Microsoft Band

A fitness monitoring wrist device with a dazzling set of features

Image: Hugh Threlfall

This is Microsoft’s contribution to the wearable technology revolution, and although it hasn’t been well received aesthetically (one reviewer compared it with a manacle), I am prepared to stick my neck out and say I like it.


Why? Well, in terms of features, it falls between an Apple Watch and a fitness band like a Fitbit. It isn’t designed to take the place of your watch, so you can wear it just some of the time, such as when sleeping or exercising, and use a “proper” watch at other times. It also does a few things its competitors don’t: it tracks sleep and heart rate at night; can be worn in reverse on the palm side of your wrist; has built-in GPS rather than relying on your phone’s; is readable in bright sunlight; has a UV monitor among its top-notch 10 sensors; runs for 48 hours on a 90-minute charge; won’t freak out if you wear it in the shower; and has a tiny but just about usable keyboard.


The Band works best with the tragically underrated and underused Windows Phone, but also plays nicely with iPhones and Androids. I don’t think this will become a market leader, but its feature set may just suit you. Great technology.

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