Huawei B1 TalkBand Review

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The Huawei B1 TalkBand is an interesting take on the wearable activity tracker.  It doesn’t just track you movement and sleep but it also features a detachable bluetooth headset!

This detachable headset also acts as a screen which displays 4 screens of information:

1) Bluetooth status, time and battery level
2) Pedometer reading
3) Estimated calories burnt
4) Time asleep

The TalkBand screen will also display who is calling you, showing the name in the phone book, and will vibrate to give you a notification. The vibration works well, it’s just strong enough that you notice, but not so strong it’s distracting.

A nice use of this is that if you’ve not moved around for a bit the band will vibrate and show a little man on screen doing jumping jacks to indicate you should move around (this feature can be switched off).  It was interesting (if a little distressing!) to find out just how little movement happens in an office environment as I was getting regular movement reminders, a great feature not experienced on either the Withing Pulse or the Misfit Shine.

Huawei B1 TalkBandThe inclusion of the Bluetooth earpiece does come at the cost of a compact design and the band feels a little bulky and really isn’t subtle, it stands out when wearing every day clothes. The strap also doesn’t have a loop on it to keep it nice and tidy, which means some of it sometimes sticks out to the side.

Given the screen it’d be good if the TalkBand gave more notifications, not just calls, so texts, emails etc. Maybe not show them on such a small screen, but just something to flag that you’ve received a message.

The TalkBand has an accompanying app that synchronizes the data so you can track your stats on you phone or tablet.  The app is basic and does the job but is miles away from the slick Withings ecosystem. Note (at present) there isn’t a way to export the data for use in other apps.

The Huawei B1 TalkBand is a nice bit of kit, and it’s good to see the manufacture coming up with a different spin on things with the Bluetooth earpiece, but an activity tracker you keep on all day should really be discrete and forgettable.  The B1 TalkBand feels more like something to pop on when exercising, ensuring you don’t miss a call, it just doesn’t do a good enough job of blending in with everyday clothing to be worn 24/7.

Available now from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1uFPZ7r

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Mark J Draper is a self-confessed gadget lover who forged a career in the telecommunication and utility industry while maintaining a hobby of writing and filming reviews that are published on YouTube and Reviewify.co.uk.

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