Last updated October 19, 2016
Small, streamlined and low-profile, the Microsoft Band 2 is proving to be a favorite for many users who like its simplicity when working out at the gym. At $249.99, the smart fitness wearable is a solid upgrade to its original Microsoft Band which launched last year.
Users can now control music from their wrist plus send a reminder if you haven't exercised yet during your day. (And yes, reminders are controllable — you can deactivate them when you sleep.) Both are pluses for the workout crowd, and came just in time for the holidays. The device now works with Spotify as well, but can pick up just about any music app through Bluetooth.
For the individual interested in improving their health and well-being, this band may be the perfect gadget. Its sensors include GPS, UV, microphone, optical heart rate sensor, skin temperature sensor, and more. Microsoft Band is also convenient for texting, emailing, and receiving calendar alerts.
During workouts — or just during your day — you can measure your heart rate, steps walked, calories burned and your sleeping pattern.The face of the band is now curved in this latest edition. Bright and vivid, the screen is easy to read at quick glance with a display size of 32mm x 12.8mm and a resolution of 320 x 128 pixels. Plus the band is made of thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanite (making it tough but soft) and is water resistant. (And there's a rumor the next iteration may be waterproof, a big appeal to swimmers.)
Using Bluetooth technology, the Microsoft Band 2 works with Windows Phone 8.1; iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, 5S, 6, and 6 Plus; iOS 8.1.2; and various Android devices. The device charges fully in less than 90 minutes and has a battery life of about 48 hours. That's a big plus for those who hate having to recharge their device every night.
You can purchase the band now on the Microsoft website or in select stores — and still get the wearable in time to tuck under the tree. Perfect, too, for those New Year's workout resolutions you know are coming.