Huawei TalkBand B1 Review

Huawei Logo2014 seems to have been the year of the fitness tracker and there will be plenty nestling underneath the Christmas tree come 25th December. Huawei has joined the market with the TalkBand B1, a wrist-worn fitness and sleep tracker fused with a Bluetooth earpiece. You may think that this is a somewhat odd combination so let’s take a look at the TalkBand B1 and see whether walking and talking is a killer combination.

The Huawei TalkBand B1 was first shown back in February at Mobile World Congress and it hasn’t change much since then. The B1 consists of a coloured wristband (white, grey, black, yellow, red and blue) with an embedded 1.4″ OLED display that shows the current time, steps taken, calories burned and time snoozed. The button on the top moves the display between the four different stats. The wristband comes in two sizes, small and large: the review unit was the small one and I could only just get the B1 on my wrist using the very end holes – if you are buying, make sure that you get the right size.

Huawei Talkband B1

When a phone call comes into a paired phone, the screen shows the caller or phone number, but where’s the Bluetooth earpiece? Cleverly, the OLED display unit pops out of the wristband and becomes the earpiece. As you’d expect, the display shows who is on the line when the phone rings. The earpiece was comfortable to wear but it’s not that secure, though there are three different sizes of loop to help keep it in the ear, but I think you’d only wear it while on a call and put it back when you are done.

Huawei Talkband B1 Earpiece

Huawei Talkband B1 earpiece

The TalkBand B1 charges via a USB connector cleverly hidden in the strap. The battery life is good and over the two week loan, I only had to charge the band a few times. YMMV as they say. The B1 is IP57 rated so it’s water resistant enough that jogging in the rain won’t be a problem.

Huawei Talkband B1 USB

In use the B1 seemed reasonably accurate. I say “reasonably” because if I walked 10 deliberate steps and checked the counter I would have done 10 steps, but I found that the B1 didn’t always count more casual steps. For example, one afternoon when I did a combination of walking, standing and sitting, my Fitbit said that I’d done 2780 steps to the B1’s 2330. I guess it depends on your point of view as to whether you only want full steps to count towards your daily 10,000 steps (which can be changed to suit your own goals).

The B1 also tracks sleep and kept a good note of that – it appeared to easily tell the difference between lounging on the sofa and having a good snooze. If you have been still too long, the B1 will buzz you and show a little animation to encourage a bit of stretching or movement. The instructions suggested the time between prompts could be altered but I couldn’t see how to do it; it’s possible that it was an iOS feature not available on Android which brings us neatly to the app.

A complementary (and complimentary) app syncs the step and sleep information via Bluetooth from the Talkband B1 to both Android and iOS smartphones, showing stats on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I was using the Android version.


Activity Graph

Sleep Tracking

The app is straightforward but doesn’t offer much beyond recording activity and some simple interpretation. Disappointingly, there didn’t wasn’t the possibility to upload or share the information between multiple devices, which I think is very much needed when most people have both tablets and smartphones. As mentioned earlier and from reading the instructions, it would appear that the iOS app has greater functionality but I wasn’t able to check that out.

In terms of negatives, the main downside of the Talkband B1 is its size and that it rises well above the wrist. For me, I found it wouldn’t slide under shirt sleeves and in particular, it caught on my trouser pocket every time I reached in to get my wallet out. On the plus side, the instant availability of a Bluetooth headset was great, especially when driving.

Overall, the Huawei TalkBand B1 worked well and was useful but because of the size I’d find it hard to recommend as an everyday wear fitness tracker. I could very much see myself keeping it in my sports bag and putting it on before going for a run or using the treadmill. The Bluetooth earpiece was handy too, so if  the next iteration was a bit smaller or flatter, it could be a winner.

The TalkBand B1 is available from retailers for around GB£100. Thanks to Huawei for the loan of the TalkBand B1.

GNC #995 Uber PR Disaster

Push came to shove folks and I had to order a new Mac Pro Ouch :). The old one continued to give me issues, so instead of fighting it the new one is on the way. Things have been pretty crazy here 20 yr Wedding Anniversary, and my Oldest Sons birthday was today and everyday craziness as the holidays approach.. Full stack of Tech News as well.

Join me in a 10 day transformation following the Thanksgiving holiday. You will save $50.00 on your Total Transformation by using the promo code Podcast @ when you purchase your transformation kit.. Get healthy before the new year with me.

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Robot Underpants: 11.19.14 (177) “World of Wings”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, and “Starman” Michael Gaines bring you this week’s enthralling hot topics including: Bill Cosby-gate, Joe Dirt 2 News, Sprint’s For Life Deals, Vacation Boobs and more!

* Don Lemon Tells Alleged Victim to Bite Dick
* David Spade Mullet
* Sprint’s iPad for Life
* Temporary Breast Enlargement
* Barbie Sucks At Coding
*Langley’s Photo Rescue Squad Project Fundraiser

Tablet Stands Made from Decommissioned Railroad Steel

Rail Slice tablet stand and Rail artifact standGriffin Technology has teamed up with Rail Yard Studios to create some very unique tablet stands. These one-of-a-kind stands are made from decommissioned railroad steel. This could be the perfect gift for the train aficionado in your life.

Rail Yard Studios makes custom furniture from historic century-old railroad steel and hardwood timbers. Now, they are using their skill to turn railroad steel into stands for both mini and full sized tablets. The stands are fashioned from reclaimed rail stock that was installed on the original Louisville and Nashville Railroad between 1906 and 1908. Each stand can hold a tablet in both landscape and portrait orientation.

The Rail Slice Tablet Stand is made from a piece of decommissioned rail. It has a milled cavity that can accommodate a charging cable and allow the tablet’s speakers to project sound without obstruction. The Rail Artifact Stand is made from two antique railroad spikes with a tie plate that was used to hold the railroad together. Each style can be purchased for $129.99.

The forged steel may scratch the finishes of tablets, and the use of a case is recommended. To help with that, every Rail Yard Studios stand that is purchased from Griffin’s website will be accompanied with a complimentary Griffin tablet case of the buyer’s choice.

A Beautiful End To My Day

As I was going to bed last night, I checked my Moto X for one last time before heading upstairs. To my surprise, a small blue ballerina twirled across the icon dock at the bottom of the screen before rolling into a round blue ball in the corner. How could I resist? I tapped on the ball….

…and was gifted a love story brought to life through a beautiful line drawn animation called “Duet”. Delivered from Motorola’s pre-installed Spotlight app it’s the third one to be shown on the platform, using elements of augmented reality to enhance the story-telling. The short is only a few minutes long but the timing was perfect and brought the day to a peaceful and thoughtful end. Thank you.

Motorola Duet
Motorola Duet
Motorola Duet
Motorola Duet

GNC #994 Murphy’s Law

Well we blew up a computer on the last show, that’s how hot this show is… Besides me not knowing what day it is, this is as packed as a show as they come… I make up some time from when I was on travel.

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Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphone Review

swimbudsHere in Hawaii we are either at the beach or at a pool on a regular basis. My daughter is a lifeguard at a local city pool, and while she is not allowed to wear headphones / earbuds while on lifeguard duty  she does swim laps each day before / after work and loves to jam out at the same time.

Since our review last year of the Water Proof iPod Shuffle she has been using both the shuffle and underwater ear-buds from Underwater Audio. So when I tossed her the new Swimbuds Sport Waterproof Headphones from Underwater Audio she was eager to try them out..

Today was the day that I asked her for her impressions. First thing she did was started gushing about how awesome they where, and how her co-workers where amazed at the sound quality. They had already seen here previous pair and was amazed those continued to work after 7 months of abuse. During the two weeks she has had these she felt the sound quality and the seal was as good or better than the previous version.

She wanted me to emphasize that one of the things Underwater Audio did right on these was to include a huge selection of ear insert styles, everyone’s ears are a little different and she experimented till she found the best combination.

One added benefit was that she said wearing these underwater earbuds also kept the most of the water out of here ears. When she takes them off she does a fresh water rinse shakes them out and lets them air dry. Retail is @ $70.00 for folks that spend a lot of time in the water they are worth every penny and can be used of course on dry land as well.

IClever HIMBOX Bluetooth Car Hands Free Kit

himboxDo you have a vehicle that does not have a hands free system? Well the folks at  ICLEVER®  have the Himbox Bluetooth Car Hands Free Kit, that packs a lot of punch in a small package.  What I love about this Handsfree device is the simplicity and small size.

Setup could not have been easier. 1st insert the dual power adapter plug  in your cars 12/24v power outlet. 2nd plug the audio cable into your cars 3.5mm aux input port.  If your car does not have an aux port you will not be able to hear the callers audio.  3rd you find a level surface in proximity to the driver and mount the control/ microphone button with included magnetic base and adhesive.

You then pair the unit, once that’s done your ready to start making calls, listening to music via Bluetooth. The control button has multiple functions to support play/pause, volume up/down, next or previous track, answer call, reject call and even switch to private talk by double clicking the button during a call.

In my testing the microphone picked me up fine and sounded good to my callers. It was handy to adjust the caller volume with the audio control on my steering wheel.  My vehicle has a hands free system already in it, so I had to un-pair from my car during the test but surprisingly the quality seemed as good as my in car system.

This device is made by the HisGadget team under their iClever brand. Priced at an amazing $35.99  with Amazon Prime free shipping, you really cannot beat the price and for the quality their is no need to go out and buy the more expensive units on the market

With this review they also sent over a ICLEVER® 4.2A/21W Car Charger price @ $9.99 with Prime shipping at Amazon.  The USB charger worked as advertised and charged a variety of devices without fail.

Be sure to check out their full line of products at


xPrintServer iPad & iPhone Printing Review

xprintThe xPrintServer Home Edition from Lantronix makes iPad & iPhone Printing easy without disrupting printing with your computer. The XPrintServer Home Edition is a  device that simply connects to between your USB Printer Port and your Wireless Switch.

When I see devices come in for review that claim to be easy to setup, I want to make sure it does just that. The xPrintServer came with a Quick Start Guide, the xPrintServer not much bigger than a deck of cards, power cable, and Ethernet cable.

As instructed I connected my printers USB cable to the xPrintServer, connected the network cable to my wireless switch and powered it up.

It took about 60 seconds for everything to sync up, and then the X on top of the device started blinking slowly indicating it was ready to print.  My printer was on their compatible printer list and it had no problem connecting up. I had read that even printers not on the list can be made to work you just need to talk with their support team.

On my iPad I loaded a photo an from the printer option windows chose my now networked usb printer. Clicked print and the image printed fine. I then proceeded to print some Google docs, web pages and various other apps that had a print function which all turned out great.

I had to re-add my printers on my computers though so be aware of this,  the Macs where simple,  if you are using windows you have to install the Bonjour Print Services which was a bit of a pain, but once loaded it detected the networked printer and added it.  For those of you that do not already have a networked printer, this is a great way to get a older USB only based printer to be available on the network versus printing through a dedicated computer via a share.  I had no issues with the device and the whole process took about 10 minutes to have all devices, and existing computers to be able to print through the xPrintServer.

One thing I was not able to test was with a multi-function computer. The existing multi-function printer I already have is a wifi based connected printer that was too far away from the network switch to do a test. Priced at $99.95 from Lantronix this is a great device to make printing available to iOS devices on those USB printers you have in your home.

Evutec Kevlar iPhone 6 Case

evutecWith Bendgate on everyone’s mind everyone is taking a lot closer look at the quality of the cases they buy.   So when I saw that the folks at Evutec have came out with a case embedded with Kevlar fibers I knew they where on to something big.  The Karbon S Series cases are slim yet tough as nails an yet stylish. They come in 4 different colors that are visibly lined with Dupont™ Kevlar®.

When I look at cases today for the iPhone 6 series I look for durability, in the dozen or so cases I have looked at the Evutec line strikes the best balance of toughness and style. Priced at $39.95 they are a little more than other iPhone 6 cases, but in my opinion you are getting your moneys worth.

Be sure to check out their full line of cases @