Huawei has officially unveiled the TalkBand B3, its third generation hybrid smartband that works as a fitness tracker and a Bluetooth headset.
It's fair to say that we were pretty underwhelmed by the B1 and B2 TalkBands, which haven't exactly set the wearable world on fire. So it's surprising to see Huawei is still persevering and giving it another go. Especially when it's doing a far better job with its Android Wear running Huawei Watch.
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So what can you expect from the new B3? Design-wise, there's now three different models. You've got the Classic, Elite and Active. The Classic comes in attractive brown and beige leather strap options while the Elite offers aluminium grey and black metal options. The Active has a more durable, sporty strap that definitely gives off a Sony SmartBand vibe up close.
Aside from the straps, it's sticking to the same design blueprint as its predecessors. They all feature the same 0.7-inch Touch OLED display with a 128 x 80 resolution. It's a bit of a feeble effort in terms of size and has a very Fitbit One look and feel in terms of display quality. All of the models are IP57 water and dust resistant with 3D curved Corning Gorilla Glass adding an extra layer of protection.
A closer look at the Huawei TalkBand B3 Active
A metal frame holds the screen in place with just a single button to turn the B3 on and off. You'll spend most of your time swiping up and down on the touchscreen display to view modes like activity tracking, sleep tracking (which is automatic) and to check on the time.
Huawei is now adding an auto recognition mode that uses the onboard motion sensors to know when you start to walk, run or go climbing. A quick look at the running mode shows you can view duration, distance and calories burned. It's all pretty basic.
The Android and iOS friendly TalkBand B3 can also play the role of smartwatch letting you view incoming call notification, set alarms and get event reminders.
What sets it apart from other wearables is the fact that it works like a Bluetooth headset for those of you who still want to walk around like a businessman from the 90s.
Say hello to the TalkBand B3 Elite
Like previous TalkBands you can pop the screen out of the strap, open out the earpiece and whack it into your ear taking advantage of the built-in speaker and microphone. Huawei says it's using a high grade chipset and a professional audio algorithm to crank up the volume making it louder than the B2. It's also promising an improvement in noise cancellation by 80%.
In terms of battery life, there's a 91mAh capacity battery inside all members of the B3 family giving you 3-4 days playtime and six hours of taking and making calls.
If you want to get your hands on one, the Active will cost €169, the Classic will be priced at €199 and the Elite will be the most expensive at €249. There's no details on when or where it's going on sale.
Other than announcing its two new flagship phones, there wasn't much else to talk about on the wearable front. We're still waiting to find out when the Huawei Elegant and Jewel smartwatches will launch after they were announced back in January. The two more female focused Android Wear watches did recently pop up on the Google Play Store but Huawei has yet to offer any concrete details on a release date.