01-16-2015 02:16 PM
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  1. Tim Stone's Avatar
    YB ... I've been evaluating these devices for the past few months for health tracking ... to keep these aging muscles in better condition, improve diet, etc. The techie in me loves the concept of the Band. The realist needs the tracking to include: steps, calories in vs out, and weight. ( Showing "pounds to go" is a great incentive to keep eating right " ). I use MFP for tracking the diet because they have an amazing database of foods. Integrating the Band with them was excellent ... no need to reproduce that input capability ... but it would be nice to bring back the data into the Health app and do a calories consumed / calories burned comparison ( ala Fitbit ).

    The ads for the Band show the chart of how the data is applied, and it clearly shows Health feed Vault. I've been using Vault, and Fitbit was already feeding data to it. The Band doesn't do that yet.

    It would be helpful to have the sync with MFP improved. We should see steps applied there. If I go to an exhibit, I may use 12,000 steps in a day, but none of it counts. It's not a "workout" because its all stop and go. But still, it burns calories. Fitbit provides the data to MFP which accounts for it in the intake allowance ( as determined by the weight goals ). I would like to see this in the band.

    These are all things from a daily fitness ( non-athletic) perspective that I think are important.
    11-07-2014 12:48 PM
  2. Yonic Boom's Avatar
    They absolutely need to get MyFitnessPal and the Band working together well. I've been using a Fitbit Force as part of my weight loss routine and have had a lot of success so far. I'm hoping to continue that with the Band, but in the short term there's going to be some more manual work for me due to the disconnect between those platforms.

    The convenience of strapless heartrate monitoring is worth it to me though if I'm comfortable the readings are good, so I'm going to test drive it for a few weeks and see what I think. Assuming the dang thing ever comes in.
    ven07 likes this.
    11-07-2014 12:52 PM
  3. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Congrats on the weight loss. After all, better health is what these are all about for the consumer.
    ven07 likes this.
    11-07-2014 01:35 PM
  4. dorelse's Avatar
    Pointed noted. I'm a systems architect, been working in the IT field since the old days, did I use punch cards, nope, sure saw a lot of them though.

    Your issues are still centered around 'normal' Gen 1 device issues. Typically 1st Gen devices support basic, mostly solid, software & devices that are going to go through growing pains until MS gets the bugs (that were discovered after release to the masses) resolve. Additionally, they'll have updates that enable code that just didn't make the GA image. I'm sure they knew about some of them, but like all software releases, if you hold GA until its perfect, you never release anything. Since you're in the software field, these are all things you know.

    I think it'll be more important to see how everything comes together when the full ecosystem is built out. Then we'll be able to see if other companies, like Fitbit want to adopt the MS health monitoring solution.

    I do think its unfair though to complain about things that are documented, ie...the 80% to 100% charge time...that's something that you just were unaware of...'fast charges to 80%, then trickle charges to 100%', not an issue, and something you'll see more of in phones & other devices in the future.

    The rest bit about it being a beta device, etc., is just internet 'stuff' a CS rep told a guy on a phone who posted it on the internet...MS has a lot to prove yet with this band...I'm hoping they give us a good show.

    All that said, I may have to return mine (ironic) as I appear to be having skin irritation issues with the metal in the pulse sensor...
    11-07-2014 01:39 PM
  5. tbsteph's Avatar
    I agree with you assessment of the Band vs Fitbit One, particularly #1 and #4.

    I'm not sure what you mean in bullet #2. Doesn't the Activity History provide what you're looking for
    11-07-2014 01:43 PM
  6. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Dorelse,

    I'm glad you pointed out that the 80% thing was well documented, but I hadn't seen it. In fact, two CS reps ( one general MSFT, one Band ) also were not aware of that and puzzled by the behavior. I called after 90 minutes of charging time after it reached 80% had not improved it ... and while the Band CS was on the phone, it suddenly jumped to 100%. I did do a search on Band charging and just couldn't find the material you referenced.

    I started with cutting programs on paper tape ... then feeding it to a reader connected by modem to a computer.

    I still think it's important to look at communication here. The Win 10 Preview, which exemplifies the new direction MSFT is trying to move with their clients, has that channel built in. If you look at the Band website, it focuses heavily on getting user input. Unfortunately, though the expertise is there, they don't have an open channel. I hope this is rectified soon. Some of us who really do want to see this device succeed will be glad to give very specific suggestions based on practical, everyday, useage.
    11-07-2014 01:57 PM
  7. sdrexler11791's Avatar
    Look at activity history for a history of everything. It's all there.
    kittengirl likes this.
    11-07-2014 02:05 PM
  8. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Tbsteph,

    One of the things I love about my WinPhone is the integration. It takes a lot of apps and lets them all pool data together.

    Fitbit currently works this way: A tracker interfaces with the cloud site to store all data. The scale also connects to it. MFP takes the calories you consume and sends it to Fitbit. My WinPhone app then shows me the information for the day which includes my steps, stairs, activity, calories consumed vs calories burned, weight, and even allows me to compare steps with others. I can also go online and see the data and charts across time, etc. It is all integrated.

    The Band doesn't yet provide us with a good view to our data. If the Health app is what MSFT wants to license to other companies, and partner on, they will need to make the data tracking broader, improve the integration with MFP, and provide an online site where we can get a better view of the data over time.
    11-07-2014 02:05 PM
  9. ven07's Avatar
    Well WC did claim that MS is not trying to compete with the other fitness giants out there, instead they're simply demonstrating what services they can provide, so that they can sway those companies into using MS tech or data when building their own watches or trackers. The basis for this theory (or one of them anyway) was the limited amount of watches that have been made available...

    TBH with what MS has demonstrated so far, I really don't see why they wouldn't just enter the market as a competitor. The band has some great features and yes it lacks some as well, but if we take into account that this is only v1.0 then the possibilities seem limitless.

    Right now, I would still go for the fitbit, because it has a silent alarm, which can be quite handy and oh yea it's available worldwide :P
    11-08-2014 03:06 PM
  10. Tim Stone's Avatar
    I picked up the Fitbit Charge ... to get the full tracking in their system. However, I'll likely keep the Band to see how it develops across time. Here are some comparisons:

    1) The Band has additional sensors that may prove to be very interesting as they are utilized.
    2) The Charge is lighter and more comfortable to wear
    3) The Band needs to be charged daily and that means losing 90 minutes of useage time. It's one thing when I'm working on the computer, but non work days its more of an issue. I also have to always have the charger with me when traveling.
    4) The Band does have the interface to my phone which is nice. It's more a convenience than a fitness feature.
    5) I really prefer wearing the Band on the bottom of my wrist. It is much easier to read and access. However, as someone else noted, the charging area does tend to rub on my skin and irritate it.
    6) Fitbit does have fully integrated software at this point. The Band does not. From a techie viewpoint that is OK, but for the person who primarily has fitness goals right now, it's an issue.
    ven07 likes this.
    11-08-2014 03:27 PM
  11. ven07's Avatar
    Thanks for the comparison :) It does seem likely that Fitbit will get some more integration in the future, otherwise the current trend of bundling phones with fitbit bands makes no sense. Ultimately it depends on what Fitbit wants, I don't think MS would sabotage them if they asked for more integration
    11-08-2014 05:56 PM
  12. Dima Habenko's Avatar
    Surge wins just due to that superior battery
    We know practically nothing about the Surge. I specifically doubt you would get 8 days battery if you use GPS and HRM quite often. Both consume loads of energy. And unless Fitbit owns magical batteries, we will probably see disclaimers for 10 pages describing how to achieve the max battery. I am not even talking about notifications, which, probably would be worse then on Band. So stop comparing vaporware device with the device that was already released and then claim that vaporware is better.
    11-08-2014 08:04 PM
  13. Dima Habenko's Avatar
    Dorelse,

    I'm glad you pointed out that the 80% thing was well documented, but I hadn't seen it. In fact, two CS reps ( one general MSFT, one Band ) also were not aware of that and puzzled by the behavior. I called after 90 minutes of charging time after it reached 80% had not improved it ... and while the Band CS was on the phone, it suddenly jumped to 100%. I did do a search on Band charging and just couldn't find the material you referenced.

    I started with cutting programs on paper tape ... then feeding it to a reader connected by modem to a computer.

    I still think it's important to look at communication here. The Win 10 Preview, which exemplifies the new direction MSFT is trying to move with their clients, has that channel built in. If you look at the Band website, it focuses heavily on getting user input. Unfortunately, though the expertise is there, they don't have an open channel. I hope this is rectified soon. Some of us who really do want to see this device succeed will be glad to give very specific suggestions based on practical, everyday, useage.
    The charging was explained several times and it is in MS Support pages for the band. Band would charge to 80% in 30 minutes and then take sweet time to charge the extra 20%. The charge indicator is not changing percentage by single digits, so it may be confusing to see it stuck at 80% for what seems like eternity, but that is just how MS decided to implement it for starters. I don't like it either as I am a freak when it comes to charging my devices, so let's hope MS would improve the indicator.
    For me, popping the band in the charger daily for 30 minutes is more then enough to last through the day. If I don't use GPS, it is more then enough to last two days. Yes, it is annoyance comparing to FitBit that I routinely have lasting for 2-3 weeks on single charge, but Band does use a lot more sensors, with HRM, Bluetooth, and GPS being the battery killers. I would like sometime to test turning all of these off (which MS allows to do in settings) and then compare the battery when Band would become a slightly more expensive FitBit Flex.
    11-08-2014 08:13 PM
  14. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Dima,

    Charging would not be a problem on normal days. I sit at my computer working for several hours so tossing it on a charger then is not an issue. However, active "on the go" days that start early are more problematic. I will need to find a routine for that to use the Band.

    The big issue I'm waiting to see resolve right now is integration with other devices. It would be nice to see them integrate in Weight using the Fitbit scale. ( And yes, there is every indication Fitbit and Microsoft are working together ). The other is to integrate MyFitnessPal into My Health for the calorie intake with meaningful analysis. Once we can go into MyHealth and get a total picture, the Band will be a solution, even in a 1st Gen device.

    For now I will use the Fitbit Charge because it gives a useful total package ( without HR ) and allows continuing progress on monitoring my daily fitness objectives.
    11-10-2014 01:45 PM
  15. Th3P's Avatar
    Hello All

    Been seriously looking into Fitness Trackers for the past few months, I did have Fitbit Flex but have since moved the the One due to the irritation caused by the band material (Seems to be a more common issue on the Force) anyway the One seems much better due to the way it can be worn but for me it causes some serious problem, My primary form of exercise is cycling mainly Mountain/Enduro but also road for Cardio and here lies the issue the lack and in-accuracy around capturing data.

    I joined as quite frankly there seems to be a "better" level of knowledge around the device and its functionality, I like many of here come from a "IT" background so understand the limitations and possibilities of the technology within.

    Can anyone comment on real life battery run time using GPS, I've seen 4 hours mentioned on the internet. For me that just wouldnt cut it so what run-time is achievable using HR monitoring?

    I capture GPS data via My Mio Cyclo 505 (which is a great device is anyone needs recommending a bicycle GPS - So much more potential than the Garmin Edge series I have one of the Edge 800 too) So I can live without GPS just feel it add to the whole accuracy when altitude is factored into the activity type.

    I think one thing people seem to be missing is just how much technology is within this device considering what is contained within the Jawbone, Fitbit etc the price at least as far as I`m concerned its an absolute bargain.

    If it was shower proof that would suit my needs and benefits it every way... except battery life!

    Really appreciate any feedback
    Last edited by Th3P; 11-10-2014 at 04:50 PM.
    11-10-2014 04:40 PM
  16. CliveSinclair's Avatar
    I had a FitBit One (until it had had one too many washes and failed) - used in conjunction with MyFitnessPal. I also own a Samsung Gear 2, that was paired with a Note 3 (now sold). The Gear 2 was absolute rubbish for many reasons and never worked properly. Samsung now seem to bring a new model out every 3 months or so.

    I'm now the very happy owner of a Lumia 930 and looking again for a fitness/companion for my Lumia 930. My old FitBit worked fine, but had no integration with messaging, calls, etc with my phone. MY Gear 2 could do the phone integration bit OK, but the fitness, HRM part was next to useless.

    Looking at the current and future FitBit devices and the MS Band, the band (with it's bad points) is looking like my next 'gamble'. I'm trying to confirm if it will integrate with MyFitnessPal - if it doesn't it may be ruled out.

    Still given that the MS Band is sold out and no launch date for UK is known, I have time for some more research - rather than an impulse buy.
    11-17-2014 07:06 AM
  17. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Clive,
    When it comes to a Windows Phone, your choice is Fitbit or the Microsoft Band. I have used both ( Fitbit Zip, One and Charge ). I found the One worked OK for my needs, but gave it to one of my sons when I got the Charge. Because it almost instantly marked up the screen significantly, it went back a few days later ( and there were a few other issues and support is a known deficit for Fitbit ). Their software, however, is good.

    So now I'm only using my Microsoft Band. Here are the issues, so far, and what I've discovered.
    1) "Clunky" - This seems to be the most common complaint. Yes, it is bigger and bulkier than the other bands, but I wear it face down which makes it easy to read, and I've quickly adapted to it. When I'm typing I can feel it, but it isn't a problem. Otherwise it never bothers me. It might be tight under long sleeved shirts with a tight button.
    2) Battery life - I do programming so I do have some extended periods of time when I'm on my keyboard. During one of those periods I put the band on the charger. Thus, its not a problem. It might be a bit more annoying if you travel or are always on the go, but aside from that, it keeps the charge. I don't use the GPS so that is not an issue for me.
    3) Software - This is an initial release, and the software should see some changes pretty consistently in the coming months. With the new release schedule for all software, MS is keeping us updated all of the time. I expect the same with the band. In fact, there was an update yesterday on the uploading software for Windows, so that would signal, to me, that a new release may be coming soon.
    4) Integration - I have a Fitbit scale, and like you, I use MyFitnessPal. Fitbit ties it all together well. The Band is a work in progress. So far, if you do an activity, it will report the calorie burn to MyFitnessPal. That works fine. Steps are not transferred. In addition, the MyHealth app does not, yet, track calories consumed. This is a first release, and I expect that to improve. Steps do need to count in MFP. For now, you can trick it. If you have a walk, or a ride, start the activity, do it, then stop it. The calories consumed will transfer to MFP.
    5) Online - So far there is no online portal to the data. However, an early interview said that would be available in early 2015.

    So, my conclusion ? If you are OK with being a part of the evolution process, the Band may be satisfying for you. Otherwise, you are limited to Fitbit with your phone. There are other products out there, but in my communications with them they basically indicated they had no plans to integrate to our phones ( and I have no intention of changing ).

    I hope this helps.
    11-17-2014 11:53 AM
  18. nmercy's Avatar
    I have not tried the Band while cycling, however I have a sneaking suspicion it might not meet your needs because the only mode that tracks you using GPS is the run mode, but I think this will do odd things to your step count, while the general exercise mode would keep track of your heart rate and such and treats steps differently, doesn't have the option at the moment to track GPS data.

    That being said I could be completely off on that because I haven't cycled with it.
    11-18-2014 06:44 AM
  19. bells0's Avatar
    Cycling is something i would want too, if the band comes to the UK. Wonder if it could be integrated at a later date if not working now.

    Hate gadgets, pretty sure i don't need this.......................but i'm a bloke!!!!!
    11-18-2014 09:04 AM
  20. gomezz's Avatar
    I am interested in the new Fitbit Surge and would want it to replace my current sports watch and heart rate monitor with chest band I use when running ... but I also need it to do that very basic thing of telling me the time and telling me the time accurately. How do these Fitbit products make sure they keep time accurately compared to my current radio-controlled sports watch? Do they sync with your computer using its time server setting? Or do they sync with the mobile using its current time (which for me is often an unacceptable minute or so slow)?
    01-15-2015 05:54 AM
  21. Tim Stone's Avatar
    You would probably have to ask that question on the Fitbit forums. Before investing in the Surge, read the posts on the Fitbit forum. They will help you understand if it is a good option for you. Some people like it, some are returning it, and the reporting is questioned by many.
    01-16-2015 11:18 AM
  22. campbellc's Avatar
    I am interested in the new Fitbit Surge and would want it to replace my current sports watch and heart rate monitor with chest band I use when running ... but I also need it to do that very basic thing of telling me the time and telling me the time accurately. How do these Fitbit products make sure they keep time accurately compared to my current radio-controlled sports watch? Do they sync with your computer using its time server setting? Or do they sync with the mobile using its current time (which for me is often an unacceptable minute or so slow)?
    I have the Surge (upgraded from the One) and I love it. Not sure how it keeps accurate time but it just does. The time on both if my fitbit products has always been accurate.
    01-16-2015 02:16 PM
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