Microsoft Band 2: One Year Later

At this point I've been using the Microsoft Band 2 for just over a year with daily use and sleeping with it on each night to track how I sleep. There's actually an interesting reason behind getting my Band 2 a bit late and that's because Microsoft shipped it to China early with numerous issues getting that fixed. I actually got a great deal on the device due to that, but at the cost of many hours which was ridiculous. That aside this is actually my second Band 2 as the first had the side tearing issue just around two months ago which was fine as the store replaced it without any questions asked and if you have any sort of issues before the warranty ends I would suggest doing the same. Onto the actual device I found the wear and tear (first Band 2) was actually stellar almost lasting a full year with only a single scratch on the screen from having moved furniture with it on and the regular band of the device looking perfectly fine. Obviously aside from the ripping that appeared randomly one day, it actually held together perfectly fine and the improvements on the later version I received as a replacement will most likely fix that problem.

Microsoft Band 2: One Year Later Jason Stettner wearing

For those that don't know much about the device it's a health band that tracks your progression in fitness with the app available on all mobile platforms. It also has some great watch functions such as forwarding texts, calls you're receiving and other notifications. The Band 2 didn't have the greatest third party support, but the apps available cover all basics so really don't know what else you could do with it there. The core functions I use constantly are receiving texts, tracking my workouts and sleep every day. I enjoy having stats about daily life so it's interesting to see the general calories I'm burning and how well my sleeps are. It also wakes me up each morning with a slightly and comfortable buzz with is nice and it's partnered with my phone's alarm that comes later just in case. I also use it as a clock on my desk while I work and to occasionally control my phone's music remotely with a neat built-in audio control.

Microsoft Band 2: One Year Later
In comparison to the first iteration this device is much more efficient keeping its quality over the year and being useful. I find the battery to be lacking, particularly over night as sleep tracking just drains it needing a charge in the morning. It does charge rather quick, but again a huge issue is that it needs better battery as I get just a day out of it. Other than that I have no real complains about the Band 2 and find it to be an essential part of my day. While I've heard rumors of the Band's division being closed I hope Microsoft is working on something at least based on the device as I find it incredibly useful each day and would be a bit lost without it on my person at this point. My main desires for a new Band would be battery, perhaps some water proofing and Cortana support (only for Windows Phone).

Our Xbox Hub
Read our Microsoft Hololens Impressions (Sept 2016)

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner