The curvaceous Microsoft Band 2 got its big reveal at the #Windows10Devices event in NYC. The previous leaks appear to have panned out, as the Band 2 sports as striking curved screen with a sleek metallic finish.
Here's everything we've learned about Microsoft's latest answer to fitness tracking (and don't call it a smart watch!)
The original Microsoft Band, dubbed as a 'learning experience' by Microsoft, launched only in the US and UK. Microsoft seems far more confident about the new Band, and as a result, it's widely expected to be launched in a wider selection of territories. Unfortunately only US, UK and Canadian availability has been confirmed so far.
The Microsoft Band 2 retains all the features found in the first Microsoft Band while bringing some new capabilities to the table.
Specs & Features
|Material||Thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanate (TPSiV)|
|Display Size||32mm x 12.8mm|
|Display Type||Curved AMOLED|
|Battery||48 hours (GPS may impact battery life)|
|Average Charge Time||Full charge in less than 1.5 hours|
|Operating Temperature Ranges||-10°C to 40°C (14°F to 104°F)|
|Maximum Operating Altitude||-300m to +4877m|
|Sensors||Optical heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor
Skin temperature sensor
Galvanic skin response
|Additional||Technology Haptic vibration motor
|Connectivity||Bluetooth® 4.0 LE|
|Supported mobile devices||Windows Phone 8.1 update or greater
iPhone®5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus with iOS® 8.1.2 or greater
Android™ 4.4 or later phones with Bluetooth®
The Microsoft Band 2 sports much of the same functionality as its predecessor, with a few key upgrades. On the health side of things, popular weight-loss app Lose It! will be lending their services to the Band ready for its October 30th launch. They also appear to be developing apps for Windows devices in kind. The Band 2 retains Cortana integration, and the mail, texting and other notification features from the first Band. Uber will also support the new Band, presumably allowing you to summon cabs directly from your wrist using the Band's GPS sensor.
The new Band is packing a barometer, which measures elevation. As a result, you should get more accurate caloric burn readings when biking uphill, or climbing. The data from the barometer and the other sensors is stored in the Band until you connect it to an iPhone, Android phone or Windows Phone using Bluetooth. The data then gets pushed to the Microsoft Health app, which recently got a design refresh, in addition to the Microsoft Health dashboard online.
Beyond internals, the Microsoft Band 2 has undergone a pervasive design refresh. The material used for the straps is far more malleable than the first iteration, and the curved edges help it to sit more naturally on the wrist. The battery has moved to the end of one of the straps and is charged using a new custom cable that attaches to the end of the strap.
Pricing and Availability
The Microsoft Band will be available in the US and Canada on October 30th, for $249.99 and $339.99 respectively. Brits will have to wait a little longer for a November 19th launch with a £199.99 price tag. There's currently no information about availability in other territories, but stay tuned to Windows Central for updates.
Dan and Mark are in NYC checking out everything Microsoft announced at their #Windows10Devices event. Keep your eyes on Windows Central for all the latest Microsoft Band 2 news and a full review later on.