I tested a Band 1 for Try the Tech, and found it a little uncomfortable.
When the Microsoft Band 2 was released, I thought long and hard before buying - I haven't worn a watch for 3 years now. The idea of a dedicated golf watch that did very little else but that and tell the time seemed a waste.
The Band 2 is very comfortable to wear whilst out and about. It a sod to wear while writing this review - just too thick. At a golf match last weekend, a fellow competitor asked me what it was that I was wearing, tried it on and was amazed by how comforatble it was.
You cannot get away from the thickness of the band, but it now curves to your wrist rather than the band 1 which had flat sections.
You can hopefully see from tehse photos how after 10 months, there is a little wear on the rubber of the band. Also quite a bit of suncream gets onto it when playing golf! Even in the UK.
The software is much the same. The sensors are much the same except that a UV sensor has been added - though it cannot be accessed whilst using the golf app!
Pretty much everything is the same as my previous review of the Band 1, which you can read up on to see screen shots. The screens look the same.
SO what is better?
2. Screen - a bit bigger
3. The walk app. Though I am not sure how useful it actually is. It is a tracker rather than a leader, but then I've not tried hard to use it more.
What is worse?
1. THE SCREEN IS NOT VERY BRIGHT.
2. The battery life is a day or maybe a day and a half when used for golf or run or walk tracking.
How is it for golf?
- The GPS appears to sleep so that it needs time to find the distance to the hole. When one of my pet hates is slow golf, that is not really how I like to play. Today, it could not find itself on our second hole!
- The band still only tracks MOST of your swings. It is not very good at recording when you have putted, or taken a short swing. However, you can check it every shot and if it did not register, give the display a quick swipe right to left.
- The Android app doesn't show the actual shot locations like the Microsoft phone did. I have to go to the TaylorMade web site to see that.
- TaylorMade have mapped all of the golf courses which you sync to the band using the Microsoft Health app. THey've done an OK job of the ones I have played, and those have all been available. Except, of course, my own club which has a winter course that is different; one of hte holes that gets waterlogged is swapped for a spare (7th out, 11th in) so that the band gets very confused. I asked for this to be fixed back in October last year, and after chasing I've finally had an answer from a real person saying that they do the updates in batches. I hope they do it in the enxt 2 months else we're back to winter course with the band ignoring the new 11th. If you use winter greens, I guess no app will cover that .
Would I recommend you spend hard earned money on it?
- To be honest, I'm not sure. My initial impression was that it was excellent, but an update half way through my ownership of it led to the GPS being switched off when not actively in use, and that slowed down the distance acquisition. Prior to that, I would have been happy to recommend it. Now I am less happy to recommend it. THe updates are not something you can avoid.
I do also use the text notifications, twitter notifications and advice of incoming phone calls by checking the band to see whether to get my phone out. I have even typed replies to texts on the band!
When wearing the band and paired to my phone, I can set the phone to "smart lock" which means it only needs a swipe to open. It works on bluetooth proximity, so were I to drop the phone or leave it behind, teh phone would go back to needing a code to unlock it.
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