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You do not need Lumia Cyan to use the Microsoft Band

Lots of news happening today regarding Microsoft and their new fitness smart Band and one of the big questions people have: Do you need Lumia Cyan? The thinking here is Lumia Cyan disabled Bluetooth Smart aka Bluetooth LE, ergo it cannot work with a device like the Verizon Lumia Icon. Right?

Luckily, for you we just successfully paired up our Lumia Icon running Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, not even the latest version, and we had zero issues synchronizing and pairing.

So long as your Windows Phone has Bluetooth and Windows Phone 8.1, you should be able to use the Microsoft Band with no issues. Of course, we have not tried every phone out there, but at least for Lumia Icon owners, you are cleared to buy the Microsoft Band.

Speaking of, make sure you see our unboxing and hands-on of the svelte Microsoft device. Then run to your Microsoft Store to grab one! Still have questions? We are answering them throughout the day, or you can hop into our Microsoft Band forums and chat with some new owners!

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.

151 Comments
  • Will definitely be buying this with Christmas money
  • Did cyan disable bluetooth le? It did enable it rigthh? Or am i confused right now? :o
  • Cyan enables after DP disabled it. I have the band synced to my 928 works great.
  • yeah the article made me confuse too... shouldnt it be that WP8.1 DP disabled Bluetooth LE and Cyan update enabled it again + i have WP8.1 Update 1 DP with cyan... i wonder did this DP disabled Bluetooth LE again xD
  • Cyan enables it.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE was never enabled, even on Black firmware. I tried it myself on 928
  • Hopefully it'll work fine on my Lumia 830 using Denim*(Debian Red)
  • Is this a joke?
  • This is good news. I wish Microsoft could just roll out Cyan to Icon users and just circumvent Verizon altogether. I own my Icon so I could care less whether or not a network has "approved the firmware"
  • And Lumia 928 users, too! Verizon is dragging their feet, yet again, when it comes to their Windows Phone users.
  • Hah, the Trophy never got the 7.8 update. They swept up any talk about it in their forums and anyone who mentioned 7Eighter had their post modified to where it was almost deleted.
    It was pretty much a cover up.
  • I'm sure you "could care less" about carrier firmware approval... until you phone calls and texts stop working.
  • Actually I would take that. If Verizon didn't have to approve the updates (unfortunatly their technology requires their approval) and MS pushed a botched update (like apple did), then they could fix it quickly and push the fix. Your choices would to be to wait a day or two for the fix for the botched update or to revert to the older version. Either way this means you the owner of the phone has choices. Currently you don't because Verizon gets control over any firmware and hardware running on their network by design (CDMA technology). Point is I would rather take 2 updates in rapid succession to make things smooth vs 1 update that takes ages to get approved.
  • Yet, magically, apple approves iPhone updates with no carrier intervention. How's that work?
  • I don't have this issue however I am on the latest build of the developer preview and since I dont have cyan my camera or any apps that use a camera crash when the camera viewer thing is supposed to come up, I can't even download apps that utilize a camera because the store says my phone doesnt support the required hardware and then lists that I don't have a camera. Other than camera issues my GPS is super inaccurate now. It seems like the only company standing between me and a fixed phone right now is Verizon. I'm going to stop complaining though for a few weeks because it was nice to hear something about the situation.
  • Verizon's CDMA technology pervents that. Microsoft's hands are tied because of Verizon's old fashioned technology. Its designed so that Verizon has to approve every device and firmware on the network. GSM is not designed this way which is why T-Mobile users could switch their Nokia 925 firmware to AT&T firmware before T-Mobile finally released it. Verizon's technology prevents this assuming that sprint had the same phones (which they don't)
  • Except iPhones.
  • Thanks for checking this out Daniel! I order mine, just waiting for it to arrive :D
  • Wow so i can use it with my 620 with amber and wp 8,1,1? Oh and my lovely 710
  • Only for wp 8.1 and over, not wp7.5
  • Thankfully, otherwise how could non-Lumia Windows Phones work with it?
  • It was only on Lumia devices where 4.0 LE was disabled. HTC One ships with 8.1 and Bluetooth Smart.
  • Oh thanks, I didn't know.
  • Maybe I am wrong but anyone can tell about the battery, did I missed it
  • Cyan disabled 4.0 LE? I am confused.
  • i think he typo or were miss thinking which one was the right... but Cyan enables the 4.0 LE again
  • Dev Prev disables BT 4.0 LE. Cyan returns the functionality.
  • What about the Samsung Ativ SE, will Band work with it?
  • Yupp buy buy buy! So that the rest if the world can enjoy as well :D
  • Sold out, day one, with no real announcement and only 15 hours notice to consumers...I would say it was a successful launch and will go wide soon. My guess is, this was a "preview" launch for us geeks... and in the coming weeks after the band is out in the wild they will start advertising it and do a more official wide release.
  • That's good. It would be horrible if the flagship device couldn't use it.
  • I believe Microsoft Band webpage has Icon all over it, or is it 930 I can't tell.
  • Probably the icon if it is us base.
  • It's the 830.
  • Yeah, until a high end device comes out...830 is the new WP poster child.
  • The Icon is hardly the WP flagship device.  Its the 1520/930.
  • The Icon is basically the L930
  • The only difference spec wise between the 1520 and icon is the screen. Same camera,processor....
  • 1520 is a big screen Icon and the 930 is the eu Icon.
  • Yes! Icon user here, I bought one last night in the faint hope that this would be the case. Sweet!
  • And wp7 ??? I m kidding LOL :D
  • Bt 3.0 like on the blu phones? Older phones? ...is just fine then.
  • But it requires Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1.
    Doesn't it?
  • Some features won't work like Cortana Or reminders. But you can at least get notifications and stuff ;)
  • I don't think so.
  • should work with 8.1 and over
  • No, it will work on Win8 but no Cortana... so it would be basically useless. Someone at the store was saying if you are on 8 it will install a Cortana app to use with it... but it think they were full of crap.
  • Whew. I ordered two.
  • So, how about the Lumia 810 (with DP)?
  • Should work :)
  • I don't understand the orientation of the information on the screen- it's facing the wrong way. The information should be readable as normal watches are. You shouldn't need to have to cock your head or arm in an awkward fashion to read the display. Typical MS, 2 steps forward, 1 back.
  • Well, I suppose it's more readable with the display on the inside of the wrist.
  • Perhaps, but I personally never liked having my watchface on the inside. Also, as a lefty, I wear these things on my right wrist, so the problem could be worse. Dunno. :(
  • im righty but i use watches on the right hand too :D shouldnt be problem either its on left hand or right hand
  • I've worn watches face-down before (with an expandable band, rather than a buckle).  There's actually a lot less twisting involved looking at the bottom compared to the top of your wrist.  The down side is that it's a little more prone to scratching.
  • I agree with you on those points. problem is that I don't think it'll help with reading this display, which is a major shame.
  • In real world use, most people don't really look at their phone straight ahead anyway. Sit at a desk or workout, and you look at it from an angle that is actually more favorable to the direction of the Band. The Band will just be in the perpendicular direction from a regular watch, but readability shouldn't be affected at all - just a slightly different angle.
  • I tried mine both ways and the readability of the display is fine either way. I will wear mine face down though. After all, why would I want everyone to see my personal notifications?
  • i hope that it doesn't get scratched. is this the same gorilla glass (if it is), found on their phones?
  • I am concerned about hat as well. I will get the screen saver on as soon as I can. So far, I have seen sirprisingly little reason for concern though. Even the way I type does not least to the band touching the desk
  • 100% agree, the screen should at least be able to rotate. problem with wearing it inside your wrist is the heart monitor is in the clasp...
  • That's actually not a problem. The heart rate monitor only needs to be in contact with your skin to work. It works in both orientations and it even works choked up on your arm (if you use wrist straps at the gym) seriously brilliant device!
  • Yep, it's the same issue everyone made fun of Samsung for when they revealed the Gear Fit (I think).
  • It's made to be worn inverted to s normal watch. That way it can have a long display, but not a giant fat device. Its a very clever design. You can wear it wrong... but its hard to read.
  • why is Cortana not working for me? running Lumia Cyan on 1520
  • http://windowscentral.com/commenting-guidelines
  • Are you sure your region and language settings match? Check the forums/articles on Cortana here
  • Cortana works fine on my phone itself. Just not on the band. I keep getting an error telling me to make sure Bluetooth is turned on and band is near my phone.
  • Ah. Makes more sense now. While I haven't had the chance to try it, I would suggest the least harmless way to fix it: Reinstall the app on the phone and do a fresh setup
  • I'd like to see them try it on a Lumia 810 running the latest Developer Preview release. I'm running 8.1, but have Amber firmware. (Note: The 810 is an 820 variant, not a WP7 device, to clarify for those who were unaware) ​ ​ ​ ​
  • Depends on what Bluetooth tech the MS Band uses really. Does it use Bluetooth LE at all? Is there a fallback in place If the phone does not have Bluetooth Smart/LE?
  • >amber update
    eww
  • Oops. There's a bit of Windows Phone Central left on someone's calendar :P
  • is it targeted for runners only? how about other sports? i saw lotsa videos people are just running with it
  • Considering it has GPS and calculates calories burned by your heart rate... You can use this virtually any way you like. Body building... Not so sure. But any active sports should be fine. Maybe more specific options when other apps gain compatibility..
  • Yeah, for weight training, not just body building, I didnt see any kind of capability.   How would the band know how many reps, sets you've done/ have left. In fact, weight training is one area where *most* fitness bands fall down on.   I don't run, but I do go to the gym 3-5 times a week, depending on my weight training schedule that I'm following, and I can't see how the Band would be useful.
  • You can download weight training routines and you press the action button between sets.
  • I'll wait for the second version for next summer when I do biking again. Dang new England winters
  • I know. Season essentially over now, and I already miss my bike.
  • Wooohoo. I bought one!
  • THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH Daniel for doing this.  I was REALLY getting upset thinking I wouldn't be able to use this because of Verizon's STUPIDITY!  So glad you did this!  You're the BEST!  Guess I know what I'll be getting for Christmas!  LOL
  • Getting one tomorrow
  • Do I always need to keep the band within bluetooth range of the phone ? I want to go out running with the band on but without phone. I assume I wont get any notifications during that time. Sorry if its a dumb question :)
  • You don't have to keep a phone with you. Just when you want to sync the information from it.
  • I think it is a good question since a bunch of smart watches supposedly require a phone for use.
  • It actually contains all the sensors needed (including GPS) to be completely self sufficient. You only need the phone for data purposes (text, email, notifications, etc). You can go for w run, and see all of your vitals as you go, and sync up when you get home.
  • Works good with lumia 1020 w/ cyan firmware and dev preview update 1
  • Screw it, I think I want this. *waits til' Christmas*
  • This article has vastly improved my mood for today.
  • ^This
  • Do want.
  • OMG!! Superb. I'll stop by the MS Store after work.
  • Listen to the sounds of thousands downloading the Developer Preview.
  • it really looks like a high quality product. Thanks for such a quick video. I called microsoft store here in Cincinnati. They have it there but told me come quickly if you want one. Hopefully they will have one when i get there after work today
  • I picked one up at 11 this morning, they had some issues figuring out why the stuff wasn't paired to the phones, but I'm sure its something that they took care of pretty fast.
  • It's a smart move not to produce too many initially. If the product is a hit they can produce more, and if it tanks, they don't have to much leftover stock... *coughFirePhonecough*
  • Helps with no glance support! I can see missed notifications now!!
  • Also helps with the battery issues on the DP. Now I can leave my screen off and see notifications, and reply to texts without opening my phone.
  • Wow, the best news ever!! The band is mine tonight. Wuhu!
  • Uh, I told you guys so in the forums :)
  • Can someone buy this for me and I will send money using PayPal. I live in Sweden and I need this band now! Willing to pay some extra money.
  • I am serious!
  • Lol, buy me one too and I'll gladly send you one.
  • Don't mind helping but I'm not familiar with international shipping. I will have to research best carrier with insurance and such.
  • Daniel - you rule.  No, seriously.  I have a Lumia 810 running the developer preview, and have been looking for the answer to this all morning.  Thanks so much!
  • L810 is bluetooth 3 as far as I know. So I am still unsure
  • Update: I just talked with the Microsoft store and they said the Lumia 810 was compatible
  • No love for WP 7.5!! .......I'm joking I'm joking :P
  • Is the Microsoft band available in uk?
  • Not yet
  • I wonder if using it on the Icon reduces battery life on the Band as opposed to using it with a BT LE phone? Or did they somehow manage do enable BT LE on the phone just for this device?
  • After about 7 hours of use yesterday I was only down about 10%. So battery life is solid on Icon with 8.1 DP!
  • YAY!!!! I now feel just a little less screwed by VZW.
  • This should help clear up the confusion for the Lumia Icon users, from reading this article it appears the band supports a variety of Bluetooth profiles and not just LE. Guess it is time for some info hunting lol.
  • To add to this discussion on Lumia OS versions as it relates to "The Band" as it will be likely known... When I plugged it into my Surface Pro, went through the initial setup, then synced it to my Microsoft Health app... My Lumia 1020 immediately popped up a notice that told me that by joining the Windows Preview program, I could take full advantage of my new "Band". Nice touch, letting the user know that more is in store right around the corner and audio that they can realize early access to those features by joining the preview program. I'm assuming this is how we get the Cortana tile that Daniel showed off in the video! Note that you can force this update notification by pushing the "Update to Windows Preview" button on the Microsoft Health app.
  • Sweet! Thanks!
  • When the heck will Verizon release 8.1 for Lumia Icon??? Not risking installing a Dev beta on my phone.
  • It's not a beta. It's the same version that runs on cyan devices
  • What... It's not a beta and its supported by Microsoft... How could you risk anything????
  • Not a beta... its exactly the same as what's on all 8.1 devices... its just a way of bypassing verizon's idiocy. Cyan gives additional features tho... so I really want it!!! And they better not screw us on denim!!!!
  • So this is going to come off as dumb, but is this the smartwatch that everyone was "leaking"? Or is this just a fitness band on steroids and the smartwatch is still to come?
  • So can I run use this watch if my phone language and region is not English and the US? I live in the US.
  • Thanks Daniel for confirming.
  • Buying me one next month
  • Daniel - Can you use multiple Bluetooth devices?  E.g. pair the band AND play music on a BT music box (or car etc.)?
  • I use my fitbit and play music through my tone pro.
  • Yes you can. Works great while paired to my car!!
  • Using it with my 8XT without issues.  (DP 8.1.1)
  • Hi Dan, let ma ask a quick question: Since you have multiple phones around, can you check something? How does it work (if at all) to pair one Band with two phones? Would it show notifications from both? what happens to the fitness data? Is it synced to both phones, or just to whoever syncs first?
  • Does it work with Lumia 635?
  • Yes.
  • Arrgh, was going to buy until I saw the forum post claiming it would not work...
  • Never believe forum posters.
  • Didn't work with my 822 on latest Dev Preview. Tried three different Bands - factory reset each one first - it would connect, then immediately disconnect. Had four different MS employees try as well, but, nope, didn't work with the 822 after attempting for 30 minutes.
  • That sucks, I didn't think it would work with my Ativ SE but was hoping it would work on my 822.
  • You do need it to use truecaller. Major buzzkill
  • I had truecaller running on my Nokia Icon with only offical updates installed. So no you don't.
  • I want this!
  • @Daniel Rubino It's great that the Band is cross-platform but I wonder whether there are any Windows Phone-only features besides Cortana support?
  • What about the 928? I assume the same is true?
  • Thank you for bringing this up.. Ordered mine last night and was searching this morning to make sure this would work for my Lumia icon
  • Well maybe with the Icon, but I can't get the Band to pair with my Lumia 521. (Running DP 8.1.1 but no Cyan from T-Mobile yet.)
  • OK I rebooted the phone, and then it paired up, so hopefully it will start working. (At the "Almost there!" step.)
  • It looks kind of bulky. How big is it compared to a fitbit? If you're wearing long sleeves, does the shirt sleeve cuff have trouble naturally sliding over the Band?
  • Will it work on a Telstra HTC 8x?
  • I guess that's good news on some level, but MSFT and Verizon should be raked over the coals for the fact that the Icon has already been pulled from shelves and not received the 8.1 upgrade. How many more times can MSFT screw over it's supporters and continue to count on consumers support/ Don't mean this to sound as vitriolic as it does, but c'mon! Enough is enough.
  • Samsung gear s looks tempting. Brings the market back to optional standalone use(with calling)
  • Sure, it will work on a device with out Cyan/Official 8.1 but,.what is the hit by not using Bluetooth LE ? It must be a serious battery hit on the phone what is the point of a device like this if your phone does not make it throughout they day ?
  • I bought it yesterday with the knowledge that I might have to downgrade to 8 to use it on my Icon...I was pleasantly surprised to discover it works perfectly on 8.1 DP!!!! Awesome device!!
  • Didn't Lumia Cyan ENABLE Bluetooth LE?
  • I am running Lumia Cyan on a 925.  When I try to speak to Cortana on my Band, it says that Cortana must be enabled on the phone.  I have disabled and enabled Cortana on both the phone(in settings) and the Band.  Anyone have an idea about how to get it working?