Microsoft Band: My 1st Week
It has been 7 days since i got my Microsoft Band from the UPS man. I have held off writing anything until i had managed to use it for a decent period of time. For the past week i have focused on using the device to track my workouts and sleeping habits. The results have been interesting ( i don’t sleep a lot apparently) but the true power of this device is not the device its self but the app. But a bit about the device.
The Band its self is big compared to the Fitbit but way smaller than the watch i used to wear. I wear the Band with the screen ( 1.4 inch colour display) on the inside of my wrist vs in the traditional watch styled mode. For me it fits really nice onto my wrist and i hardly notice it, something to be aware of is that the screen does scratch so you will need to purchase the screen protector for it. The screen is crisp but it does not curve to the natural shape of the wrist which i find weird. The strap and band hold 10 sensors which will scan everything from UV index to your heart rate ( it does have a built in GPS tracking system as well which from my research only one other device in the market has).
Usage: The user interface follows the tile based UI that Microsoft now uses for its echo system, it is quick and simple to navigate. You are spoilt for choice as to the number of thing’s you can track and follow. For all of you gadget freaks you can play with the settings for hours. Navigation is managed by swiping left or right and clicking on one of the two buttons on the side of the device. If you hold down the action button you activate Cortina and leverage the built in microphone on the Band. I am getting almost two full days of battery life out the device which is not bad considering the number of things that you can monitor with this.
App: The app is the true power of this device, it is a true cross platform based application (iOS, Android and Windows) so you are not locked into the Windows platform. The app is crisp and allows you to drill down into the detail as to what you have been doing and where you have been ( via the GPS). It is easy to navigate around with simple drill down abilities which will provide actionable insights as to what you need to achieve to hit your goals. Right now i only have 7 days worth of data but over time i am hoping to see some smart tips coming up. This will require some updates from Microsoft but all of the data is there to be mined.
So overall the Band is a solid first entry into the wearable market for Microsoft, i do wish that there was some form of Skype integration ( notifications etc) and i wish it had some storage to play music that way i could completely leave my phone in my bag when i was working out. Overall for $200 its a good buy if you are keen to get into the wearable devices market.