I have been very fortunate to get hold of a Microsoft Band. Bands are currently in short supply, but thanks to an Angel in Minnesota I have one. Currently there is no expected release date for the UK, but a quick look at EBay will turn up enough units to buy, remember the retail price is $199. CAUTION – Check
The Band is Microsoft’s first foray into the wearable's market and first impressions is that they did a good and quite an extensive job. Where most wearable focus on one or two areas, Microsoft Band covers pretty much everything.
For phone support Microsoft has made Windows Phone (obviously), Android and IOS first class citizens for the Band.
The display is a capacitive 1.4-inch (11mm x 33mm) TFT full colour touchscreen, with a resolution of 320 x 106
The sensors include heart rate monitoring using a optical heart rate sensor, a UV sensor, a 3-axis accelerometer, a Gyrometer, an ambient light sensor, a skin temperature sensor and a galvanic skin response sensor.
To wrap things up Microsoft has also included Microphone,Haptic vibration motor
Microsoft says that the Band is splash proof, but NOT waterproof so be careful no showers
The Battery lasts for about two days, charging is done with a nifty magnetic USB cable.
There are two buttons, the central button is the Power Button and the off centred button is the Action button.
For Windows Phone first of all you will need to install the Microsoft Health Application.
Currently the Health application is only available in the US Store. If you are outside the US, Change your region to US, reboot, download the application, change the region back, reboot and all is well.teh
The Band has enough charge to get started but plugging it in is the first step and it will wait to be paired.
Next pair the band and your phone over Bluetooth.
Then run up the application.
The Band has a set of applications which can be chosen using the Health application (select the band symbol top right), the usability is very good.
The main display shows the time, swiping to the right shows the Band status (heart rate monitoring, Bluetooth and battery) alternatively the action button cycles the small display between pulse, steps, date and exercise.
In the settings, you can change the basic sensors and if you want the band to work as a normal watch set the clock to always display, but most of the settings are done in the Health Application.
The health application keeps a track of the exercise you have done (more on this later) and your historic. it is also the main setup point for the Band.
Top Tip : set your height and weight and then go on a run/walk/amble with GPS on (set the run mode) to fully calibrate.
I like what I see and it is growing on me day by day, I will post more on applications over the next few weeks