Published on October 30th, 2014 | by Technable


$200 Microsoft Band Wearable Device Wants to Improve Your Life

Xbox maker Microsoft has announced Microsoft Band, a heath-focused wearable device that comes with the tagline: “Leave your phone in your pocket, and miss nothing.” The $ 200 device, which was rumored last week, is available to buy today through Microsoft’s website.

In terms of health features, you can use Microsoft Band during workouts to track reps and calories burned (it even features built-in GPS to track routes you’ve walked, biked, or hiked). The device also features 24-hour heart rating monitoring and a sleep tracking option that will give you a detailed report when you wake up of how long you slept and your quality of rest.

It can determine how often you wake during the night, the duration of deep or light sleep, and your average heart rate per hour during slumber.

The Microsoft Band can also measure the intensity of the sun, informing you what type of sunscreen you should apply before heading outside.

On the productivity side, Microsoft Band will give you email alerts (“so you don’t have to pull out your phone in the middle of lunch”) and it can also sync with your calendar to give you a heads-up about meetings or other important events you don’t want to miss. Microsoft Band is also voice-enabled, allowing users to speak directly to Microsoft’s Cortana voice service, though this is only available on Windows Phone devices.

Microsoft Band will also display text messages when they come in, allowing you to quickly read them and reply with a simple, auto-generated message if you want. The device also will show you who is calling.

As for battery life, the Microsoft Band should last for 48 hours on a single charge, Microsoft says, though this depends on how often you use it and which apps you have enabled–GPS is a battery hog, for example. The device can be fully charged in 90 minutes, or 80 percent charged in 30 minutes.

The Microsoft Band must be paired with a smartphone for the initial setup, but after that, you can still access some of the fitness functionality (steps, calories burned, heart rate, etc.) without having a phone tied to the device. More details are available on Microsoft’s website.

Microsoft Band is compatible with Microsoft’s own Windows Phones (of course), as well as third-party devices such as the iPhone and various Android phones. The device comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. For more on Microsoft Band, check out this page.

In September, iPhone giant Apple announced the Apple Watch, which features some of the same functionality as the Microsoft Band. The Apple Watch, however, starts at $ 350 and doesn’t launch until 2015.

For more on Microsoft Band, check out GameSpot sister site CNET’s in-depth coverage.

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