The rumors that Huawei (News - Alert) would unveil its first smartwatch at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) were true as the Chinese ICT company has done just that. While the announcement itself was predictable, however, the product itself is anything but.
Unlike the Samsung (News - Alert) Galaxy Gear or Sony’s SmartWatch 2, Huawei’s TalkBand doesn’t attempt to emulate the classic watch design aesthetic. Instead, the device looks more like, well, a wristband. It does still sport a display of course — a 1.4-inch curved OLED, no less — but it’s long and narrow to support its unusual form factor. The result should be a more comfortable reading experience when it comes to reading longer notifications.
Its shape isn’t the TalkBand’s real innovation, though; no, the fact that the unit pops out of its wristband is. Apparently not content with making notifications less awkward to manage on the wrist, Huawei decided to tackle the inelegance inherent in receiving a call through a smartwatch. Indeed, the TalkBand’s main computing portion doubles as a Bluetooth headset, maintaining the convenience of receiving calls without having to reach for a smartphone, while eliminating the need to yell into one’s wrist.
As a bonus, this probably also means it’s very easy to swap out the TalkBand’s wristband for another color. More importantly, it means the device is able to charge via a standard USB plug rather than something smaller and proprietary.
Like pretty much every wearable device these days, the TalkBand also boasts some fitness features, such as recording how many steps the user has taken, distance travelled, and calories burned. Paired with this is a sleep pattern monitor that can wake the user up at the optimal time.
Other than that, the TalkBand sports NFC for pairing with phones and a 90mAh battery rated at providing six days of use. The device will be out in China next month, but won’t appear in Japan, the Middle East, Russia and Western Europe until the second quarter.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker