Microsoft's new $249 Band fitness tracker brings a vast arsenal of sensors to your wrist


Microsoft today announced the second iteration of its Band fitness tracker and guess what, it is heavily investing in fitness, health, and activity tracking. And boy, is it a well-endowed one! 

Let's start with the design. The wearable flaunts a curved AMOLED display with a resolution of 320 by 128 pixels protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and its band is made of a material called TPSiV (thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanate). However, what grabbed our attention is the wealth of sensors in the arsenal. 

Some of the more important ones are the continuous, optical heart rate monitor, an on-board GPS and barometer for improved geo-tracking, 3-axis accelerometer/gyro, gyrometer, a skin temperature sensor, a UV sensor, a galvanic skin response sensor. Seriously, that's a lot of sensors. 

Some of the features these unlock before you are sleep monitoring, calorie expenditure, track elevation, and others. The data will be available inside the Microsoft Health app on your paired handset.

Additionally, the wearable supports Cortana, allowing you to issue voice commands. The golf tracking features of the wearable also received their fair share of time in the spotlights.

Microsoft promises up to 48 hours of battery life; it's also claimed that the munchkin gets fully charged in less than an hour and a half. The Band 2 works with devices running Windows Phone 8.1 or higher, iPhone 4S and newer (iOS 8.1.2 required), and handsets running Android 4.3 or higher. The nifty activity tracker will be up for pre-order later today and shipping will start on October 30. It will cost you $249. 

Any thoughts?

FEATURED VIDEO

10 Comments

1. iliketech

Posts: 78; Member since: Aug 17, 2011

Hopefully the battery life is way better than the last Band...

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7433; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Does it have the same MCU, RAM, and storage as the last Band. If so, then you will not be able to install and play music from their new band.

6. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

I have a Band and the battery life on It is pretty decent it lasts me about a day and a half to two days.

8. Plutonium239

Posts: 1231; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

The battery on my Band lasts me ~4 days(I never turn on GPS).

2. Hahawk

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 20, 2015

So does this thing mesure how much calories I eat just like the AIRO sometime (if ever) intends to do?

4. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

it didn't say if it had a spectrometer...then again the airo doesn't do everything this does...by anymeans...so quid pro quo

3. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

hopefully it gets a global release unlike the last band !

7. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2359; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Just the 48 hr batt, killed the other "smart watches"

9. dorian827

Posts: 161; Member since: Jul 28, 2012

This device should have been $199 to get new customers and sell much more. Nothing to much differentiate this from other competitive devices like the Gear S2 or ASUS ZenWatch 2, etc. Im a huge fan but this is just my opinion thats rather steep for the wearable.

10. Evan_C

Posts: 153; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

Like the design but the price is a bit steep. Then again the apple watch starts at 350 so... lol

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.