Huawei TalkBand B5 : A Bluetooth headset on your wrist

A unique combination but strange combination

Sometimes there are great ideas that result in amazing products, like the one that puts all the capabilities of a smartphone on your wrist. Meanwhile other ideas, like making your smartwatch a detachable Bluetooth headset, make you question: why?

Huawei launched the all-new Huawei TalkBand B5 recently, and while the earlier models were not perfect, they still had some quirks. Now, Huawei always brings new ideas into fruition, but I when I found out the B5 detaches as a Bluetooth headset, I was quite intrigued.

A different look

Design-wise, the Huawei TalkBand B5 might take some time getting used to, but in the end, I grew to like it. It is quite simple, and the brown leather strap with gold trims added a certain sense of richness to it. While it may not look a lot like it, the Huawei TalkBand B5 is also, quite discreetly, a fitness band with the sensors at the back. There is a power button on the right side, with two buttons at the bottom to release the dial for its Bluetooth headset conversion.

It rocks a 1.13-inch AMOLED display, which is actually quite impressive, thanks to vibrant colors and smooth touch interface. Viewing angles are great as well, which is a must-have for wearables. You can also customise the TalkBand B5 to turn the display on when you look at it, much alike most premium grade fitness bands or smartwatches.

The design is simple, which is great when it comes to a smartwatch. While it may not pass of as a standard analog watch, the Huawei TalkBand B5 is not exactly attention grabbing, which is perfectly alright.

The Highlights

The key feature of the Huawei TalkBand B5 is that it snaps out to become a Bluetooth headset. To be honest, I don’t really see the point of this, but hear me out why. Firstly, the headset is not all that comfortable. To accommodate the headset in the strap, the earpiece seemed quite poorly designed, and even after switching it around, I still couldn’t find the right fit, which led to it falling out over and over. Secondly, if you are going to design a headphone, which will play all phone audio, quality of said audio should be of prime importance. I felt the whole reason behind this design was to just take a quick call, but if it doesn’t fit or sound good, it loses the point.

Moving into the settings, you can customize the watch face, add contacts (up to 10 manually) and more through the app. However, when put against other smartwatches or bands in the market, Huawei had the space to add new things, which was not used. In the box we do get extra ear pieces and a USB charging cable, which is pretty normal. However, with a premium product, I would have expected wireless charging on a dock. On the TalkBand B5, you actually have to remove the central unit from the strap to access the charging port, which is quite tedious.

However, the Huawei TalkBand B5 is more than just a smart accessory, it is also a fitness tracker, and this is where it shines. The Huawei Health app is a major improvement from its previous version, with all the battery draining bugs fixed as well. Simply said, the Huawei TalkBand B5 does a decent job with the fitness tracking, and also reminds you to stay moving. Although I did find the low battery notification a little irritating on my phone, resulting in me unpairing the device entirely.

Verdict

Priced at Dh 699 for Sports Black Silicon strap and Dh 799 for the Business Brown Leather strap, the Huawei TalkBand B5 is a pretty decent fitness tracker, but still has room to improve if it aspires to be more. While it might come off as a little on the pricer edge as compared to most fitness bands, it does lack a few features that we normally see in fitness trackers of that price band.

While the TalkBand B5 is comfortable to wear and easy to use, it does lack in features and apps. So if you are looking for a fitness tracker without any extra hassle, then this is the one for you. Oh and you can use it as a Bluetooth headset, because why not.