A well-established and popular brand, Microsoft offers a lot of praiseworthy products. The fact that they’ve been in business for three decades gives many customers more confidence in a purchase here as well. More time in business means the company has had plenty of years to establish itself, learn its customer base, improve marketing, and prove that it can stay successful in an ever-changing economy. Plus, there’s no denying that Microsoft is associated with innovation and (in general) good quality—important factors when you’re considering which fitness tracker to buy.
With wearable technology becoming more and more popular, Microsoft continues to hold its own by coming out with the Microsoft Band. This fitness tracker comes in two different versions, which differ mostly in price and capability. The original Microsoft Band boasts a heart-rate monitor, exercise tracking, and 10 sensors such as GPS and a UV monitor. What Microsoft is really upselling, though, is their Microsoft Band 2, which offers all the original band’s features plus sleep tracking, calorie tracking, and a barometer.
Overall, here’s what you’ll love about the Microsoft Band:
- Detailed sensors. Not only does the band track your exercise and heart rate; it also tells you how well you’re sleeping, how many calories you burn each day, and what the weather is like. You can use it as a GPS or as a UV monitor (a feature that sets it apart from other fitness trackers). And of course, it works as a regular old clock as well.
- Water resistance. Microsoft promises the band is completely waterproof, which means you can use it for swimming, snow sports, or in the rain.
- Communication capabilities. The Microsoft Band works as more than a fitness tracker. It comes with features for texting, emailing, and even getting notifications about calendar events. In this sense, you can tap into some of the main features of your mobile phone just by referring to the band on your wrist! This helps you stay connected even while exercising or when your phone is away.
The Microsoft Band comes with a one-year limited warranty, which should add some confidence to your buy as well. It works in harmony with iPhones, the Windows Phone, and Android phones. All in all, its benefits are really competitive with other well-known brands in this industry, such as Fitbit and Garmin. But with this band, you get the added perks of buying from a long-established business.
Considering that Microsoft has been around since the ’70s, you would think the company has a great reputation and perfected products since they have had time to work out discrepancies. Truth be told, though, the company has its share of customer complaints. As a customer, you will run into the following frustrations—frustrations that deal with the company as a whole and the Microsoft Band as a specific, new product:
- Battery life. The Microsoft Band comes with a two-day battery life. At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a con at all. We’ve become accustomed to regularly charging all our other devices, so why wouldn’t the same be true for a fitness tracker? In fact, though, this is one of the shortest battery lives out there. While other brands boast batteries that last three days, months, and years, two days is nothing! And since you’d use the band to track your sleep too, there’s really no convenient time to charge it. Indeed, charging a fitness tracker once every two days will quickly become a hassle.
- Price. First of all, this company offers only two options for fitness trackers. This is really quite a limited selection since others are offering several different versions. When that’s the case, you’re also limited to price. The original Microsoft Band goes for about $129, and the Band 2 costs a whopping $249! High-tech gear doesn’t often come cheap, but compared to other brands, this is very expensive. Just to provide a reference point, $249 is the price of Fitbit’s most expensive fitness tracker and Garmin’s trackers roll in at about $100. Even Microsoft’s earlier, less advanced band is more expensive than a typical band from a different company.
The limitations of the Microsoft Band are few, to their credit, but they are still deal breakers in a lot of ways. Battery life is a significant factor in a product that you intend to wear 24/7, and, price is an ever-important consideration with any purchase.