Microsoft Band 2by Microsoft

  • Microsoft Band 2
  • Microsoft Band 2
  • Microsoft Band 2
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
Not recommended. This product is super problematic.
69%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • This 24/7 activity tracker provides more sensors than most of its competitors.
  • You can customize your workouts and obtain a comprehensive breakdown of activity data.
  • The Band 2's AMOLED display is attractive, and it shows smartphone notifications.

CONS

  • The battery life, touted at 48 hours, is just so-so compared with other fitness trackers in this category.
  • The Band 2 is not waterproof, so you can't wear it in the pool or the shower.
  • Depending on your wrist size and tolerance levels while working out, the chunky design might be uncomfortable to wear.
Microsoft's successor to the original Band sports a less bulky design along with an impressive mix of fitness features and smartwatch-like notifications. The Band 2 tracks heart rate, runs, calories burned, steps, workouts, golf, the quality of your zzzzzs, and more. Under the hood, the Band 2 contains 11 sensors, including a barometer, UV monitor, and GPS. Use the companion app, Microsoft Health, to find guided workouts or create your own routines. With the Band 2, you can preview email, text, calendar, and other notifications. The display is full-color and curved. In addition to Windows phone compatibility, the Band 2 also works with Android and iOS devices.
NameMicrosoft Band 2Fenix 3VivoactiveSurgeMicrosoft Band
ManufacturerMicrosoftGarminGarminFitbitMicrosoft
Techwalla Score
69%
87%
79%
73%
65%
List Price$250$500$250$250$200
80%

It does a great job of expanding on the simplistic UI of the Band 2 itself, gives you greater control over the data the Band is picking up, …

It does a great job of expanding on the simplistic UI of the Band 2 itself, gives you greater control over the data the Band is picking up, lets you augment the experience with third-party offerings...and helps you connect your band to apps like RunKeeper.

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80%

It is a great activity tracker. The Microsoft Band 2 has everything that my TomTom GPS-enabled runners watch gives me, and more. As well as …

It is a great activity tracker. The Microsoft Band 2 has everything that my TomTom GPS-enabled runners watch gives me, and more. As well as everything I can get from my Fitbit or Jawbone. And in a better shell, with a better app.

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80%

The new Microsoft Band has integrated a curved screen that fits better on the wrist and makes it much easier to see notifications...[T]he sc…

The new Microsoft Band has integrated a curved screen that fits better on the wrist and makes it much easier to see notifications...[T]he screen remains bright and vivid, yet it still magically retains battery power.

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75%

Sure, step-tracking is always an expectance amongst fitness trackers, however, the Band 2 is able to differentiate what kind of activity we’…

Sure, step-tracking is always an expectance amongst fitness trackers, however, the Band 2 is able to differentiate what kind of activity we’re doing. In fact, before starting a workout, we can choose from its preselected options through the Band.

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75%

[Y]our wrists might get a little sweaty, but at least they won't feel the pinch of bad design. Make no mistake: This year's Microsoft Band i…

[Y]our wrists might get a little sweaty, but at least they won't feel the pinch of bad design. Make no mistake: This year's Microsoft Band is a huge improvement over the original, even if it's still tricky to put on with one hand.

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70%

When I’m wearing the Band 2, I no longer feel like I’m under house arrest.

When I’m wearing the Band 2, I no longer feel like I’m under house arrest.

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70%

Heart rate monitoring is on board and, while we found resting heart rate to be pretty accurate compared to a chest strap, during workouts it…

Heart rate monitoring is on board and, while we found resting heart rate to be pretty accurate compared to a chest strap, during workouts it did throw up some odd readings. It wasn't inaccurate every time but it wasn't reliable enough either.

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70%

You can load pre-set workouts from brands like Gold’s Gym and Shape magazine onto your band too, and if you’re really ambitious, you can eve…

You can load pre-set workouts from brands like Gold’s Gym and Shape magazine onto your band too, and if you’re really ambitious, you can even customize your own workout in advance, something I wish more health and fitness trackers offered.

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70%

I’m also a little sad that the Band 2 isn’t waterproof...As a result, you can’t go swimming with it, or take it into the shower after a long…

I’m also a little sad that the Band 2 isn’t waterproof...As a result, you can’t go swimming with it, or take it into the shower after a long work out – which means you’ll have to do a manual wipe-down after each exercise session to keep it looking and smelling nice.

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70%

Unfortunately, wearing the bulky Band 2 makes working out more of a strain that it already is. I never forgot that it was on my wrist as it …

Unfortunately, wearing the bulky Band 2 makes working out more of a strain that it already is. I never forgot that it was on my wrist as it slide around, and it made exercises like pushups particularly unpleasant.

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69%

[I]t's not a great smartwatch. The wide screen, and the way it lies perpendicular to my wrist, means I have to twist my arm awkwardly or wea…

[I]t's not a great smartwatch. The wide screen, and the way it lies perpendicular to my wrist, means I have to twist my arm awkwardly or wear the Band 2 on my inside wrist to read messages easily.

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66%

Where the device really comes into its own is with the dedicated Microsoft Health service, where you can literally look at every minute deta…

Where the device really comes into its own is with the dedicated Microsoft Health service, where you can literally look at every minute detail of your average day...If you’re a true health fitness buff, it’s hard to complain. For mortals like me, it was all a bit too much.

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60%

[The Band] ignores your phone’s quiet hours or Do Not Disturb modes; the Band itself has its own Do Not Disturb mode, but it’s annoying it d…

[The Band] ignores your phone’s quiet hours or Do Not Disturb modes; the Band itself has its own Do Not Disturb mode, but it’s annoying it doesn’t recognise this automatically.

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60%

Two-button control layout is confusing, and Microsoft probably could have gotten away with using more gestures and just one button. Switchin…

Two-button control layout is confusing, and Microsoft probably could have gotten away with using more gestures and just one button. Switching between activities (like starting a bike ride) is a process involving too many swipes, taps, and button-presses. Simplify the design, drop the price.

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60%

While you could hardly describe this rubberised device as a looker, it does have a certain chunky charm. I especially like its tactile metal…

While you could hardly describe this rubberised device as a looker, it does have a certain chunky charm. I especially like its tactile metal clasp, which is great for twiddling about with in moments of idle-minded distraction.

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50%

The clasp is polarizing: Half of my coworkers found it confusing, half found it easy to use and intuitive. I actually like it — you can slid…

The clasp is polarizing: Half of my coworkers found it confusing, half found it easy to use and intuitive. I actually like it — you can slide the halves of the clasp together to tighten it, or press the levers on the side to loosen it or ultimately release it. And with almost no practice, I can snap it on my wrist in seconds.

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Two hours of commuting on the bike (one hour in the morning, one in the evening) hammered the battery from around 90% to the halfway mark, w…

Two hours of commuting on the bike (one hour in the morning, one in the evening) hammered the battery from around 90% to the halfway mark, which left me having to charge the Band 2 at the end of the first day.

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Would I shell out $250 for a Band 2? I'm doubtful -- though the reasons are as much about me as the Band 2.

Would I shell out $250 for a Band 2? I'm doubtful -- though the reasons are as much about me as the Band 2.

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[W]hile the hardware of the Band itself sucks, the Microsoft Health software is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

[W]hile the hardware of the Band itself sucks, the Microsoft Health software is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

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It’s more than just a fitness band...it straddles the line of a 'smart fitness' band. You can do some of the things that a smartwatch can do…

It’s more than just a fitness band...it straddles the line of a 'smart fitness' band. You can do some of the things that a smartwatch can do, but not all, and it can do more things than most fitness bands.

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The Band 2 is extremely prone to scratches. After barely a week of use as a daily companion, it looked as if it had taken months of beating.

The Band 2 is extremely prone to scratches. After barely a week of use as a daily companion, it looked as if it had taken months of beating.

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[I] gave up on sleep tracking because the wristband itself was stopping me from actually falling asleep.

[I] gave up on sleep tracking because the wristband itself was stopping me from actually falling asleep.

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The Band 2 makes every effort to be your office assistant, but it’s still a bit hit-and-miss. For one thing, don’t expect to be able to read…

The Band 2 makes every effort to be your office assistant, but it’s still a bit hit-and-miss. For one thing, don’t expect to be able to read your email...the Mail app will give you little more than subject lines or a quick cascade of single words that fill the entire display.

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Unfortunately, the sensors—especially GPS—can drain battery life like crazy when in heavy use. Microsoft claims the Band gets up to two days…

Unfortunately, the sensors—especially GPS—can drain battery life like crazy when in heavy use. Microsoft claims the Band gets up to two days on a single charge, and I found that to be true with little GPS use.

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The bells and whistles make the device much bigger in size than other fitness trackers, and a bit less comfortable.

The bells and whistles make the device much bigger in size than other fitness trackers, and a bit less comfortable.

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The workouts are pretty comprehensive and and usually offer individualisation for people of differing fitness levels in terms of body workou…

The workouts are pretty comprehensive and and usually offer individualisation for people of differing fitness levels in terms of body workouts or gym and running programmes. I personally thought this is Microsoft Band’s unique selling point.

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With the bike, I left my phone at home and tracked the workout with the built-in GPS. I then synced everything back to my phone flawlessly.

With the bike, I left my phone at home and tracked the workout with the built-in GPS. I then synced everything back to my phone flawlessly.

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The touchscreen is beautiful, fluid, and responsive. You’ll learn how to navigate this thing in about five minutes.

The touchscreen is beautiful, fluid, and responsive. You’ll learn how to navigate this thing in about five minutes.

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