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Monday Poll – What do you think of the new alleged Microsoft Band 2 renders?

In a somewhat surprising and unexpected leak yesterday, new renders of the Microsoft Band 2 surfaced from the site Windows Insider.

In many ways, what appeared is not shocking at all. At the core, the design and functionality of the Band 2 appear to be the same except for the new curved display and the battery position shifting. Still, there are likely many other engineering features we are not yet aware of yet. These changes could include material improvements, modifications to the clasp and the charger setup, which we do not yet know if it is the same as before.

A cursory look at user reactions here and other tech sites suggest overwhelming approval of the design, which certainly looks more premium and refined. Assuming these are the final renders – and our sourcing suggests they are – what do you think?

If the Band 2 retails for the same $199 and is available in more countries (likely the current 26 'Surface countries'), will you be picking one up?

I know I will be getting a Band 2. Ironically it will be less for the health stuff (I still prefer Fitbit) but mostly for the phone companion feature. For my usage, the Band was always great for alerts, emails, texting, weather and Cortana.

Fitness on the Band 2, in my opinion, needs a big overhaul in terms of data: friends, social, sharing, and more. What I want to see is more Xbox integration in terms of achievements, social, and challenges. I keep using Fitbit because I like to see what my friends are doing. Our own George Ponder wants (nay, needs) it to be waterproof. What about you?

Will Microsoft prevail? We'll find out October 6. For now, take our poll and let us know what you want to see changed for features with the Band 2.

If on your phone just navigate to m.windowscentral.com/poll-band-2.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

212 Comments
  • Looks so much more comfortable than the Band 1!
  • Keen for Band device used in Bluetooth proximity to Windows 10 PC/phone to act as a second factor security.
    Then can relax login policies, eg. PIN rather than password or longer time outs.
    With personalized heart rate authentication and location could potentially relax authentication even further.
    Windows, HELLO?! Anyone listening?
  • If they add NFC it would work better than an Apple Watch at purchases.  With that thing on the outside of the wrist people have to dislocate their arm to make the face touch an NFC reader.  With this sitting under the arm it would be perfect for NFC payments.
  • Yeah, the NFC payment feature was something I was hoping for ever since the release of the first band. Problem is still with windows phone wallet though.
  • I'm effing buying it. They fixed the one thing I disliked about my 1st Gen band
  • What was it you didn't like? The flat screen?
  • yes. and the simple fact that it was a 1st gen. hoping this will be windows 10 aswell and longer battery.
  • I think it looks great I just wish it had no bezel around the screen.
  • Same^ or at least a much smaller bezel... but I'm still a day 1 buyer. I've been waiting for this since I returned my v1.
  • Same too ^ Was hoping the screen was a tad larger, 10-15% or the bezel was a littel smaller. Or both. 
  • I agree. Actually, i wish they would comeup with 2 or 3 sizes. Maybe, "Small", "Medium", "Large" (maybe a """Band PRO""" Version too)for different user's needs. I ride Motocross, and i would want larger screen to see, while I'm riding. Band 1 is an awesome device, but for me is too small of the screen. However, my wife loves it and loves its features and accuracy. 
  • True, the sensors at the latch look a bit bulky though and thicker than the rest of the band so will have to wait for reviews to hear comfortable it is in the end. For sure better than 1 of course. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Wish the screen was bigger and had a speaker for calls but other then that looks like a winner. I'm getting
  • Calling Dick Tracy, Calling Dick Tracy...come in, Tracy! =p
  • Wrong number, this is Tracy Dick, Dick's arch nemesis.
  • HMMM "talk to the hand as I wont answer"?
  • agreed, I was really hoping for a larger screen, smaller bezel, current version wastes a lot of space with that bezel that is easily scratched. i am still getting one of course, but really wish they had stretched out the screen just a bit!
  • Admit it you wanted an iwatch made by Microsoft
  • Yes, please :)
  • If Microsoft made something like the apple watch I would get that along with the band 2. The band doesn't go well with dress clothes. It would be cool to be able to have both sync to the app without deleting the other.
  • What's an iWatch look like?
    I would like to have something closer to Android Wear or the Apple Watch.
  • Some people sometimes call the Apple watch the iWatch due to Apple's tendency to put the letter 'i' at the beginning of their product names. Apple wanted to call the Apple watch "iWatch", but the term was already taken by someone else at the trademark office.
  • Ah, that makes sense. I assumed it was another product.
  • The irony is if someone tried to find the original item the won't now lol Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That never stopped them before - Cisco owned iPhone way before Apple went there.
    The Watch choice of name is more about making the device seem personal rather than a piece of tech - trying to blur that line.
    Still sucky though.
  • From MS I would like a mechanical watch with a smart band like the Kairos Mechanical with the Tband... https://kairoswatches.com/tbands/tband-awatch/od/msw_chrome/
  • Oh btw, The Kairos watches are supposed to be Windows Phone compatible.
  • For some unknown reason you've got a downvote. Anways, I hope Microsoft will enter the Smartwatch market soon before it gets saturated and became anotehr "too late" situation for them. New Android Wear is improving overtime while Apple Watch as expected gains popularity bit by bit.
  • Yeah idk why they down voted me maybe they don't like the idea of a mechanical / band hybrid. For me that would be the perfect watch. I don't think Microsoft should get into the mechanical watch business but maybe partner with one to create a hybrid. Just a thought!
  • I think it wouldn't be the worst move for Microsoft to delve into the smartwatch market. I don't like when websites review the Band against the Apple Watch or Android Wear because they aren't even competing. We can only wait and see.
  • I had the original band but I have the Apple watch and it is a world of different.  Not heavy don't need to lug my phone out for messages and or calls it tracks my fitness without having to download anything before midnight and today it got a app that will also track my sleep. 
  • You said everything bro. They could have made a much smaller bezels, it would look much better, but maybe that's a decision to save battery life!
  • Or the bezel is there to give the screen more strenght and protection.  After all it is meant for exercise.
  • The less bezel requirement comes up as a comment for most of MSFT's design (also referencing cityman & talkman renders). By now, I hope they (msft) have gotten the message that little (or no bezel) is the way forward in design appeal. Take a leaf from dell's xps laptops or Samsung's curved phones
  • check out my "stretched" UI/UX concept, aha : https://www.behance.net/gallery/27663369/Microsoft-Band2-UIUX-Concept
  • Very nice! I might prefer if the screen tapered into the band so there wasn't such a break between the two. But very very nice design. 
  • THIS I would buy!
  • Ahhhh....maybe in alternate Universe this conept is a real product! I wanna get that! Microsoft please take a look!
  • This is the problem with design, it's not bound by the laws of physics, only imagination. Where would you put the battery necessary to run such an immersive interface?
  • Exactly. Designers dont have to worry about physics, i am sure Microsoft has more talented designers, but they have to work within given parameters. These sorts of fan made concepts are just people patting themselves on the back. 
  •   You could embed batteries directly into the strap.  If you used tiny mah batteries in series,  you could probably embed enough of them to power the watch for weeks,  
  • Same gear s seems to be the closet thing since others like swap rebel wont be compatible with most networks in the future
  • Just duct-tape your phone to your wrist and be done with it :P
  • Looks nice..just wish there was less bezel.
  • This
  • They need to add option in poll "It looks good, but it can be better"
  • this option would always be winner
  • I like it so far, although I'd like to check it out in a store before passing final judgement. The issues with my current banned look like they may be resolved (plastic over the batteries wore/tore off)
  • Much nicer...the original band looks too bulky. Might get band 2.
  • Waterproof is a must in this iteration.
  • And it doesn't have to be able to go deep sea diving. Just enough water resistance to survive a dive in the lake or running around on the Sea-Doo or Kayak.
  • Don't quote me 100% on this as things may ahve changed, but I believe the reason why they aren't is due to the sensors. A while ago I've read that none fo the fitness bands are waterproof due to it being extremely expensive to make the sensor work right and still be waterproof.
  • Fitbit Flex is waterproof.
  • Water resistant. Different thing. A company, I think Microsoft is one of them, can claim water resistant which allows you to wear the device in the rain or something like that. Not saying everything that's resistant is only rain proof, but it's something the companies do to 'add a feature'
  • can you swim with it on?
  • You are correct, it is due to the sensors and the charging port. There are a few out there that are water resistant. The Garmin comes to mind and I believe the Fitbit Charge is (not the HR model). The downside with both of these devices is the lack of Windows Phone support for the companion features. I still think the Band is the best out there and if the new model doesn't like the water, I'll continue to track my kayaking adventures with Endomondo.
  • Fitbit Flex is also waterproof.
  • Water resistant. Not proof. Same as the band 1
  • I want to be able to do swimming laps with it.
  • Exactly! this alone would justify an upgrade for current Band owners
  • No waterproof - no deal, at least for me. Isn't swiming one of the most popular fitness activities? If the sensors are really the blocking issue to make the band waterproof, than make Band 2S with less sensors but WR100. M$, please have this marketing advice for free this time.  
  • Agreed no waterproof no deal. In my opinion we have reached the point with technology that this needs to become a standard feature. I fish, I swim, I kayak/canoe if technology is to be a part of my life it needs to be compatible with it. If I can't use it where I want to go then I don't really need it.... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I think it looks more sleek an attractive that the first. I will definitely be getting one.. hope it tracks thing's better an maybe track blood pressure to would be good.. water proof would make it awesome Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Is there any device that monitors blood pressure without a cuff?
  • Looks like it may be a better fit. Hopefully the fitness side will be expanded. Also I'm hoping it will be durable. I got my current band in June and I'm in the process of sending it in for repair. Ugh
  • This ^^^^  Mine lasted less than 6 months.. never wet (no shower, rain, hand washing)  just plain old sweat every day !  DEAD. Sent it to MS .. they sent it back and said it had been wet.  $200 trinket.   Maybe they should offer a trade in program for the previous non-durable version... :)
  • these fitness bracelets are still way too big and thick for me to take them seriously.  the technology needs a few years before they can make them small enough to really go mainstream.  i don't want something on my wrist that can't pass for just a regular fashion bracelet.  Fitbit is close, but this MS band still looks way too big.  it is nice looking though
  • Like smartwatches. Still they do sell. Personaly I got used to my Band very quick. Very often I need to check whether I'm wearing my Band. So perhaps it isn't as bad as you think it is.
  • But when in India.. Atleast band 2 please !!!
  • No.
  • It looks so sleak and comfortable. I have wanted one for a long time but have been holding out on getting the Microsoft Band, now, I have a good reason to wait for this new one. Will work nicely with my Lumia 950 XL that I'm holding out for too.
  • Can't wait to get it. First one was done well and one of the best fitness tracker I had. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • While the Band is primarly focused as a fitness device and secondly a smart watch.... I hope for a new device that is opposite of the band.  Heavy in the smart watch area with some fitness rolled into it.  
  • FITNESS should continue to be the focus. Maybe the SURFACE Watch should focus on productivity
  • check out my UI/UX concept : https://www.behance.net/gallery/27663369/Microsoft-Band2-UIUX-Concept
  • That's pretty awesome. You should seriously send this over to Microsoft, and apply for a position with the design team.
  • Or just twitter @MicrosoftBand.  The render makes a good wish list, if nothing else.
  • This one time, my band clamp made me play an F sharp instead of D flat on my flute. Let's hope V2 causes no flute hijinx. Huge improvement in the looks department.
  • I somehow read that as: "this one time, at band camp..." And then the flute comment made it even more confusing at first xD
  • You're not alone. #ThatIsAll
  • Then the "F sharp and D flat".
  • Doesn't address either of the issues I had with my 1st gen model.  It's still has no raised bezel (a must for any sports/fitness watch), so scratching the screen will be easy; and its clasp mechanism still appears to be a single point rahter than a dual point that would dramatically improve stability and lock strength.  Unless there's a major battery life bump or they added waterproofing for swimming I think I'll pass.
  • Meh, I guess if you want a fitness tracker it would be OK but I don't see myself spending that much on one.
    Microsoft really has nothing to rival android wear or the apple watch. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Oneplus One
  • Except that they work with all three of the big smartphone os'. That way if you change phones you can still use your band with it
  • It has. It's just you can't see it. And no, I will not start educating.
  • It is a fitness tracker. That's literally the whole point.
  • Looks better, but I am not shelling out another $200 for one. I still want a watch form factor and not a band
  • If it looks like this, I will be buying one.  
  • By the way can someone tell me which are the 'Surface countries'?
  • i would like to know too... in germany we have the surfaces but no band
  • Like it. Hope the screen is mor scratch resistant.
  • Screen should have been larger!... It looks the same. I can't imagine anything new or innovative to go along with that "same" screen
  • If it comes to Canada I will be buying one as soon as its released.
  • Unfortunately, we'll be paying an extra 50 or 60 bucks.
  • Looks great on two conditions. These conditions, if met, is truly a masterpiece in design. First, they need to fix the optical HRM for accurate and consistent measurement. Better yet switch the manufacturer to the top tier optical HRMs such as Valencell. Second, They need to make useful suggestions and results for all the data collected from the the multitude of sensors on the Band. What good is a sensor that doesn't tell you anything or suggest anything useful.
  • I honestly think the flatness face components (screen, battery, charging port, etc.) and flatness of the optical components in the clasp contributed to the HRM being inaccurate. I had a nurse tell me that, even though her count of my heart rate was extremely close to what my Band measured, the Band might be taking my HR in an off position. With the new curved screen, I'm hoping that fixes those innacuracies.
  • I like it. Its subtle enough to go unnoticed and looks comfortable enough. Very glad that it is positioned as a fitness band and not a smartwatch also. Imo Microsoft needs to double and triple down on the health services and get to the predictive side of things. That would be their differentiator not everyone needs the latest app on their wrist, but eventually everyone will care about their health.
  • I like this design a lot. It needs durability improvements though. Mine is going back to be replaced as the material covering the parts where the batteries are peeled away.
  • As a Band 1 owner, moving the batteries from the sides as well as the curved screen should make the Band 2 much more comfortable.  Now, hopefully it will be thinner, waterproof, and have improved battery life FTW!!!!
  • I think it looks good, and my GF (and anyone with a small wrist) appreciates the curved screen since it should make the fit for her much more comfortable. I'm optimistic but concerend about one HUGE flaw that I have with my current Band. Basically everytime I play sport/work out and sweat a lot the charging contacts get very dirty and I have to spend literally 15-20 minutes trying to clean them otherwise the device won't charge. If that hasn't been fixed on the Band 2 then my GF will probably get the new one but I won't.    
  • Totally agree, biggest problem I've had with mine, the only problem really, charging is often a problem. A small rubber cover, like on most digital cameras, would definitely help. Currently on holiday in Singapore and the humidity is killing me and my Band!
  • Weird. Charging has never been a problem on mine. Must be the type of sweat or something like that.
  • Clean with a rubbing alcohol wipe. Should not take more than a few seconds
  • Why don't they make the face/screen detachable from the band, with the band housing the battery. This would allow you to charge one while wearing the other. You could swap the battery-band, allowing you to continue wearing it at night. MS could provide 2 battery-bands with the initial purchase and sell colored battery-bands for variety.
  • Great idea! You should put that on user voice for band 3
  • If you take daily baths or showers, that's the best time to charge it, since you'd be taking it off anyway. It charges pretty quickly (from 0% to 80% in just half an hour, and if you're charging it every day, it won't be even close to dead when you start charging, so the charge time during showering is pretty much perfect for most people's Band usage). This way, you can use the band for all other activities, including sleep tracking. And if you don't bath or shower daily (I personally know some teenagers who fall into this category), you may want to ask Cortana to remind you to do so. Something like "Hey Cortana, remind me to take a shower and charge my band when I get home". And now that I think of it, maybe the Band should have a body odor sensor to help those who are "nose-blind" to their own odor.  
  • I always charge when getting ready in the morning... never a dead band.
  • Thank You for the Humor, that was good.
  • I looks like it could be more comfortable.
  • I like this design, was thinking of getting the Surge as a GPS health device but I guess I will wait now.I only hope they release in my country?
  • The side view looks wrong in that it doesn't have the metal sides. Hoping it is fine than it looks. Buying it for sure though
  • Band looks great might get one, 950/XL looks borring might not get one... Apple has an overall design language, MS has random design you cant see that it is from the same company!
  • The main problem I had with the band was that the rubber material started to peel off after a few months. It happened to both my and my wife's bands. I know Richard Hay, and Paul Thurrott also had issues and had theirs replaced like we did. Hopefully the material they are using is more durable, but from the picture, it looks the same.
  • The batteries have gone from the sides to the top. So it can't look the same.
  • very bulky
  • Quite like the look of it, and that curved edge under the face can't fail to make it more comfortable and less likely to smash it against things... It doesn't LOOK like they've gone down a waterproof route though, which is a shame as it is the only thing I really missed and needed in my original band. We'll see in a couple of weeks, I guess! 
  • Mildly annoyed at them getting the screen orientation wrong again. Otherwise looks great
  • Guess I need to sell my Band v1 before 6th Oct. if I want to make some money out of it :) Really good looking, I could even start wearing it all day long, instead of sports-only. I love my all-steel watch though, don't know if I want to get rid of it :(
  • I hope its a glass display as supposed to plastic, but we will see. I really hope its waterproof. And more durable.
  • Looks like a solid upgrade though I still would prefer a larger screen with less bezel.  As long as battery runtimes have improved though, I'll be picking up one of these come October/November.
  • I think they should launch it soon, so that band 1 price will come down then I will buy that
  • October 6th.
  • Wonder if Canada will get this one....
  • Hope they have larger option. I have the first gen band (size large) and I can barely squeeze it onto my wrist. My wrists are not that much bigger than the other athletes I am lifting with at the gym.
  • All I care about is battery life of 5-7 days. If it hits 5 days I am interested. If it gets 7 days, I am totally getting one.
  • I regularly switch between my Band and Charge HR.  The Band is far superior with notifications and some of the tracking feature.  The Charge is lighter and has a longer lasting battery.  The Charge is good for traveling, and getting through the weekends without recharging.  The Band is preferable during the week when I get a lot of texts and calls but don't want to pull out my phone.  I wear my Band facing down because it's easier to read so this may not be much difference with the curve.  My big issue is battery life, and the charger connection.  Hopefully this can be improved.  Will I get one ?  Probably ... especially if there is a trade incentive for my existing device.   
  • Dan do you use band (gps) when biking? I think it needs social aspect as I liked that on Fitbit but I only use band now.
  • I
    I like it. It definitely looks like the one Ssung device that has been around a while that caught my eye before, but I hope the Band 2 is much more advanced. Im 70% sure I will buy one at launch.
  • I like the new look, but I'm still going to wait for version 3 before I would consider getting one. I'm not a fan of the bulky area on the underside of the band. I know it's for sensors, but there has to be a better way to incorporate them. Hopefully the battery life has been extended and uses Qi charging to get rid of the connector port. If Apple can do it with their Watch, then I don't see why the Band 2 can't.
  • Because Apple can't. It has a high bulky screen side. Somewhere the battery and elektronics have to go. Only time will make components go smaller. Though little progress has been made on the battery side.
  • I use my Band mostly as a phone companion (notifications) and a general health monitor and less as a true fitness/workout device. I also like the Band design over the traditional watch design. Based on those renders, I'll definitely go for Band 2.
  • Get rid of the damn rectangle screen and I'll consider it. I think I'll stick with the apple watch though
  • Looks a little better than the first version. I hope they have decided to use a different metal for the contacts this time. I had to have my band replaced twice. Once for not charging anymore and the second time because it was giving me a rash on my wrists (yes it was thoroughly cleaned almost daily). All in all i will probably be getting one.
  • My wife and I along with several medical staff at our local hospital have been eagerly waiting to get them in Canada. Interestingly, while not available here, if you call Microsoft's Canadian support line over the past few months, there is a support option for the band.
  • Would you still wear this with the screen on the bottom of the wrist or top? 
  • I love the way the Band II looks but I'd rather have a watch from MS.