For me, wireless headphones, be they over-the-ear (like the Soundcore Q30) or earbuds (my current favorites are also from Soundcore, the Liberty Air 2 Pro ) have become a constant. Earbuds are great when going out for a jog, and the on-ear are perfect for WFH. I also like to have earbuds with me when I head out to handle an unexpected phone call. But what if you forget to grab your (admittedly small) case? That’s where the Aipower Wearbuds can help you out.
On the surface of things, the Aipower Wearbuds looks like many other smartwatches out there, mimicking some of the look of Android Wear without actually running Android (sort of like we saw with the Amazfit we reviewed recently). Up front you’ve got that responsive touch screen, and around back you’ve got the optical sensors and magnetic charging port. In terms of what that sensor enables, it’s a good amount of functionality:
- Blood oxygen monitoring – handy for monitoring your O2 uptake as you exercise
- Blood pressure – this is a new one on me, as it normally requires a pressure cuff, so I’m curious about it’s accuracy from optical
- HR Monitor – this is basically table stakes for a smartwatch these days
- Body temp monitoring – another new one, but hey, another data point
- Sleep monitoring – a helpful data point in my book; hopefully it includes silent alarms to wake up
- Step counter
- Alerts if you’ve been sitting too long
- Sport modes for specific workout tracking
All in all, the Aipower Wearbuds has a lot of what we’re expecting from a smartwatch that can also do some heavier lifting for fitness tracking. Paired with a 10 day battery life, it makes for a compelling watch. Until you realize how thick it is. At 15mm, you’re talking a height that we more commonly see on mechanical dive watches that are rated for professional dive depths. So, to paraphrase the Joker, why so thick?
Well, that’s because the Aipower Wearbuds has a trick up its (and your) sleeve. The right hand side of the case houses a pair of bluetooth earbuds. This is one very certain way to ensure you’re keeping your earbuds with you all the time. Now, because the earbuds are using the watch battery to charge themselves (and to keep size down), you’ll only get about 3 hours of runtime without recharging, so these are not all-day usage. But for the quick call, or popping them in for exercise, they’ll get the job done.
Then again, I’m looking at all of this from afar. If you want some impressions on a pre-production unit from a fellow who’s reviewed their earlier iterations, here’s a quick video from Gamesky:
The Aipower Wearbuds is currently funding over on Indiegogo, and they’ve blown past their funding goals with about another month yet to go. That’s no guarantee, but given this is their third iteration, it’s a good chance that these will hit backers’ wrists. For me, I look at these more for a fitness watch, so the thickness of the case would give me pause. But, if it fits the wrist well and it’s fairly light, then it should get the job done.
If the Aipower Wearbuds sounds interesting to you, you can back it for about $130 (shipping anticipated for October), which feels like a reasonable pricepoint for a fitness-focused smartwatch that has the wireless earbuds thrown in as a bonus. Check it all out over at the campaign page