The Huawei TalkBand 5 is the fourth in a line of bluetooth headset and fitness band combos. It has a larger and brighter touch display than its predecessors and a broader feature set that sits in a slicker looking wristband.
But how does Huawei’s latest proposition fare in a time where texting is preferred over phone calls and dwindling headphone jacks see more people opting for a pair of bluetooth and microphone-enabled headphones instead of old-school bluetooth earpieces?
Pricing & Availability
The TalkBand B5 launched in August and is available at Huawei stores as well as select retailers across the UAE. It comes in two versions, the Sports Version with black silicon strap for AED 699 (US$ 189) and the Business Version which comes with a Mocha Brown leather strap and a snazzy gold housing for AED799 (US$ 219).
It’s pricing puts it right up with the FitBit Charge 2, FitBit Versa, Garmin Vivosport and the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro which are great fitness bands teeming with features but alas can’t make or receive calls like the TalkBand B5.
Design & Hardware
The TalkBand B5 isn’t the most discreet looking fitness tracker out there but it sure has an elegant and sophisticated look thanks to a genuine brown leather strap and a casing made of gold-hued stainless steel with polished ceramic bezels.
It feels like a premium band but is sturdy, durable and able to handle rigorous activity. It is also quite big at 13mm wide and 58mm long but doesn’t look too obtrusive even on smaller daintier wrists.
It’s also quite light and comfortable when strapped on and you won’t notice it much while going about your day but it might not be something you’d want to wear when you go to sleep.
Popping the headset out from its casing and fitting it back in is a snappy and easy process. You just press two spring loaded buttons at the base of the housing and the headset ejects softly while the top stays safely in place via magnets alleviating any worries about the headset accidentally falling out.
While the TalkBand B5 isn't waterproof, it is sweat and water resistant which means that it can handle a generous splash while washing up or a bout of rain. But if you go for the leather strap keep in mind that sweat and water can increase wear and tear and make the strap look dull.
Display & Interface
The 1.13-inch AMOLED touch screen on the TalkBand B5 is bright, vibrant and punchy with decent viewing angles that allow you to get a clear reading even on sunny days with harsh glare. The band’s interface is intuitive and pleasant to use.
You can flick through the menu carousel smoothly where you can see basics such as time weather and general activity stats including steps taken, sleep history, heart rate, workouts and call history. Tapping on a menu options allows you to delve deeper and view further information and going back is a simple flick to the right.
The settings menu is modest and offers general info about the band, a pairing option, a find-my-phone option that makes your phone emit a sound and a choice between four watch faces. Further settings are available on the phone app where you can manage notifications, enable raise to wake similar to Apple Watch and enable nifty rotate to switch screen feature.