How to set up a Smart Alarm on the Microsoft Band 2

An interesting new feature on the Microsoft Band 2 is the Smart Alarm. Instead of waking you up at the alarm time you set, the Band 2 will wake you up at an optimal wakeup time. This could be up to thirty minutes earlier. We'll show you how to set this up.

1. On the Microsoft Band 2, tap the Sleep Tile (moon icon)

2. Swipe left and set an alarm time

3. Swipe left and switch Smart Alarm to On.

That's it! As Dan mentioned in the Microsoft Band 2 review, waking out of a deep sleep causes disorientation. The Smart Alarm works by monitoring your movement during a 30-minute window around your alarm time. So if you set your alarm for 8 am, the Band 2 may wake you between 7:30 and 8 depending on when you toss and turn in bed. As a result, you wake up more refreshed. You can still use the snooze feature if you want to sleep a little longer.

I do feel more energized when using the Smart Alarm, but I can't say if that's scientific proof. I did notice, however, that I've been sleeping earlier since I've worn the Microsoft Band 2.

The Microsoft Band 2 also feels a lot more comfortable to sleep with compared to the previous version. This makes it a lot easier to track sleep and use the Smart Alarm. Will you be using this feature on the Microsoft Band 2? Let us know in the comments!

Microsoft Band 2 Review

Buy the Microsoft Band 2 (opens in new tab)

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

  • I tried the smart alarm for a couple nights. The problem I have is that my roommate wakes up a half-hour before I do so if I get woken up as he is leaving and want to roll over, I instantly get buzzed by the smart alarm. As such, I found that the anticipation of getting woken up if I move was keeping me from falling back asleep. It's stupid, I know. I'll have to try it again.
  • Lol I love it. Today however I woke up and the alarm didn't go off so I decided to go back to sleep and it went off lol
  • Me too, weird.
  • Thanks for the tip! I just turned this on. 
  • I guess this is where the feature envy creeps in :-)  Wish this was an option on the original band - surely a software thing that should or COULD have been added to the Band?
  • Could be a hardware limitation due to older sensors, or lower processor/memory (RAM). Or could be an issue with the overal firmware with the Band v1, which might require an entire re-write (of sorts) in order to support newer features like Smart Alarm. 
  • Of course Microsoft will never explain why it's not available for Band 1.
  • I vaguely remember Dan saying something a year ago that the Band would get this in a firmware update but we never got it
  • When did you buy yours? I was prompted to update the software on mine a while back. (Not just the Microsoft Health app) Have Microsoft said the original band won't be able to offer Smart Alarm? Until they say it can't I'll keep my fingers crossed it comes in a software update.
  • Going to bed earlier may a result of the time change as I too have gone to bed early this week yet am still rocking the Band 1.
  • Mine's still stuck in China... or I'd be using this asap! I know... I could buy one from a MSFT store, and return the one I preordered when it arrives... but there aren't any stores nearby.
  • I've got mine set to that, but it seems I'm always already awake before my alarm goes off anyway.  I dont think this thing actually knows if I'm sleeping or not to be honest.  It thinks it takes me 19 minutes to fall asleep but I know for a fact that isnt true.  I also do not feel rested in the morning despite the band saying I got 91% efficent sleep.
  • I think it's 94% and over that you'll feel rested
  • Correct me if I'm wrong here, but aren't the time taken to fall asleep and the time taken for your sleep cycles to start different.. ?  Or something like that?
  • That's how I understand it
  • I never get much over 50% efficiency, either I sleep like shit or this thing isn't all that accurate.
  • I can't sleep when something or someone attached to me
  • same here. i sleep fully naked with the band 2
  • "something" can be help with it, but "someone", I can't help you there. You are your
  • The alarm vibration on Band 1 wouldn't even phase me with Haptic set to high This might work though, will have to try it tonight.   I have found it gets more accurate information if you manually turn it on instead of letting it decide if you are asleep. The old one thought I was asleep for an extra hour while watching a movie once...
  • I don't have either the Band 1 or 2, but I started to wake up energized ever since I heard about this Smart Alarm feature.
  • I tried this feature. The only problem is every morning I set my alarm for 6:30am, it always wakes me up at 6:00. So why not just set the alarm for 6? Doesn't makes sense to me. 
  • My understanding is that it wakes you when you arent in deep sleep.  If it detects you are about to enter deep sleep but it is too close to the alarm time it will go ahead and wake you early so you dont feel grogy. 
  • Then you'll be getting up at 0530
  • Only had my Band 2 a couple of days\nights.  Had no clue what I would use it for. But that "sleep report" is the most amazing thing! I find the information facinating and the differences in my last 2 nights of sleep are now comparable. Both from a measurment\data point of view and the way I actually experienced them myself. I can think of all kinds of experiments. Temperture adjustments, different sheets and pillows, fluids before bed time.........and then have a data point for measuring.   Crazy cool device.
  • Arrrrgh..... That's it I'm sold, ordering!
  • I do the same but with foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, ect
  • Yeah, the temptation to tweak is pretty strong... One thing I've noticed (with a pretty small dataset, only having had the Band for five days) is that if I drink alcohol before bed, I fall asleep faster, but (a) wake up more often, and (b) get less "restful" sleep. (Can't wait until the "no alcohol" phase of the more-rigorous experiment is over and the "lots of alcohol" phase starts :-))
  • Haven't used this yet since I tend to use Realarm on my phone instead, my wake up time changes daily. Does the band 2 auto-detect sleep like 1 did?
  • cool stuff. Should be promoted a lot in Ads, cause it is definitely special and handy.   And btw, all the images of the Band2 are sooo sexy, the design of the Band and the OS, both so appealing. There should be ads everywhere and a lot. I think, this would attract attention of many many people, who still think, MS is oldfashioned crap from the 90s
  • They do seem to shy away from showing that clasp. I'm still on the fence whether it's worth buying the Band 2 at this point. The cosmetics of the clasp are the only negative looks wise, the rest of Band 2 looks and feels infinitely better
  • It would be nice if MS could work this into the Windows Mobile API or Microsoft Health app to allow alarms set through the Alarms app (or other 3rd party alarm apps) to enable the Smart Alarm functionality.  I only need to be woken up Mon-Thurs, and the Band only gives all Weekdays as an option.
  • I agree on the alarm integration
  • Is you use the band while sleeping then when you recharge it? Also... this sould be an app for windows phone too
  • While you're in the shower.
  • +1 and when doing dishes, and other thing where it can get wet/damaged.
  • Will this only be the wakeup on Band or also lets the phone alarm trigger? This combined with control of Phillips HUE light turning on to wake me softly ... would be AMAZING!