Wearables split opinion most often because they attempt to straddle the line between gadget and fashion accessory, and while the tech companies’ efforts are improving, they’re still not going to give jewelers or luxury watchmakers cause for concern. I was pleasantly surprised then by Huawei’s TalkBand B2, an understated and reasonably attractive fitness tracker from the Chinese firm.
Although there will be black and silver/white options available, it’s the gold edition with leather strap that caught my eye most of all. With colours perhaps more suited to a lady’s wrist than blokey-bloke arms, it features a 0.73-inch PMOLED display that accepts touch input. The glossy curved screen can be swiped through to access different modes, including a motion tracker, calorie counter and sleep monitor, logged by a 6-axis sensor that includes gyro and accelerometer points. While the simple screen is a little reflective, its gold coloured finish means it looks totally inoffensive when not in use.
In a clever touch, two buttons either side of the TalkBand B2 allow the central module to pop out. On the underside you’ll then find an earpiece, allowing the wearable to double up as a Bluetooth 4.1 headset. Noise cancelling dual-mics should ensure that call quality is clear enough, and a 90mAh battery should see you through five working days, seven hours of call time and 12 days standby.
Fitness goals can be set and monitored through the original TalkBand app for both iOS and Android, which will be getting the B2 update ahead of launch. However, swimmers may want to pass on the leather-and-gold combo, as it’s only splash proofed with an IP55 rating -- the durable rubber band of the black and silver/white models can take a proper dunking with IP57 ratings.
No word yet on pricing or availability, but definitely one to watch out for if you favour fashion over reams of functions in your wearables.