The second-generation smart band developed by Microsoft which has received smartwatch features since its debut, was launched in October 2015. The wearable is sold in the US, UK, Canada and Australia (through the Sydney flagship store, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman retailers, and from Microsoft’s online store) and it’s available in three sizes: large, medium and small. On Amazon, they range in price from $174.99 and $165 to $140, but customers from the US can buy the Microsoft Band 2 Medium size for only $99.99 directly from Amazon
The Microsoft Band 2 comes with a variety of features and is compatible with Windows, iOS and Android smartphones via Bluetooth 4.0. It includes an optical heart rate monitor, a microphone, GPS, gyroscope, barometer, three-axis accelerometer and other sensors for ambient light, galvanic skin response, UV, skin temperature, as well as a capacitive sensor.
Like its predecessor, it focuses mostly on activities related to fitness, but also provides smartwatch-like features. It can be used for tracking runs, biking, golf, sleep, and offers communication tools, like notifications for new emails, texts, missed calls, or calendar entries.
The Microsoft Band 2 has a full-color curved AMOLED display of 1.26 x 0.50 in (32 x 12.8 mm) that supports a resolution of 320 x 128 pixels. It is encased in metal and the strap is made of sleek silicone.
It’s powered by a li-polymer battery that lasts up to 48 hours on a single charge, is water and dust resistant, functions at temperatures between 14°F and 104°F (-10°C to 40°C), and at altitudes of -300m to +4877m. It’s powered by the same ARM Cortex M4 MCU processor and offers 64MB of internal storage, so there’s no difference in terms of performance compared to the original Band. Unfortunately, some users have reported that they encounter issues when pairing the wearable with smartphones running on Windows 10 Mobile.