The Microsoft Band 2 is the followup wearable to 2014’s Microsoft Band, announced on October 6, 2015. Like its predecessor, the Band 2 focuses on health, fitness and acts as phone companion for Windows Phones, iOS, and Android.
There are no corners on the Band 2, as the metal wraps all the way around the device. And the Gorilla Glass 3 screen should keep scuffs and scratches to a minimum. The OLED display on the Band 2 is said to be more responsive to the touch than its predecessor. At the core there are sensors for GPS, UV monitoring, sleep tracking, calorie tracking, guided workouts, smart notifications and even a barometer for tracking elevation changes. And as expected, Cortana integration is ever-present in the Band 2 as well.
Microsoft Band 2 Specs:
|Category||Microsoft Band 2|
|Material||Thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanate (TPSiV)|
|Display Size||32mm x 12.8mm|
|Display Type||Curved AMOLED|
|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|
|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
- Optical heart rate sensor
- 3-axis accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Skin temperature sensor
- UV sensor
- Capacitive sensor
- Galvanic skin response
- Barometer (New!)
Microsoft has evidently learned a lot from the first Band wearable, working many of the fixes and feature requests into the second version. While the first Band could be considered experimental, hence the limited rollout and promotion, Microsoft has much more confidence in the Band 2. As a result, the Band 2 should see more prolific advertisement, and it is expected to be available in the same regions where the Surface is sold.
Microsoft has announced new partnerships with the Band 2 as well, with big names including Brooks, Facebook, MapMyFitness, MapMyRide, MapMyRun, Men's Fitness, MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper, Starbucks, Subway, TaylorMade, Twitter, Uber, and more.
The Microsoft Band 2 is priced for $249 in the US and £199.99 in the UK.