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.