The Microsoft Band this week finally arrives in the UK after its launch in the US at the tail end of 2014. In an increasingly competitive fitness tech market how does the Microsoft Band compare to the rivals? Well for the past few days I have been using the band to track my sleep and fitness activity.
Having previously worn the Nike Fuelband I would have to say that the Microsoft Band is far more comfortable to wear mainly due to the adjustable clasp that ensures a perfect fit to your wrist. You also have the option of the display screen facing outwards like a watch or a little more discreetly on the inside of your wrist if you prefer. The display is bright and clear and has the option to change the background colour, of course I went for red with it being my favourite.
The main focus of this band is to monitor all things fitness and health related but you are also able to keep on top of Facebook, twitter, texts and calls with alerts directly to the band itself. If you have a Microsoft phone you can even respond to messages using a small pop-up qwerty keyboard on the touch screen display.
The key feature of the Microsoft Band is of course the heart rate monitor and uses 10 different sensors to keep track of things like temperature, GPS, UV light and accelerometer. Results are displayed on the device but can be better interrogated and analysed with the Microsoft Health app on your phone.
I was most intrigued to view the results of my sleep analysis which showed that from almost 8 hours sleep last night, I only achieved a paltry 24 minutes ‘restful sleep’, the rest of the night I was restless or awake. I think this is maybe the very reason that I always feel tired even after a good few hours in bed, something that I will be keeping an eye on.
The band is water-resistant but not waterproof so requires you to remove it before showering or swimming. Slightly annoying but is does give you a chance to wack it on charge as the battery lasts around 48 hours after a full charge (which took me about 90 minutes).
Priced at £170 and available from April 15th the Microsoft Band is definitely a handy took for fitness heads out there and makes it easy to keep track of tour progress. It is comfortable to wear too and I think it looks pretty good on your wrist. Having tried quite a few of these fitness bands to date I think this is definitely up there as one of the easiest to use and most effective.