Chinese company Huawei is entering the wearable market with its announcement of the Talkband B1 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2014) in Barcelona, Spain. The device is aimed at fitness enthusiasts as it is able to provide data on the number of steps you have taken, distance traveled, and calories burned on a daily basis. It is also able to detect sleep phases and helps users wake up to their normal body clock.
The Huawei Talkband B1 is water-resistant and comes with a 1.4 inch OLED display. It also has a Bluetooth 4.1 earpiece that is able to support wireless calling. All you have to do is pair it with your Android (2.3 and above) or iOS (5.0 and above) smartphone and you will be able to view the caller ID and even make calls.
Huawei Chief Executive Richard Yu describes this device as an integrated Bluetooth headset and smartband that has NFC pairing and Bluetooth 4.1. It is IP57 certified which makes it resistant to water and dust. Users will be able to wear this even while in the shower. The strap used is also a USB connector which allows the device to be charged. The 90mAh battery charges in 2 hours and can provide up to 7 hours of talk time and up to 6 days of use.
The Talkband B1 doesn’t have the many features of the Samsung Galaxy Gear or even the Pebble however it does cover two important bases, which are keeping track of fitness and making calls. In terms of design it looks sturdy enough. It does not use a touchscreen display and here’s only one button that users can use to interact with the device. An accompanying smartphone app will also be released which should add more functionality to it.
One thing that might be an issue with the Talkband B1 is its locking mechanism. It has two small buttons that needs to be properly aligned with the holes in the strap to lock it in place. Once it is in place it seems to pop loose easily. Since this is still an early version of the device the company might make some changes on this before it hits the market.
The TalkBand B1 is expected to become available in the Chinese market this coming March. It will become available in Japan, the Middle East, Russia and Western Europe on the second quarter of this year. It is priced at €99 or $136.