Huawei’s Talkband B2 has little in common with smart watches other than a wrist strap. That’s obvious from the first moment you see the device.
It does two things. First it is a fitness tracker. You can use it to check your sleep and exercise levels. Second, it pulls apart to become a detachable Bluetooth headset.
While some people might like having both functions in a single package, you’ll do better buying two specialist devices.
You’ll save money too. The metallic Huawei Talkband B2 I looked at costs NZ$280. There’s also an NZ$230 plastic version.
That’s more than you’ll pay for a first-rate Bluetooth headset and a decent fitness tracker.
Huawei’s Talkband headset uses Bluetooth 3.0. You can pair it with most modern phones. An iPhone needs to run iOS 7 or later. It also works with Android 4.0 phones.
It takes next to no time to get things working. You download Huawei’s app which steps through the process in seconds.
There are two tiny buttons on either side of the main wrist unit. Push them both at the same time to detach the earpiece.
Not a great fit
I found the earpiece didn’t always stay put in my ear during calls. Seeing it fall out and drop to the ground as I walked past storm drains was unnerving.
It didn’t fit my ear. You may have more luck.
When I got the earpiece working, it did a fine job. I could hear the people at the other end clearly and they had no trouble hearing my voice.
The fitness app with the Talkband is basic. You get clear information on how far you’ve moved and how many steps you’ve taken. In my case almost never enough.
The same applies to the sleep information. It tells me I only seem to register a few hours real sleep at night, less than I need. That’s far from comforting.
You can set an alarm to wake you up in the morning and other alarms to tell you to move about if you’ve been sitting idle for too long. That’s about it. There’s no heart rate monitor.
May you live with an interesting screen
The Huawei Talkband B2 looks great. At least the metallic version looks great. I haven’t seen the cheaper model.
It is made from brushed aluminium with a similar gold colour to Apple’s recent iPhone and MacBook models. This gives the device a premium feel, it looks like a quality device.
The screen sits under the metallic finish, so characters seem to shine through the metal.
This is far more impressive in practice than it might sound, but there’s a downside. The shiny metallic finish is reflective, so it can be difficult to read the display at the best of times. In bright sunlight the screen is near impossible to read.
Battery life is impressive. Huawei says the device goes for five days between charges. In my testing it did a little better, although that maybe because I stopped bothering with the Bluetooth function. I’ve never been a fan of using an earpiece to make phone calls.
This is an unusual device straddling two functions that don’t naturally sit together. If you need both in one handy package, then the Talkband 2 is a stylish way of combining them.