Huawei TalkBand B1 Review
Come on, there's no arguing that the fitness tracker space is a heavily crowded one at the moment - dominated by veteran players like Fitbit, and several smaller companies. Making the situation even more cramp, is the undeniable reality that several smartphone makers are also getting in with their own models. In distancing and distinguishing itself from the myriad of models floating around at the moment, the Huawei TalkBand B1 is an intriguing option due to the fact that it combines the health oriented features of a fitness tracker – while also doubling as a useful Bluetooth headset that's always within arm's reach.
You wouldn't know that the Huawei TalkBand B1 is a Bluetooth headset at first, seeing that they've discretely fashioned it to look more like a wearable fitness tracker on your wrist. Essentially, it's comprised out of two components – the adjustable rubbery strap that also acts as the unit's charging cradle, and the actual Bluetooth headset/tracker unit with its 1.4-inch flexible OLED display. With a selection of straps to choose from, we really dig the color variety that consumers are presented with the TalkBand B1.
Interestingly enough, Huawei ingeniously designed the strap to be the unit's charging cradle as well by hiding its USB port connection on one end of the strap. This, of course, is just pure genius, seeing that we always have the charger on our wrist – as opposed to being a separate unit, which can sometimes be lost or misplaced.
Placing the unit into our ear, it feels snug for the most part, but the connection isn't secure enough to keep it in place if we're to do some heavy physical activity. Thankfully, the packaging includes several different sized silicone tips to fit various ear sizes. Also worth mentioning, the TalkBand B1 features an IP57 rating, which protects it from dust and makes it completely waterproof in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. So yeah, no worries if you happen to shower with it on – or if you happen to take a quick dip in the pool.
Grazing over the strap, we certainly say that it's pretty comfortable, thanks in part to its textured rubbery pattern. Additionally, it's easily adjustable to fit a wide assortment of wrists – albeit, it might be loose for those with extraordinarily tiny wrists. Only two buttons are placed on the strap itself, one that dislodges the unit from the cradle, and another that goes over the button on the unit to turn on the display. Unfortunately, there are no other dedicated controls on the TalkBand B1 – meaning, volume adjustment is all handled by the connected device.
As a fitness tracker, the TalkBand B1 doesn't look too different from the crop – though, it's still pretty attractive in its own right. However, as a Bluetooth headset, we'll say that it's rather bland looking. Its saving grace, however, is the 1.4-inch OLED display that occupies the majority of its facade – one that has a subtle greenish glow to it. In terms of visibility, its weak brightness output makes it nearly impossible to view under direct sunlight, but it's not overpowering at all under low light.
Our first inclination about the display is that it's touch sensitive, but that's just not the case here. Rather, pressing on the single button on the tracker turns on the display – with subsequent presses cycles through the data. Initially, it shows us the time, connection status, and battery life icon, but with each press of the button, we're able to check out how many steps we've taken, calories burned, and our sleep tally. Sadly, though, it only displays the current day's results – where the data accrued from previous days are only accessible via the app.