

Another neat feature is the 'wear detection'.

Essentially, when someone comes up to me at the rink to talk, I don't have to pause it to talk to hear them; I can just take one bud out it'll just pause.


Finishing up you need to put the buds back in the holder and it does take a bit of 'paying attention' to make sure it goes in the right spots as there's no indicator - just the lid won't let it close.

And then the lid needs to go on only one way.  So you have to line up that 'wedge' so it goes on.

You'll also notice the case is pretty fingerprint attracting.

I listened to about an hour of music and it dropped about ~30% on the buds, which is about 3 hours time (which they claim 2.5), not bad.  The case should provide another almost 4 full uses after you charge it back up (they say it should be about 1 hour to charge up).

Overall, it's nice - I kinda wish it had Qi charging but you're going to get 15'ish hours of use before you'd need to charge up the case, so it isn't often.

I felt like I wished that the sound was a little richer... rich is just saved to the price at a very big $350CAD!


But that's the price of fashion.  My wife is looking forward to claiming them from me, as she found that they fit her ears perfectly compared to some of the Pixel Buds (or other styles like that) she's used in the past.