Lukas Beran
Lukas Beran

Welcome to my blog! If you're looking for tutorials, hints or tips for IT, you're right here. You will find mostly articles on Microsoft products and technologies - operating systems, servers, virtualization, networks, management, but also the cloud. Sometimes I add some other interesting things.

April 2015
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Experience with Microsoft Band

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I wanted to buy Microsoft Band since Microsoft had introduced it. In my opinion, Microsoft Band is the best wearable device. It has all important sensors (GPS, pulse, pedometer) and very tempting price. And of course very close connection with Windows Phone.

Order and delivery

I ordered Microsoft Band from Great Britain as soon as they opened preorders. I considered ordering Microsoft Band from United States, but I didn’t want to pay duty and TAX, because it would be much more expensive. So I decided to order it from Great Britain. I received confirmation on Tuesday 10:42 AM, in 7:47 PM UPS received the package, 9:10 the package left a store and than the package traveled through Castle Donnington (9:42 PM), Köln (1:06 AM Wednesday), Wien (5:27 AM), Brno (8:30 AM) and at 12:25 AM the package was delivered. So the package was delivered next day using free delivery.

First touch

On Wednesday afternoon I started to play with my new Microsoft Band. I installed Microsoft Health to my Lumia from Store.

After unpacking the Microsoft Band, I was surprised by the weight of the Microsoft Band, because I expected much less weight. But I don’t have any experience with wearable, so maybe this weight is a standard. I connected my Microsoft Band to my laptop and the Band booted up. So I walked through initial setup and paired the Band with my Lumia 930.

When I put the Band on my wrist, I was again surprised by a discomfort. Because the battery is not under the display, but around the circumference of the Band, the Band is solid. But before I got my Band, I read tests on the Internet and found that the initial experience is bad, but after some time it gets much better. The same happened to me – after few days I totally ignored the Band and I also slept with them with no problem or discomfort.

Battery life

I was very pleasantly surprised by the battery life. I was afraid of bad battery life, but the reality was much better. At 9:00 PM I unplugged charger with 84% of battery. Then the Band tracked my sleep activity (9 hours) and in the morning my Band had 80% of battery. Next day I had my Band on my wrist tracking my activity (mainly steps) I created one task using Cortana and the Band notified me a few messages, calls and emails Afternoon I trained for 15 minutes (Exercise) and run for 25 minutes (Run activity with GPS). At 9 PM the battery was at 50% – for me very good result. It’s obvious that Microsoft Band can be with you at least for to days without charging the battery. And for example 30 minutes of cycling with GPS takes 9% of battery, so theoretically you can track your cycling activity for about 5.5 hours.

Applications

In my phone, I use official application Microsoft Health. This application regularly synchronizes data from Microsoft Band to Health cloud and shows basic statistics and updates Band’s firmware.

I also have installed application Band Sensor Monitor, which allows me real-time tracking of all sensors of my Band.

And the last app I have is Pimp my Band. Thanks to this app I can customize background of homescreen of my Band, change color of template or change language and location.

Web service Microsoft Health

As a source of information about my results I mostly use service Microsoft Health. Here are all information including graphs. On a homepage is a quick overview based on days and you can switch between best records, steps, calories, sleep, run, cycle, exercise, and guided workouts.

Conclusion

In Microsoft Band I see great potential. So far, not all possibilities are used. A lot of sensors don’t use all available data and applications don’t use this data. And mainly the sensors are the reason why Microsoft Band is better than other wearables. Optical heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer/gyro, Gyrometer, GPS, Ambient light sensor, Skin temperature sensor, UV sensor, Capacitive sensor, Galvanic skin response, Microphone. These are sensors which Microsoft Band has. And very good price of $199 and application for all mobile platforms (Windows Phone, iOS, Android) is Microsoft Band in my opinion the best choice.

Very quickly, I also got used to the notifications directly on the touch screen of Microsoft Band. When message or email arrives, I immediately see sender and preview of the message. When someone calls, I see his name or number on the display. It’s also very useful when you don’t have your phone in your pocket but somewhere else and thanks to this you don’t miss any notification.

Great is also deep integration with Cortana. You can control Cortana directly from your Band, you can create new note or calendar appointment by voice commands.

I have only minor complaints I have to ergonomics which should be better and Microsoft Band should be water proof or water resistant at least for swimming. I absolutely recommend buying Microsoft Band.

New technology enthusiast interested primarily in Microsoft technologies and services. Intermittent blogger and traveler.

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