Microsoft Band 2 Review
The wearable technology is one of the trending technology in 21st century. That is why many companies have been competing to become a market leader. Big name like Apple, Samsung has had its own smart watch products.
It is also a surprise that brands, who has not yet been the high tech market before also joined. Nike or Adidas are examples. That is why Microsoft has also started its journey and produced fitness tracker named Microsoft Band.
The original band was not a powerful device, but the Microsoft Band 2 has many improvements. If its battery can be last for few days rather than only one day, the product should have reached a much higher rank over other bands.
Microsoft Band 2 Review: Design
The Microsoft Band 2 comes with round edges, which is a better design than the first Microsoft Band generation. The display is made from Corning Gorilla Glass and is sharp.
It is thick and heavy
At first, people think the device is lightweight and small enough to wear, but I don’t. The fact is that the Microsoft band weights double than the Fitbit Charge HR. The Microsoft Band 2 itself is thick and heavy compared to other fitness trackers.
You may not feel comfortable with the band on your wrist
If you wear the device on your wrist to track your sleep, you may need weeks to get along with it. In addition, the size of the Microsoft Band 2 definitely makes you feel uncomfortable when you are typing on your computer.
However, you always have an option to take it off when you do your work. Then, wear it back at the time you start your workout.
Personally, I can wear a fitness tracker when I sleep, but most of the time I do not feel comfortable when I am working with my laptop. As a result, I often take the device off my wrist.
For months since the first day I use a fit band, now I am fine with a device on my wrist through the day. Therefore, if you haven’t had a habit of wearing a fitness tracker or a watch before, then you should come to try a smaller fitness tracker than Microsoft Band 2.
Microsoft Band 2: Features
At the high-end position in the fitness tracker market, Microsoft Band 2 has all basic tracking functions and many premium features.
Advanced tracking functions
Among popular tracking functions, Microsoft Band 2 tracks your running, biking, golf, heart rate, sleep quality. It will also count stair floor you climb.
The GPS is the advantages of Microsoft bands compared to lower price devices. The GPS helps the device measure precisely the distance you run or bike.
Measure calories burned
Calories burned during the day is estimated based on algorithms. You should not expect an accurate measurement but more importantly how it is in line with other fitness trackers.
If you use only one band, then you have nothing to worry about. The data from Microsoft Band 2 is consistent enough that give you an overview of how much you have burned each day.
You may find difficult to sleep with the Microsoft Band 2. Nevertheless, when you can do that, the Microsoft Band 2 gives you very useful insight it records during your sleep.
It automatically tracks when you fall asleep and build a metric include the duration of the sleep, how many times you woke up during the night, calories you burned while sleeping.
The Microsoft Band 2 will also give you data on how much time your sleep is restful. This is a very key indicator of your sleep quality.
A powerful screen
With a large full-color screen, Microsoft Band 2 can display email, text, calendar, and call alerts on the go. You will find this feature very helpful if you have to deal with a huge amount of email, text message on the daily basis.
Many messages do not require immediate responds. This function will save your time checking phone regularly during the day.
Most of the fitness bands with GPS sensor will provide you very accurate results on how far you walked or run. GPS technology is same on all fitness trackers and also available on many smart phone apps.
If you do not really need the GPS function, then you can always buy other fitness bands at a much lower price. You may also consider using budgeted fitness trackers with an app on the phone, that supports GPS tracking.
The Microsoft Band 2 is not waterproof with IP67. Light rain and hand washing shouldn’t damage the device. However, you should not wear your band while you are swimming or in the shower.
By far, products from Misfit Shine seem to outperform as the best waterproof device. Their bands, including the recent Misfit Ray can be used to track your swimming activities.
What really impresses here is the fact that Microsoft Band 2 consists of 11 sensors, which is pretty good for such a small device.
This number is by far the best among fitness bands available on the market. This helps the device track your activities more accurately.
The battery life is a bit of a detriment. It only lasts for two days and needs an hour and a half to charge.
The fact is that you should expect to charge it on the daily basis if you want to use most functions during the day. Battery is not something that Microsoft Band performs well.
Microsoft Health App
The Microsoft Health App works with most of Windows Phone, Android and IOS device.
At the time of this review, the App on Android does not compatible with Android 5.0 Lollipop, but Microsoft may update the App very soon when this operating system becomes more popular.
Microsoft Health app works with almost all types of devices right from Windows phones, Androids and IOS devices. Pairing it with your smart phone needs a Microsoft account after installing the Microsoft Health app.
The Microsoft Health App gives you a huge amount of data collected from the device. Sometime, you may find difficult to sync the data from the device. People often comment it is not fancy as a fitness app such as Google Fit or Fitbit App.
You can also log in the Online Website to see more information to benchmark your tracking data.
Buy it or not?
Overall, the Microsoft Band 2 offers rich features and tracking data. It performs well to give you insight of your daily activities. The GPS is a premium feature to help you accurately track your running or biking but may not be worth as it consumes too much battery.
If you really need a GPS fitness tracker, Microsoft Band 2 is a good choice. If you do not much serious about GPS, you can always find other fitness bands at lower prices.
Where to buy the Microsoft Band 2
Amazon is still one of the best places to buy fitness trackers. The Microsoft Band 2 has had more than 400 reviews. The rating of Microsoft Band 2 is quite good compared to other fitness trackers.