01-16-2015 02:16 PM
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  1. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Since I'm a WinPhone user, I was glad to find the Fitbit had an app for it. In fact, with the latest update, it's a pretty solid and helpful app for those of us tracking daily fitness. I had a Fitbit One, plus their scale, integration to MyFitnessPal ... and all was great. I could look at one app anytime and see all the essential info, including my progress on calories consumed vs burned, weight, and steps applied on MFP. Being a total MSFT person, when the Band was announced, I ordered it immediately. The promises on the website sounded amazing, initial reviews claimed it was superior, and of course it sold out right away.

    Now, reality has set in, and perhaps the Fitbit is a better solution. Why ? Here are some of my thoughts, and then I'd love to see what you think:
    1) There really is no support even thought they sell the Band Complete service, and no way to provide input to the developers who supposedly want to hear from us.
    2) The software is WAY behind what Fitbit offers. It simply is not a cohesive health information package
    3) The integration to MFP, one of two offered, only works one way. If you turn on the Activity Monitor, exercise, and then complete it, it will send MFP your calories burned. You get no credit for steps ( which can be significant ) and there is no reverse path to show calories consumed.
    4) What is the point of the Calories burned tracking? How do you know what should be set as a goal here ? Yep - no documentation other than what Windows Central is providing.
    5) Data is supposed to be recorded in the Vault, and the add shows that in a chart, but it's not hooked up yet.
    6) It would be nice to have a desktop or notebook based access to view the Health info. Everyone else has them. All we have is the phone app which really shows very little.
    7) The info from my phone to the Band is nice, but in reality I don't use it. The notification isn't strong enough often to get my attention.
    8) The new sync app for desktop requires Win 8.1 PRO to install, but most consumers have 8.1 (standard) on their PCs so they can't use it unless they spend $100 for PRO which they may never otherwise need. That app is necessary to perform updates on the Band.
    9) Sync is a bit erratic. I made a mistake entering my Starbucks card number and simply correcting it on the phone and re-syncing didn't fix the problem. Instead the data in the band got copied to the phone again.
    10) When charging the battery ... it locked up at 80% for over an hour. I took it off the charger and later in the day tried again. It took another 30 minutes, and when talking to someone at MSFT Support it suddenly jumped to 100%.

    And that was just in the first two days. It didn't help that shortly after I received it I found a news article claiming that MSFT had already dropped the Band, and WC published a story saying it was really a demo device to other manufacturers hoping to entice them to use MSFT capabilities and feed data to the health app. I thought I was investing in a product for full functionality, and instead I hear it's really intended for the engineers to get input ( but without a channel for providing it ) to work on their technologies.

    Please share your thoughts.
    11-06-2014 11:25 PM
  2. jojoe42's Avatar
    And that was just in the first two days. It didn't help that shortly after I received it I found a news article claiming that MSFT had already dropped the Band, and WC published a story saying it was really a demo device to other manufacturers hoping to entice them to use MSFT capabilities and feed data to the health app. I thought I was investing in a product for full functionality, and instead I hear it's really intended for the engineers to get input ( but without a channel for providing it ) to work on their technologies.

    Please share your thoughts.
    Curious to find out which article you read? i'm sure they'll stick to the initiative, it's sold well
    11B1P likes this.
    11-07-2014 12:58 AM
  3. stephen_az's Avatar
    My thought is the title of the thread is misleading. What about this asks for a comparison of the two and where do you even do that yourself? It certainly appears to be a series of complaints about a device that I guess you have owned for a couple days and which has been on the market for about a week. You have every right to complain about things that bother you but if you seriously want feedback on one device versus another perhaps you might want to ask questions. Alternatively, just be upfront and say these are your gripes.

    As for it not helping that someone claiming the product has been dropped and the editor here posting some silly (and baseless) musing on it being a demo device/industry prompt, what does anything on those fronts have to do with the device itself? One is obviously not true and the others is no more than idle rambling. Did they somehow disable functions in the band or result in Microsoft pulling support? If you believe everything you read, you might just as well hide in a corner from the space aliens, black ops helicopters, terrorists on every corner, etc., etc.. Sadly, they are just as thoroughly based in facts as most stuff posted on the internet.

    BTW, where are your numbers that confirm most users of Windows 8.1 have Windows 8.1 Standard? Lacking numbers it is just an assumption....
    Last edited by stephen_az; 11-07-2014 at 01:28 AM.
    gadgetrants likes this.
    11-07-2014 01:16 AM
  4. Yonic Boom's Avatar
    Fitbit is a much more polished product, it's been in the marketplace for much longer. Microsoft went against the old MS here and brought a product to market earlier than they normally would and are going to have to fine tune it on the fly through aggressive updating. I don't think that's for everyone, personally I think there's enough value there as it stands for me to hang in and watch it develop.
    Joe920, jmshub and Captain_Eric like this.
    11-07-2014 01:20 AM
  5. luxnws's Avatar
    I agree with Yonic Boom. Adding to his sentiments, I don't think the Band is a "demo product." I'm guessing that the Band will be on a progression path like the Surface. The first gen Surface were blah. Now the Surface Pro 3 is a great portable. Wearables could be in a few years where cell phones are today and it appears that MS doesn't want to miss this part of the mobile wave so here is Band 1.0.

    In comparison to Fitbit, I wouldn't have expected a first gen MS device to match up against Fitbit (or a Jawbone). For a single purpose fitness device, the yet to be released Surge and newer version of Up will probably be 'nicer' than the Band. But for the tie in to the phone, that's where the Band should ultimately have the edge. The fitness band aspect is more like getting a foot in the door to the wearables. It certainly looks like a better strategy than a smartwatch approach. I know I wouldn't be as interested in just a smartwatch.
    11-07-2014 02:33 AM
  6. tbsteph's Avatar
    How to comment on your post without making it TL;DR for most people. I've owned a Fitbit type device for a couple of years. It works well for what it is designed to do. However, I find the Band to be a significant increase in functionality.

    Your bullet point #7 tells me you want a pure fitness tracker. Well, the Band is that and more. Personally I find the notifications, etc. extremely useful. Each to their own.

    Finally, who wrote the article you read about MSFT dropping the Band? Unless you believe everything you read on the internet, this comment is nothing more than spreading FUD.
    11-07-2014 08:56 AM
  7. Poirots Progeny's Avatar
    Great thread!

    Personally I think the surge is more fitness feature rich, but I love the band notification system - I really want to see where this goes.

    If only the band were waterproof - I row and use a polar and chest band set up - would love to be able to use the band in the water. Otherwise ii think its a rather compelling device, though the fitbit are more fitness orientated.
    11-07-2014 09:07 AM
  8. someoneinwa's Avatar
    Fitbit makes fine devices and I enjoyed using the Flex for months now. Having a tracker has really helped me pay attention to what I eat and how much activity I get. I'm not a runner but I am trying to be more active and the Flex really helped. That said, my Flex never met the battery life Fitbit claimed for it, yet I never complained on line about that. The Flex, like many other trackers, is designed to work best on one wrist and fits on that arm in only one position. The Band is bigger, but contains more sensors and is designed to work on either wrist and in either an upper or lower position so it is far more flexible. The Flex just blinked lights at me. I know Fitbit makes far more informative devices and I agree the upcoming Surge looks nice, but is more expensive than the Band. I also think the Band is far more future-proof than other devices out there. Microsoft introduced the Band as part of a broader health initiative, so I expect it will continuously push firmware updates to the Band as that initiative matures. Microsoft's health initiative will sell some devices but is also about licensing technology. Fitbit and others only make money by selling devices so they have little incentive to upgrade ones already sold.
    11-07-2014 10:11 AM
  9. Yazen's Avatar
    Microsoft Band scratches like a mother ____er.... On the glossy plastic parts specifically
    gadgetrants likes this.
    11-07-2014 10:19 AM
  10. tbsteph's Avatar
    Install the screen protector. FWIW, my Fitbit One scratches quite easily also.
    11-07-2014 10:27 AM
  11. dorelse's Avatar
    In summation: "I purchased a Gen 1 device on day 1 and I'm not happy that it can't do everything exactly like a Fitbit that's been in development for many years can."

    The title is completely misleading...where's the comparison to a Fitbit?

    10) Its been well documented that it quick charges to 80% and takes another hour to get to 100% full.

    7) Turn up your haptic feedback

    2) Of course it is, its been out for a week!

    You're well within your 30 day return period. Its time to return it and wait for the Surge at $50 more with less functionality. If its true that its a demonstration device, then they'll continue to develop for it using the sensors that aren't fully active yet. That's also been well discussed...not everything is turned on it. Stress level monitoring is one example.
    11-07-2014 10:27 AM
  12. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Sorry ... I don't have enough posts yet to provide the link. It's an article in the International Business Times, 11/4/2014, titled "Microsoft Allegedly Drops The Band Favoring The Lumia 830 And Fitbit Flex Bundle"
    11-07-2014 10:55 AM
  13. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Stephen,

    1) I pose these observations because a) If someone from MSFT reads the thread, they get input on features that should be added ( which I was told they want to know ... by their CS rep ), and b) I want to see if others find these issues important. Yes, the band is new, but remember, I purchased it, I wear it, and I want to use it, so please realize this is a discussion, not a rant.

    2) I didn't say I believed the article. I said that it didn't help to read that when I first saw the band was not as robust as what I used previously. Is it strictly a rumor ? An article here ( and they are usually quite good ) quotes staff from Microsoft saying it is a demo piece. In addition, I asked people at MSFT ( definitely in a position to know ) and I never got a clear "we are keeping it" response. Disconcerting ... but I haven't sent the band back ...

    3) Please ... as an old geezer, no need to hand me insults.

    4) Guess what ... that comment about 8.1 came from MSFT CS who stated "Most machines have 8.1. 8.1 PRO is only on the Surface Pro 3. It's a bug we know about and are working on." Actually, its a checkoff in the installer build, and is an easy fix ( the requirements option ), but no ETA is provided.
    11-07-2014 11:03 AM
  14. Tim Stone's Avatar
    I tried to post the link but was stopped by WC because I don't yet have another posts. I referenced the source above. I did not mean that comment as fact, but rather, I said after encountering issues it didn't help to see that article as a News item returned in a Bing search. I immediately went to good sources within MSFT to confirm. The response was not a denial, but rather a comment on the response to the band being far better than expected.
    11-07-2014 11:08 AM
  15. dbregman's Avatar
    Great thread!

    Personally I think the surge is more fitness feature rich, but I love the band notification system - I really want to see where this goes.
    The Surge does look more feature rich - BUT it is not out yet. The Basis Peak looked more feature rich - but let me tell you, after getting one to compare - it is not. For a Gen 1 device I think MS is definitely on the right track. The key will be to use the great H/W platform and continue to update the software.
    11-07-2014 11:11 AM
  16. Tim Stone's Avatar
    Dorelse,

    Return was not the consideration. For perspective, I've been at this for 32 years as a developer and software publisher. I've also been a formal beta tester on many products. Currently I have Win 10 preview installed ... and therein lies the comparison. MSFT has an icon in 10 for providing feedback. It's a great interactive channel. Hopefully they will do the same here. They say they want consumer feedback. 10 had it upon first preview release / install. Also, a cloud based Health center is not unusual. That should have been part of the initial release, especially for a development product. An article said it is 6 months out. The Band CS rep yesterday said they have no word yet on the likelihood of an online site.

    As for the comparison, all of the items mentioned there are in the Fitbit system. Again ... I'm not seeking an argument.
    11-07-2014 11:18 AM
  17. uselessrobot's Avatar
    Sorry ... I don't have enough posts yet to provide the link. It's an article in the International Business Times, 11/4/2014, titled "Microsoft Allegedly Drops The Band Favoring The Lumia 830 And Fitbit Flex Bundle"
    I read that article and I thought it was a load of nonsense. It basically consisted of someone, who seemed to be anti-Microsoft, reading way too much into two separate product launches.
    forked and jojoe42 like this.
    11-07-2014 11:22 AM
  18. Tim Stone's Avatar
    I didn't get the same perception. What I was told is that is an agreement between AT&T and Fitbit.

    As a Windows Phone advocate ( and user ), I was very happy to see Fitbit put out a true WinPhone App and put so much thought into it. That combo may well help sell more WinPhones. No other band has one, and Garmin was pretty clear they had no interest in the platform. Thus, I had no interest in Garmin.
    11-07-2014 11:27 AM
  19. Senrir's Avatar
    Surge wins just due to that superior battery
    11-07-2014 11:39 AM
  20. Silence#WP's Avatar
    I have a Band on the way, but I'm concerned about the bulk, battery life, and that it isn't waterproof (shower proof). Although the feature sets don't line up exactly I doubt that I'll be the only one cross shopping the Band with the Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Charge HR, and the Jawbone UP3. It is nice to see such competition in this segment and that Microsoft has such a strong offering. GPS and a screen are less important to me than battery life and a shower proof device so the UP3 looks very interesting. Jawbone will also connect to Microsoft Health so that helps too. This is a very interesting market to watch right now in no small part thanks to the Band. I look forward to seeing how things shake out.
    11-07-2014 11:58 AM
  21. Yonic Boom's Avatar
    There's no reason for Microsoft to drop a device that's been in development for so long so quickly, especially when it's doing well early and was never intended to destroy Fitbit or other platforms. It's a showcase for the broader Health platform and will stick around. They want to entice Fitbit and other companies to interface with the Health platform and license some of the tech in the Band themselves.

    It would be like assuming MS is killing the Surface because they're also selling the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro on their store.

    IBT is a bad site on tech generally. They throw a lot of speculation at the wall and see what sticks. They're in the category of Motley Fool and sites like that which can safely be ignored.
    11-07-2014 12:05 PM
  22. theefman's Avatar
    IBT is a bad site on tech generally. They throw a lot of speculation at the wall and see what sticks. They're in the category of Motley Fool and sites like that which can safely be ignored.
    Ironic that those sites are featured prominently in Cortanas news feeds and cant be removed.
    sahib lopez likes this.
    11-07-2014 12:09 PM
  23. Tim Stone's Avatar
    I've never been to the IBT site in the past. It came up on my Bing search under pending news on the Microsoft Band. That is the only reason I saw it.
    11-07-2014 12:30 PM
  24. Yonic Boom's Avatar
    Didn't mean it as a criticism of you, Tim. Just saying while the platform has its bumps I wouldn't worry about it disappearing just yet. The usual suspects (Daniel Rubino, Tom Warren, Mary Jo Foley or Paul Thurrott) would be all over a decision like that.
    11-07-2014 12:33 PM
  25. nmercy's Avatar
    As far as a comparison between Band and One:
    1) Band needs its false step algorithm tweaked, I can take small trips to the bathroom where it won't pick up a single step, but once it's decided you are walking it is very accurate. The One has a really good algorithm and seems to catch all my steps and rarely has false steps in the car for me.
    2) The Band app needs to allow for day to day tracking on sleep and runs, not just last version. I know it's stored, but there's no way to access it. One allows easy access to this information through the app.
    3) They need to get the integration with the Health and Fitness app working as the lack of calorie intake tracking does hurt its ecosystem overall and the already available Health and Fitness app does this
    4) The smart watch features are really cool and work great with Windows Phone. I love being able to get notifications about emails and phone calls. Especially useful since I keep my phone in my cargo pocket and don't always hear/feel it ring.

    Have to see how quickly they update the firmware/software as to whether I would recommend the Band over the One and depends on if you need the extra fitness features the One has over the Band or if you want the smart watch features more.
    11-07-2014 12:40 PM
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