My first and second initial impressions...


New member
Jun 24, 2013
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First impressions... very cool device. I've been shopping fitness watches for awhile now but have been waiting for this one because of the additional sensors...

I picked up the medium. There are 3 band sizes and they're not interchangeable. I think this is a mistake as I can see a lot of exchanges as people get the right size band. You have to return the entire device to get another one that fits more appropriately. I'm right in-between medium and large. It has a ratchet type system to tighten which works really well. With the medium, I'm on the far side of the spectrum where it's near its longest position. It also depends on how close or far from the wrist you like to wear watches or bands. I like to wear it farther from the wrist. With the large, I'm closer to the shortest position. So with either band, I'm not near the middle of the range. I do plan on exchanging for a large band as I'd rather ratchet it all the way short instead of barely having the ratchet on. I don't know who the small band is for. Maybe kids and really really dainty girls.

Also, just eyeballing the band, you can't tell what size is what size. There didn't seem to be any markings on the band. People were browsing the bands like crazy and if people don't put bands back where they belong, it can become a mess. The reps were asking each other if so-and-so band was medium or large as people were mixing up the bands. A customer was asking, "is this the medium or large?" and the rep was going "I think it's the medium.". You literally had to stack the bands to compare sizes to figure out what was large and what was medium.

Factors to consider as well...

It fits comfortably if you wear short sleeve or no sleeve. Most work days though, I'm wearing dress shirts. I like slim fit or custom tailored. So normally I don't wear watches. With the band on (because of the width), my cuffs no longer fit right. It's tighter than I prefer. If you wear very loosely very near the wrist (like you would if you wore a bracelet), then you can probably get away with a dress shirt. However, I don't know how good the sensor contact would be if you wear the band like that.

The view of the screen great especially if you wear it with the screen on the inside of the arm. This is the way I prefer anyway when I used to wear watches. It's because it allows you to see the information while you're working on a patient or doing something with your hands busy without having to pronate your arm. You simply shift your arm to see the information or supinate slightly. Better to supinate 5 degrees rather than pronate 30 degrees.

The charging dock is great.

I don't think it has Gorilla Glass. They gave me a screen protector as well as a Starbucks gift card to fill the Starbucks app.

They kept stressing to me it's water resistant versus waterproof. I was disappointed in this as I swim an hour daily and was hoping to use this in the pool. The website says the following which would seem like it'd be compatible with swimming (the IPX7 standard)

Microsoft Band meets these standards for water resistance:

IP67: IP67 means protection against temporary immersion at depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.
IP6X: No ingress of dust. Complete protection against entry of dust.
IPX7: Protection against temporary immersion (at depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes).

I guess I can recap the buying experience. Got the medium. Got the Starbucks gift card. Got the Zagg screen protector. Got a Microsoft baseball cap. Got the Nature bar and Gatorade. I didn't get the protection plan. They told me it's 13 months. I said is this 13 months from when I buy it and they said yes. That made it a "no" for me.

I'm using it as my watch on my right hand because I'm left-handed (most people wear the watch on the opposite hand that they write with).
I've had more time to play with the functionality.

The mail is only from the time you activate the watch. Meaning as new mail comes in, I get notifications and can read them. However, I can't go back to mail that I had before I bought and turned on the watch. So think of when you bought the watch and day 1 and any mail since then will be readable on the watch. Your phone will give some haptic feedback as you get new mail. If you get tons of emails, this can be annoying so you can set it to only notify you when your VIP, that you designate, sends you mail. You see the first 40 characters of the subject heading and the first 120 characters of the body text. Works great. I just wish you could tap the email to launch the email app on the phone so you can respond.

Now, I have multiple email accounts across Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail/Outlook. I have no idea how it knows which email to check. But I am getting the email from my most used account. I think it's looking at your Microsoft account and figuring out from that because there's no settings to input anything anywhere! I have never tied my Facebook account to my Microsoft account so I think that's why it's not pulling my Facebook info. I can't figure out how to set up my Facebook account to the band without tying it to my Microsoft account.

I think the same notifications applies for the other features. It's from day 1 onward. So you can't go back and check calls from before you bought the watch. You can't go back and check calendar from before you bought the watch.

You can rearrange the tiles on the band. You can also dictate what tiles are available. So if you don't have need for all the tiles, you can remove them. If you want more tiles, you can add (up to the limit of 11 I believe).

The calendar is fantastic. It lets you see the week from today to the next seven days. I have multiple calendars and my friends and coworkers have shared their calendars with me. And the band will show everyone's calendars (based on how I have it set at The appointments aren't stacked so if today has 7 appointments, it will be 7 events laterally so I scroll laterally to see the 7 events and then if I continue, I will see the next day.

Loving the weather too. Really nice to check it quickly without having to pull out your phone.

You can set the watch mode on or off. "Watch mode on" means the band is always showing the time. It's white text on the black background. "Watch mode off" means the screen is turned off when it goes to sleep and you have to tap the power button to show the screen.

If you're at the home screen, you can tap it to bring up the fitness functionality. The step counter seems like all the other step counters. Not more or less accurate. I've never found step counters to be particularly accurate. They always seem to balloon your step count.

When you scroll over to the heart rate monitor, it will then acquire your heart rate and then lock the monitor "on". Maybe because I don't have the Cyan update for my Lumia Icon yet (meaning I don't have Bluetooth 4.0 LE activated), it doesn't always run. But the heart rate monitor has to be turned on. With Bluetooth 4.0 LE, it should be able to constantly monitor.

You can pair the Band and other Bluetooth devices simultaneously. So I can have my Bluetooth headset for voice, my Bluetooth speaker for music, and the Band all activated simultaneously. That's unless one of your devices locks out the other one. One of my Bluetooth speakers (piece of crap) will activate both voice and music simultaneously, thus locking out my Bluetooth headset for voice. Luckily, my other Bluetooth speaker knows to switch to "music only" if I activate my voice headset.

I'm really liking the band. I've gotten used to the way it feels. I did go back to the store to get the large band versus my medium band. Too late. All the large and mediums are gone from the store and backordered. Lots of small bands there still. Somehow my medium feels smaller than the store's medium (which was the reason I bought medium in the first place). Got me thinking whether a small band accidentally got packaged into my medium box since there are zero markings indicating what size the band is. Stupid me didn't think of opening my box and comparing my band to the store's bands. I got on the backorder list for large but it's not a dealbreaker if I stick with medium because large is really large and I have to rachet it to the max to fit (and at max, it's not tight if I ever wanted tight).

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