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Microsoft Band 2: Up Close

News by Luke Jones on Tuesday October 06, 2015.

microsoft news · accessory news · luke jones

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Microsoft had a mega event today where the company discussed numerous new products and some that are reserved for the future. One of the new devices was a sequel to the company's first wearable, the Microsoft Band, but does the follow up bring enough new goodies to the party.

Just like last year, the Band 2 is purely a fitness tracker and not a smartwatch, which means it is not really out to compete with devices like the Moto 360 or Apple Watch. In terms of design the Band 2 is an incremental update over the original, still boasting a curved bracelet like design, but this time with a splash of premium metal along the screen bezel.

The curved AMOLED display sports a 320 x 128 resolution and a Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Aside from the small metal additions, the Band 2 is made from TPSiV (thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanate). Aside from the design, the wearable is aiming to position itself as the ultimate fitness tracker, and there are certainly enough sensors to make that a compelling boast for Microsoft's Band 2.

We are looking at continuous, optical heart rate monitor, an on-board GPS and barometer for improved geo-tracking, 3-axis accelerometer/gyro, gyrometer, a skin temperature sensor, a UV sensor, a galvanic skin response sensor. Microsoft has thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at this in terms of sensors and the result is wide ranging functionality, such as sleep monitoring, elevation tracking, calorie counting and much more.

You still need the Band to be paired with a smartphone, although the wearable remains compatible across platform, which is a huge positive. You can access the features from your handset by downloading the Microsoft Health app. Also on board the Band 2 is Cortana, Microsoft's very own virtual assistant that lets you use the device with voice commands.

With 48 hours of battery life and the rest we have discussed, there really is a lot to like here. However, the price could be off putting; the Band 2 will launch October 30th (available for pre-order today) for $249, which is an eye watering amount for a fitness tracker.

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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