Microsoft Band: an afternoon with Windows Phone's first wearable | Pocketnow

Microsoft Band: an afternoon with Windows Phone's first wearable | Pocketnow

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For years, we’ve been dying to know what the people behind the Surface could do in the wearable arena. So when we got the news that Windows Phone’s first smartwatch/fitness bracelet was coming down the pipe, we headed on down to our friendly neighborhood Microsoft Store and snapped one up for ourselves. Join us for a first look at Microsoft Band!

Clarification: the Microsoft Band is capable of low-power display mode that keeps the screen on (not shown). Pressing the button is still required to bring the device out of this low-power mode, however.

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Microsoft Band: an afternoon with Windows Phone’s first wearable | Pocketnow


I've waited literally years for a proper SmartWatch to come to Windows Phone and to be honest I'm a bit dismayed that Microsoft opted for a me to fitness band as its first big push in this arena but as I said on today's PocketNow weekly podcast I just can't resist the siren song of a Windows wearable whatever form it takes I'm Michael Fisher with PocketNow and this is an unboxing and first look at the Microsoft band so for 199 plus tax this is what you get along with the watch Microsoft throws in a free screen protector and a $5 Starbucks gift card to use with the band as well as a free month of RunKeeper elite all in all a nice launch day promotion taking the band out of the box for the first time initially I think it has some purple trim which might be very nice but now it's just a remove before flight tag the device is all black and only black the only other items in the box are a Quick Start Guide and legal paperwork and a USB cable with a special connector the band needs to be plugged in first to activate and snapping the cable on reveals a strong magnetic attraction much more substantial than say on the pebble and once I plug it into the Lumia 2520 we've been using as a background the band wakes right up the first thing it does upon startup is search for a phone running the band app it's a good thing it provides a download link because I can't find the app in the Windows Store at the moment and by the way we're setting it up on a Windows Phone but it is compatible with iPhone and Android devices as well just like any fitness tracker the Microsoft health app makes you enter in your vitals there are a few bugs in this process but I guess those should be expected on launch day the rest of the setup is fairly straightforward similar to what you'd find with any other Bluetooth accessory the health app itself we can go into another time in detail but in several respects it seems quite similar to most other fitness applications on the market what we're really here to see of course is the band itself the wearables interface is about exactly what you'd expect from a Windows powered SmartWatch it's very clean very sleek and very minimal the homescreen is referred to as the meat aisle just like on Windows Phone with just the time and the step counter and you can also swipe to the right to reveal a small notification tray showing Bluetooth power and sensor status there are only two buttons on the whole device and pressing one of them the smaller action button cycles through calories burn steps taken time and date and so on swiping to the left reveals a slew of other tiles allowing you to do everything from checking your calendar appointments to keeping tabs on notifications like text emails and phone calls into a degree you can handle those notifications right from the band Cortana is here as well pressing her tile gets you to a landing page with current events headlines and so on and pressing and holding the action button gives you access to the voice interface don't ask her what's up or you'll get burned by her snarky wit so what's it feel like to strap on the little device well in short not so little unlike this felt gear fit or the Fitbit the band is a big honkin bracelet it's meant to be worn on the inside of the wrist so you can read it's widescreen display and there's no provision that I can find for rotating that display or getting it to power on by motion you have to press the power standby button every time you want it to wake up the cluster containing the heart rate sensor and clever fastening mechanism is on the other side and that's where you get your haptic vibrations from as well which is kind of funky even cinched tightly the band sticks out far enough to be quite pronounced on my wrist and it gets annoying in some situations we're taking a longer look at the band in the days and weeks ahead and we'll have more defined thoughts in our full review for now well the title says first impressions so here's mine the industrial design doesn't look like anything special and to be honest the band doesn't feel like anything special either when the second generation comes out this is going to look well even more 1.0 than it does today weird to think that this device comes from the same people who brought us beautiful products like the surface pro 3 the continuous heart rate monitoring is very cool the split battery technology is a compelling use of space and having Cortana on my wrist is just plain geek heaven further for Windows phone owners this is for now the only SmartWatch option and as such I'm sure there are plenty of things we'll all grow to love for anyone on Android or iOS looking for a connected wearable though well as I say wait for the full review but my initial take is that there are much better ways to spend $200 let us know what you want us to cover in our next installment on the Microsoft band drop a comment below and tell us what you're most curious about be sure to subscribe to pocket now if you haven't already tell us us a like if you enjoyed this video and check out other mobile coverage happening right now at our channel page until next time this has been michael fisher with pocket now captain two phones on twitter reminiscing about that one time at band camp we'll see you next time

25 Replies to “Microsoft Band: an afternoon with Windows Phone's first wearable | Pocketnow”

  1. MissionSparta

    @Paul Brambilla Thank you. If you dont even know what you are reviewing, then shut the hell up. To many clueless idiots acting like experts on stuff they have no clue about. Complete jack ass.

  2. Nikki Berwal

    C'mon guys it's the first start…don't forget….microsoft is who gave us a really awesome OS …and windows phones…and that ever-wanted CORTANA…The most amazing P.A

  3. Syed Alam

    +Pocketnow  Expected a much better initial thoughts from you. Seems like you haven't played with the band much yet but did you guys do the actual review video?Couldn't find it..:/

  4. Nika. Abashidze


  5. William Bishop

    It probably feels so thick because it has width on both sides. Most smart-bands or -watches have flat bottoms, where the heart-rate monitor would be at the top, next to the charging port. I can see how Microsoft is perhaps trying to get better readings of heart rates, but as a product that's meant to be warn for the majority of the day, it seems far too cumbersome. It also wouldn't be the best choice for sleeping in, either, though it's probably the best hybrid fitness/smart-watch device on the market today. (Available for Windows Phone, at least!)

  6. channel48

    ░░░███████ ]▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄
    ▂▄▅█████████▅▄▃▂      ☻/︻╦╤─
    ◥⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙◤.. /      Thumbs up if you think this watch is pretty cool

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