Wearable tech is definitely in, no doubt about it, but the battle is still on to define wearable devices as a rightful and meaningful niche with its own purpose and development plan. The new Microsoft Band 2, announced on stage today is yet another attempt, which really blurs the already thin line between smart watches and fitness trackers.
The Microsoft Band remains a device predominantly committed to fitness, but now with the addition of a lot more general usability and features. The Band 2 features a more comfortable curved screen that aims to sit flush on your wrist. It also offers a better Gorilla Glass 4 protection, optimized for a more precise and reliable touch experience.
Naturally, the Band 2 is just as smart as its predecessor and offers the same extensive array of sensors and adds some of its own. Its impressive feature set includes calorie and sleep tracking, guided workouts, US monitoring a built-in GPS and smart and customizable notification alerts.
Microsoft has also gone the extra mile in utilizing all the hardware and sensors in the band, like advanced integrated sport tracking for things like golf, as well as an industry-first VO2 Max estimation algorithm.
Overall, the Microsoft Band 2 looks like a massive improvement over its clunky predecessor - it is much sleeker and better to wear. We will save out final judgment for the full review, but the device promises to be one of the most capable fitness trackers on the market when it becomes available.
As for availability, thankfully, you won't have to wait long for the Band 2. Preorders start today and availability is set for October 30, for a price of $249.