On October 6th, at the Windows 10 Devices event in New York City, Microsoft unveiled the Microsoft Band 2. This is the second generation of the fitness tracker built by the software giant and it has been improved on every angle.
For starters the new band features an elegant curved touchscreen with all the sensors found in the first generations, and Microsoft even added an eleventh sensor — barometer to measure elevation in real-time –, and tools for estimating a “VO2 max” reading. (For more information about the band’s sensors, check the previous article.)
Just like the first generation, the Microsoft Band 2 can track your heart rate, exercise, calorie burn and sleep quality, and provides notifications about your emails, texts and calendar alerts.
The sensors can also track specific data for specific sports, such as running, biking and golfing, and in combination with the Microsoft Health universal app you can really make sense of all the data.
Microsoft Band 2 technical specifications
|Thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanate (TPSiV)
|32mm x 12.8mm
|Average Charge Time
|Full charge in less than 1.5 hours
|Operating Temperature Ranges
|-10°C to 40°C (14°F to 104°F)
|Maximum Operating Altitude
|-300m to +4877m
|Optical heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor
Skin temperature sensor
Galvanic skin response
|Haptic vibration motor
|Bluetooth 4.0 LE
|Supported mobile devices
|Windows Phone 8.1 update or greater
iPhone5, 5C, 5S, 6, 6 Plus with iOS® 8.1.2 or greater
Android 4.4 or later phones with Bluetooth
|For water-resistance details and limitations, see http://microsoft.com/band/waterresistance
According to the company the Microsoft Band 2 is not a device intended for swimming, as such it’s not a submergible device. It can get slightly wet, but you need to dry it out as quickly as possible.
Although, Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 on all its new devices, the second generation of the band does not include a version of Windows 10, instead it uses a custom firmware that is able to work with Windows 10 features, such as apps and Cortana.
Cortana via the Microsoft Band 2 is only available with Windows Phone 8.1 update or later, including Windows 10 Mobile, and it’s only available in English.
While the company claims 48 hours of battery life, if you use the GPS functionality the battery performance will dramatically decrease. Also, the battery has limited recharge cycles and cannot be replaced. (More info here http://microsoft.com/band/battery.)