The TalkBand B5’s highlight feature is its ability to receive and make phone calls and it handles that relatively well. You can detach the headset with a simple push of a button and place it in your ear where it sits not too snug but not too loose either, though not suitable for workouts. The band does come with a couple of different earbud sizes if you don’t like how the default earbud fits as well.
The sound quality on both ends of a call are plenty adequate even in noisy places and we only had a couple of calls drop on us while ejecting the headset. Range on the TalkBand B5 is average for Bluetooth headsets- about 30ft which amounts to 8 or 9 medium stride steps.
The headset outputs general phone audio from music and video apps which is okay for a quick listen but sound quality is egregious, so you might want to keep a pair of headphones around for prolonged media sessions because this headset is mainly meant for talking.
Calling features on the headset itself are sparse. You can receive or decline a call by detaching the headset and swiping up or down. Making calls requires you to detach the band as well and uses a list of maximum ten contacts that have to be manually entered through the Huawei phone app.
The band also stores a brief call history that you can tap on to initiate a call. But if your desired number isn’t in one of these two places you’ll have to use your phone.
Notifications are even more bare-bones, you get a mild buzz on your wrist each time a notification gets pushed from your phone. These can include SMS, third-party apps and email (only subject line) notifications.
But there appears to be a character limit in place and notifications that surpass a certain length get truncated causing you to pick your phone up to view the message in its entirety.
iOS users can only have limited notifications that show up on their panel pushed to the band whereas Android users can choose which apps’ notifications get pushed through and avoid being unnecessarily nudged by trivial alerts.