Microsoft announced the next iteration of its original fitness wearable – the Band – with a redesigned Band 2 set to hit retail shelves October 30. The Band 2 tracks heart rate, exercise, calorie burn and sleep quality, while providing notifications for emails, texts and calendar alerts.
The Microsoft Band 2, starting at $250, also features a curved display that shapes better to the contours of the wearer’s wrist. Microsoft’s Cortana 8 boosts the wearable with phone functionality, enabling the user to reply to texts or set reminders with the touch of a button.
Alongside a continuous optical heart rate monitor and onboard GPS, the smart band tracks calories burned, deep exercise, sleep quality, and allows record floors climbed. These features should contribute to overall healthier living – the top goal by the company in the creation of its new device.
Advanced sensors track data specific to running, biking and golfing, and technology from Microsoft Health, which is available as a universal Windows app, or for iOS and Android devices and via a Web Dashboard. Microsoft Health was designed to give fitness buffs an integrated platform to set wellness goals and receive actionable insights. Together, Band 2 and Microsoft Health let users share activity data with their favorite fitness apps.
Guided workouts and custom tracking position this wearable among the ranks of current market offerings as multi-functionality leads the way for trending fitness trackers. The Band 2 maintains up to two days of battery life.
The Band 2 screen uses color AMOLED display that is both bright and easy to read. This display is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 in the event that the wearable drops or is hit. The Band 2 was made available for preorder in select markets October 6 and will open up for purchase in the U.S. at the end of October.