Microsoft announced its Band 2 today in New York. The wearable comes with many improvements to the overall look of the device and its features.
Cosmetic changes include a curved AMOLED display with a flexible band. The screen is made of Gorilla Glass 3 and is scratch resistant and is touch-sensitive. Similar to other fitness trackers, Microsoft Band 2 monitors heart rate, sleep, exercises, and calories. And like smart watches, it provides notifications about text messages, emails, and calendar alerts. It also has a barometer to measure elevation for hiking and stair climbing, UV monitoring capabilities, VO2 max recording to capture the amount of oxygen body can process in a minute, and an automatic golf shot detection. Microsoft Band 2 incorporates a total of 11 sensors . The companion app has been redesigned to provide more information to users allowing them to make necessary adjustments and improve. Microsoft Band 2 can also has Cortana, a virtual personal assistant, that responds to spoken commands so that users to retrieve information and give commands without touching the device. The Band works with many other apps including Uber, Facebook, and Lose It, making digital communications more convenient for the wearer throughout the day.
Microsoft Band 2 can be pre-ordered as of now and will be available on October 30th, according to the company, and is priced at $249. It joins a crowded market, but the additional features may add convenience to the list of reasons to own one, which could give it an advantage over the traditional fitness bands.