Although the Talkband B2 was launched a good 6 months back, I only got hold of a review unit recently. Like the Talkband B1 which I reviewed a year ago, the B2 can be detached from the dock on the strap and be used like a Bluetooth headset. When the headset is undocked, the audio intelligently routes from the smartphone to the headset.
While the B1 is designed with a sporty silicon strap, the B2 uses a good amount of aluminum alloy on the dongle and the dock for a premium build, while the quick-release strap is easily swappable with any 15mm strap. As such, the charging port is now located on the headset unit itself. The headset can only be removed by pressing both locks located at both sides of the band. This is a good implementation to prevent accidental releases.
The LED display is now touch-sensitive, so you swipe to view activity tracking information. It also detects wrist gestures and wakes up the screen to show the time and date. There are 4 watch faces to choose from, activated by press-and-hold the watch face.
The B2 also vibrates with message notifications which you can pick from the Huawei Wear app, but the B2 can only display the sender name or app name without the message content. So I have to change the mindset that the notification shows me the sender or app which then helps me determine whether the message is important or not, before reaching to the phone to access.
With a 6-axis motion sensor, the B2 is able to detect whether you are walking, running or cycling. It captures the data and syncs to the Huawei Wear app.
The battery life varies depending on how often you use the headset. For my kind of usage, it lasts just 2 days (the specs says up to 6 days). Fortunately, charging takes just under an hour.
The harshest critique of the Talkband B2 is its price. At a retail price of S$299, you can get more advanced activity trackers at that price. If you do not fancy the detachable headset, you might want to settle for an inexpensive alternative like the Vidonn X6S I just reviewed. However, if you find the Bluetooth headset useful (I do!), then perhaps it’s a price worth paying for. Or, you might want to get the first-generation Talkband B1 that is selling now at S$149 on Huawei Singapore website.
Like the B1, I appreciate the convenience of the B2 where I can remove the headset from the strap to answer calls. And instead of positioning the smartphone speaker next to my ear in an awkward position, I simply remove the B2 from the strap and the audio routes to the headset. There is no other products in the market where you can dock a Bluetooth headset safely on your wrist when not in use. This is a perfect companion for consumers who carry a huge tablet phone and do not want to look silly talking over it.
The Talkband B2 is also comfortable to wear the whole day and night on my wrist, so I wear it to sleep and make use of the vibrating alarm feature to wake me up without disturbing my wife.