First generation Microsoft Band has included number of sensors, cross platform compatibility and fair enough price which can be easily afforded. Now, Microsoft has introduced the all new Microsoft Band 2, where they improved and worked on three things a lot. They have improved Microsoft Health website and the display of device which is now curved and made up of Gorilla Glass 3 which makes the band extremely comfortable. Apart from this, Microsoft has added another sensor, a barometer which will help in tracking the number of floors that you have climbed.
For understanding the working of Microsoft Band 2 it is recommended to know about technical specifications as well as the hardware and software.
- Band Material: Thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanite (TPSiV)
- Battery: 48 hours approx
- Processor: ARM Cortex M4 MCU
- Display: 32 mm x 12.8 mm , 320 x 128 pixels resolution AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 3
- Sensors: Optical heart rate, gyrometer, skin temperature, 3-axis accelerometer, microphone, barometer, GPS, galvanic skin response, UV, ambient light
- Dimensions: 44 x 51.8 x 13.4mm and 50.75 grams
- Water Resistance: Don’t use in shower or while swimming, works fine in the rain
About Hardware and Software
When it comes to hardware, it has been designed by Microsoft in such a way that one won’t realize whether it is present on your hand or not. The sensor has been positioned in such a way that Band 2 is on top of user’s wrist so that there will be no pressure on veins making the Band 2 extremely comfortable.
The OLED display looks amazingly great and it is very much responsive to touch which is having two buttons below the display. Among them, the center one is used to display on or off while the smaller one is action button to perform directed actions. It has been observed that that one can view a small down arrow pointing to action button in case you need to use that button.
It makes use of rubber band material which is really soft, along with battery charged with the help of magnetic USB dock which fits onto the top clasp piece. To get your battery fully charged it takes around 1.5 hours which lasts for 2 days. It is quite obvious that your battery gets drained about 25 percent over a 40 minute run when you make use of GPS. The enhancing barometer keeps track of elevation changes while climbing floor which motivates to take stairs instead of elevator that further helps in contributing in healthy life style.
Software has three important elements includes user interface on Band 2, associated smartphone application and Microsoft Health website. The software on Microsoft band 2 is centered with use of tiles along with the home screen which allow quick scrolling through key data.
It allows you to organize tiles in your preferred order which is used for navigation purpose around Band 2. It is advisable to choose the display that shows the time when you rotate your Band 2. There is setting tile which is loaded by default and it should not be disturbed your watch settings, activity reminders and wireless connections.
The feature of auto-detection is available in new Band 2 which keeps track of your sleep whenever you wore it while going to bed. Band 2 has a smart alarm that will vibrate up to 30 minutes before your alarm time when it senses it has been observed that you are in light sleep cycle.
Another cool function of Band 2 is it has the capability to press the action button and see word to word notifications that appears on your Band 2. You can reply to text messages using pre-defined messages or make use of small keyboard right on Band 2. Cortana voice support is only provided on Windows Phone.
Besides, Microsoft Health also supports RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, Strava, TaylorMade and more. But for RunKeeper GPS route is not sent even though data is present in Microsoft Health app. It allows you to quickly view all type of data including graphs, tables, floors you have climbed, view fine details of your sleep cycle.
Besides it provides details of your activities, perform customization and compare your complete information with everyone else using Microsoft Health system and mange connected apps. Another awesome significance of Microsoft Health is that it has option of exporting data in XLS or CSV format. By choosing time range(week, month, year, custom) and you can select summary, sleep, run, bike, golf, exercise and guided workout data to export. It has special ability of archiving data and one can create his / her own tracking graphs.
Pricing and Comparison Information:
Microsoft Band 2 is in the range of $249.99 and it has 50 $ off from Microsoft Store and Amazon. The Band 2 has advanced activity tracker which is better than smart watch compared to Fitbit, Garmin, Polar and Jawbone.
It has been noticed that Fitbit Surge is priced the same which is focused on running. The Surge comes with mono display but it is having good database from Fitbit. Microsoft Band 2 is the Vivoactive which has been priced around $249.99. But comparison states that there is no better option in the market that matches Microsoft Band 2 in terms of sensors and ability to capture data.
Rating View: According to Contributor rating, Microsoft Band 2 has 9.5 as it has the ability to meet the requirements of many people who is looking for daily activity tracker.
Bottom Line: There are so many activity trackers available but nothing works better than Microsoft Band 2. Here you can easily customize tiles accordingly so that you can focus on running and workouts, notifications or miscellaneous apps like Starbucks, weather and news sometimes. The vast amount of data which is collected by Microsoft Band 2 on Microsoft Health website is incredible. By exporting on Excel spreadsheet or CSV file; your data will be easily identified.