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02-26-2016 08:54 AM
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  1. Teeceman's Avatar
    Okay,
    It is clear that the Microsoft band is a worthwhile device in terms of some of the excellent technology built into the device and the ecosystem seems to be improving with time albeit a bit more slowly at the moment. However IMHO there does remain a question mark relating to this device and the ability of the product line to last for a reasonable amount of time with active use without developing some kind of fault.
    For instance, at the moment my main pastime is walking and running so is it my sleep pattern that is breaking the band and causing the straps to come apart or split?

    What I would really like to know is:
    • Is the Microsoft Band actually durable at all?
    • Is Microsoft using the best material to provide a lasting durable product?
    • Is it built in obsolesce?
    • Is this the best we can hope to expect from a fitness device in terms of longevity?
    • Is the Microsoft Band a poorly conceived or manufactured product?
    • How best could a Microsoft Band 3 be improved in terms of durability?

    The history of my bands are:
    • Original band number 1 = used for 4 months then returned under warranty after developing faults and battery coming away from strap
    • Replacement Band = currently band is disintegrating, battery coming away from strap, clasp breaking away from strap (decided to get band 2 and dump B1 in my drawer of old technology as the concept device for B2)
    • Band 2 number 1 = used for 3 months then returned under warranty after heart rate sensor stopped working, stair count intermittent, strap splitting, battery stopped charging after multiple resets.
    • Replacement Band 2 = awaiting replacement or MSFT to tell me faults not covered due to abuse or something.

    I thought luckily that as I still had my original band (retrieved from the drawer of retired devices) I could wear it whilst I await my warranty replacement, it is whilst wearing B1 again that it is clear to me even with carefully nursing the Microsoft band and not using the band for anything other than light everyday use, walking and going for runs it still does not seem durable enough as more splits start appearing in the strap in various places or sensors start to fail.

    In the UK we cannot walk into a MFST shop for a replacement and online/telephone support seem to take a lot of convincing that there is a problem with your device so it can be quite frustrating.
    Surely a 250.00 device should last longer than 6 months before it has to be replaced under warranty, even with this it seems to me that once your warranty runs out neither band will last much longer than 18 months of either heavy or light use YWMV.

    As consumers are we getting ripped off with what seem to be prototype devices or is this just the price we pay for advancing technology and for being early adoptors?
    iamakii likes this.
    02-14-2016 06:00 AM
  2. indiW's Avatar
    I kind of agree with your last paragraph.

    I think any fitness tracking device at present is merely a social status symbol. Or a means of way to start a conversation with your local or wider networking cells

    All most all fitness trackers are very much inaccurate when it comes to sensitive measurements such as heart rates.

    On the other hand what are we doing with the data we gather, I am not getting any reductions in my tax bills, because I do more than 10,000 steps a day, or for going to gym more times than going to doctors surgery.

    The day that our wrist bands get truly integrate with our health insurances will be the day that bands going to come of age.

    However I must agree, thanks to B2 I am doing more running now than before, so when I go to parties my buddies talk about my fitness. At the same time, I have never before prepaid to start a conversation. I have always been good with chatting up.

    How long will B2 live.. Mmm I don't think even MS can answer that, however I look after my B2 like I am looking after 2 weeks old baby... Rather than changing nappies, I clean it twice a week with cotton wool and bit of warm water.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    02-14-2016 09:40 AM
  3. Brentd6's Avatar
    My Band 2 went for a swim on the weekend. Probably only about 2 to 3 minutes before i realised it was still on.
    After i took it off, i instantly turned it off (it was still on). Let it dry for 1 hour, then put it in a bag of rice overnight.
    Turned on in the morning and no problems at all. Still no problems 2 days on.
    02-14-2016 07:21 PM
  4. Nate Silver's Avatar
    Well, it would certainly appear that we pay a price for advancing tech and being early adopters, and I'm comfortable with that. What bothers me is the inconsistency I'm seeing with MS when it comes to warranty replacement. Customers who are lucky enough to be near a MS store seem to get their bands replaced easily, while those who have to send their bands in get them back refused due to 'abuse'. I guess it is much easier to say 'no' by long distance, as opposed to when the customer is standing in front of you. This bothers me a lot. The Band is marketed as a fitness device that is meant to be worn 24/7. This implies a certain amount of rough treatment that should not be categorized as 'abuse'.

    There are clearly a few issues with Band 2 with regards to durability and hr accuracy. However, it is one of the few 24/7 fitness devices out there that work with windows phone, so my options are limited. The only other device that I know of that compares feature-wise to the Band and is fully compatible with windows phone is the FitBit Surge. I tried that as well, and had issues with hr accuracy, and - the killer for me - severe skin irritation. That's really the only reason I'm sticking with Band 2 for now, but I'm not totally enthused about it. Its pretty good, but not perfect by a long shot, and I'm probably going to buy another one just to see if its any different regards hr accuracy during an activity than the one I have. I won't bother trying to get a warranty replacement, as I've been refused before. MS have made it clear to me that they don't really care about customer relations, particularly via internet support.

    At some point I'll probably give up on 24/7 hr monitoring, and just use my Garmin Fenix 3, or get a Fenix 3 HR.
    02-15-2016 04:35 AM
  5. Brandon Sobotta's Avatar
    I kind of agree with your last paragraph.

    I think any fitness tracking device at present is merely a social status symbol. Or a means of way to start a conversation with your local or wider networking cells

    All most all fitness trackers are very much inaccurate when it comes to sensitive measurements such as heart rates.

    On the other hand what are we doing with the data we gather, I am not getting any reductions in my tax bills, because I do more than 10,000 steps a day, or for going to gym more times than going to doctors surgery.

    The day that our wrist bands get truly integrate with our health insurances will be the day that bands going to come of age.

    However I must agree, thanks to B2 I am doing more running now than before, so when I go to parties my buddies talk about my fitness. At the same time, I have never before prepaid to start a conversation. I have always been good with chatting up.

    How long will B2 live.. Mmm I don't think even MS can answer that, however I look after my B2 like I am looking after 2 weeks old baby... Rather than changing nappies, I clean it twice a week with cotton wool and bit of warm water.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    Probably this. I bought mine to be more of a smart watch than a exercise tracker. So I should have good luck with it with my minimal abuse.
    02-15-2016 05:01 PM
  6. Jazmac's Avatar
    As far as the Band 1, it isn't the quality I expected as I've been through two of them. I should say I'm on my second one. What happened with the first is happening to the second one. Where clasp of the band connects, its made of a very thin metal with sharp edges. Overtime, resting your arm on the desk will cause that metal to cut through that rubberized material. This happened to my original Band, as well as the replacement.
    design-flaws-band-1.jpg

    It looks disgusting but it hasn't been abused. Only water to come into contact is sweat. This is after 6 months of daily wear. My opinion is this first Band has many a design flaw including and especially how the materials react to salt from sweat and lotion. If Band 2 is only a change in the sensor technology, I expect the same is likely to happen with it too.
    I love it but I'll go with a Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone or something else next time.
    iamakii likes this.
    02-15-2016 11:52 PM
  7. Teeceman's Avatar
    Apart from the accuracy issues with the HR monitor, which I would have hoped MSFT would have been making great strides in improving by now, durability is certainly a major problem with this device, other premium devices like the Fitbit Surge or the Basis Peak seem to be holding up a lot better after a few months of use, and it doesn't appear like owners are having to replace or bin them after 6 months use.

    @Jazmac that is exactly how my second B1 looked after about 6 months and like Nate I did not even bother try getting it replaced under warranty due to how MSFT handle some telephone support which is so inconsistent. Once a band gets to that condition aesthetically they are not very nice to wear and look pretty awful.
    iamakii likes this.
    02-16-2016 02:26 AM
  8. Teeceman's Avatar
    Probably this. I bought mine to be more of a smart watch than a exercise tracker. So I should have good luck with it with my minimal abuse.
    Even while wearing it as a smart watch it is almost a disposable item as the band just degrades and splits after a bit of time.
    rickhan likes this.
    02-16-2016 02:27 AM
  9. Jazmac's Avatar
    Apart from the accuracy issues with the HR monitor, which I would have hoped MSFT would have been making great strides in improving by now, durability is certainly a major problem with this device, other premium devices like the Fitbit Surge or the Basis Peak seem to be holding up a lot better after a few months of use, and it doesn't appear like owners are having to replace or bin them after 6 months use.

    @Jazmac that is exactly how my second B1 looked after about 6 months and like Nate I did not even bother try getting it replaced under warranty due to how MSFT handle some telephone support which is so inconsistent. Once a band gets to that condition aesthetically they are not very nice to wear and look pretty awful.
    Yep. 6 months is about the life span for Band 1. I posted my first band and my excitement then what it looked like after only 6 months. And that one, the clasp broke off. I suspect it'll happen here too. The one I use now was a warranty replacement. I may contact them again but I think that ship has sailed.
    02-16-2016 08:55 AM
  10. shoepike's Avatar
    I am new to the device and just bought the band 2 about a month ago (no original band). I do enjoy the device and the only thing that has been disappointing about it is the heart rate monitor. However, if this device is only going to last me 6 months, I will be pretty upset. There is no way 6 months is an acceptable life cycle for a $250 device. Assuming the durability is similar to the original band, is 6 months really the norm? I know forums often attract people who are having problems. Is there anyone who's device lasted a year or more mostly intact? Is there anyone who bought the band 2 at launch who's strap is not already starting to tear?
    02-16-2016 09:06 PM
  11. Jazmac's Avatar
    I am new to the device and just bought the band 2 about a month ago (no original band). I do enjoy the device and the only thing that has been disappointing about it is the heart rate monitor. However, if this device is only going to last me 6 months, I will be pretty upset. There is no way 6 months is an acceptable life cycle for a $250 device. Assuming the durability is similar to the original band, is 6 months really the norm? I know forums often attract people who are having problems. Is there anyone who's device lasted a year or more mostly intact? Is there anyone who bought the band 2 at launch who's strap is not already starting to tear?
    To be fair since you have the Band 2, and if you decide to keep it, let us know what you think after 6 months. I thought the failure of the first one was a fluke. When it happened with the one I'm wearing, its no fluke. Its a design and materials flaw. I won't buy another Band 1. Well, if I get it for 50 bucks, then it might be worth it. :)
    02-16-2016 11:11 PM
  12. Teeceman's Avatar
    I am new to the device and just bought the band 2 about a month ago (no original band). I do enjoy the device and the only thing that has been disappointing about it is the heart rate monitor. However, if this device is only going to last me 6 months, I will be pretty upset. There is no way 6 months is an acceptable life cycle for a $250 device. Assuming the durability is similar to the original band, is 6 months really the norm? I know forums often attract people who are having problems. Is there anyone who's device lasted a year or more mostly intact? Is there anyone who bought the band 2 at launch who's strap is not already starting to tear?
    To be fair since you have the Band 2, and if you decide to keep it, let us know what you think after 6 months. I thought the failure of the first one was a fluke. When it happened with the one I'm wearing, its no fluke. Its a design and materials flaw. I won't buy another Band 1. Well, if I get it for 50 bucks, then it might be worth it. :)
    I really like the Microsoft Band and the eco system, I have had both bands but have had both replaced under warranty well before a year, I do agree forums do attract people who are having problems.. however there is a durability issue with this device.
    In hindsight I know I would not have brought the B2 if I knew it would not be more durable than B1 and I certainly would not buy another B2 band and B3 would have to be radically improved for me to think about buying another MSFT Band.
    My recently received B2 replacement is still in the box and I'm considering just leaving there and buying the Basis Peak as is now retailing for 129.00 in the UK whilst it does not have all the bells and whistles of the B2 at least it will last longer as it is built to last, provides similar info, and the bands can be changed if required.
    Last edited by Teeceman; 02-17-2016 at 02:56 AM.
    rickhan likes this.
    02-17-2016 02:46 AM
  13. Mark Baker3's Avatar
    On original band here. I work in a mix of office and rail environments. Also go to the gym three times a week. I am on the band one. The strap on mine is fine. Yes they do mark a little bit no more than a rubber watch strap on my view. You do need a decent screen protector. The magnetic battery connections need a clean every now and then. Other than that no issues so far. Mine is just under a year old.
    shoepike and iamakii like this.
    02-17-2016 03:02 AM
  14. Jazmac's Avatar
    On original band here. I work in a mix of office and rail environments. Also go to the gym three times a week. I am on the band one. The strap on mine is fine. Yes they do mark a little bit no more than a rubber watch strap on my view. You do need a decent screen protector. The magnetic battery connections need a clean every now and then. Other than that no issues so far. Mine is just under a year old.
    Question: What is the frequency that you put this Band on?
    02-17-2016 08:25 AM
  15. Konrad Andree Nordvik's Avatar
    Fitbit has allso durability problems!
    02-17-2016 03:21 PM
  16. Mark Baker3's Avatar
    Question: What is the frequency that you put this Band on?
    iwear it all day as the notifications are handy as my hone on silent In office and on site. I do however not sleep with it on.
    02-17-2016 03:24 PM
  17. DroidUser42's Avatar
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think this is the first one I've seen the rubber in the clasp area peel like that. The battery doors seem to be common with time. Looks ugly, but it's out of sight when worn and it didn't seem to bother my skin, so I didn't worry about that.

    I had my Band 1 for a year. I swapped it out just as the warranty was expiring as the HR/clasp looked like it was starting to separate from the strap. I had doubts it would last until Band 3 comes out.

    From following the forums, I do think the Band 2 has an issue - it looks to be failing at a point where an internal structure/stiffener ends. This might be exacerbated by the method people use to take their band on/off - that is, how much they flex the strap. I'd suggest opening it enough to get your hand though it and do it that way. Trying to take it on/off the wrist directly (especially "wide way") seems like it would force greater bending. I started doing it that way because some Band 1 owners were reporting the battery doors (which are ridged) were starting to separate from the strap (which is flexible). I never did have that problem.

    As for me, I think I'll nurse my replaced Band 1 until 3 comes out. The 2 has some nice features, but $199 (on sale) is a bit pricey for the upgrade. I'd rather stretch my original $200 for 2 years. It would be a lot different if I didn't already have a Band. Besides, you know what they say about Microsoft and the 3rd version. I'm hoping October/November is going to be awesome.
    02-17-2016 06:38 PM
  18. Teeceman's Avatar
    Question: What is the frequency that you put this Band on?
    I used to wear mine continually, as probably many others do except for charging and cleaning to capture the sleep data.

    Fitbit has allso durability problems!
    Very true, one of my first pedometers was a Fitbit Flex it use to fail probably due to water ingress and I must have gone through 4-5 bands before finally dumping it in the bin, and researching various other manufacturers for an alternative they all seem to have one problem or another.
    02-18-2016 10:24 AM
  19. Jazmac's Avatar
    I used to wear mine continually, as probably many others do except for charging and cleaning to capture the sleep data.



    Very true, one of my first pedometers was a Fitbit Flex it use to fail probably due to water ingress and I must have gone through 4-5 bands before finally dumping it in the bin, and researching various other manufacturers for an alternative they all seem to have one problem or another.
    Thanks Teeceman. I don't get it. When I am not at the gym, or park, I'm on the desktop. Wait, do you wear the band on your dominate arm? I went out and picked up a Withings yesterday because these Bands look like they were run over by a truck. Can't really wear it at work the way it looks. My Withings ain't half bad.
    02-18-2016 03:31 PM
  20. dar981's Avatar
    iwear it all day as the notifications are handy as my hone on silent In office and on site. I do however not sleep with it on.
    I am the same, three weeks in, I stopped wearing it at night. I wear it all day, but due to the battery lifetime and durability concerns, I decided to stop wearing it at night. I love the band 2, I love the way it integrates with my phone. I do not have to take my phone out all the time, being able to reply from my wrist makes it unique and a conversation starter, especially in the gym. Social situations get less interrupted also, a quick check of the band instead of your phone ha!

    We "early adopters" of advanced gym tech pay a price, but I do not want to be like everyone else.
    Jazmac likes this.
    02-18-2016 04:01 PM
  21. luxnws's Avatar
    These are first gen (original Band) and second gen (Band 2) products. I know my expectations for durability weren't high. I even used a toaster as comparison. ;) The strength of the Band/Band 2 is in the features, not the durability or comfort necessarily.

    Also, Microsoft is new at making wearables so it would be unrealistic to expect the design and build quality to be as good as would be expected for companies which have been designing and manufacturing fitness wearables for years, even decades.

    I think gen 3 is when Microsoft makes much more progress on that front. It really depends on the design though.
    02-18-2016 08:23 PM
  22. indiW's Avatar
    I think this where my grumpiness come, if MS didn't have any imagination they should have at least looked at someone else's product, hire design advisors, do a competition online and get people to send design ideas,

    I think wearables are here to stay, people like MS should take this more serious coz there are money making opportunities on the back of people like myself.

    Elegance, practicality, features, different models, should be essential and design it such a way so... After one year people can chuck it out and get a new band.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    02-19-2016 01:36 AM
  23. luxnws's Avatar
    I think this where my grumpiness come, if MS didn't have any imagination they should have at least looked at someone else's product, hire design advisors, do a competition online and get people to send design ideas,

    I think wearables are here to stay, people like MS should take this more serious coz there are money making opportunities on the back of people like myself.

    Elegance, practicality, features, different models, should be essential and design it such a way so... After one year people can chuck it out and get a new band.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    Way too negative on Microsoft's aesthetics. A new fitness band put out by another company sort of-kind of looks like a Band clone and seems to be doing ok.
    02-19-2016 02:33 PM
  24. indiW's Avatar
    Agree, B2 alone.. it's a fantastic device from technical point of view, in my opinion it's the App that puts it down.
    Given MS resource base.. It should have come out with few different models.

    Band, fitness, smart watch, means different things to different people, for example I use B2 purely for the purpose of fitness tracking, heart rate, GPS, calories, mean a lot to me.. Connection to fb, text messages, phone calls, absolutely useless to me. My gym time.. Is my time.. So I think ms should learn to cater for a wider audience.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    02-19-2016 04:20 PM
  25. dar981's Avatar
    These are first gen (original Band) and second gen (Band 2) products. I know my expectations for durability weren't high. I even used a toaster as comparison. ;) The strength of the Band/Band 2 is in the features, not the durability or comfort necessarily.

    Also, Microsoft is new at making wearables so it would be unrealistic to expect the design and build quality to be as good as would be expected for companies which have been designing and manufacturing fitness wearables for years, even decades.

    I think gen 3 is when Microsoft makes much more progress on that front. It really depends on the design though.
    I disagree, statistically speaking, if your going put something together that is designed for a gym setting, you would expect it to be rugged under normal conditions. It is meant for every day fitness, including weight training. Considering the sheer amount of data MS has collected over the years, you would think they would think more more three dimensionally, I mean it really does contain a lot of data for the size of the band, it really is very useful, I love using it in the gym. Its durability is the primary problem. (at least for me).

    I have compared many fitness bands for usability:

    If you take pure fitness band like jawbone for example, its just a strap with sensors and nothing else. But it does crunch a lot of data, (far more rugged though), but you need your phone to make the best of it. The fitbit range I have looked at many times, but they do not appeal to me, I follow them but their latest models just look even worse than the previous generation, so ill skip those, they do not appear to even have gps. I have an android smartwatch, that is okay, but battery life is just 1 day. I have no interest in the apple smart watch as its simply overpriced for what I would consider good consumer value.

    I picked the ms band 2 as it has all the best bits I really need at a reasonable price, just a shame the durability is so under fire...I think Generation 3 will be a lot more rugged..so Ill stay on this ship...
    02-19-2016 04:34 PM
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