Recently, Microsoft brought a surprise to the tech world by introducing a fitness tracking wristband which comes with an app and cloud computing technology which can track fitness and health related data and the best part is that it is actually very good. The band costs $199 and is proof that the company wishes to integrate its Microsoft Health platform with other items, which can be worn such as the Jawbone along with gathering data from Samsung Android and iPhone devices.
In comparison to its competition, this band is a full-featured device, which might actually be considered as the most flexible device available. It contains notifications for incoming calls and text messages, emails as well calendar items along with fitness tracking which included monitoring the heart rate. This feature is still considered to be quite rare in a number of other fitness bands.
The band also tracks steps, estimates the number of calories burned during a certain exercise and has a GPS system built in which can track the cycling or running route you use. It even has the ability to track your movement while you sleep.
A number of other features can be achieved by pairing the band with a Windows Phone such as the ability to use voice commands to activate Cortana which is a digital assistant similar to Siri and Google voice controls. Text messages can also be replied to using your voice.
It would be difficult to find another band which does the same things that the Microsoft Band performs and that too, across a range of platforms. The Pebble Smart Watch, while working on Android and iOS does not include advanced fitness features which are found in the Microsoft Band. The Fitbit Flex and Jawbone Up have apps on Android and iPhone however these do not have the smart-watch style of notifications. Similarly, the Gear line of devices by Samsung which includes the GearFit works only with Galaxy phones. The Apple Watch too only works with iPhones. Hence, the cross platform compatibility is a very smart move taken by Microsoft along with some of the features it has built into its Health app.
The workouts are not very easy to navigate and you can have only one workout on the band at one time. However if you plan ahead, it is good to know which workout is next without having to check the phone to see what workout is next.
The battery life is also quite good in comparison to other smart watches. Microsoft has promised 48 hours and slightly more can be achieved if the time display is kept off for most of the time. The band is also made to be dust and water resistant.
The Microsoft band however is not very attractive. The design is quite blocky and industrial with a thick rubber band. The middle of the band contains a power button while there is an action button on the right side of the display. Three sizes are available; small, medium and large and a sliding clasp allows the band to be adjusted so that it can fit well.
The band is the most comfortable when it is worn with the screen on the inside of the wrist which is opposite to the way you would normally wear a watch. This is not too bad as it makes notifications more subtle.
The interface of the watch is similar to that of a Windows Phone; you can customize the band by selecting the color of the screen and the design of the background. The tiles on the touch screen of the band can also be customized; it can display up to 12 screens which includes texts, emails, calls, calendar invites, running data, exercise, sleep, weather, guided workouts, Twitter and Facebook notifications.
Overall, the device works well and the apps are easy to navigate and the heart rate monitoring is certainly a novelty which gives the device an edge.
Brooke work as parenting expert and author has earned her a dedicated flock of readers who are hankering for the latest news and review about Latest tech. Her work turns around the latest in cellphone tracking app like www.theonespy.com.