Microsoft Band 2 grabs new Heart Rate Zones feature in latest update

Microsoft has pushed out a new firmware update for the Band 2 along with a software update for the Microsoft Health Companion app for Windows Phone users and the new Windows 10 app.

The big new feature is Heart Rate Zones, which many users have asked for since Band 2 was released. In the Announcement Tile it is described like this:

Track your heart rate zones on Band: Improve your workout health with notifications for heart rate zones. When you're at 80% maximum heart rate, the heart rate on Band turns orange. At 90%, it turns red.

Certainly that is a useful feature for those looking to maximize their workouts.

Microsoft Health is bumped to version 2.3.20602 while the firmware is now at 2.0.4737.0.

Additionally, at least according to Supersite for Windows the update does two other things:

  1. Fixes a repeat SMS bug for Android users
  2. Brings Cortana to Android for the first time

We sync our Band 2 to our Lumia 950 like the Microsoft fans we are so we cannot entirely vouch for the Android feature just yet, but sounds like it could be a big win for those who use the Band 2 with a Google-powered phone.

It's not entirely clear if there are other bug fixes or improvements for Windows Phone users, but we'll keep an eye out on their Update History page for any details. If you find anything, let us know in comments.

Updating the Microsoft Health app for Windows phone and now Windows 10 will trigger the firmware upgrade.

QR: Microsoft Health

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Loving my Band 2. This will be nice to try out :)
  • Same here! I've had my Band 2 since Christmas and I absolutely love it!
  • I love the functionality of my Band 2, and also that MS keeps updating it to do more. However, mine is victim to poor quality. The band has started to tear where the body and band connect. I've had my Band for a couple months, and I don't abuse it. It gets the same abuse a standard wrist watch would see, and it's falling apart. To make matters worse, it is not fixed under warranty. I've used electrical tape to keep if from tearing more.
  • Go to a Microsoft Store if you have one nearby. They will swap it out for you no questions asked. Otherwise call the support line and they should let you swap it out by mail. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • I think in-store swaps are dependent on the store. The one here in St. Louis where I would host our meetup group at said their policy had changed to disallow in-store swaps. Had to mail it in for an exchange.
  • Strange - I'm an outdoors / gym / keyboard warrior by day person and had my Band 2 for a over 3 months. No sign of wear and tear to date. I thought the screen would have scratched with resting it on the desk (inside wrist wearer), however this is not the case. Very impressed with the durability.
    I would suggest return under warranty.
  • Mine split in the same location after having it for a few months. I went to the online support (because our Microsoft (kiosk) Store closed down) and selected "Other" for reason and then typed in that the band had split. They gave me a shipping label to print, I shipped it off and got a new Band 2 back this past Tuesday. Zero cost.
  • I have done exactly th same few days ago. Key point is to chose "Other" instead of "Physical damage" (this one leeds to paid exchange). In my case they returned wrong size (medium instesd small), but I believe it was accidental and re-exchange is on its way now. 
  • I called support and they said they'll swap it. To bad mine got stolen. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android... I'm sorry
  • Also keep in mind, and I realize this shouldn't really matter,if you are able to get a replacement, be cautious of how tight you fasten the Band 2 to your arm. I had the same issue and I realized that having the Band too tight, especially when working out, causes the strap to stretch constantly from wrist flexing as I lift weights. This causes premature wear and tear on the straps. Give yourself some flex room around the wrist. Since I've had my replacement, I've noticed that it has remained in much better shape, since doing this.
  • Correct--its sensors don't require tight contact. Wearing slightly loose makes it last far longer and is more comfortable.
  • Mine was replaced under warranty, they even said they were aware the issue. Expecting the replacement to fail in a month or two in the same place... Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10 on my Lumia 950xl
  • I'm in edmonton, ab and my band just split apart 1 month ago.  I went to the microsoft store without any receipt and without any question, they replaced my watch not just the band the whole watch.  Very nice customer service.
  • Sounds good, but, unfortunately, it wont be as useful as it should until the HR monitor is more accurate.
  • I've been rocking my Band 1 for a while now. It may be the time to get the Band 2
  • Might want to wait for Band 3 at this point. Rumored to be waterproof...
  • I have huge problems with battery life. The longest bike ride with GPS and no battery saver that it can last is around 3:30 hours. the battery saver really sucks because your route becomes very jagid. 
  • If Cortana works flawlessly on Android, I'm flipping tables. My 950xl hasn't been able to get typed messages from band 2 or Cortana ever since I got it.
  • LOL. Just checked after reading your comment and Cortana works for me now. I was able to answer SMS with keyboard and dictate response. Also I was able to set up alarm, but no luck with "Play my music" (in this case it hangs up with usual "Just a sec..." and than "Can't reach the phone", but it also doesn't work for me on phone or PC/SP3). I hope that this isn't a bug and will work further xD
  • Not working on my 950XL and I just factory reset it last night. Posted from my over heating 950XL
  • Sorry to hear that. It hasn't worked for me earlier and started only with this update.
    Windows Mobile build 10.0.14356.1000 (Fast ring)
  • Are you on insider build? It worked on one of the insider builds for me but I went back to release ring. Posted from my over heating 950XL
  • Yes. Latest insider build for Fast ring. But I don't remember to see in working on new L950XL with factory reset or previous insider builds with and without reset before. I see comment below(from stocktiki) who has it on Release Preview Ring.
  • My Cortana has been completely broken on my 950XL since moving to the Redstone branch (even the latest build didn't fix it) and I have NEVER been successful with using Cortana voice on my Band 1 or Band 2. So I figure, what the hell. This guy is getting it to work and it's just sitting there on the charge stand. I'll just waste 5 seconds of my life and then go back to being annoyed at Microsoft for breaking Cortana. "What time is it in Moscow?" I expect the usual "thinking" then "look at your phone" from the Band. The phone wakes up! I expect the usual "interests are not available at the moment" but I see... the time in Moscow? I look at the Band screen. I see the time in Moscow! What dark magic is this? I launch Cortana from the start screen and... it shows me package tracking, news and weather instead of "interests not available"? I ask her to tell me a joke and she gives me a corny on-liner. I'm so elated I tell her "I'm so happy you're back!" And she says: "Are you now." Way to kill the moment, Cortana. :/
  • I wish mine worked like that, all I get is "make sure Bluetooth is connected and switched on". It used to work.
  • Sorry to hear this :(
  • Typing to the bnd went to hell with Windows 10 Mobile. Just like everything else though, Microsoft tinkers with other crap instead of fixing the stuff that is broken first. Annoying.
  • I've had Cortana sync problems after my Band updates sometimes - restarting both devices has fixed it so far! Hopefully MS is aware of the issue and will address it in a future update. From my Lumia 950XL
  • I thought it will be possible to set minimum and maximum limits to stay saying in 140-170 range, but I don't understand this feature implementation.
    I'll try it when I'll be able to ruin need time, but if you know how it is better than fixes range and how it properly I'd like to hear your opinion :)
  • After all the maximum Heartrate varies according to age and weight. I'm assuming (crossing fingers that MS wouldn't do something half-baked) that the band is getting the max level according to age and weight defined in its own app... otherwise is BS.
  • Thanks for comment. I thought that it takes maximum HR dynamically (or from history) but I think you are right and it is computed from static values.
    Still I saw different sources that say to run 60-70% zone or 70-80% and currently we will see only top margin :( Also some tactile notifications will be welcome, because now I'm still supposed to look on Band all the time.
  • "Vibrating notification" <<-- THIS!
  • True... Cortana can't seem to sync either on lumia 650 for typing texts or using Cortana voice search features. Sucks.
  • Have you tried with recent update?
    Works for my L950XL (at least for now)
  • As usual, worked better right after an update, next morning it's back to being broken.
  • Had that problem, too, until updating my 830 to 10.0.10586.338​ - on Release Preview Ring. It's been working since (knocking on wood).
  • Does it still work after this update?
  • Hahah unapologetically loving w10, that's the spirit ⌒.⌒
  • Band 2 rocks.
  • I always joked that Android would get Cortana to work on the band before Windows 10 mobile...wasn't trying to be prophetic. :(
  • Ya its kinda sad. Posted from my over heating 950XL
  • It was working pretty well for my l950. After the update I can't even get a sms to go through...
  • Dont worry, you weren't prophetic. Cortana works on my W10 phone.
  • Is the heart rate zones a setting, because I've looked for a setting and couldn't find it.  Also MS website hasnt been updated to reflect the change, not that I can tell
  • Looked for same, but read post again and looks like it only tracks upper bound calculating it from max HR :(
  • You can find it on the band itself within the run tile and hiking ad biking -Vigor
  • You mean I have to run or hike to use it?   LOL
  • Yeah but it's cool. I used it yesterday
  • I have been running for many years, didn't make any difference!!!... MS Band made me realize that what I was doing is not enough....Doing things is good but when you measure it, it's even better!
  • Interesting addition to health and band 2. I may decide to stick with ms instead of jumping to Garmin's vivosmart+ or vivofit3. I'm still haunted by the band 1s charging issues.
  • This is a real cool feature! And quite easy to implement. BUT I'm assuming the Band will compare my current heart rate with my age (and maybe weight) to define whats the maximum HR possible and not just using a random max HR (200 bps is max for a 20yo and 160 would be max for a 60yo).
  • I should be able to set my max heart rate. I have never used my band when doing max heart rate workout so it doesnt know my max. How is this working if it thinks my max is 180 when it really is something like 205.
  • Agreed. It's rather useless (and rather dangerous) to have one predefined max heart rate.
  • I'd wish they improve upon the the Golf integration. It is already quite nice but it is also missing quite a lot of features.
  • I bought my Band 2 10 days ago on Ebay. I love it so much, I just won another bid for one today for my Wife. The current price point of $175 makes it a much better value. Of course, getting both my watched on Ebay for about $15 bucks less is an even better value! I've had n problems using with my 950xl (which I also love). My wife has a Galaxy 6s so it will be interesting to how they work together.
  • Band 2 is seems nice, but I wish there was more choices and support from other hardware manufactures. I'm interested in the new Mi2 band. MS and XiaoMi have worked together before, so hopefully they will work together for official Mi band support on W10m.
  • I'm really happy with the Microsoft Band2 features and the effort Microsoft puts in updating it's functioning. I've had a lot of fitness wearables but none of them gained so much extra functions just by a firmware update. They let you buy the new model and proudly present you features like the one in this update as the reason to buy the new model. Good work Microsoft
  • Yes. THIS is how you put software first. Very happy with the team that manages the band -Vigor
  • Love my Band 2, except for the fact that I had to send it in for repair this week because the heart rate sensor just stopped working... It also has some pairing issues when both my windows phone and Band are not set to english. Otherwise, I really love it. I don't understand why Microsoft is not selling it here in the Netherlands since both the Band and the Health app are available with dutch language setting.
  • Reading through all these comments made me think my band was just weird.  My heart rate sensor stopped as well, and I thought it was the recent update.  Guess I'll need to send mine in for service.
  • Honestly fudge Microsoft, have my band one(no news features) as always they forget about the ones that supported them from the begging and stop supporting us.
  • Good grief. The Band 1 was a test device to gage the market. Everyone who bought one knew this. MS can't keep supporting every friggin thing they produce. It'd be like asking Ford to support the Model T in 2016. At some point every device will be left behind.
  • Not only that, but it could have great health and safety benefits too. Powerfull tool! How acurate and reliable is the band 2's heart rate measurement?
  • From my experience, not very.  A lot of spikes.  Although, there was a study, a while back, that said the average rate was pretty accurate.
  • Does the Band 2 measure heart rate variability (HRV)? It's a very important health measure, but I've seen no info on this.
  • Still have and love my Band 1 - have had it since it was first announced.  The only problem I have after this long is sometimes it takes a few extra tries and nodges to get the charger working, but that's all.  Use it everyday.  Probably the best tech product I ever bought that I didn't know I needed.
  • Hey, just discovered a really cool feature on the Band 2 with Android! !!!!!! It now has has built-in music controller. When music is detected it launches automatically. And you can get back to it by double-tapping the power button. It also has some really cool features like when you pull to the left it increases the volume and when you pull to the right it decreases the volume.
  • So, no fixes for the bug related to the battery driver? I'm on my second band in less than a month, and this one got fried yesterday too. Really sucks, I'll spend another month waiting for the replacement, then.
  • "Battery driver", WTF are you talking about? Bought/own 2, 10 amongst extended fam/friends, zero issue with battery/charging, but I have seen the issue I think you're talking about.
  • This:
    I'm to lazy to explain all what's happened to my previous 2 bands, read it. Posted from my
  • Ta, so it was what I suspected you were talking about... I see no suggestion/proof there, that the issue's related to a driver, or any kind of firmware/sw bug. In fact, it's more likely that this issue's beyond the scope of a "bug fix".
  • Ok, so, when I talked to MS customer service, they told me it was a problem with the drive they couldn't resolve at that time, and if you look around on forums, you'll se what the problem is, I just put that link because it was the first on the search results Posted from my
  • You should know better than to believe anything a CSR says when it comes to the finer technical machinations of a flaw/issue, that's beyond their purvey. As someone who has been in teams responsible for device drivers, I can quite comfortably tell you, they're full of it. What's with your multiple posts, please clean up the mess...
  • Ok, so, when I talked to MS customer service, they told me it was a problem with the driver they couldn't resolve at that time, and if you look around on forums, you'll se what the problem is, I just put that link because it was the first on the search results, excuse my poor English, it's not my first language Posted from my
  • Ok, so, when I talked to MS customer service, they told me it was a problem with the driver they couldn't resolve at that time, and if you look around on forums, you'll se what the problem is, I just put that link because it was the first on the search results, excuse my poor English, it's not my first language Posted from my
  • Ok, so, when I talked to MS customer service, they told me it was a problem with the driver they couldn't resolve at that time, and if you look around on forums, you'll se what the problem is, I just put that link because it was the first on the search results, excuse my poor English, it's not my first language Posted from my hot as the sun Icon
  • How is it possible this was a most requested feature when Cortana integration is still only half working. I'm on win 10 mobile (no insider rings) and receiving notifications sometimes works sometimes does not. Music controls sometimes works sometimes does not, opening Cortana from the band 2 sometimes works sometimes does not. How's about adding a feature that everyone wants.... No bugs
  • I feel your pain. I think Microsoft should rename their OS for Phone to "Windows Next". Because whatever feature you are looking for it's coming with "Next Update". Meanwhile they want feedback on "Ringtone Maker"! It must be 2008!
  • Since I've applied the update on my Lumia 950 & Band 2 the sync is broken. Everytime I've start the MS Health App it starts to sync and hangs in the first step. Even after rebooting both the Lumia and the Band 2 it won't work.
    Funny Thing is that the band 2 still receives email notifications. Only the data sync back to the Lumia Device is currently broken. Any one else facing this or know how to solve it?
  • Mine stil syncs, however, it will not sync "My Workouts".  I get "Oops! An unknown error occurred with your Band"
  • Why is there never a post about these updates on Android central. You guys copy and past tons of other posts between the mobile Nations sites. I use my band on Android and appreciate these posts so I have windows central on my phone as well.
  • Mine split. They are giving replacements or full refunds no questions asked. I took the refund.
  • Just got another firmware update today, June 8 '12. Firmware version is now 2.0.4739. The "What's new" app didn't list anything new that 2.0.4737 listed.  
  • Thanks for the heads up! Weird, wonder what it is?
  • got it too this morning. And since 4737 i did got GPs issues on bike run with 3-6 min sync time to catch locations, very annoying. Will check tonight on the way back if this update fix it.
  • Interesting, thanks. I've applied it now too.
  • My weather stopped updating on the 5th which I assume was due to the previous update and with todays update it's showing the latest weather data again.  Might have been just a small patch release for something like this?
  • Come to think of it, I did notice Monday that both weather & stocks apps were not updating. As well, I had problems updating with Pimp My Band's saved layouts.
  • Poor implementation of hart rate zones. This could be much better.
  • I have tried to see if this works. Doesn't work for me. I don't see any way to set max heart rate so assume MHR is calculated by age??? Was never able to get heart rate to change color even at 170 BPM.