Fitness trackers come in all shapes and sizes, and Huawei’s take on the category last year was to give it a detachable Bluetooth earpiece. This year, the TalkBand is back, and Huawei has even taken a new look at how the thing should look.
And this year, that look is less one of another plastic wraparound bit of rubber and more like something that you might want to wear in public, with more than just the fitness gear, possibly a nice garment looking all spiffy and whatnot.
That’s the indication Huawei is giving, anyway, as the TalkBand B2 has been unveiled with a look more like that of a smartwatch, relying on either black or white rubber bands, while a brown leather band option will also be made available.
“The TalkBand B2 is the next generation of wearable devices making connected fitness more accessible for everyone,” said Huawei Australia’s Shawn Marsh.
“Designed for smart living, the TalkBand B2 is an important step forward in Huawei’s wearable technology strategy; seamlessly connecting every aspect of our consumers lives.”
Beyond the colouring, Huawei’s TalkBand B2 looks like a tightened up and more modern take of what last year’s B1 sought to achieve, ditching the soft curved and going with a more rectangular shape, yet still providing all of the sensors and electronics needed for fitness tracking, as well as an OLED screen, inside of a detachable Bluetooth earpiece.
Thanks to that last part, you should be able to take the B2 screen out from its smart band casing and wear it on your ear when you get a phone call, letting you speak into the band with the impromptu communications device.
That’s a neat little inclusion, and it will be compatible with iOS and Android, but fitness is still the primary reason Huawei will be making the TalkBand, and this year the company is proving it with a partnership with Jawbone that will send the information from the B2 to Jawbone’s “Up” app, allowing you to talk to friends and track their movements if they’re using the Up system.
A watch is also included — hardly surprising given this is a smart band — as is support for a remote control camera, allowing you to control your phone’s camera from the band.
Pricing of the Huawei TalkBand B2 appears to come in a little more than Huawei’s previous effort, however, charging past the $179 of the 2014 TalkBand B1 and going with $229 for the white or black sport version, or $249 for a gold-tone body accompanied by a brown leather band.
You’ll find this one in stores from early July, however, with Officeworks and JB HiFi getting the TalkBand B2 first, followed by Telstra stores in August.