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One month later and I'm still in love with the Microsoft Band

Is the Microsoft Band the must-have wearable this holiday season? If you can get your hands on one, I think it is. Over the past few weeks with the Microsoft Band, I've come to appreciate it more and more with each passing day. Here's a love letter to the Microsoft Band and a mini-review of the device after using it for a month.

Battery life

Battery life is never an issue for me and my Band. A quick charge of about 30 minutes will fill up your Microsoft Band battery to 80%. To get an extra 20% you'll need to leave it on the charger longer, but 80% is more than enough power to get through your day and any run/workout you do. Of course, your individual battery mileage will vary. For example, a really long run with GPS-tracking enabled will make you reach for the outlet when you're done.

For day-to-day use, the battery has never been an issue. I find it useful to just place the Band on the charger anytime I'm in the shower. By doing that over the past month, I've never run out of battery power. Well, during the second week there was one time I missed not one, but two charge opportunities (showers) and it died during a workout. But that was total user error and could have been prevented if I charged it. My bad little Band; it won't (and hasn't) happened again.

Comfort

Comfort is very subjective, which is why I recommend you try it out before buying it. Not only does this ensure you get the correct size, but it gives you a chance to see if you find it bulky. One complaint you've probably seen by some reviewers and users is that the Band is big and can be awkward.

I haven't had any issues with the Band and don't find it heavy or uncomfortable at all. At least not more so than any other watch or fitness tracker you might wear. I think part of that discomfort comes from wearing the display on the outside of the wrist and not the inside. For the past month I've only worn the Band with the screen facing inwards, and that could help alleviate any comfort issues. First, the display section of the Band is flat and doesn't fight you when you wear it on the inside. Second, I think viewing and interacting with the Band's display works best when it's on your inner wrist.

However, I do take the Band off when I'm at the keyboard. But that's not the fault of the Band. I've never found it enjoyable to type with something like a watch or fitness tracker on my wrist. But that's probably because of poor typing form. Brad Sams at Neowin recently interviewed the Band team and learned that a poor typing experience with Band is remedied by using proper typing techniques. I need to step up my typing game.

When I'm not typing and using the Band, I hardly notice it's there. While I recommend trying it out before buying, keep in mind that you might need a few days with the actual device to have it disappear into the background. Or habituation as neuroscientists call it.

Notifcations

Believe it or not, but I've been looking at my phone less and less since getting the Band. Initially, I only cared about the fitness and health aspects of the Band, while the notifications were there as a cool afterthought. Boy, was I wrong.

Before Band, my phone would buzz or vibrate in my pocket. I'd then have to pull it out, swipe down the Notification Center and see what that last intrusion was all about it. It could be important: text, email, etc. or not very important: another attack on my castle in Age of Empires or Swarm alert.

After Band, my phone primarily stays in my pocket after a vibration or buzz. I just need to glance quickly at my Band to determine if the notification is important enough to warrant me pulling out my phone and acting/responding. It may not seem like a huge difference, but it adds up to minutes saved during the day, which then add up to hours over the course of the past month. OK, my math may be off just a little bit, but it's hard not to appreciate having Band for notifications. It's also one of those things that you might not truly appreciate or get until you've actually used it for an extended period.

Where's my actionable data?

My biggest complain about the Band? After one month, we still haven't seen the power of all this data being collected. We were promised actionable data with not just the Microsoft Band, but Microsoft Health. The tagline is "Actionable insights for healthier living".

It's coming; I'm sure. But it would be great to see all this data collected over the past month do something. Right now I know I slept decent last night, but so what? It doesn't help me beyond making me feel guilty to get more or less sleep the next night. And while that's helpful, it is something that isn't unique to Microsoft or the Band.

The Band, in Microsoft's words, was designed to showcase the power of Microsoft Health. So far, we haven't seen that. I want to see it soon.

Build quality

There are no major scratches to report after a month of use. I didn't apply the included screen protector and decided to risk getting a scratch. Microsoft opted to not use scratch-resistant material in the display of the Band, which is a kind of a boneheaded omission if you ask me. The Band is going to go through more physical abuse than your phone, like when you're working out. Using a screen protector is lame and hopefully addressed in Band 2.0.

  • Related: Unboxing and hands-on tour of the Band

That said, I've been careful and don't have any major gashes in my display. However, there are those minor little scuff marks on the display after a month of use. Those are the kind of marks you expect after an extended period using a screen, so it's a little disappointing to see so soon.

The rest of the device is holding up well. The rubber band doesn't show any wear and the metal clasp is still working like it did when I first opened it. I'm curious to how the rubber band will age over time as it gets sweaty and cleaned and sweaty again.

Cortana

Cortana doesn't get much action on my Band. I'm glad they included Cortana, but the integration could be a lot better. You can set reminders with Cortana on your Band, but the action activates Cortana on your phone and turns the display on. It's a rather clunky integration at the moment. Asking Cortana the weather is possible, but again turns the display of your Windows Phone on and you can just check the weather with the app pre-installed on Band.

There's a lot of room for improvement between Band and Cortana.

Biggest love: Anything fitness on the Band

I bought the Band primarily for its fitness focused features, and I'm happy to say it lives up to those expectations. Guided workouts are probably the coolest feature on the Microsoft Band. I detailed Guided Workouts a few weeks ago, so go read up if you're curious. I would have like to see more Guided Workouts added after a month, but so far it looks like the selection is the same. You'll find workouts from Microsoft, Gold's Gym, Men's Fitness and other fitness brands on your Microsoft Band. The Band will then walk you through the workout, and it's an amazing feature.

The ability to track your heart rate, time and more during a generic workout has been beyond useful with regular days at the gym just lifting. I can just glance at my wrist to see time elapsed between sets while keeping an eye on my heart rate. Even while lifting I like to keep it above a certain threshold. Band helps me do that. Seeing the recovery time for exercise is a neat feature. This might be where we see a glimpse of the actionable data promised with Microsoft Health. The Band will tell you how long you should rest when you complete a Guided Workout, workout or run. It's cool, and it's never the same. It'll be interesting to see how it improves over time.

I love you Band

Band

Keep doing your thing and improving.

How about you?

Banditos and Banditas (that's anyone with a Microsoft Band) tell me what you think of the Band after a month of use. What's your favorite feature? Least used feature? Biggest surprise? Biggest disappointment? Oh, and yes, we're painfully aware that the Band needs to be available in more markets, but that's a topic for another time.

158 Comments
  • One month later and I'm still not going to buy one at near $500 cnd to bring it to Canada. #BringTheBandToCanada
  • Nice to see you in another place other than MobileSyrup. Ya it would be cool to bring to Canada, but they made such a limited supply. I assume that the Microsoft Band is a pilot project for what is going to be a more available product in the coming months. What I am glad to see is the amount of respect the Band is getting. On Ebay, you're seeing bids of over $300 on each item. This is crazy! I'm still wondering if the Band is also a way to release a watch at some point. I actually like the look of the Samsung Gear S, but it ain't Windows.  #BringItAllToCanada
  • Mobile hell ;) There are a few of us who cross back and forth. MassDeduction is another. He noticed me a few weeks back so I fixed my name on the other site to my gamer tag. I enjoy reading on many sites, only way to learn. :). Btw shipping is the one that I see pops it up near $500
  • Everyone on Mobily Hell is in bed with Apple and/or Blackberry. Any Windows mention has the word FINALLY attached to it. Anyways, cheers!
  • The gear s is a great idea it reminds me of a souped up sWaP rebel. to bad Samsung has yet to port the required app for their wp8 handsets
  • Here in the US and I'm still waiting too... Finally Microsoft launches a device that everyone wants from day one and it's not available :/
  • I literally just got one on eBay for just over the regular price. I'm willing to pay more to bring one up here... (I'm Canadian as well)
  • I'm living in Eastern Township near Sherbrooke, Qc, and my band cost me 200$ USD no more ... shipping included ! Why are you talking of 500$ ???
  • EBay.ca. $427.06. For one. Shipping is $28.46. That's near $500 cnd not us... For an item that sells for $199.00 USD is to high for me yet. I'm waiting for my Microsoft store to bring it in. There is import duty's and taxes at the border sometimes.
  • They are not even making enough for the US market
  • I'm sure I would be in love with it too. Unfortunately I cannot buy it here in Europe.
  • Don't feel bad, we can't buy it in the US either.
  • Just wait like the rest of us for the MSB2... I'm sure it will have a more widespread release... And, it will be MUCH BETTER.
  • I'm not sure why your comment was downrated once. I agree. The fact is that it is in limited production.  This seems a tactical decision.  Being so well received, MS will have data to decide whether to increase production long term for MSB1 or to iterate and improve for a v2 mass availability release launch.  None of this is bad (other than MSB1 limited availability).  Eitherway, its neat to see something like this come out so unexpectedly without leaks.
  • #BringTheBandToEurope
  • Audio Technica - awesome headphones.
  • It's good to see he values sound quality over what's "hip".
  • But they don't have the b on them, therefore they *must* be worse.
  • Heh
  • I like AT hardware. I personally have some Sony studio headphones. Wouldn't trade them for the "B" headphones at all. :)
  • But its so ugly
  • You are so ugly
  • No, I am so ugly.  Get it right!
  • I think its ugly too. I want it to have all it has and look something like the moto 360
  • It is not ugly at all, it is minimalistic, but not ugly.
  • hey guys this is not watch it's a band you will never find it as moto 360 design
  • Its a band that can turn on a watch interface to see the time all the time.
  • It's a band. Not that ugly. But for sure, not a fashion accessory
  • It is no worse than other fitness bands on the market.  It weighs only 2 oz and it is quite comfortable to wear.  After a day or two, you will get used to it.  The mechanical watch I retired weighs 3.5 oz.  But you don't have to worry about charging every other day.  After almost one month use, I think the tradeoff is way worth it.
  • Are we "typing wrong" Sam?  Great article. I've had mine less than a week, but I love it.  I'm anxious to get at more of the data, so I hope some software updates for the phone app and desktop program are incoming. As for your weather complaint, I use the on-Band weather tile, but I had the same issue with Cortana in that I didn't expect it to turn the phone screen on.
  • I find Cortana texting on my Band more useful if I have my phone on the charger and I'm busy doing something else. My humble abode is small enough my Band and Lumia maintain a connection everywhere I my house. So using Cortana then is a big plus.
  • @bobsentell - excellent point. I use Cortana in similar fashion. Mostly, I use it when I have the phone plugged in to a speaker and I can control the music with voice.  I'm still hoping for a simple music tile on the Band, though.  Just Fwd/Next, Back/Repeat and Play/Pause buttons would be awesome! :)
  • Happy 1st month anniversary !!
  • I too love my Band.
  • You won't love it when the MSB2 comes out....
  • Of course not! We'll buy the 'Band2' and love that instead. Until then, the Band rocks! People like you completely miss the point. If we all waited until the next best thing is released, we'd never buy anything in the first place!
  • People like me... Lol.. As if I apply that theory to everything... SMH, Mark.
    ...........
    Now, a beta product like the MSB1, that has a big list of shortcomings, which have been listed by WC themselves, and isn't yet confident for a worldwide release,,,, you go ahead and beta test that for us smart shoppers, give your feedback, and make the B2 a smarter choice.... Do, what you want with your $200, but IN THIS CASE it's a good idea to wait for V2... That's how "people like me" think..
  • Rodney I think the expression you were looking for there was "cautious shoppers"
  • Cautious is smart in this case.. That'll work too.
  • Rodney help me out here; Let's work on some hypothetical scenario. Say all of us windows fans are smart shopper as you have defined, MB Ver-1 comes out, we all abandon it to wait for ver-2, kindly tell me what MSFT improves upon or what do you think in general will happen to the band as a whole? You stated WC have stated lots of the band's short comings, I'll go on a limb here and dare say there is absolutely no device without shortcoming(s), also argue that WC stated a lot of its strength and pleasant surprises more than its short comings. I am sure you'll agree this is one of MSFT finest moment product in a long time that have received good reviews even from hating sites. What I have heard and seen the most about this Ver 1 product is that it was too limited in supply and that it should have sampled rest of the world instead of U.S only. Looking forward to enjoy your eloquent response.
  • Dude.. You're thinking to hard... Who ever said that NOBODY should buy the current band?.. Who said that?... And, that's really irrelevant at this point as we know that people have already bought the original band... I was just suggesting to this guy above that he wait for the next one because it will be greatly improved on.... I can't stop you, or Jay, or anyone else from buying the original band, nor do I care to.. So, quit panicking... I don't know why you guys always think grown ass men on WC are so hard of understanding... Read comments first, then reply.
  • My never said you you alluded to nobody buying (You read my comment well) It clearly states an HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIO. using your definined Smart Shoppers as an inference. That is is why the scenario states (again scenario that potentially will never happen but which states let's just say it did. That is what if We are all smart shoppers (Which we are all not, but in this case, an hypothetical one) and if we are per your definition, we will all wait for Version-2. I read your comment very clearly. And why would you say I should not panic, I don't see where any of my response denote a sign of panic..
  • I see your point.. Understood... Im just not interested in bringing up hypothetical situations.. It just deters from the main point, and complicates things.. Thanks though. I see what you're saying.
  • Had mine for a couple weeks now and never leave home without it. I use it a lot and always look at my wrist before opening my phone to see if texts, emails or even phone calls are worth replying to. Battery life is freaking amazing! Anyways my only complint is that yes, its a bit bulky and its not the most comfortable thing in the world but im used to it already and dont even notice like i used to. Great buy!
  • I love my band. And I agree I initially purchased it for the fitness trackers (lost 37 pounds since September and I just wanted to keep track of my workouts) but the notifications are such a blessing now especially when trying to pull out a 1520 from your pocket everytime the phone vibrates. I sometimes answer texts via voice though (thanks Cortana) but that's a novelty feature/party trick for the most part. I love charging it in the shower and it hasn't died on me yet! Three weeks strong! Definitely recommend! Got my dad one as well.
  • 37 pounds in 13 weeks?!!! That's about 3 pounds a week. I didn't know people can lose weight so fast. I thought 1 lb/wk is pretty good and 2 lbs/wk is pushing it exteremly hard.
  • It was 33 in 8 weeks actually and I've tapered off since hitting my goal at the end of October :D. Cutting out beer was a major part!
  • That's 4 lbs/wk or 2000 Kcal deficit per day, almost a full day's calorie intake for average person. Wow... Anyway, congratulations on your results!
  • Thank you! It took tons of willpower. No regrets though.
  • I'm expecting Microsoft releases the Band outside of US, dates at least. I think when I can buy it in Spain, Band 2.0 will be announced.
  • Wish they had more... It is already out of stock!!!!!!!
  • I've got a feeling its going to be just like the surface and should wait until surface 3 instead of buying surface 1
  • That's how every modern electronic device is...
  • I bought mine the night it was released. I returned it the day I got it in the mail. I have an AT&T 920 with 8.1 Cyan. Cortana didn't work, all email/text/push notifications didn't work. Build quality was superb, comfort was amazing, the screen quality was super. But those issues made it a 5/10 instead of the potential 10/10.
  • Odd. Mine worked out the box with my At&t 920. But am on Developer Preview so maybe that helped.
  • Yeah, mine worked great with my 822.
    I have the 830 on AT&T now and it works no different.
  • That's weird mine works perfectly with my 920. Love the notifications and custom responses. Bloody brilliant piece of kit.
  • They say the honeymoon lasts three months!  It does seem to be a keeper, though.  Sam, how is the accuracy of the HR monitor?
  • I can answer this (at least comparing it to one of those blood pressure/heart rate monitors they have at pharmacies and the ones they have at gyms). It's been pretty spot on with measurements usually off by a few beats bpm. Then again who knows which one is actually correct. I've been satisfied so far!
  • What's to say the other devices aren't the ones that are off and the Band is actually correct?
  • Just a few days after getting the Band I compared it to a machine while at the doctor's office. It was spot on.
  • I am really enjoying mine as well, minor niggles aside, the Health app gives you a vast amount of data, and comparing it with the hrm on the Xbox Fitness app, they both seem to be fairly close, which I was surprised about. The charging every day is different since I came from a Force, but all in all I think it's a great product that will get nothing but better in the future.
  • I love mine too. I really didn't think I'd go for a smart watch/fitness band, but I'm really convinced that this area of digital tech is more than a niche market. The Band is a very nicely made device that has added to and improved my day to day living.
  • i wanna love it!! wash her and bring it to me!!
  • The Band is my first fitness device. So far, I like it. But, the integration with myfitnesspal is still lacking.
  • I've had it since the second launch a couple weeks ago. I have to say I definitely don't look at my phone as much. I personally like everything about it, except one thing that annoys me....quick reply on text messages can only be done at the first glance of the text message on the band, but if the text is longer you have to click the message, than read the message, but CAN'T quick reply from that point. So in other words, if a text message is three to four words long you can reply to it using the preset messages, but if it's long you can't, unless you ask Cortana to send a message, when at that point, I would just pull out my phone. All and all I love it tho.
  • Yeah those Cortana "bug" is annoying. It happens also when she's triggered by earphones button, turning on the screen in my pocket. I mean, use the proximity sensor: if I trigger Cortana in my pocket, the screen has to be off.
  • Imported a band to the UK through eBay. Totally worth it! Have had my band for almost a week now and it's something I never want to leave the house without. Great for notifications, calendar, workouts, steps, sleep information. It also tells the time!
  • I have a friend in Texas, £160 posted! Received it yesterday though...
  • Because there is no alternative?
  • There are several alternatives, but none as good.
  • Band has been working out well for me, having much the same experience as Sam. Heart rate and steps have been spot on every time I've compared them to actual. I do note that the step count has a delay before counting, which I presume is to avoid counting steps that aren't really steps. Microsoft definitely needs to crank up production, and make all that "actionable data" accessible to the user. However, I am taking advantage of the data that is available. My nightly sleeping heart rate has been gradually climbing, which correlates exactly with the lack of excercise since the colder weather hit. So, I am working on adjusting my work schedule to accomodate 1-2x weekly trips to the health club. Have the step counter is a mixed blessing, as now I know how truly sedentary I am. That said, I've been making an extra effort to get away from my desk and walk more, and I do find myself feeling a little more engergetic during the day as a result. I do wish the Starbucks app worked at my local 'Bucks. Part of that is the app's fault, and part is their scanner's fault. (Their scanner has issues with other bar code apps.) As for the other exercise features, I'm still exploring. Like Sam, I reach for my phone a lot less. Could I have gotten away with a less expensive, competing product? Probably. But considering most of the other options don't play well with Windows Phone, the Band has been a good purchase for me.
  • I enjoyed mine for nearly 2 weeks, but returned it. I needed a medium but the size chart said large. My only complaint is that my cell phone (Lumia 1020) battery suffered terribly with notifications active. I couldn't make it through a work day without needing to charge it, which means traveling would be impossible if I didn't have access to an outlet.
  • Muted SMS alerts are annoying, apart from that I have no other complaints.
  • mine is sitting on the kitchen all the time. too huge and heavy. too much of a freaking pain to wear. it is an ergonomic pain.
  • Send it to me..
  • If it's adding noticable weight to your arm, then you probably need to hit the gym more. And you should take the band along with you.
  • You shouldnt have any problems selling it considering the whole demand vs supply thing going on right now.
  • I would love it too if it was in stock..
  • Great article! Your points hit on all of my main thoughts also. I've had my Band for a couple weeks and the experience has been very good: Better than I thought it would be. Before deciding 100% on the Band after buying, I did some looking into other smartwatches on the market now and even the new Fitbit coming out. Water resistance would be great but everything else about it is better in comparison, at least for my purposes (health, notifications). There's room for improvement with the thickness and screen durability for v2, and the Health platform for that matter, but especially the Health platform will improve, most likely without us needing to invest more in hardware. Happy banding, Bandito!
  • Loving my Band so far. Step, heart rate, and calorie are all great features. The notifications are awesome because I don't have to pull out my huge 1520 every time it goes off. Sleep tracking is pretty neat too. I'm definitely very happy with my Band.
  • +1520, agree completely with not having to pull it out of the pocket
  • I love mine. I really find it very comfortable. I miss it when I am not wearing it. (not very often) I bought it for the notifications - which work great. I love the sleep monitoring. I am really glad I bought this on day one.
  • I loved it when I first got it, but the main reason I use it is for accurate HR monitoring, and the Band is so off with its HR measurements, im so sad i can't return it now because i past the 30 days. Hopefully version 2.0 fixes the HR issue.
  • There are some app bugs where it shows HR wrongly after the workout, but the device works well.
  • Ive been wearing mines since i bought it a month ago. Works like i wanted it to and my only complaint is that Cortana integration is kind of awkward to use. The battery life is better than i thought it would be and im really liking the notification feature
  • Wearing mines sounds very dangerous and heavy... :P
  • If it had a speaker for music and Cortana, even if it was low sound, It would be an insta-buy
  • I in complete agreement with Sam on this one: I love my Band!
    Haven't taken it of unless for the daily shower/charging session since I got it and will not take it off until a new version arrives and I really need to have that new Band, or it falls off my wrist.
  • Yup, I'm loving mine too. Only had it for a lcouple weeks now, but still a great device. 
  • I love my band
  • Have to say that while the screen is a scratch magnet, the protector actually works really well and hasn't scratched since
  • Me too, its so nice
  • Funny, I paid $200 and already stopped wearing it :/
  • I love mine as well. Only complaint is the screen scratching so was.
  • One month later and it is still not available to order online so I will just look at my Kenneth Cole watch and pretend it does more than tell time and look stylish while doing so.
  • Lol every Microsoft band news item feels like a troll cos prob 1% of readers are able to get their hands on one
  • Still love mine and would buy again.
  • I've had the band for about 3 weeks and agree with all of your observations. The ability to access some functions without pressing a button would be nice.
  • Mines held up great though TONS of abuse and its very useful even though I could care less about fitness stuff except GPS tracking for dirt biking trips.... Notifications and stuff work AWESOME though.
  • I have yet to see the value of these things.
  • I love mine. I wish Cortana was better on it, and I wish it was more obvious what my dictated messages are, and who they are to. Right now, it is in plain white text "You want to text ______, ________, is that right?" I want to see the difference between what was said, and what is a command/request.
  • I wnt her to be more flexible. I cant respond to texts by saying Respond to whoever. I have to initiate "text whoever" to respond to a text.
  • I love it except for the broken call notifications I have. Sometimes it shows the phone number and other times it shows the actual contact name... Anyone else have this?
  • I have this issue. Hey are u from oahu
  • One month later, I haven't fully tested the work out part of it. It did help me be more productive at work by not accessing my phone as much anymore. I make sure I use voice to text someone so I don't have to get in trouble texting at work. It is such a breeze. I only use the sleep feature for right now and it is really accurate. My heart rate went up when I was having a nightmare. It stated that I woke up, when I was half awake. Good stuff.
  • "Using a screen protector is lame" ...? If you have a half-decent one (and the included one is) it isn't noticeable, so why does it matter?
    I mean sure, it'd be nice to not have to put screen protectors on stuff, but still.
  • I've had one for over 2 weeks. I agree with just about everything in the article. I would love a longer battery life but its easily manageable. It fits great and the out of box features are awesome. Its really everything I want in a smart watch and fitness tracker. I think MS would do well to release a band without a screen that just tracks activity and heart rate. I think there would be a huge market for a product around $100 even though there's a lot of competition in that space. I may sell mine just because they are going for so much on eBay. Struggling to to resist the desire to make a profit.
  • I want one!!
  • #Bandito4Life
    I too am super happy with it every though it still has room for improvement.
  • I bought one the first week they were available. I just returned it Sunday unopened. I wasn't convinced that I'd like it so I figured I'd give someone else a shot at it direct from the MS store without the eBay premium. 
  • Loving mine too please check this out https://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sug...
  • Reading the headlines.... I hate you SAM! LOL! JK!
  • I agree with most points, including comfort and actionable items. Something I didn't see you mention and probably you don't use the feature is the alarm. I fell in love with it. The gentle shake on the wrist in the morning is really nice and non intrusive to others. I've also noticed that waking up with a gentle shake rather than with sound leaves me in a better mood. :D
  • I agree with everything here.  Love it.
  • I use the Cortana integration most when I'm driving. Either to send brief messages or to get traffic news and directions. In these cases I like that it causes the phone screen to come on as it displays valuable information. It has reached the point where I can use band Cortana without taking my eyes off the road, which is very useful
  • Went to the Microsoft store and the small was too large.  Hopefully a future version will work for me.
  • I love my band as well. I almost sold it because I saw I could get double the price for it on eBay, but I kept it. Notifications: Agree completely, I can just look at my wrist to see if it is worth checking. In conversation, this is a big help. It is also a help during exercise, driving, walking, just about any activity except maybe couch potato when you keep your phone on your stomach for quick access. If you have winter where you live, you'll appreciate it even more. Still there is a lot of work to be able to do here. VIP list is only 10 people - crap. Need to rules. Also, it would be nice if you clear a notification on your phone it cleared it on the band as well and vice versa. Comfort: Yes, this is subjective. I am very sensative and at first I found the band very constraining as it seemed hard and not fliexible, but after 2-days I got use to it just fine. I can use it while typing quite easily and I wear it face on the inside. Battery: Workouts take the most energy, but if you just use it as a step counter, sleep monitor, notification center - it will last two days easy - even with the watch mode on all the time. Watch mode - be nice if you could configure it like glance screen to change colors or even go off at certain times. Lastly, I love the platform, it shows a lot of promise, I just hope MS can deliver on that promise.  It is good now, but I would really like to be able to have it analyse the data.  For example, it should be able to tell you, based on your sleep cycle, what is the best time for you to go to bed and get up to be able to optimise your sleep. It could judge if you are overly tired that you may need to go to bed earlier, or see that you had an overly stressed day and suggest a relaxation routine. Of course, this is all well and good, lets just hope that we don't get to the point to where you insurance company can access you step data and sleep patterns and be able to make policy adjustments based on that data. Hmm, I see you are walking less than 10k steps a day, we're going to up your premium as you are a higher risk.
  • Question: Is it wrong to have sex with another band user in workout mode and then to compare heart rates?
  • Funny
  • I think my online dating profile needs updating... =P
  • One month later and I'm still waiting for it to come to Canada.
  • Great post COMMENTS:
    I've been using it for month too and I also cant wait to see some graphs and more advanced windows 8 app. I am especially interested in finding out what improves my sleep. We have found the sleep tracker to be very accurate my girlfriend and I have started to track every night and soon will be experimenting whether cellphone next to you on the stand does any changes to sleeping pattern. PHONE INTEGRATION:
    I am amazed by the band and I also didnt think I would use the cellphone integration at all but to my surprise I have reduced looking at my phone by probably 80%. Most amazing thing is that when Cortana kicks in my silent mode because of my calendar "busy" marked entries, the notifications go through. No one hears any vibration of my phone and I just flip my wrist. I also love to see that "your empire has been attacked" in Age of Empires. CORTANA:
    Yes the Cortana use turns on screen and it sucks a lot. I have started turning my phone outwards so no screen is pressed. So for now cortana use is mostly at home. My phone now remains on the one spot at house and I use my band and Cortana all the time for everything from music playing, to texting, calling on speaker, Cortana can trigger anything. BATTERY:
    Absolutely amazing. A real 48h just like promised I am not a big gps user yet but I charge at night and next day at night I am at 60-70% and as they mentioned quick charge can do 30-40% in about 10-15 min which will last you probably for 12h day so If you forget to charge at night morning will do while you get ready and band lets you know at 10% which is also about 4-5h. COMFORT:
    Always on the inside of my wrist it is the only way to interact naturally and it does look like it was intended to be used that way as it feels more comfortable. I enjoy typing with it, In fact I wish I had two on each wrist with display against the table (with screen protector on) it lies flat and gives nice support and lift under the wrist. I loosen it a little bit while using a keyboard. Anyone who thinks this band might not be as useful is wrong. This is the first time new product has exceeded my expectations. My girlfriend especially was skeptical, I bought it for her anyway and now when I ask her how she slept last night, she responds "99% efficient" with 4h of deep sleep :) Soooo. We loving it....
  • I'm confused that I can sync it to either my phone or windows, but not both. Each require unique registration and to unregister the band from the other. Sleep data is only for one day. How do i go back and compare the last week? Otherwise the band is forcing me to move more to reach my goals. Very interesting to check my bad sleep patterns. I like the quick check on stocks. Waiting for the rain to stop to go on a ride and GPS track. I forget I'm wearing it until I have to put on a tight sleeve.
  • I want one really bad. Just asked my cousing to pick one up before he comes to South Africa, and he said they're all sold out.! Just gotta wait for next year now :)
  • Good review! I too like my band. I like collecting watches and I haven't worn one watch since I bought the band a month ago. I wear it on the outside and don't find it uncomfortable at all. For those of you who are u sure about the fit and looks, I recommend you get the size right via the online sizing guide or visiting a store, this is critical. And I don't find it ugly at all, it says a lot that I've been wearing this instead of a Royal Oak (of course, this observation is totally subjective). Also except for buyers outside the US, not sure why everyone is saying it's hard to get, I bought one during the first and second releases online? If you're desperate, there's also eBay, but at $350-$50. I wouldn't give them the satisfaction but just sayin'. We are so conditioned to have everything "made easy" for us, sometimes you just gotta put up with stuff if you want it badly enough?
  • I bought one on day one and I love it too. Your observations are spot on.
  • It's been about two weeks for me, and was also surprised to find that I spend so much less time staring at my phone! It's very nice when I'm out with friends. Phone integration was the thing that made me want a Band and I already feel that it's paid off even though there's room for improvement.
    It's my first device of this type, as I'm not somebody who needs prodding to stay active. My old Sony-Ericsson flip phone did have a pedometer... Back to the Band, I enjoy that I can track my runs without my bulky Lumia 920 in-hand or bouncing around in my pocket, and the heart rate monitor helps me stay in touch with my effort level. I'll need to try the guided workout feature soon,as it sounds like it's really good.
    Comfortwise I don't usually think notice it, but sometimes I still feel like I need to loosen it a notch for awhile--whatever. Overall I felt it broke in after a couple of days.
  • It causes, the Wifi and Bluetooth on My Nokia Lumia 830 to mess up. I think I love my 830 more than my Band, so I'm gonna end up selling the band. I can't use it with my phone :-/
  • I bought one when its released, here is the pros and cons. Pros: - I've been using it to track my workouts, check my text messages, and many other notifications without using the phone. - Paying Starbucks is pretty cool feature. - Track workouts and sleep is good too. - Magenatic charging port is nice.   Cons: - Battery life: i have to charge this thing everyday when im taking a shower, any day i forget doing that it means the device will die mid day. - The heart beat sensor location is really annoying, i would suggest moving the sensor to the other side of the device (i literally was unconfortable many times that i had to remove the device from my hand), espacially when im playing guitar), and i had no issues when i used to wear Fitbit force. - The materials are really cheap, one week after i bought it and it already had scruff mark on place that wasnt covered by the protective cover. - The display should be better, not higher resoulution, but it shouldve contained the same clear black technonolgy that nokia used in their phones to conserve more battery when using watch mode. - Display protection sucks, where is the curved glass? - Water Resistance. - Cortana doesnt work all the time (probably conection issues). - More updates is needed to improve of Touch behaviour of the band, alot of times it selects a tile while i was trying swipe. Im definitly going to try the Fitbit Surge when its released, and probably ditch my band bacause of the resons that, maybe ill switch back when Microsoft releases Band 2
  • Linked with Nokia Icon w WP 8.1, had band for about a week. love notices, rarely take phone out for those now fits good. wear face out like watch. learned to wear before wrist (closer to elbow than hand); gives full wrist motion without discomfort. not howmyou would exactly wear a watch... but i dont notice this any different from the metal dress watch i typically use to wear. worked great on recent hiking and playing game of hockey on typical usage, im getting up to 48hrs battery with prob 20% juice left (not using gps) a few things i am disliking or bothered with... really looked forward to using cortana. setting reminders walking out of meetings, etc. but it always seems to do "thinking..... thinking..... thinking...." and what feels like a minute later there is action. so slow.  cortana on my phone doesnt do this. quiet/do not disturb does not link to phone... annoying to manually change Band every morning and night. in addition to lacking "insights".... it isnt easy to view data in any detail. a lot of it is like a high level, last activity only, or a weekly graph.  beyond doing more in app... also surprising there isnt a website you can view from computer for this.
  • I feel that the display itself is actually pretty resistant, is just the bezel AROUND the screen that's a bit soft and gouge prone...I think they just need to make it a matte material instead of glossy to take away these seemingly "weak"points ;)
  • One month later... and I have never ever seen the Microsoft Band in real life.
  • It proves I get no sleep at night.
  • Great Device and Also nice article!  
  • I live in Vancouver, BC and I've been using the band for 2 weeks now. Bought it for $500 CAD off craigslist locally and met the guy pretty much next day. I know i know, what a rip off, but what choice do I have? I live in Canada AND it is sold out in the USA... my feeling is it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!! I'm experiencing the pros since the day I got it.  I love my gadgets and let's just say I've been eye-ing products like pebble and metawatch and hoping for something to popup for windows phone. The wait feels like FOREVER, but it's finally here, and it integrates wonderfully with my Lumia 1020.  Here are my thoughts. COMFORT
    - You are introducing a new add-on to your body. It'll take a few days to get used to it. Afterwards... it's just an extension of your body. You don't feel it anymore. That's me anyway. FUNCTION
    - All the main stuff is there. Notifications galore. Yes I see room for improvement, but I'm already impressed how polished the first release is.
    - If you need to do anything advanced, you will have to use Cortana. Did you know apps have the ability to take advantage of cortana as well? So if you wanted to say "Turn on the fan" and you have an app that talks to your fan, you could do it all from your MS Band.  BATTERY LIFE
    - Not an issue. Not for me anyway. If i find myself in front of a computer. That's when I charge it to 100% and wear it until I see it drop to maybe 20% and I charge again. I wear it in watch-mode (screen always on) and so far the experience is great compared to some of the horror stories I've heard about the galaxy gear line. MISSING FEATURE I'D LIKE TO SEE
    - I'd like to see an alert to "phone connected" and "phone disconnected" on my MS band. So i know if I'm out of range, forgot my phone in a coffee shop as I'm walking out the door, or simply someone stole it. 
  • One month later and I'm still waiting for my store to tell me my band is ready to be picked up... Backordered mine since 10/31...
  • seriously dude. you need to check your email oftens.  we got an email telling us due to popular demand, online order is no longer available. they gave us $10 credit to shop at the microsoft store.  so if you really want one, you have to go to the microsoft store and buy the. (ps, too lazy to use caps on letter after the period.)
  • I backordered one at a Microsoft Store, not online. I check my email multiple times a day.
  • Quit making me jealous! I want to get one in Belgium!
  • Best 500$ ever spent on ebay :)
  • Love mine and looking forward to seeing what new functions they will add to it.  Now debating what to do with the new Pebble Steel it's replaced.
  • Can you wear the band if you use gloves in your workout?
  • I REALLY liked the features of the Band!  Sadly though I returned it to my local Microsoft store.  I just found the band uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time.  When I returned it the store said they were still in very short supply which is good news that they are still in demand. I really think Mircosoft has a hit here as a first gen product.  I am looking forward to the next gen which I am hopeful will have a curved screen so it will fit better on my wrist.
  • Bit the bullet and got one. Love it. Tracking my sleep is a real eye opener... pun? Only complaints are when my wrist gets sweaty but that's about it.  Took a little work to get it set up as I had to update my phone to get it going. Pros: Sturdy build Fairly comfortable TRACK ALL THE THINGS Notifications (texts, phone, etc) Nice battery life Sleep tracking Goal notifications I'm sure there's more but it's early and I'm not fully awake... Cons: Gets a little sweaty at times Have to update phone but not a big deal Would be nice to have a scratch resistant screen with 2.0 but it's not a big deal Not for swimmers As a low key first attempt at a fitness band it's amazing. I'll be getting 2.0 no questions asked and I'm going to use 1.0 until that point. I have 2-3 people where I work wanting this thing. These are hardcore Apple people too. They all say the Apple Watch costs too much. I show them this thing and they love it. :)
  • My phone has been on silent since I got mine. And I use Cortana a LOT. I really miss it when its charging.
  • Biggest disappointment is that it doesn't work with my 1020 so I returned it.
  • Works with my 1020 (8.1 update)
  • Love the band which I've been wearing for about 2 weeks now.  I don't even know I have it on unless i'm using it - really comfortable for me.  Bought it as my first fitness band and it does more than i had been looking for.  I am now trying to meet my daily steps, monitoring my sleep patterns, tracking my runs/walks, and don't have to pull out my phone all the time to see what is happening. Microsoft has a real winner here.
  • I just got a replacement in the mail (2 day turnaround! Fastest RMA ever.) but I have had my band since almost day one. Some things of note: I use Cortana many times per day and the Cortana integration and notification are probably my two most used features. BY FAR. My regular workout is a little more involved than just running or lifting weights and I'm not allowed to wear anything on my arms so I don't use any of the fitness features. Still totally worth it. The screen protector is actually really nice and completely unnoticeable if you apply it right. I have absolutely zero comfort issues. The ability to quickly and easily adjust the band tightness comes in handy multiple times a day. Brilliant engineering. (Facing inside BTW) It seems to store a couple days worth of calendar appointments. So even when you aren't anywhere near your phone, calendar notifications will still fire. This has saved my ass more than once this month. Things I would like to see added through software/firmware in the near future (in order of importance): Shake to watch mode. Watch mode is cool...really. But without it on and without the constant heart rate monitor you can easily sneak a third day out of this battery. This is a no-brainer. I have to turn it off for movies in the theatre too.  Not cool.  Please let us shake our wrists to turn on the watch display. Stop turning on my phone display when I use Cortana. I shouldn't have to go into detail, everyone who has reviewed this device has complained about this. Rightfully so. Sync cleared notifications between band and phone.  Why this wasn't implimented for 1.0 I have no idea.  Add glance/lock screen like notification badges to watch mode and the front page display. Again, no-brainer. Please make this happen. You have buttons for "Yes" and "No" for Cortana confirmation of appointments and reminders. Let's add "Send" "Try Again" and "Add More" to Cortana text messages through the band. Please explain "Restful sleep" and "Light sleep". This isn't urgent but when I wake up and see that I only got an hour of restful sleep I'm like, "Uhhh...is that good or bad?" That's it. Oh! While we're at it, because I'll never give up until this actually happens, God Dammit. Please catch up to everyone else and add punctuation dictation to Cortana. IMHO, this is a glaring omission. I bump in to problems with this daily.
  • Got the band on original release day and returned it last week.
    Scratches, scratches, and more scratches. It's a fitness band, not a high end watch. It's meant to be worn while hiking, biking, and working out, and yet it's designed in a way that if you're doing anything besides sleeping or watching TV, it will get damaged. It seems nobody tested this thing while doing anything active.
  • Thanks Sam. I've used my Band daily for a month now as well. I love the sleep data and, even without the more actionable data I made use of what is currently available it to determine why my sleep deteriorated for several days recently and make adjustments. The Band motivates me to be more active in my work day and that, the GPS and the sleep tracking, make it a worthwhile investment for me. I'd like to see the better data analytics and better integration with either My Fitness Pal or MSN Health and Fitness. I'd like to see the UV sensor put to use as well. But I particularly wanted to thank you for your thoughtful advice and comments concerning the fit and feel of the Band. Way too many "reviewers" extrapolated how the Band felt to them to the population as a whole. That is just lazy, and frankly, bull***t writing. Wearables are different kinds of tech than say, a Surface Pro 3, and one size will not fit all. Your advice that potential Band buyers try it on first is helpful advice. One final point. After seeing the article about the Shapeways Band holder, I ordered one. This is a cool, highly affordable device that makes recharging even easier because I just keep the USB cord plugged into my big PC, alongside my Nokia wireless charging stand.
  • I was lucky enough to be on a business trip in California when the Band was released and got one of the first batches. I love it.  I was using a watch and a FitBit Flex before and now I just have the Band. I really hope they improve the app, and soon.  not just more actionable data but adding features like FitBit has where you can easily share your accomplishments (oh yeah, and tracking your accomplishments), and compete against friends.  I find my motivation to get out and hit my 15K steps a day has dwindled now that I don't have a group of friends whom I am trying to beat. I like the screen protector, put it on right away.  You can't tell it is there, at all.  It's free, why not use it?  That would have been like not using the free $5 Starbucks GC. I love the Cortana integration, it works a lot better to send texts than my in-car bluetooth setup.  Overall I am very pleased with it.  My wife does find it a bit bulky ( I got her one too) but for me it is perfect. I'm also in Canada, so I guess I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Had one since day one and still love. I am in Canada but was in Honolulu when it was released. My wife was jealous so we drove down to Bellevue WA from Vancouver and picked her up one.
  • I got my 1 Nov; so far I like, not love it (yet).  It replaced a Fitbit Force and its Myfitnesspal integration isn't as good.  I'm also having an issue where the touch screen becomes unresponsve if my wrist sweats too much from my stationary bike workout.  The action button allows me to stop the clock but I cannot use the touchscreen to end the session.  Taking it off, wiping it down and letting it sit for a while resolves the issue.  I called MS tech support and the problem went away for a few days after a reset but I still see the issue after a heavy bike session.  May be time to request an exchange.
  • Have you consdered one of those 80's wrist sweat bands to help mitigate the sweat? Kudos on the workout btw.
  • If it was a boneheaded move for MS not to include scratch resistance, but then offers you a free screen protector and you don't apply it. Guess who the bonehead is? I applied mine, not a single scratch and the screen protector is invisible to the naked eye. Well worth the moment it took to put it on. I love my band.
  • Has anyone tried using Whatsapp or Viber as messaging apps on the Band?