Microsoft Band Anyone??

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by AppleRobert, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
  2. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    I've had one for a couple weeks. Employees aren't flashing it around because it's basically not being sold anymore. I was able to order one when they briefly offered it online on a day in mid-November, proceeded to run out of stock again in roughly 10-15 min. Maybe a week or two ago, received an email from Microsoft that it will no longer be available online though you might find some stock in stores. My impressions from talking to a Microsoft store employee was that this version of the Band was almost a beta test product, that there wouldn't be many sold. My guess is they were testing the waters but aren't ready to go full in on a product that will compete with the Apple Watch in a few months.

    I generally like it. I got it primarily for the fitness elements and it has some pretty cool features (always on HR monitor, step tracking, UV sensor and GPS). I've previously used a Fitbit Force and Garmin Vivosmart and while this is the bulkiest, it's been my favorite. I've been averaging a bit better than the advertised 2 days of battery life (closer to 3 for me) and like the touch screen/button combo vs. the button only on the Fitbit and erratic touch interface on the Vivosmart. Notification work alright but they're not synced with the device, meaning if I check a notification on the Band, it doesn't clear it as viewed on my iPhone, and vice-versa--may certainly be different if used with a Windows Phone. It also suffers from occasional difficulty reconnecting via BT LE after I've moved out of range (LE is used for notifications). Doesn't happen too often but still is a nuisance when it does--I manually force it to reconnect and then proceed to get a big backlog of notifications.

    The fitness functionality works well. I've tracked long walks or runs using the GPS and it was pretty accurate. Heart rate monitor works fairly well. It isn't as effective as dedicated chest monitors but was fairly close to what I got manually checking. Because the band is designed to be worn a bit snug, probably helps with the heart rate sensor. One little feature that I also like is that you can add your Starbuck card to it--very handy to be able to press the Starbuck button and have then just scan your wrist.

    Biggest cons are:

    1) Size - on the thick size and similar to the Samsung Gear Fit, its orientation makes it more difficult to read the display without contorting your wrist a bit. I actually wear it with the touchscreen on the inside of my wrist--seems to help heart rate sensor and is easier to quickly glance at it.

    2) Missing some functionality if you don't pair with a Windows Phone (i.e. Cortana)

    3) Microsoft Health app is a bit limited and doesn't feed into Apple Health at this point.

    4) Previously mentioned slightly sporadic connectivity issues.

    Overall, my favorite all around fitness band so far.
  3. Surferlife macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2014
    I love my band and it works very well with iPhone.

    Besides the good integration with phone, messages, email, weather, and calendar, I love how I can push anything to it.

  4. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    How much battery life are you getting on it ?
  5. Surferlife macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2014
  6. burgman macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2013
    I purchased a band and a Galaxy Gear S smart watch to try. For me the perfect smart watch would be the melding of these two platforms. The sensors on the band are amazing. The gear is a good information device with poor health sensors. The sleep function on the band is a detailed graph by time with heart rate monitor. The gear tells you that you were motionless for x amount of time.
    Having Nokia Here maps on my wrist with GPS, not needing a phone is great, on the S. In the end I returned both, the future versions will be better. Having experienced this tech on my wrist, I can't wait.
  7. Surferlife macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2014
    I agree. I'm holding onto mine until the next band or Apple Watch comes out.

    The 2nd gen is going to me amazing.
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've had mine since its been out, and here's my opinions.

    1. Features, its probably the most feature rich "smart watch" out there at the 199 price point. I put the term smart watch in quotes because in some ways, its not a full fledged smart watch. Its more geared to active folks, those who would have bought a fitbit.

    2. Battery, lasts about 1.5 days, I find I need to charge it more often now then when I first bought it.

    3. The band/shape of the phone. Its not great and you really do need to wear it with the display on the inside of the wrist. Doing that means it will be a scratch magnet and you absolutely need the screen protector. I was very careful with it, just it has a fair number of scuffs.I eventually got the screen protector so that damage has been mitigated.

    4. GPS, more often then not, I have trouble locking onto the GPS, so much so, I'm going to bring it back for a possible replacement. When I first got it, I had no problem with the GPS. Now it fails more then it succeeds with the GPS lock. There's no rhyme or reason, weather/location etc. Some days it works other days it doesn't.

    5.Step accuracy. It seems a little generous in measuring your steps. Not by a lot but it does seem a little high for what I do.

    6. Run accuracy without the GPS. I'm amazed at how accurate it is. They did a good job with that. I run a set route, and so I knew my mileage before and it was pretty close measuring my run.

    7. The iOS app - It always wants the location services on and it drains my battery. I had to disabled location services for the app. Not sure why it kept reading my location even when I quit the app.

    Overall, I give MS a C-. Earlier, it would have been a B and maybe if I get a replacement to deal with the GPS issue, it will go back up that.

    I'm planning on buying the Fitbit Surge which is due out in early 2015. This has all the features of the Band but it appears to be a better product.
  9. bearda macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2005
    Germantown, MD
    I almost bought one this weekend at at Microsoft sore (which had plenty in stock). I was hoping for as replacement for both my Pebble and my Fitbit Flex that could do heart rate monitoring, but it just seemed too bulky to justify. Compared to the normal watch band on my pebble and the Flex is seemed like a manacle. I figured I'd wait for the Fitbit Charge HR or the Apple Watch. It seemed like a whole lot of potential for $200, but it seemed like it would get caught on the edge of my desk while typing pretty often.
  10. Smileyboy macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008

    I'm in the same boat. I purchased it for the fitness options!! Works great with my Crossfit workouts and runs. I've also used the Pebble, Martin Notifier and the Vivosmart. The Microsoft Band is by far the best to date for me. I'm keeping it till the Apple Watch comes out!

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