Up close with TalkBand, the Bluetooth headset you wear around your wrist

Huawei TalkBand
Image: Huawei

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BARCELONA—Remember that old SNL sketch about Shimmer, the floor wax that’s also a dessert topping? Well, Huawei’s TalkBand is a pedometer, smart band, and Bluetooth headset, and the combination makes a whole lot of sense.

The TalkBand, announced earlier this week at Mobile World Congress, features a 1.4-inch OLED screen on a rubbery bracelet. The screen shows the time of day, how many steps you’ve taken, calories burned, and it’s got a timer too. The data syncs back to your Android or iOS phone with NFC and Bluetooth.

huawei mediapad x1 image: susie ochs

Huawei hopes you pair the TalkBand to its new phablet, the MediaPad X1, but it’ll work with any device running at least Android 2.3 or iOS 5.0. 

It also displays notifications about new messages and phone calls, but when you get a call you don’t have to scramble for your phone to answer it. Just press the button and the whole screen pops right out of the bracelet and acts as a Bluetooth headset. You just stick it in your ear and chat away.

The other thing we love about TalkBand is that the end of the strap peels back to reveal a full-size USB connector. To charge it, just plug it in to your computer whatever USB charger you have lying around—no extra charging dongles to lose.

The thing we don’t love about TalkBand: We can’t buy it yet. Huawei will launch the product in the first quarter of 2014 in China, and then in the second quarter in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, along with the other new products it announced in Barcelona on Sunday. A noisy press conference was no place to test the TalkBand’s sound quality, or Huawei’s stated 7 hours of continous talk time on each charge. But with a design this intriguing, we’re eager to answer the call to review it, should it come to U.S. markets later in 2014.

This story, "Up close with TalkBand, the Bluetooth headset you wear around your wrist" was originally published by TechHive.

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