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Huawei partners with Jawbone Up for TalkBand B2 launch
At today’s launch of the P8 Lite in the US, Huawei also revealed that the TalkBand B2 will land in the US later this week. It’s imminent arrival in the US isn’t the only surprise however as the company also revealed that the TalkBand B2 will be the first dedicated third-party fitness tracker to integrate with the Jawbone Up fitness platform.
The TalkBand B2 was announced at Mobile World Congress 2015 in February and features a bluetooth headset which docks into the wrist strap. Huawei’s latest wearable works with both iOS and Android and can track your activity – automatically distinguishing between walking, running and cycling – and sleep patterns. The TalkBand B2 previously required you to use Huawei’s companion app to access your fitness data but will be able to integrate with your existing Jawbone Up profile, allowing you to take advantage of Jawbone’s fitness coaching features.
The successor to last year’s TalkBand B1 brings an updated design, improved display and a nicer style but the wearable might not be for everyone; an integrated Bluetooth headset certainly has its uses but headsets are rarely used these days and even then, even fewer people want one on their said.
I’ve personally used the TalkBand B2 for the past couple of months and while the Bluetooth headset certainly has its benefits, it’s not something that I find essential or would actively search for in my next wearable. The fitness tracker automatically recognises your activity type and in use, it does seem to be somewhat accurate; like most current wearables, there are discrepancies but it is on par with other wearables.
While it does have a Bluetooth headset, the TalkBand B2 lacks the heart rate monitoring and smartphone notifications found on other fitness trackers so it certainly won’t appeal to everyone. The B2 is available with a choice of straps – there’s a leather strap version that’s splash-proof while the metal versions are water resistant – in a choice of colors; black metal, gold leather and silver metal.
For Jawbone, the integration of third-party devices means it no longer has to compete on the hardware front. Larger companies such as Fitbit, Xiaomi and Huawei all have the capacity to launch multiple wearables a year and instead of competing with them, Jawbone can leave these companies to produce the hardware while it focuses on the Jawbone Up platform.
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The TalkBand B2 might be the first third-party dedicated fitness tracker to integrate with Up but we wouldn’t be surprised to see other devices follow suit. When released later this week, the TalkBand B2 will cost $179 and will be available from GetHuawei.com, Amazon.com and Fry’s, both in-store and online. It will also be available from Best Buy in the near future.