Huawei’s TalkBand is a device that on first glance looks like your traditional fitness band that will rarely ever give you more functionality other than poor accuracy on the heart rate monitor and horrendous walking calculations. However, even though the Huawei TalkBand doesn’t do much to rectify the former, it does offer some unique hardware elements and software quirks that may persuade you to looks it way.
Starting off with the design of the Huawei TalkBand, it’s bulky, but elegant all in the same package. The rubberized matte finish plastic that makes up a majority of the hardware feels durable and rather soft to the touch.Which is good as the TalkBand should be made of a material that will encompass your arm for prolonged periods of time. The 1.4 inch flexible OLED head unit looks very sleek, and it being a detachable Bluetooth headset all in the same breath (we’ll get to that later) makes for a compelling and downright different approach to a fitness band. It being IP 57 certified water and dust resistant helps as well. Although, any fitness band that wants to be somewhat functional should have that as a given at this point in the game.
The 1.4 inch OLED display does more then show information relative to your fitness life. It allows you to view incoming calls (caller i.d.) and answer them all in one swift. The device does come with extra earbuds, but for the life of me I couldn’t get the headset to fit firmly in my ear. Now, I do have small ears and usually have issues with earpieces so we’ll chalk this one up as a user issue and not a hardware one. Voices can be heard clearly while in use and even though it’s not competing with new hardware such as the Moto Hint, it does what it claims to do efficiently. There are only two buttons on the TalkBand: one on the side that’s the power and interface switch for the device and one on the band that ejects the earpiece when you need to use it. Battery life is a HUGE highlight on the TalkBand. For one, it uses a micro USB port and not proprietary, so it’ll work perfectly with pre-existing chargers. Huawei claims the TalkBand will give you 14 days of standby time, 6 days of working time, and 7 hours of Bluetooth headset time. This is by far the most accurate depiction of battery life given to us by a manufacturer to date. All of those times were manifested in my use. Nothing more, nothing less.
When it comes to the accuracy of the data (sleep tracking, calorie counting, times woken up, etc.) provided by the TalkBand, things take a turn for the worst unfortunately. The app that coincides with the TalkBand is on IOS and Android. Functionality of the app is fine and the visual prowess of the app does look gorgeous (especially on iOS). Going back to the aforementioned battery life, I was so perplexed as to how Huawei was able to get these times. It all lies in the senors the Talkband uses. There’s nothing high tech and can be correlated to the sensors currently found in smart watches such as the Moto 360. They just can’t provide accurate and reliable data, and for a fitness band not to do so, it ultimately led me to the conclusion that the Huawei TalkBand was not the fitness band for me.
Being priced at $199, the Huawei TalkBand does not do either of it’s two main functions well. The Bluetooth headset feature is cool and made the inner geek in me smile for a bit, but it is not exceptional in functionality in any way and only makes the awkward Bluetooth headset era arise back within you. The biggest blow is the accuracy of the TalkBand. It’s data just isn’t correct and can lead to some major workout routine mishaps if not made aware of to the consumer. All in all, I find the Huawei TalkBand can not be a first, second, or third buyers choice in the world of fitness bands. Hopefully the next iteration will take the “fitness” aspect more seriously.