We have been using the latest TalkBand B2 from Huawei for over ten days now. What better place to run it through its paces then the home of Huawei, China.
Ni hao! Huawei is back with a new wearable device logically defined as the B2 (replacing the B1). Conceptually the product has remained the same. It is a fitness tracker which will count your steps, calories and general exercise which can also be used as a pop-out bluetooth handsfree device. Does that mean there has been no change? Not quite.
The latest version from Huawei is much much much sexier. The B2 has stepped into the premium design space with a leather strap and no more plastic construction. It looks and feels premium and many people who saw it thought it was more jewelry than a fitness tracker. It is still the only device on the market that has the capability of taking calls privately with the pop out earpiece as others which can be used for calls do so in a speaker phone style. When your phone rings, a small press of the side buttons will release the earpiece and automatically answer the call for you, pop it back in and you can transfer the call back to your phone immediately. This is extremely handy when you are trying to carry items and take calls at the same time.
The leather strap is adjustable and the clasp is very reliable. This isn’t a fitness band that you are likely to lose easily. With that said, if you misplace your phone, a quick function on your TalkBand B2 will make it ring and found quickly. In terms of device compatibility, this product will work with Android or iOS however not all functions are the same, namely the remote shutter. Remote shutter is a feature that allows you to use your TalkBand B2 to remotely control the camera trigger on your phone. This only works on Android but is great for when you phone is in your selfie-stick a meter infront of you.
From a day to day usage perspective, life is pretty good. It will tell you the time with a flick of the wrist, a quck swipe will tell you how much you’ve slept, calories burnt and steps taken. In the morning it can vibrate to wake you silently and when you do go to sleep there is no need to inform it of the case, it already knows. As far as bluetooth earpieces go, the call quality was a good experience and felt comfortable in the ear. The TalkBand B2 only ships with the one ear gel but fortunately was a perfect fit for my ear. The B2 charges via microUSB so there is no proprietary issues there. Some features missing from the device though which are now seen in others include water resistance and heart rate monitoring. For a device that costs over $200 this was a bit of a let down however at that price range you wont find one as beautiful as this. One of the features I quite liked was that Huawei has enabled data sync to the Jawbone Up app which is a beautiful fitness tracking app which integrates with other fitness applications such as MyFitnessPal.
The TalkBand B2 does come in a range of colours and styles however the brown leather was definitely my favourite. The TalkBand B2 is available in three styles – black and white sport versions (RRP AUD $229), and a gold-tone body with leather band model (RRP AUD $249). The TalkBand B2 is available from July 1, 2015 at Office Works and JB Hi-Fi from July 9. The TalkBand B2 will also be available for purchase at leading Telstra Stores from August 5, 2015.
Living in Sydney his entire life, Geoff has always had a close eye on technology. Through school and immediately after, tech held his focus. Attending University later in life, Geoff began his IT career immediately after leaving high school and has been in the industry ever since. In his spare time he launched a YouTube channel focused on consumer tech that had millions of views. This led to work on community radio talking tech every week and has now stepped him into the studios of 2GB / 4BC every Saturday helping people with tech problems and reviewing the latest gadgets.
When Geoff is looking away from the screen he can be found holding a glass of red wine, spending time with friends and/or watching the Formula 1.