Facts Everyone Should Know About Huawei Talkband B1.
- Price: $179
- Sizing: Small (H: 221.5 mm) Large (H: 247.5 mm), W: 19.3 mm, 26.2g
- Battery: 6 days working time, 14 days standby, and 2-hour charge
The fact Huawei has thrown its hat into the ring signifies that the wearable scene is truly anyone’s game. The infamous brand’s bumpy history with mobile devices may cause you think twice about considering their wearable option, the Huawei TalkBand B1, but lets take a look at how it shapes up against the competition.
The TalkBand B1 is Huawei’s first foray into the world of wearables, and honestly, it’s a pretty solid first attempt. The TalkBand B1 is an interesting take on the fitness wearable. Much like the Microsoft Band, Huawei are trying to push the boundaries of what to expect from a wearable. This is most apparent in it’s Bluetooth ear-piece/fitness tracker hybrid.
Out of the box it looks like any other fitness wearable. Remove it from its band, however, and it operates as classic Bluetooth headset, allowing you to receive calls on the go without having to shout at your wrist. Its textured silicone band makes the transition from fitness tracker to Bluetooth headset quite smooth, and there aren’t really any downsides to this feature to be found.
Other than that, the B1 works like any other fitness tracker. It uses a pedometer to count steps and distance travelled, tracks calories burned and logs some sleep data. Though, these features are a little underworked, and some valuable aspects, like GPS route plotting are completely absent. The sleep tracking only offers rudimentary statistics, like targeting light and deep sleep. There is a pretty handy smart alarm on board that identifies when you’re in a light sleep and gently vibrates to wake you within a chosen time frame.
The interface is very simple. Its one-button control allows you switch between different screens for a quick glance at the time, calories burned, steps taken and distance travelled. Everything else will be viewed through the Huawei TalkBand app, which is currently available through iOS and Android (sorry Windows users).
Although it doesn’t have the visual flair that the Jawbone UP, or the Microsoft Health applications offer, the TalkBand interface is quite user friendly. The home screen is split between sleep records and fitness statistics for that day. You simply swipe to backtrack through days and you can widen that overview from days to weeks or months. It’s all pretty shallow though. The TalkBand application doesn’t offer near as much analysis as other options. The upside of this is that loading times are greatly reduced.
Design and Display
Like most other fitness bands, the B1 comes in a multitude of cheerful colours (white, black, grey, blue, lime green and pink). Whatever candy colour you choose, the band comes as a textured silicone strap that sits more comfortably on the wrist than the other, more rigid, options out there. This is partly due to the adjustable watch clasp, which offers a firm fit, but also leaves the device vulnerable to becoming detached.
The tracker itself sports a uniform black screen. The 1.4-inch display is nothing new. It’s a white-on-black OLED display that, while being pretty sharp and handy for night-time runs, doesn’t offer anything new or exciting. One nice addition, however, is the high quality thermoplastic vulcanized silicone, which fares pretty well in rough conditions and offers dust and water resistance.
It’s encouraging to see brands like Microsoft and Huawei trialing new and innovative features, like the detachable Bluetooth headset. Huawei’s band might not offer text and call notifications or music controls, but those are exceptions that ultimately make the B1 a more streamlined comfortable band. It’s not going to outsell the bigger brands, but the B1 is undoubtedly a solid first attempt from the mobile arena underdog. There is a B2 on its way that boasts more features and a more stylish design, but it does come at double the price. Whether it’s worth the wait or not is yet to be seen.
- Detachable Bluetooth headset
- Range of bands
- Reasonable asking price
- Easy to navigate
- App is fast and bug-free
- Shallow analysis of statistics
- Easily dislodged
- Boring display
- Lacking in features