Wearables

The Microsoft Band 2 is more flexible, more powerful and more expensive

The Microsoft Band 2 is more f...
The Microsoft Band 2 adds more features and a new look
The Microsoft Band 2 adds more features and a new look
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The Microsoft Band 2 adds more features and a new look
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The Microsoft Band 2 adds more features and a new look
All of the fitness tracking capabilities of the first Band are kept
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All of the fitness tracking capabilities of the first Band are kept
The wearable boasts a new, streamlined interface
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The wearable boasts a new, streamlined interface
Smart notifications are now more capable too
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Smart notifications are now more capable too
Automatic shot tracking has been added for golfers
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Automatic shot tracking has been added for golfers
VO2 max tracking is another new feature in the Band 2
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VO2 max tracking is another new feature in the Band 2
The device works with Android, iOS and Windows phones
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The device works with Android, iOS and Windows phones
The new Band looks more comfortable and easier on the eye
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The new Band looks more comfortable and easier on the eye
Microsoft is promising two days of battery life
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Microsoft is promising two days of battery life
The Band 2 is taking on the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Jawbone in the wearables market
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The Band 2 is taking on the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Jawbone in the wearables market
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Microsoft has announced the second version of its fitness wearable, the Microsoft Band 2. Compared with last year's model, the new device is packed with more sensors, more comfortable to wear around your wrist, and a little more expensive too. Voice support for Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant app, has been added as well.

The most obvious change the new Microsoft Band 2 brings is the revamped and streamlined look – an area where the original device was lacking. The screen is curved and finished with Gorilla Glass 3, while Microsoft has made the band more flexible and comfortable to wear. It's promising two days of battery life, but we'll have to wait to test it out to see if that's accurate.

While the first band had an impressive bunch of sensors – covering GPS, heart rate, step, sleep and calorie tracking – the new device adds a barometer to the mix to measure atmospheric pressure and keep track of your altitude during those long hikes. It can also estimate VO2 Max, an advanced measure of your fitness, which typically requires expensive equipment and a long monitoring session to calculate.

Microsoft is promising two days of battery life
Microsoft is promising two days of battery life

As for smart notifications, the Microsoft Band 2 supports a broader range of apps and alerts: Uber, RunKeeper, Twitter, Facebook, Starbucks and Subway were the ones mentioned by Microsoft in its press event. It also has some extra features for golfers, including automatic shot tracking.

On the whole it looks like a more capable and comprehensive device. As before, everything ties in with the Microsoft Health platform, which can keep track of workouts and make recommendations about future fitness goals.

Microsoft says the new Band will go on sale at the end of October for US$249.99 in the United States. Details of international availability haven't yet been released but that works out to around £165 or AUS$350. Like the first edition of the wearable, Microsoft Band 2 works with smartphones running Android, iOS and Windows.

You can see Microsoft's promotional video for the new band below.

Source: Microsoft

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3 comments
S Michael
I don't know who your marketing people are but you fire them all. Making a product more expensive is not the way to make it desirable. A wiser move would have been to cut the price and you would have millions buying it. Your competitors would have mashed their teeth and you would have been at the top of the heap of fitness bands. Fire your marketing people today.
Bob Flint
That big lump at the bottom of the band is the most ridiculous placement possible. Imagine both wrists resting on the table as you type while the lump digs into your wrist.
Cuckoo
Was really looking forward to buying this product, thinking that the new one would be waterproof. No such luck! What is the point in any fitness tracking device that can't work in water?