Where the TalkBand B5 really comes to its own is fitness tracking. It offers the usual features found on mid-range fitness bands such as daily step tracking with a fixed goal of 10,000 steps that you can’t change. Results were accurate for the most part with the band’s pedometer adding just a few steps to the actual total.
You also get activity reminders in the form of vibrations throughout the day if you’ve been sedentary for a certain amount of time. The band also keeps track of how many minutes and/or hours of standing and moderate-intensity exercises you’ve done that day.
Unfortunately the band can’t automatically detect when you start a workout, a feature present in several fitness bands. Thus you have to manually scroll through the menu and select one of the seven activity modes which include indoor and outdoor running, cycling and walking.
Based on your chosen workout you can set custom goals like duration, calories burned and distance traveled in miles. If you’re into running you’ll find a few pre-set training plans on the Huawei Health App and use the band in tandem to track your progress but there’s no built-in GPS for location tracking so you’ll have to take your phone with you if you’re planning to exercise outdoors.
All other workouts fall under the free training category which can be a little vague especially when it comes to HIIT workouts and weight training. These workouts usually require different methods of tracking and hence yield results which aren’t always accurate.
Another useful feature on the TalkBand B5 is the ability to see your heart rate in real time while you’re working out, making it easier to maintain an optimal heart beat. You can set the band to either take a heart rate reading when you ask for it or leave it on constant monitoring which can strain battery life.
On the Huawei Health App you’ll find general advice on target heart rates based on physical activity and set targets for minimum and maximum heart rate levels which then causes the band to buzz when you’re about to reach those limits.
The band also features an alarm function that vibrates the band at a given time. It is a useful feature especially if you’re a light sleeper but the buzz isn’t too prominent and heavy sleepers are more likely to sleep through it.
Huawei Health app
The Huawei Health app is compatible on devices with Android 4.4 and iOS 9 above which covers any phone released over the past three years or so. It is simple to use for the most part but not as detailed and polished as the FitBit app.
It manages to gives you a basic overview of your fitness stats in a clear fashion although it would’ve been nice to delve deeper into certain stats, create custom workouts and there’s certainly room for improvement when it comes to data visualization.
The app also lets you know of your sleeping patterns . The TalkBand B5 features TruSleep technology which Huawei claims can track your sleep very accurately throughout the night and presents you with a chart highlighting deep sleep, light sleep and moments when you were up.
There’s no easy way to certify whether the results are accurate but it does give you a nifty snapshot of your sleeping habits and possible motivate you to start taking steps to improve them.
On paired Huawei and Honor phones, opening the camera app also lets you use the TalkBand B5 as a remote clicker for taking selfies and photos from afar. There’s also news of voice assistant features coming soon to the device but no word on release.
Huawei claims that TalkBand B5’s 108 mAh battery can last 3 and half days on a single charge which we found to be true when using the device modestly and, without continuous heart rate monitoring.
With more extensive use such as lengthy phone calls, getting tons of notifications, and enabling options such as TruSleep and continuous heart rate monitoring enabled, the band would usually give up on the second day. It’s not the best battery life in a fitness tracker but thankfully, going from zero to full charge only takes an hour and a half.
The Huawei TalkBand B5 is an odd hybrid product that could appeal to active callers who also wish to keep track of fitness activity. It has a slick design that looks good on any wrist.
Bluetooth headsets are losing popularity with millennials and are generally only used by professionals whose jobs rely on talking for most part of the day. Such people can appreciate the Huawei TalkBand B5, especially since it helps them track their health and level of activity.
However, we couldn't quite got accustomed to the whole process of popping out the headset to accept calls and hardly ever found ourselves reaching for it to make calls either. It just didn’t come naturally. For us, a pair of good wireless headphones along with a fitness tracker such as the FitBit Charge 2 is a better, albeit more expensive solution.