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Review: Microsoft Band, between a successful product and a prototype

The smart watch market has become a huge competitor in 2015, yes! The so-called Apple Watch comes to, but, while it does not enter the market, today we will talk about the Microsoft Band launched just two months ago.

Microsoft Band - Box

The device created by the Redmond giant can accompany us in all the activities of the day, starting from a night's sleep, going through a meeting and arriving at the gym. The accessory, which works integrated with your phone (iOS, Android or Windows Phone), is the first card from Microsoft and its Health application, which proposes the integration of devices and applications with only one objective: to present how you live and how you can improve your daily life.

In my first attempt to buy the Microsoft Band, about a month ago, I found a scenario worthy of those used to Apple releases: all units had been sold, in a scenario similar to the one we found with new ones iGadgets. Currently the Microsoft online store in the United States is still out of product availability, but some physical stores have received new and larger shipments for the holiday season and it was precisely in one of these that I found my Microsoft Band.

Understand one thing: if you expect to find in this device the functions of a smartwatch, I recommend not even buying it. Microsoft Band is a physical activity meter, with some smart watch features. In addition to steps and distances covered, the device also measures heartbeats and displays notifications from your smartphone, only for viewing on devices using iOS or Android, with no possibility of interaction with the device. In short, you will have the same notifications on two devices and both will need to be removed if you want to have a clear list.

Specifications

This dispute between smartwatch and fitness tracker, let's go to the Microsoft Band specifications:

  • Screen: 1.4 ? (320 × 106 pixels) color TFT and 1.1 × 3.3 cm capacitive;
  • Battery: two 100mAh (48 hours of normal use without GPS; fully charges in less than 1h30);
  • Connectivity: USB (recharge) and Bluetooth 4.0;
  • Sensors: accelerometer, cardiac monitor, gyroscope, GPS, ultraviolet light detector, screen temperature, skin conductivity and microphone;
  • Operating temperature: -10C to 40C;
  • Resistance: dust and water.

Something I found sensational was the perfect integrated GPS for you, who like to run and don't want to carry your 4.7 ? or 5.5 ? in your shorts pocket. It is clear that some features are exclusive to Windows Phone, but most of them are available for all platforms.

Packaging and content

Worthy of any Apple product, the Microsoft Band packaging is very similar to what we found on iPods a few years ago. Containing a space reserved for all items, in a practical and functional way, the package comes with your bracelet (sizes P, M and G), a magnetic charger cable and manuals / documents.

Microsoft Band - Box

First printing and initial setup

Unlike Nike + FuelBand, in the case of Microsoft Band it is not possible to add bracelet extenders, therefore, both on the website and in its stores, the company highlights the need to test the pulse measurement before purchase.

After removing the protective plastics, your Microsoft Band will request a connection to your computer, although there is no application to manage it for you. Once connected, it will be her turn to request a connection to the Microsoft Health application, available for Windows Phone, iOS and Android.


Sorry, app not found.

The connection via Bluetooth follows the normal process, just pair the devices and open Microsoft Health on your cell phone to personalize the bracelet. Customizable items include metric or imperial measurements, which should be displayed on the screen, Cortana settings (Windows Phone personal assistant), weather, appointments, training, alerts and integrated applications (Starbucks, for example).

Microsoft Band - Message

Drums

I love the battery of my FuelBand, with its five days of use, and one of my concerns regarding the Apple Watch. In the case of Microsoft Band, the manufacturer promises up to 48 hours of use without GPS, which is little if you don't take recharge time into account.

For full charging it only takes two hours, that is, if you leave it charging while you shower and get ready to go out, you won't have any problems with it. In practice, however, this is not what I observed. In the first days of testing, with the GPS on for about 2 hours, the battery lasted approximately 24 hours.

Microsoft Band - GPS

Sleep monitoring

Sleep monitoring is really impressive. Through the app you can view how many hours of deep, intermediate sleep or how many times you woke up at night, in addition to the time it took to fall asleep.

With this information, added to your heart rate and calories lost during sleep, a true dossier of your night is created. In the first test, Microsoft Band simply could not measure my heart rate, a problem that is not only observed during sleep.

Anyway, see my chart below:

Microsoft Band - Sleep

As I mentioned above in the post, Microsoft Band has an ultraviolet sensor, a very interesting feature for places where the incidence of the sun is greater and valid for all of us, after all, skin cancer is something very serious.

Another cool thing about the bracelet is the possibilities for third parties to explore. Let's take the example of Starbucks: by the bracelet, it is possible to present your prepaid card from the store, being an excellent way to reduce the things you use in a race, for example. That's right, you can leave your credit card at home and snack at Starbucks after training with just your Microsoft Band.

Customizing the menu

The bracelet can be customized by Microsoft Health, allowing the color definition of the display and the pattern of the background image. Measurements (metric or imperial) and items that should or should not be displayed on the screen can also be selected on the Microsoft Health setup screen.

Microsoft Band - Menu

Final evaluation

After just over a week, I returned my Microsoft Band.

That's right, I gave up on the product and I'll explain my reasons here. The construction of the cool bracelet, but over time it becomes incredibly uncomfortable to wear. Sleeping with her is sure to wake up with a marked arm and often without the bracelet being able to capture the information it should.

Microsoft Band - Pulse

In addition, for those who remember the first generations of classic iPods in black and white, you will understand what I mean when the display simply scratches from breathing close. The screen often doesn't understand the command and the notification part is basically just work.

The coolest thing is to be independent of any other device while you exercise. The app also features a set of exercises that can be done in a gym or a park, with runs, sit-ups, push-ups and more, working almost like a trainer, advising you when to rest and when the set should be changed. Point to Microsoft.

I believe that a second generation of the product, if the Redmond firm does not give up on it as it often does (Surface, Surface 2, etc.), could at last be a product that deserves more than three stars.

Still not available in Brazil and without a provision, Microsoft Band can be purchased in the United States for US $ 200.


PRS
  • Variety of information collected.
  • Resources.
  • Ease of configuration.
  • Interface.
CONS
  • Drums.
  • Discomfort in use.
  • It does not always capture information.

My grade: 3/5