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  1. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Who has a Microsoft Band 2?

    What's the good, the bad and the ugly? How long have you had it and what do you think?

    Put your in-depth User Review here to help others. The more detail the better, we really appreciate hearing how it performs in the field.

    We also have a thread for brief notes about your initial reactions:
    [Quick Impressions] Who Has Gotten Band 2?
    Last edited by RumoredNow; 11-02-2015 at 05:22 PM.
    10-30-2015 02:33 PM
  2. lerac's Avatar
    Unlike most people I pre-orderd a large Microsoft band 2. My band 1 was a medium that only fitted me on the highest setting and actually was a tiny bit tight. I used the measurer from Microsoft and I was like 2 cm from medium size recommendation. My wrist size was like 182 with paper tight on my wrist. was afraid it would be too big because a lot of people exchanged it for a medium, but in the in it just fitted. I even wear it one click away from the tightest setting when not exercising. When I exercise my arm swells up a bit just like feet of people meaning I can loosen it up. I bet the medium would have fit me to but since I do not live in US trying is not a option.

    When I bought the Microsoft band 1 the main reason was to go jogging and playing soccer with it. I was in need of a tracker not requiring me to take my bulky phone with me and give my information while I am running or playing soccer. The alternatives looked ugly and big and the band also offered smartphone capability. I was surprised how much I used the smartphone capability. By standard I but my phone on vibrate and used my watch as the ringer and showing me messages knowing if I needed to get my phone out of my pocket or not. I would never miss a important phone call and always new I there was need of looking on my phone saving my the trouble in multiple situations. In meetings I can quickly glance what I receive without giving the idea I am not interested in what people are talking about. I ended up wearing my watch every single day. Only moment I did not wear band 1 was when I was sleeping because it was plainly uncomfortable and the bright green light lighted up in my face. I did not care much about sleep tracking but it would make my data inconsistent.

    Unlike lot of people I wear the band on the outside of my wrist. This because it looks like a watch instead of showing a bulky metal clasp. Most important reason it fits tighter and more comfortable on top of my wrist. Disadvantage though the heart rate is on top and the metal clap will most likely get scratched, my heartrate might not be perfect match and the sun detector will be on bottom making it harder to detect sun. I compared my heartrate numbers with band 1 numbers and did not notice much difference with the heart rate but of course I just started using it.

    I use the band when I am jogging and playing soccer. My band 1 clasp broke while playing soccer. One of the metal pieces sticking out broke. Unlike the band 1 the band 2 seems to have 2 metal pieces on the sides protecting the clasp point see pictures. I hope this will help and the clasp is more sturdy.

    About the improvement compared too the band 1:
    - it fits way better with curved screen
    - The flexible rubber band
    - Gorilla Glass 3 protecting me from scratching screen
    - Metal clasp and protection within the clasp hoping it will provide better protection
    - No battery on the sides
    - Plastic battery cover instead of pieces pealing of the battery leaving metal rubbing on my arm
    - Plastic heartrate surroundings instead of metal like on band 1
    - Secure charging clasp. Band 1 would always connect, disconnect or fall off
    - Better screen with great black color
    - Watch mode rotate on. Basically shows you time when you make a gesture that you use normally on a watch to look at time. However I did notice a BUG. While doing running I can't seem to turn of the watch mode unlike with watchmode always on or off. Why? Perhaps they were afraid it might go on and of while running because of the gesture. But if there is a moment I want to save battery it is while I am running.
    - Sun monitor is nice but pointless if I can't go to the beach with it. Since I live on a tropical island I would be a good candidate too use this function. But up and until now I think it is useless unless I am running in the sun.
    - Barometer showing amount of stairs I walked
    - Automatic sleep detection
    - Build in gps not having to use phone
    - Sleep tracking

    What do I think can be improved
    - My number 1 annoyance that bothered me the most on band 1 is still there and now got even worse. I live on a tropical island, being very warm I sweat like a uhum "pig". Making it almost impossible for me to use the touch screen just like on band 1. Wet fingers or wet screen combined with touch screen is horrible. You might wonder what got worse then, well after ending a exercise I will need to slide to the left in order to see the options "Resume" and "End Session". The band one I would immediately see the 2 options. I think they should have done the slide thing for seeing the stats and the resume end should be immediately available. The band often result into twitching left and right because my fingers are wet and it does not know if I am sliding left or right. Imagine my battle trying to sliding to the right trying to press that tiny back button to go back to menu's while exercising. Frustration all over the place
    - Wish I could remove the last session because I started something bad or any other reason. Like I said no GPS and then I decided still to do GPS leaving me with a 2 second training.
    - Its bigger, meaning also warmer. During normal use in my tropical climate I get sweat point under the plastic heartrate monitor
    - The plastic heartrate monitor leaves a mark on my wrist because it just sticks out
    - Sadly I do thing the responsiveness went down, but perhaps I got to get used to the smaller curved screen when sliding left right or up and down. Or witching trough menu's goes slow
    - Smaller screens horizontally but of course compensating this with bigger screen vertically
    - Can tell yet if this is bad but the microphone seems to be on the top but also on bottom leaving me wonder how much sweat rain will go into that microphone hole damaging the watch.
    - Bulky clasp
    - Animation like other said its a feature, I don't like waiting to see a number because of a animation that is pointless and unpractical. Perhaps they should have shown a number and animate the color on the background.
    - Should have included usb charger indeed. However I have too many of these thing in my house already even though that would be not a excuse.

    - Whish I could run against myself and watch telling me to speed up
    - Because I wear it on top I wish the icons would be able to turn, of course when showing text it should switch back
    - This is personal I like wearing it like a watch not as a machine. Meaning the design with sun monitor on bottom and heart rate monitor on bottom would be a bad design choice for me.
    - Being able to respond on a watsapp message just like the text messages
    - When timer is done counting down it should return to the value I set it up. Highly annoying have to set it up everytime it is finished
    - Being able to swim with it
    - Better battery life, who would not ofcourse. But right now I can live with the battery live compared to other smart watches and sport watches.

    Can't tell anything about golf app because I do not play golf.

    Some of the mentioned points in band 2 fixed the bad points of band 1 but also created new bad points. Being perfect is not easy but Microsoft is getting there. I am still very happy with my band 2 and will continue to use it every single day. If there are more things (i bet) I will update this review.

    Feel free to ask questions.

    RumoredNow, Ryujingt3 and Argaron like this.
    11-14-2015 08:39 AM
  3. Ryujingt3's Avatar
    Hello Lerac.

    First of all, thanks for the in-depth review. Where are you based? I am based in Bangkok, so a lot of what you have written I can relate to. I imported a Band 1, it broke at the clasp, exactly like yours did in the picture. I wore it to run as I am a keen runner, like you, I sweat and I guess I just sweated too much because the clasp just fell apart one day.

    Anyway, I recently got a Band 2 imported to me. Tried taking it for a run with me last night, it ran out of battery (turns out having Clock Mode on permanently really does require frequent charging) but I noticed it got wet from sweating so I am probably not going to use it for running. A shame really. I like the MS Health app and all the data it provides. I just wish MS or some third party would create some sort of protective skin that goes over the Band, and stops it from getting wet from sweat - does that make sense?

    I also wear my band on top, on my left hand, so navigating it can be a little difficult. As can navigating the screen when my hands are wet. Same as you. If you wanted to remove a session you did (e.g. a run that went wrong), it has to be done from inside the MS Health app itself. Would be nice to be able to do it on the device itself though, granted.

    For me, not sure about you, but the new charging port is a little finnicky. Having to have the band unclasped to charge it is a little strange to be honest. Out of interest, what size do you have? My Band 1 was L so I got Band 2 in L as well but it is far more looser than I expected on my wrist. When I measured my wrist using the measuring guide provided by MS I was at the far end of M (right on the edge) and into L territory. MS says, when that happens, to pick the bigger size.

    So, I guess I got the correct size but it feels so much looser on my wrist. That may be a good thing though. My Band 1 initially dug in to my skin and, due to the contacts getting in touch with water, caused an irritation. This went away by me also loosening the Band 1 so I guess it was too tight anyway. To conclude, I wanted to use my Band 2 for running (keen runner - not very good though!) but I am scared it will easily get damaged so I am not going to this time.

    I am just happy to get sleep monitoring, Starbucks payment and notifications on my wrist again, without needing my phone.

    Let me know how you get on with your Band 2 and thanks for the insightful and honest review.
    11-19-2015 08:16 PM
  4. kds's Avatar
    I sat down this weekend and pounded out some thoughts about the Band 2. It turned out rather long, too long to post directly here, but I put it up on my blog. I even had to spin off the review of the Microsoft Health dashboard because they were both getting too long.

    Here is the Microsoft Band 2 review and the Microsoft Health dashboard review.

    If you were curious I even tested out my Fitbit Surge and my Band 2 side-by-side for 5 days to compare results, and it wasn't too surprising the Fitbit was more generous with steps and calories burned.
    TechFreak1, ettibbar and DavidinCT like this.
    12-14-2015 01:36 PM
  5. DavidinCT's Avatar
    I sat down this weekend and pounded out some thoughts about the Band 2. It turned out rather long, too long to post directly here, but I put it up on my blog. I even had to spin off the review of the Microsoft Health dashboard because they were both getting too long.

    Here is the Microsoft Band 2 review and the Microsoft Health dashboard review.

    If you were curious I even tested out my Fitbit Surge and my Band 2 side-by-side for 5 days to compare results, and it wasn't too surprising the Fitbit was more generous with steps and calories burned.
    Great review... One big thing that I could not agree more about email /delete/mark as read, etc... It's one thing that is needed if it's to be used as a smart watch..
    12-27-2015 06:38 PM
  6. MrWhiteman's Avatar
    I love it except for not enough apps and no speaker!
    01-28-2016 12:34 PM
  7. dar981's Avatar
    My first impression when buying the band and looking at the box, were the sheer amount of disclaimers on it, ie: water resistance, battery life etc, while nice and honest, almost put me off buying it...

    Inside the box, you get a quick start guide, a manual, a charging cable and some warranty information.

    First thing to do is charge the band, It will ask you what language and which OS you have, often or not it finds an update and wants to download it. As I have Windows phone it told me to install The MS Health app to continue. Once that is installed, it finishes the update and the band is now yours to play with.

    The band does take a little getting used too, simply because it seems to be designed to wear on the inside of your wrist rather than as a traditional watch. There is nothing stopping you from wearing it on the outside or wrist up, but the UV sensor is placed on the clasp, so seems to be a design choice or flaw I cannot tell yet.

    One glaring thing I do notice about the band is the weight, its not heavy, but if you work in a business enviroment and you cant rest your wrist down while typing, because the screen is going to possibly connect with the desk, I tend to flip the device up while typing, so I do not have to worry about the band glass being damaged. The design is nice, but due to possibly an oversight on MS, the screen does not rotate, which means you could be in for a few awkward angles if you decide to wear it traditionally on the outside of your wrist.

    You can customise the band tiles using the MS health app, move them around, add or remove tiles, turn them off or add notifications. There is a limit to how many you can have on the band, but I think 10 is sensible number to start with.

    There are basic tiles such as notifications for text, which you can reply with directly on your wrist, providing you have cortana, you can press the action button and respond verbally too. The onscreen keyboard works, but the preview for words is a little small, you may occasionally mistype a word, but you can correct it all on the band. All other notifications except email are handled by the "notifcation" tile, facebook and twitter have their own tiles also. There are custom tiles, but they are mostly US SPORTS and news, so at the moment the choice is limited. You get weather, important news, emails, sms messages and other notifications direct to your band, which is great fun, it means you do not have to take your phone out to check every single message.

    You can configure the band in many ways, settings provides fairly standard but basic setups, The obvious one is the watch function. When you lift your wrist, the time displays for you, however in practise this goes off much too often and could be a battery killer. I found just moving the arm was enough to set the time off, I tend to leave it off. You can simply click to view the time anyway. Any messages received are immediately displayed and if haptic feedback is on, your wrist will vibrate.

    The other tiles being a smart fitness watch are running, golf, bike and weights. You can add custom workouts to your band and then follow them right off your band. I have used them over the course of a week, they all seem to work. Band monitors your heart rate too, sometimes when checked it can be a tad off, but usually only by 5-10 beats, it seems to lag a little sometimes. The GPS function can be enabled to give more data for your run or bike ride, but if your not a data nut, you can leave this off, again a battery killer if left on. A more recent update has introduced a power save mode for GPS, so your band should last longer than it did before, (claiming up to four more hours).

    Thanks to app support you can customise the band to include your own images on the band start screen, or change the colors to suit your mood. You can also control your music through the band to your phone.

    it is an unusual item and works well with a Windows phone, but Android and IOS are also supported. You just do not get the cortana ability.

    Finally battery life without gps, 2 days, 1-2 workouts a day with heart rate, cortana, and sms messaging.

    In conclusion:
    The weight and the design seems slightly forced, which is shame as if the screen rotated, it would be almost perfect, its possible this may change in a future update, which would push the score up by 1 point. The other let down is the durability of the band, for a fitness band, MS own statement says it should be able to cope with every day fitness levels in the gym.

    in practise however a small minority have reported: The not quite so flexible band tearing, battery life varies, the clasp tends to fail and the screen can be potentially cracked or scratched if you are not super observant. A screen protector will help with the screen, but the weight of the device if its dropped could potentially spell some tears...

    Additionally Microsoft warranty is not exactly user friendly, You receive a limited 1 year warranty that does not cover wear or tear, or the screen breaking. You only get this protection if you purchase the extra cover. I have never had to buy two warranties before to be able to use something that should be a little sturdier in its construction choices. This reduces the final score down by 1 further point.

    So finally my verdict is 6/10, could have been better. The device is nice looking, colorful and different, The workout and notifications make this so much fun to show off and use, but its let down by poor design choices. The limited scapegoat warranty could leave you with a large hole in your pocket.
    02-03-2016 02:33 PM
  8. lerac's Avatar
    Better late then never but I am at a small tropical island Curacao. The sweat issue I have if I have to use touchscreen. I would not worry about sweat damaging the watch. Unlike band 1 there is no rubber pealing of and screen is gorilla glass I have not managed getting a single scratch yet. I have been using it since november non stop for jogging and soccer but no sweat issues. Only thing that broke was the metal part on the side where you connect the charge pin side on it. The metal piece just fell off and I could see screws. I left it as is resulting in power surge. I had to reattach it. Many people are having this problem. I was very sad for a couple of days because the watch would just suddenly die. and I did not know why until I found on Microsoft forum telling me about design flaw the are not willing to admit yet.

    I agree the charging port can be a pain to attach sometimes. But I rather have it well attached then I falls off like band 1 was. But still would love a even better option indeed. My band 1 was a medium and just fitted around my wrist depending where I would wear it. So I was inclined to buy a large this time putting me on the edge also of Microsoft print-out.

    Latest updates like using less gps during running makes a big difference and also controlling music on your phone with your watch I love. All the other new functions are gimmicks for me like get up lazy bum and start moving. Since I work behind a computer this function started to annoy me.

    Still praying indeed to run against myself. Being able to remove a last run mistake. Indeed as other mention mark messages as read so I don't have to do that on phone again. There are so many possibilities but I don't think microsoft is making the most out of it yet. Wish watsapp would make it possible to respond to watsapp messages.
    03-07-2016 09:33 PM
  9. MrWhiteman's Avatar
    I had mine for 4 months before the rubber split. Loads of people have this issue. Its a piece of crap which im sending back.
    06-22-2016 04:16 PM
  10. subraya's Avatar
    They should have more apps made for it. The other Brands are coming up so many things, especially the Smartwatch. The Huawei watch seems to be a great new addition to the already existing Smart watches out there.
    08-29-2016 01:09 PM

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