Should you go out and get a Microsoft Band ?
Four-and-a-half months after it launched in the US, Microsoft Band has finally landed in the UK. The device, which is available to pre-order through the Microsoft Store, costs £169, which is £30 cheaper than Fitbit’s flagship product, the Surge. I’m sure if your an Apple fan your thoughts may turn to Apple Watch when thinking of competitors to Microsoft Band, its natural rival is actually the Samsung Gear Fit.
Both feature a rectangular touch screen with rounded corners embedded into a black plastic wristband. They also both have vibration motors to inform the wearer if they’ve received a text, email or have an incoming call. There are however still a lot of differences. Whereas the Gear Fit has a 46.6mm curved Super AMOLED, 128 x 432 resolution display, the Microsoft band has a smaller 35mm full-colour LCD screen with 320 x 106 resolution and no curve. Battery life is intresting thou, they both have similar capacities – 210mAh for the Gear Fit and 2 x 100mAh for the Band. The old things is thou the Samsung’s wearable can last 3-4 days on full charge but Microsoft’s only lasts for 48 hours.
Its not all doom and gloom thou for the Microsoft Band – at least not on paper. It has many more sensors – including an optical heart rate sensor combined with a galvanic skin response sensor, GPS and UV sensor. It also has a crucial selling point the Gear Fit, Apple Watch and pretty much all other smartwatches are missing – it’s completely cross-platform compatible. While this can also be said of the Fitbit Surge, it’s also £30 cheaper than its fitness tracker rival.
If you have a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1 (update 3), iOS 7.1 or 8, or Android 4.3-4.4 then Microsoft Band is compatible.