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One of the first things you should do with Microsoft Band is enable Watch Mode

When you stop playing with the Microsoft Band, by default, the display turns black. It looks kind of boring, but you can enable Watch Mode so that your Microsoft Band turns into a digital wristwatch. The time and date will be displayed when the screen times out. It's like the Glance screen for Windows Phone. Here's how to enable it.

  1. On your Microsoft Band, press the power button.
  2. Swipe left, and tap the Settings Tile The Settings Tile.
  3. Tap the Watch icon, and under Watch Mode, tap to turn Watch Mode On

Turning Watch Mode on, will most likely use up more battery, but we need to do more testing to see if it makes a big difference. Right now, we like it turned on.

It's only been a day, so we're still playing with the Microsoft Band. We'll have a full review shortly here on Windows Central. Have any questions about this cool new accessory? Let us know in the comments!

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.

152 Comments
  • Still no Glance screen on my Proto-830 :(
  • >complaints irrelevant and not pertaining to the article's topic at hand come on dude
  • Whoops. EDIT: Woohoo! A feature that reminds me of something I miss! :P I'm actually thinking of picking up this band tho, seems like its becoming a useful platform.
  • Seems not relevant :)
  • Check the forums, you should be able to flash a Latin American ROM which will give you the official firmware and glance along with it. Still OT, though.
  • Thanks!
  • How did you get a proto-830? :O
  • Ebay. Got it about 2 months ago.
  • Just turn the Watch Mode "On" on the Microsoft Band settings and you will not need Glance as much as you think you need it now.
  • Thanks! Just turned it on. Didn't realize this was possible. Great!
  • I assume that Cortana works only if paired with a WP device. Or does this have Cortana integration built in?
  • Works only with windows phone 8.1
  • Hope it grows more gets payments support. Payment support will really helpful.
  • Does this have a NFC chip?
  • No
  • So no question of payment support then.
  • That's pretty disappointing actually, not sure I would actually use it but it would have been a nice option.
  • Wouldn't want the 2 hour battery life.
  • What method of payment does it use for the starbucks one?
  • It displays a barcode for your SB card
  • I believe you connect it to your Starbucks account, which has a card number associated with it, and it generates a barcode that can be scanned.
  • It looked like in the promo video it generates a bar code.
  • If I buy this in the US - will I be able to use it in Switzerland with my Lumia 930?
    Definitely a cool gadget!
  • Im almost 100% positive it will.
  • so.. 99% then? ;)
  • Yes
  • Just realized, that I can't even install the App on my phone... Problem is if I change region and language, Bing becomes pretty much useless :-\
  • Switch region, install the app, then switch back...
    The app should still work and receive all updates.
  • Microsoft Health esch leider ned verfüegbar ide Schwiz, söscht hättis au scho bstellt :(
  • You can, but keep in mind it will void your warranty... You'll only have to change region to get the app, it will still be working after switching back.
  • That video made the Band look bigger than other photos and videos I have seen. How about putting it next to the Fitbit Flex and some other devices to compare?
  • Daniel compared it to other fitness bands (including a FitBit) in his unboxing and hands on video in a previous article.
  • Thanks for the tip Mark.
  • How does this integrate with the 928 with 8.1 DP? Are there any things missing by using a 928?
  • Nope. It will be great
  • This was a concern of mine, especially since I have no faith in Verizon in updating my 928. As mentioned, another article specifically addresses this concern by linking it with an Icon running the same features. So, we will be alright.
  • It's really not looking like the battery will last that long when all of the bells and whistles are enabled. But who knows.
  • I imagine it could last forever if you turn it off...lol =P
  • That there is funny...
  • Anyone get the email texting and phone icons on the watch to update with info?, it says nothing new... Check back in a few, but I know I have gotten emails, I've gotten calls and texts since I've had it synced and nothing shows up.
  • Mine works fine.
  • U have a syncing issue which is likely due to the companion app on your phone not successfully running in the background. Go to battery saver on your 8.1 phone and see if it is set to run in the background.
  • Yeah, I had the same issue but it was the background tasks.
  • Battery longevity is a key factor for me. Waiting to hear results.
  • I wonder when this device will come to India, we need this.
  • Is there anything Indians don't want? How about British /colonial rule again?
  • How abt shutting up ur mouth and sticking to the topic.
  • +520
  • It would seem they DON'T want any homosexuals.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-29822149
    I guess Tim Cook won't be going to India any time soon!
  • If that report bothers you, you can stay in your own country!!!
  • I will never visit a country that impinges on people's freedom of sexual expression.
    So don't worry, I won't be visiting India any time soon.
  • Thanks very much.  You are doing the people there a big favour.
  • Aaah....so you're one of those insular sorts that think vanilla relationships between a man and a woman are the ONLY acceptable form of connection between human beings...?
    Fortunately, your kind are the ever decreasing minority. Welcome to the modern world amigo
  • Aah...so you're one of those sorts.  Carry on with your "non-vanilla" relationships!!!  And spare the natural world
  • Oh, poor misguided fool...
    You do realise that the natural world is full of examples of homosexuality? Here are a few examples for you;
    -The Jounal of Endocrinology observed that 8% of rams choose to have sex with other rams...and actively avoid having sex with ewes.
    -An estimated one quarter of all black swan pairings are of homosexual males..
    -Male American bison have been observed to court, mount and have sex.
    -60% of all Bonobo sexual activity happen between two females.
    -Female Bottlenose dolphins are observed doing 'beak-genital propulsion'
    -Asiatic elephants in captivity devote roughly 45% of sexual encounters to same sex activities...
    -8% of mounting with male lions is observed to happen in same-sex situations.
    CONCLUSION - the natural world is full of homosexuality. It's only us backward god fearing human beings that think it is wrong. So yes, I won't be visiting India whilst its government has such stupid laws. & I hope I never have to meet a backwards sort like you!
    (PS - I am straight)
  • ROFL.  Misguided fool yourself.  You can use innumerable examples from the animal world to justify your perversity.  I never asked for any justification.  You pls carry on.  Don't bother replying.  I will not come back to this thread, most of all to read your absurdity.
  • You do realise how stupid you sound, right?
    You discard science in favour of some ridiculous human notion of right and wrong.
    When you look at Tim Cook, do you consider him a repulsive man because he is biologically predisposed to being attracted to men?
    If yes, shame on the education system that creates an insular human being like you.
    (By the way, if your username alludes to your date of birth - 1973 - then you are 12 years older than I am. Yet when it comes to understanding the complexities of human emotions, you have less understanding than my 7 year old niece. Good achievement!)
  • ... But the new Microsoft Band, though..
  • OMG What science are you talking about.  Stop thinking with your dick and start thinking with your head.  I don't need to prove my understanding to anybody let alone a misguided, moron like you.  
  • Don't profess to have ANY understanding of what it is you are talking about... The things I have referenced in this thread are all scientific fact. They are based on evidence gleaned over decades of empirical data gathering. Your musings on the other hand are based on some conceited human notion of what is right and wrong.  You are a fossil of a previous age. Your way of viewing things, thankfully, is one that will be consigned to history. If you were born in 1973, be a doll...act your age ;) (Oh, and as stated before, I am straight. However, having a half-brother who is gay means I can fully understand that homosexuality is a biological reality, not something one chooses. So do yourself a favour, stop having such a stupid blinkered view of the world).
  • Just read the following news article, and thought of you;
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/11/03/russian-mon...
    You would love living in Russia!!
  • There couldn't be better timing on releasing this for me, I've been seriously looking at getting a fitness wearable for awhile now. Don't want a smart watch but rather a fitness device, don't want to pay a ridiculous amount, and I'd prefer it come from Microsoft. Win. Win. Win.
  • What worries me is that in the video, Daniel gave us a glimpse of his worn out Fitbit band. All I can say is that god help you if the Microsoft band meets a similar fate, what with all the sensors built into the band. What do you guys say?
  • Microsoft Complete. $19 and a replacement band if yours dies. Sorted.
  • Can you share the link to this info please. Much appreciated.
  • Bing it.
  • "windowscentral.com.com" in the video....oops! haha
  • I will see about watch mode... I rarely wear a watch now.  I just returned from the MS store with a large for me and a small for the lady per her instruction... A little to small to my liking... so I will go back to exchange it. She is an iPhone users, but loves windows 8.  She was not interested in the Apple watch, but I showed her the band last night and she liked it alot for me to buy them today. Cant wait to use them!
  • is app development possible like android wear ? 
  • Don't think it is at the moment. No watch SDK was announced to the best of my knowledge.
  • The SDK hasn't been released but it sounded like they're was one coming in the future in the Belfiore article.
  • I reckon it should eventually since Facebook and Twitter is already supported.
  • They have announced than an SDK is coming.
  • that will be awesome ...thanks Dan.
  • I'll engage watch mode when it arrives. In the UK.
  • Boy this site changed it's name just in time! :D
  • Personally not willing to sacrifice the battery for this
  • MSFT providing it for all the three platforms. Kudos!! Google grrrrrowwwwwww UP!!
  • So the question is: The MS Band or the FitBit Surge?
  • The Msft band for sure. Things should improve further when they announce the SDK (assuming that they do).
  • The Band. $50 less expensive. Does what the Surge does plus has Cortana integration, works on all platforms including Microsoft's own. Downside? Surge, up to 5 days battery (read that carefully again), Band, 2 days battery.
  • Is it possible to buy and ship to the UK? Will everything work?
  • I think it should. It is not region locked. It is limited to US due to limited production.
  • The band may not be region locked but Microsoft Health app is only available in US Store right now. So you'll have to change the region of your watch to USA to download and install the app.
  • How do you change the region of the watch then ;-P
  • You have to change the region of your phone to USA, you mean, rather.
  • It is possible but, if you want to pair it up with your windows phone (if you have one), you'll have to switch your phone's region setting to the US.
  • Region switch to USA is needed for app download on the phone, but I don't believe it's necessary beyond that point except for the app update, again. I don't see the reason why.
  • That makes more sense, thanks for clearing that up!
  • I believe MS is only selling it to US addresses so you'll need a middleman.
  • One question - when will it be made available to more markets????
  • Not today, but sometime in the future.
  • Looks good!
  • This is the only way I would want to use the band, as I don't want to have to press a button to see the time, but I am curious as to what impact this will have on battery. On Android Wear devices, it pretty much halves the battery life. Does this mean we'll get 24 hours out of the Microsoft Band when using this feature?
  • Not if it uses Glance tech, it wont.
  • But that would also mean not being able to read it in daylight.
  • Doesn't seem to impact battery life that much at all and looks great indoors. Outdoors? It's very hard to see, but it's still better than a blank screen. So far I use less than 50% battery in a day, and that's with 30 minutes of excercise. No runs though, think the GPS would have a big impact.
  • Thanks, dude! Kind of disappointing, really. That means it'll need a daily charge, which makes it kind of hard to wear at night for sleep tracking. My Jawbone UP Band gets 14 days of battery life, so I can wear it to bed almost every night. As great as this thing looks, I'm just so burned out by 48hour battery life devices. Gear, Android Wear, and now this. I don't mind charging my smartwatch every night, but if I'm going to wear my fitness band all the time, including to bed to track sleep, I can't be expected to charge it daily. That just won't work. Thanks again for the update.
  • Can Microsoft enable "international market?" - it is just too bitter for many of us to not have access to something we'd buy right now.
  • They said it's not about limiting it to the US, it's a practical issue: too high demand, too few produced so far. Once they get the factory up to speed I'm certain it will roll out one market after the other. Each new market also needs an ad campaign or a few of them. That means it won't happen immediately. It will take some time, all depending on the complexity on the manufacturing process, logistics - and Microsoft bureaucracy (yikes, spelling that last one required me to research how to spell it).      
  • Plz Microsoft I want this in India at around 12000₹.plz bring it to India by 2016.
  • Sarcasm at its finest. Frustrated Indian here too.
  • Wow you really are brainy.  Any other things you can unearth from that statement???
  • Is there an option for wireless (Qi) recharge? I don'ty like cables on the desk.
  • Keeping it off on mine since I have about 30 watches. Watch on the left band in the right. So far device works very well. And connection between phone has been problem free.
  • So any news on this coming to other region? Maybe like in Australia.:)
  • +930/1020
  • That is cool, but as a watch the display should not be 90 degs from what is normal. Understandably it is it's form factor so I can except it.
  • Wearing it face in solves that issue anyway.
  • I'm interested to see how the battery performs. Since time is only a click away anyways, if it does effect the battery poorly, its not a huge inconvenience to do without.
  • Can it show WhatsApp messages?
  • That would be nice
  • Should eventually.
  • What I like quite a bit is that it you can add notification center as a tile so therefore I get notifications for all apps turned on. I quickly turned off email notifications in the band. Much to distracting given that I have 5 email accouns tied to my phone.
  • And specific contacts to the VIP list. You will get notifications from those contacts.
  • Seeing the title gave me a you don't say facepalm moment until I read the article
  • Jesus enough with the articles about this silly bloody bracelet.
  • How tuff is this band, I live an adventurous life and want to know if it can stand up to it.
  • How does the band respond to quiet hours? Do notifications still come through? More discretely? Not at all? Thanks
  • Man this is the band I've been waiting for...I hope it's on Santa's sleigh for christmas in the UK
  • If only I could buy it in the UK...do.i just wait and buy another vendor. All of those will sell outside US :(
  • Gettin kinda poetic ther Mark "The sttings tile the settings tile"
  • Does it integrate with Skype Qik?  If so, does it do anything special?
  • I wonder if you can turn off all the fitness sensors and gps and just use it as a watch with notifications. May even improve battery life.
  • Mine won't stay connected to my 1520. If I go to Bluetooth I can see it constantly connecting and reconnecting.
  • Try resetting the watch.
    First disconnect the watch from the phone and forget the connection. Then sign out of the app. Then as soon as you reset it, connect it again. See if your phone has updates.
  • How long does it take to charge from 0 to 100% ?
  • Supposedly 90 minutes.
  • Really?! To charge a 200mah battery?! That's pretty terrible!
  • So... we have Glance =)
    What about Double Tap? Kidding xD
  • a fitness band with watch mode.  Im waiting for the watch with fitness mode.  I like this band, wish i could get one. 
  • The new intro to your videos is pretty cool, btw.
  • Bah. Maybe if it had an OLED screen...
  • I ordered mine last night. Should get it by Tuesday. I use a Nike fuel band because of its understated look and small footprint. I used to use its fitness stuff but Nike sucks at coding and was to apple centric. So now i just use it as a watch. I'm hopeful the msband will be in the same neighborhood look and size wise but way better as a fitness band. So far its looking good
  • I'm hoping their will be some left when I go to the Windows Store this weekend!!!
  • They're actually out now? Nice advertising Microsoft!
  • Careful with this mode!!!! I was not able to turn my band back on after enabling it and ultimately had to go through a crazy factory reset process
  • I think it was a GREAT idea to not enable many of these settings by default. Makes you explore around and realize all the potential plus it is more battery friendly out of the box.
  • I was expecting a smart watch... So kinda disappointed...
  • Seems (like I will be going to the MS Store at the Century City mall in LA on my way home tonight!!!) faster.
  • Hey, does the band show your current speed while you are cycling or running? Or can you only see the speed after the fact when you upload your ride or run?   Cheers! Current speed would be awesome for biking snowboarding!!
  • Could you do a comparison review between the MS watch and the new Fitbit (the one available now)?
  • I thought Watch Mode was cool too, until I had to turn it off when I entered a theater. I switched it off for now.
  • Have had it on since 11am its not 9pm. Only have used like 20% battery I think.
  • Why couldn't add tap to wake!? Tap to wake!!!
  • Dan, does it track the steps when doing Elliptical trainer? I had fitbit which does not track my steps on Elliptical.
  • This is way cool. I need one now! Any that don't like theirs I'll take it.
  • You would think there would be a mode to make the band display the screen in portrait
  • I've had my Band on (clock mode on, did sleep tracking, no running or GPS, receceived and dismissed maybe 20 or so notifications on it yesterday, vibrate on Low, synced to the bad maybe a dozen times to see the stats) from Thursday 6pm to now Saturday 11am and still shows battery left.  So I think it could make the advertised 2 days on a single charge.  Even after the battery breaks in a little I still think it will do 2 days.  I'll be pushing the battery today while I'm running around trying to find the usb cable as I've already somehow lost it  :) Pretty cool thing.  I recommend even if just for notifications and other common info (time/date, weather, etc) "on you" at all times. -m
  • Ahh, at Noon today the low battery alarm came up on it.  So I got 35 hours before the low battery alert came up.   -m
  • Update, it died at about 2pm, so at the Low Battery warning you have about 2 hours left to go. (probably less if planning to use GPS) -m