If you thought the Watch Buds were weird, Huawei’s pushing the limits further with the TalkBand B7, a slim smartwatch with a pop-out Bluetooth earpiece. Giving complete Businessman-from-the-2000s energy, the TalkBand B7 comes with a detachable module that fits right in your ear, turning from wearable to ‘hearable’ in seconds. The screen itself detaches from the watch’s band to reveal the mildly chunky retro-style Bluetooth headset (from the Jabra days) that fits right in your ear. Unlike the Jabra earpieces from back in the day, however, this one has a 1.53-inch flexible AMOLED screen, and is basically a smartwatch in your ear.
The TalkBand series isn’t particularly new, although its novelty hasn’t quite worn off yet. The B7, as its name rightfully suggests, is the seventh in the TalkBand series, but it still feels like some ridiculously fresh idea that challenges the stereotype of what a smartwatch should do/be. It comes with a curved display that sports a unique vertical format as opposed to the square and circular variants seen on most smartwatches. The TalkBand B7 does the usual, letting you check the time, weather, notifications, and even monitor your health and track your exercises, but goes above and beyond by also letting you check your blood oxygen saturation and even track your menstrual cycles. Strangely enough, the band lacks GPS and NFC, so it depends on your phone for location and won’t let you tap-to-pay.
A set of buttons on the bottom left and right of the screen let you pop the earpiece module out, letting you go from a wrist-worn device to a Bluetooth headset that’s perfect for calls. The module runs on Huawei’s Kirin A1 chip, with support for Bluetooth 5.2 for a strong connection with your smartphone. Dual-mic noise cancellation makes the TalkBand’s earpiece a perfect choice for audio or video calls in a relatively noisy environment.
The TalkBand B7 is currently limited to just the Chinese market, although a global launch is expected in May of this year. The TalkBand B7 is compatible with devices running Android 7.0, HarmonyOS 2, or iOS 9.0 and newer, and starts at CNY 999 (US$145).