1. Tomasz Stupak's Avatar
    Hi,

    I think my MS Band 2 is not working correctly.

    First of all - the pulse meter on the Me Tile is always in acquiring mode. Every time I turn the screen on the heart icon is empty (acquiring mode). Sometimes when I wait long enough it turns to full heart (locked) but after a few minutes I turn the the screen on again and it's empty again. It means it doesn't count my heart rate constantly.

    Second of all - the calorie burning meter is highly inaccurate. If I don't explicitly turn on tracking for some activity (bike, workout) it hardly registers any activity. On the other hand, when I turn the tracking on and just sit and do nothing, it registers some extensive calorie counting. Just have a look at these proofs:

    This is a screenshot of my workout day. I didn't turn on any tracking, the Band was just idle on my wrist. I did a strength training in the morning for almost 1.5h and it hardly registered any extra activity. After workout I rode my bike to work 10 minutes and after work I rode home also 10 minutes. No activity registered.
    01-workout-no-tracking.png

    This is a screenshot on my rest day. I didn't do any workout but I rode my bike to work and back home. I turned on bike tracking and see how different the results are:
    02-nonworkout-bike-tracking-only.png

    This is a screenshot of my other workout day. This time I turned on the tracking. See how it looks:
    03-workout-tracking.png

    And this is an example of a non workout day when I turned the tracking on in the morning and left it for a whole day. I was driving a car for 8 hours. See how weird the results are. And the Band counted a ridiculous amount of steps I didn't even take.
    6-car-ride-all-day-tracking.png

    Is my HR sensor defective or is it just how MS Band 2 work? Should I replace it or should I just get my money back? Do you guys have similar results?

    Can anybody try to have a workout day with Band 2 being on idle the whole day and a rest day with tracking turned on all day long?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    06-07-2016 05:50 AM
  2. TennisGuy45's Avatar
    To see for sure if your HR monitor is working:

    Tap the home screen and then scroll all the way to right.
    This is the HR monitor screen.
    It should say acquiring and then eventually lock on showing your HR.

    If the screens says "where did you go","put your band on", or anything else of that nature AND you are wearing it then your HR monitor is bad.

    Mine went bad. I called MS and it was replaced free under warranty.
    06-08-2016 02:53 PM
  3. Tomasz Stupak's Avatar
    When I do as you described, it's fine, but this is not the case.

    The case is that it doesn't work properly when on idle and when tracking an exercise. I don't need the Band for telling me what is my HR in some random moments. I need the Band to CONSTANTLY monitor my HR 24/7 and tell me how many calories I burn. E.g. when I have Band on idle for the whole day and I go to workout and ride a bike twice, I doesn't record hardly any extra activity. It tells me I burned like 1800 kcal this day. And on the other hand, when I turn on exercise tracking in the morning and have a rest day (just sitting 8h in the office and do nothing more than walking from time to time) it says I burned like 3700 kcal. This is ridiculous!

    Can you do such a test with your band? Just leave it idle when you're having a workout day and turn on tracking in the morning (just turn off the screen to save battery) when you have a rest day. What are the results?
    06-09-2016 04:50 AM
  4. ATAcapt's Avatar
    It is my understanding that the Band tracks your heart rate one minute out of every ten minutes when at idle and constantly only when in workout mode. Therefore if you ride your bike for only ten minutes there is a good chance that it will miss it or at best sample only one minute at the higher rate.
    06-09-2016 08:04 AM
  5. Tomasz Stupak's Avatar
    Only one minute out of ten minutes? I haven't seen such information anywhere in the product description. This makes Band 2 totally useless for me. Fitbit Charge HR has a true constant daily HR monitoring.

    And even if it's only 1 minute every ten minutes it should give me some better reading of my 1.5 hour workout.
    And it doesn't explain why it gives such ridiculous reading then workout mode is on and I'm not doing anything.
    06-09-2016 08:19 AM
  6. TennisGuy45's Avatar
    For battery purposes the band is not designed to ping your HR on a minute by minute/ second by second basis unless you are in some type of workout mode.

    You need to start a walk/run to get the most accurate HR monitoring.
    11B1P likes this.
    06-09-2016 09:37 AM
  7. Tomasz Stupak's Avatar
    This makes Band 2 totally useless for me. Too bad because I loved the smartwatch features of the Band. I have to return it and look for some other product. Thank you for your answer.

    It's interesting it's not clearly stated anywhere though...
    And even in workout mode the monitoring is FAR from accurate...
    06-09-2016 09:42 AM
  8. TennisGuy45's Avatar
    You are probably not going to find any product on the market that will do what you want it to.

    The battery capacity is just not there for these small devices to constantly being doing that level of monitoring 24/7.
    06-09-2016 10:39 AM
  9. poit57's Avatar
    I guess I never realized that this wasn't documented by Microsoft, but Windows Central explained how the heart rate monitoring worked with the release of the original Band. This is how often the Microsoft Band checks your heart rate | Windows Central.

    Here is the breakdown of when the heart rate is actually recorded.

    Exercise modes (Run and Workout): Heart rate records every second
    Sleep tracking : 2 minutes on, 8 minutes off. Repeats throughout duration
    All other times : 1 minute on, 9 minutes off, and repeating the cycle
    Manual: You can force-check your heart rate at any time by tapping the Me Tile

    During those 9 minutes off between the 1 minute of recording, algorithms are used to estimate heart rate and calorie burn. If you were working out and any of your rests between sets correspond with the 1 minute of HR monitoring, it will give you a low estimate. On the other hand, if you get up and move around once every 10 minutes for that one minute and are idle the other 9 minutes, your estimates will skew higher than your actual average.

    If you are steadily active or steadily idle throughout multiple 10 minute HR monitoring cycles, the Health dashboard will more accurately reflect the elevated or lowered heart rate. Inconsistent readings may cause the algorithms to ignore certain data points as anomalies.

    The most accurate estimates of your calorie burn will be when using one of the exercise modes where heart rate is constantly tracked. I've tested this with league bowling where I have only about 10 short moments of activity per hour for about 3 hours.

    Below is a typical bowling game. I average 78 bpm over 53 minutes and burned 151 calories. When I don't turn on Exercise mode, there is a negligible change shown in my calorie burn and heart rate when compared to times that I am inactive. Inactivity usually averages about 85 calories per hour with a heart rate in the low 60's. An hour of bowling with the Band in normal mode estimates 90 calories per hour with a heart rate in the high 60's.
    bowling.png
    Tomasz Stupak, mjyumping and 11B1P like this.
    06-09-2016 11:17 AM
  10. Tomasz Stupak's Avatar
    You are probably not going to find any product on the market that will do what you want it to.
    Fitbit Charge HR, Polar H7 (it's a chest strap so it's faaaar more accurate).

    I know Fitbit may not be super accurate but at least it measures constantly. And what I need is to have a comparison on how much energy all those small extra activities cost me, like Salsa dancing, walking, etc. And also bigger activities like football game. I need to know how active I am comparing to a normal rest day so I can adjust my diet. It's super important for a hardgainer like me.

    I guess I never realized that this wasn't documented by Microsoft, but Windows Central explained how the heart rate monitoring worked with the release of the original Band. This is how often the Microsoft Band checks your heart rate | Windows Central.

    Here is the breakdown of when the heart rate is actually recorded.

    Exercise modes (Run and Workout): Heart rate records every second
    Sleep tracking : 2 minutes on, 8 minutes off. Repeats throughout duration
    All other times : 1 minute on, 9 minutes off, and repeating the cycle
    Manual: You can force-check your heart rate at any time by tapping the Me Tile

    During those 9 minutes off between the 1 minute of recording, algorithms are used to estimate heart rate and calorie burn. If you were working out and any of your rests between sets correspond with the 1 minute of HR monitoring, it will give you a low estimate. On the other hand, if you get up and move around once every 10 minutes for that one minute and are idle the other 9 minutes, your estimates will skew higher than your actual average.

    If you are steadily active or steadily idle throughout multiple 10 minute HR monitoring cycles, the Health dashboard will more accurately reflect the elevated or lowered heart rate. Inconsistent readings may cause the algorithms to ignore certain data points as anomalies.

    The most accurate estimates of your calorie burn will be when using one of the exercise modes where heart rate is constantly tracked. I've tested this with league bowling where I have only about 10 short moments of activity per hour for about 3 hours.

    Below is a typical bowling game. I average 78 bpm over 53 minutes and burned 151 calories. When I don't turn on Exercise mode, there is a negligible change shown in my calorie burn and heart rate when compared to times that I am inactive. Inactivity usually averages about 85 calories per hour with a heart rate in the low 60's. An hour of bowling with the Band in normal mode estimates 90 calories per hour with a heart rate in the high 60's.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thank you for this post. Now it's clear. Too bad Microsoft did not stated it explicitly. This could save me the trouble. Now I have to return my Band 2. Too bad because I really like its other features.

    Btw, I'm making a final test today. I woke up, got to work, charged my Band 2 to 99% and turned workout mode on for the whole day. I'll be idle today. 8h of working, then going by train and than nothing more than some walking and that's it. The tracking is on for 1.5h now and it says I've burned 265 kcal which seems inaccurate. I was in the kitchen for breakfast and turned the screen on. The Band was showing 130 BPM (in workout mode). I checked my pulse manually and it was 60+.

    poit57, could you also please do a similar test? I'm curious what the results would be.
    06-10-2016 02:16 AM
  11. DrRyder's Avatar
    Well crap...I think mine is defective now. Its been working fine and then today I noticed that it asks "where'd you go?" when I go to the heart rate section. It just got an update yesterday I believe or the day before. Everything else on it seems to work fine. I rebooted it and no change. I even made sure the sensors were clean, still no change. Doesnt even look to be lighting up when I take the band off.

    Guess I'll be visiting the Microsoft Store soon. Glad I'm not the only one here recently.
    06-10-2016 05:00 PM
  12. Tomasz Stupak's Avatar
    I returned Band 2 and got my money back. God bless Amazon. Maybe Band 3 will be better.
    07-06-2016 04:53 AM

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