Here's everything there is to know about the Microsoft Band 2, which goes on sale in the UK tomorrow, including the UK release date, price and specs.
Microsoft Band users, rejoice! Microsoft has announced the successor of the Band, the Band 2. It features a more comfortable design and a curved display, as well as a VO2 Max monitor that the company claims is unique to the Band 2. Here, we recap everything Band 2 related that was announced at the Microsoft event, and tell you when you can expect to pick one up. See also: Microsoft Band 2 launch as it happened
Microsoft Band 2 UK release date and pricing: How to buy the Microsoft Band 2 in the UK today
The Microsoft Band 2 is available to pre-order at £199.99 from the Microsoft Store, but it won't ship until tomorrow (19 November).
If you don't want to wait until then to buy the Microsoft Band 2, New York personal-shopper company Big Apple Buddy is offering to ship the Band 2 to UK customers within a week. All costs are set out in a free quote, which you'll receive within 24 hours of registering your interest.
Microsoft Band 2 features and specification
The renders of the new band – from Spanish site Microsoft Insider – showed us a glimpse of a new design that’s reminiscent of the Samsung Gear Fit, which turned out to be pretty accurate. The Microsoft Band 2 features a mashup of plastic and metal to create something that’s both comfortable to use, and looks like a premium product. Much to the joy of current Band users, the Band 2 has no hard edges and a curved display, which points towards a more flexible and comfortable design ethos. The display is also protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and boasts scratch resistance, for those concerned about damaging the Band 2.
It features a variety of sensors and functions that were also available in the original Band – built in GPS, UV monitoring, guided workouts, sleep and calorie tracking and smart notifications just to name a handful. However, the Band 2 brings a handful of new additions, including a barometer to help track elevation changes. This means your exercise monitor should be more accurate, as it’ll be able to take your elevation into consideration when monitoring work outs and calculating calories burned.
Microsoft has also announced Microsoft Health integration, which will sync between all Windows 10 devices for immediate access to big data. Finished a run and want to check your progress? Just grab any Windows 10 device and you’ll be able to access that information. The Band also features a constant heart rate monitor that’ll provide you with your low, peak and average heart rate after any exercise via Microsoft Health.
The Band 2 also has a VO2 Max sensor for detecting the maximum rate at which your heart, lungs and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise. This information can be used to monitor and compare your levels of fitness over time, as the higher your VO2 Max, the better your fitness level. Microsoft claims that this is the only wearable that can accurately estimate your VO2 Max levels on the market, and should be a deal breaker for those wanting to improve their fitness.
While on the subject of health, the Band 2 will monitor your Golfing habits. It boasts the ability of being able to when you’re making a shot, as well as being able to tell the difference between the different types of swing. As well as this, Microsoft claims that the Band 2 will automatically know the tee and distance to the hole, but we’re not sure this functionality applies to UK users. The best part? At the end of each game, the Band 2 will give you your own personal score card.
Aside from health-related features, the Band 2 runs Windows 10 and features Cortana, the Windows Virtual Assistant. If you miss a scheduled workout, you can be sure that Cortana will bug you about going for a run or rescheduling it for a later date. It’ll also feature a suite of apps from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Uber to compete with smartwatches that offer health-related features as well as mobile features.