Microsoft took a bold approach with their new Band by focusing mainly on the wellness and fitness side of “smartwatches” and that brave approach is perfect. At least for someone like me.
If you know me, I will not go anywhere without my Nike+ FuelBand SE around my wrist. I love having all my movements tracked and having the data to read later on – as well compete with friends. I actually feel naked without it on.
I never really felt like any new wrist device could win me over from my FuelBand since the FuelBand was simple enough that I didn't feel glued to the cyber world and that it offered enough tracking to keep my satisfied. But as I stayed up late for the official announcement for the Band, I instantly knew this would win me over from my FuelBand, so I kept refreshing the Microsoft Store page until the Band was available for purchase. Now my order is in the processing stage with me playing the waiting game.
One way where I’m sure the Band has the FuelBand beat is in the sleep tracking department. The FuelBand is extremely poor at best for a tracking sleep, if you wanted to use it as one – which I didn't because it was a bit too bulky (other than how poor it was to setup a sleep session and how it was grouped with my active sessions). As the Nike+ network has always offered a motivating and fun experience to use (especially when competing with friends), I’m curious to see how Microsoft competes with in that area.
Microsoft understood what works best around your wrist and on a phone.
Microsoft’s approach was to create a wristband that’s focused on fitness and wellness tracking with minimal features that co-exist perfectly with any phone – without it feeling like it’s trying to replace the phone.
They also feel like we didn't need another device that mimics our phones. Instead, they went out and created a device that helps share and ease the load from our phones. Allowing us to be more involved with our lives.
It tracks all your movements and more with its 9 sensors, varying from monitoring your body and its movements (heart rate, skin temperature, stress levels, gyrometer, etc.) to sensing your environment (GPS, ambient light, and UV sensors).
With GPS built-in, it will be much nicer now that I don’t have to carry around my phone when I want to track my runs now. Which also means I can track my races now! Sure, I could have bought a GPS sportwatch, but I prefer all-in-one/all-purpose devices. And you can’t really walk around in public with a sportwatch since they aren't exactly formal in design and aren't designed for all-day devices.
And another thing I liked about Microsoft’s approach with the Band, is how they made it available for purchase within hours of announcing the product. Unfortunately, and to no surprise, the Band is on available in the US which is fairly typical from Microsoft when they release new products/services. But luckily enough, I live fairly close to the border. So now I wait for my order to be delivered so I can pick it up!