Microsoft Band 2 Review

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Microsoft just launched their shinny new toy the Microsoft Band 2. The predecessor was the Microsoft Band.  The band 2 is similar in design to both Fitbit Charge HR and the Garmin vívofit2 as far as fit goes, however the Band 2 also incorporates GPS and a few other interesting features like a skin temperature sensor and a uv sensor.

Microsoft Band 2 Actity TrackerIt looks like Microsoft did their homework and came out with an activity tracker/smart watch that IMO is way more elegant than Apple’s iWatch.

The quick and dirty is that the Microsoft Band 2 tracks your heart rate, exercise, calorie burn, and sleep quality, and keeps you connected with email, text, and calendar alerts.  It features 11 sensors, including a GPS, UV monitor, and barometer. And with the power of Microsoft Health, you have the tools you need to reach your goals.

While both the Fitbit Surge (6 or 7 day usage) and Garmin vívoactive (3 weeks usage with GPS-off) devices have a pretty long battery life, the Microsoft Band 2 lasts for roughly 2 days.  This of course means you will have to be charging it more often, which is one of the main drawbacks to many high processing watches/trackers.  They simply use a lot of battery.  Garmin on the other hand has figured out a way to save battery life by putting the smart watch into limited battery usage role.  Essentially it turns off things like GPS if you’re not needing them.  This limited usage role means the watch can go long periods of time without a recharge.  A great example of this is the Garmin 920XT that can go up to 4 months in limited usage mode.

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Microsoft Band 2 Tech specs

  • Band material – Thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanite (TPSV)
  • Display size – 1.26 x 0.50 in (32 x 12.8 mm)
  • Display type – AMOLED
  • Resolution – 320 x 128 pixels
  • Battery life -48 hours of normal use; advanced functionality like GPS use will impact battery performance
  • Average charge time -Full charge in less than 1.5 hours
  • Battery Type – Li-Polymer
  • Operating temperature ranges – 14° to 104°F (-10° to 40°C)
  • Maximum operating altitude – -300m to +4877m
  • Warranty – 1-year limited warranty. Additional statutory rights may apply in your country.
  • Retail $199.99

Microsoft Band 2 Sensors

  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • 3-axis accelerometer/gyro
  • Gyrometer
  • GPS
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Skin temperature sensor
  • UV sensor
  • Capacitive sensor
  • Galvanic skin response
  • Microphone
  • Barometer

Microsoft Band 2 Additional technology

Haptic vibration motor

Connectivity

Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy)

Supported mobile
devices

Windows Phone 8.1 update2 or later, iPhone: 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus, iOS 8.1.2, and Android 4.4 or later phones with Bluetooth

 

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Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about running, cycling and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day. Location: Austin, TX USA

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