Microsoft Band 2

unboxed-microsoft-band-2-and-lumia-sleep-trackingSince last year October’s Windows 10 Devices event, eyes are on the newer Microsoft Band 2, a much improved version to the original. We do think it is worth the update and if you keep on reading this article, you will definitely understand why. It has improved a lot from the first generation of the Microsoft Band in every possible aspect. It looks and feels much better, providing a better level of comfort. The curved, Gorilla Glass, full-color, AMOLED display is great. Of the size of 1.26 x 0.50 in (32 x 12.8 mm) and with a resolution of 320 x 128 pixels, the display is a shift away from the simpler, monochrome display, or even no display at all, of today’s most popular smart activity tracking bands on the market. While the device is offering a much more improved perspective on tracking and monitoring, it is still not very sleek and comfortable as compared to similar competitive products.

As one could expect the interface is very intuitive, resembles that of any windows device, just by swiping a few times and with a few simple clicks you can personalize the metric, check your activity and stats, or change the theme and general tiles’ arrangement. The device will fully charge in less than 1.5 hours and lasts for 48 hours of normal use. Advanced usages though, like GPS tracking, will drain the battery quicker.

What is our own rating for Microsoft Band 2?

How does it stack up against similar products?

squash-stats-microsoft-band-2Microsoft has equipped Band 2 with a haptic vibration motor and a whole bunch of awesome sensors, like: the optical heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, gyrometer, GPS, ambient light sensor, skin temperature sensor, UV sensor, capacitive sensor, galvanic skin response, microphone and barometer. All of these sensors provide great means for accuracy, and Band 2 has proven to be pretty accurate.

To ensure higher accuracy it is important to set the correct wearing hand position.

How does it work?

With Microsoft Band 2 you can track your heart rate, exercise, calorie burn, and sleep quality. Running or riding the bike you can track your route on the map, which is later broken down in the mobile Health app or on the web dashboard.

Quality of sleep is tracked using bio-metric data, like heart rate and motion, and you could set the vibrating alarm to wake you up at the best moment during your sleep. Besides sleep tracking Band 2 is capable of continuously monitoring the heart rate and calorie burn, and will measure your VO2 Max.

microsoft-health-appYou can improve your running, biking or just about any activity and study the overall impact that workouts have on your organism. You can view a lot of information of what you do, on the band itself already, but detailed daily stats are fully available via the powerful Health app. Health app is repeatedly commented as one of the best component of Microsoft’s Band 2.

The Microsoft Band 2 features different types of alerts to keep you connected, Emails, text, calendar and calls. Some functionality is even borrowed from traditional smartwatches, this makes you keep your phone inside your pocket and instead monitor and preview Emails, text and calls from your wrist directly, right on the go. This smartband integrates Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant, making it easy to set reminders and take notes with your voice.

Microsoft has undoubtedly covered a niche with its Band 2, being simply the only band to flawlessly pair up with windows 8.1 or later phone, connecting to Lumina phones works great. Nonetheless Microsoft Band 2 also works with Android 4.3+, iPhone 4S or later, unlike many other manufacturers that are only betting on fully proprietary software. The Band provides Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a low-energy technology.

The Microsoft’s smartband comes in 3 sizes: small, medium and large, is crafted from thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanite (TPSV), ensuring a soft and light feel.

Band 2 is not waterproof, make sure to follow the safety guidelines, hopefully Microsoft will take into account the general available users’ feedback and would as such improve this aspect for the next iteration of the Band.

You can download guided workout routines to your Microsoft Band 2 directly, and the band will assist you not only in obvious tasks such as tracking your steps or the calories burned, but will also track your reps when working out and will tell you what and how to exercise. Guided workout routines are being packed into the Band, available for download, or can even be custom built with ease.

golf-equipment-microsoft-band-2Microsoft implements advanced GPS-powered Golf features, having teamed up with Taylor Made’s MyRoundPro – leading statistical analysis platform for true golfers. This makes Band 2 pretty amazing on the golf course and gives you later access to tracking in the app or dashboard things like: rounds, Strokes Gained, proximity to the hole and other classic stats.

Recap the features’ list of Microsoft Band 2:

  • Monitor heart rate, track calorie burn and sleep quality
  • Monitor and preview emails from wrist, on the go
  • Alerts for Emails, text, calendar and calls
  • Equipped with 11 sensors: Optical heart rate, 3-axis accelerometer/gyro, Gyrometer, GPS, Ambient light, Skin temperature, UV, Capacitive, Galvanic skin response, Microphone, Barometer
  • Get map of the running/cycling on mobile and web
  • Full-color, 320 x 128 pixels AMOLED display, 1.26 x 0.50 in (32 x 12.8 mm)
  • Compatible with Windows Phone, Android and iPhone
  • Comes in small, medium and large sizes
  • Integrates Cortana
  • Made from thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanite (TPSV)
  • Haptic feedback vibration motor
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity (Low Energy)
  • Guided workout routines available for download
  • GPS-powered Golf features