This is my review of the Microsoft band as supplied via @Toby and the Try the Tech program.
The Microsoft Band is a GPS fitness band with an optical HR sensor, barometric altimeter and decent level of smartphone integration. This integrated device represents my holy grail of a smart watch fitness tracker. ie one that can replace my garmin and my fitbit and I can wear it as a smart watch if I so chose.
Out the box there are very few instructions, plug it in, make sure it is charged and download the Microsoft Health app. The Microsoft Health app found and paired the band with my Lumia 1020 no problem at all.
The band is retailing at £124 and if I had paid real money for this product I would have been really disappointed and suffering a bad case of buyers regret. The key thing with any fitness tracker is you have got to be able to wear it, and me and the band just didn't get along. From the get go it was uncomfortable and after a day of wearing the band with a growing feeling of discomfort I knew didn't want to wear it again.
Which is a shame because I really like the functionality on offer here and the integration with Cortana and the health app.
Sending a text message when on the move without having to dig the phone out is a great feature. Hit the Cortana button, say your message and send and its all done. The level of mail and text notifications is on par with any other smart watch. All of this is great when you phone is buried at the bottom of cycling jersey or a golf bag.
The GPS and integrated heart rate monitor work fine for general exercise but might not be detailed enough for the more fanatic. The GPS locks on quickly compared to some early fitness trackers and lets you get on with what you are doing.
For me until the sensor bundle is packaged up into something that is wearable, ie looks ok and doesn't lead to discomfort I couldn't recommend a Microsoft Band. This isn't the fitness tracker I am looking for, it's not going to replace my garmin or fibit but in a generation or two it might be a viable product.
Thanks for reading my review.
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