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Week with Microsoft Band – Day 5 – Running

Today I tried second sport app – Running. Again, I have compared it with my Suunto Ambit2 S during a short 10 km run. First, a comparison of HR records.

Compariosn of HR records. Suunto up, Band down.
Compariosn of HR records. Suunto up, Band down.

There is a comparison of the final route records:

Suunto Ambit2 S MS Band
Distance 10.06 km 9.45 km
Average HR 172 bpm 159 bpm
Average Pace 4′ 22″ 5′ 12″
Recovery Time 44 h 72 h

From the table, you can see, there is quite big difference in distance, which is maybe because of bad GPS signal under trees (this affects pace calculation too). As you can see from the graph, there are gaps in it. It was probably caused by moving of Band on my hand, so the heart rate was not recorded correctly. Finally, recovery time calculated by MS Healt is almost twice bigger.

I don’t know why, but even the GPS was on, it was not synchronized into MS Healt and I can’t see the way in it.

Water Resistance

This is the first bigger problem which I have. The Band is not water resistant, so you can’t use it for swimming or in shower. It is probably because the batteries which are on the band sides and they are covered by plastic lid which is srcewed (see figure bellow).

The problem of the water resistance is a sweat which is aggresive and can damage Band rubber parts. In every sporttester manual is written that after training you should clean it with water and soap to protect it. But you can’t do it with the Band fully :/

Band Parts

Parts:

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Week with Microsoft Band – Day 4 – Battery Life and Sleep Monitoring

Battery Life

I wanted to try, how long will the Band hold without charging. In this test, I didn’t use GPS. I used have used it for notifications, as an alarm and for sleep monitoring. I have to charge it after three days, which is not bad. But using the GPS reduces the battery life a lot.

Sleep Monitoring

Thanks this app you can monitor your heart rate and phases of your sleep. All what you need is run and app before you go sleep and disable it after you wake up.

Then you can see data on the phone or on the web.

Graph of your sleep
Graph of Your Sleep
Heart Rate Graph
Heart Rate Graph

Parts:

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Week with Microsoft Band – Day 3 – Applications

Band applications

There are various applications represented by tiles. List of tiles can be managed via mobile app. You can choose which application and in which order should be shown. But there is one limitation – maximal ten apps (tiles).

  1. Messaging
  2. Mail
  3. Cortana
  4. Calls
  5. Calendar
  6. Run
  7. Bike
  8. Exercise
  9. Sleep
  10. Alarm & Timer
  11. Guided Workouts
  12. Weather
  13. Finance
  14. UV
  15. Starbucks
  16. Facebook
  17. Facebook Messenger
  18. Twitter
  19. Notification Center

In the app, you can set color theme and wallpaper.

Use of the apps is easy and intuitive. In sport apps, you just start, pause or stop it. In notification apps like Messaging, Weather, etc. you can read new messages or information.

Next, there is a Options tile where you can set time, silent mode, brightness, bluetooth, airplane mode, heart rate or reading speed.

There is good article about all these apps.

Cortana

This is the only different app. First, Cortana must be enabled on your phone. To use it on a Band, hold Action Button and then say your command. Then, Cortana will show the results on the phone. Again, there is an article about it.

Parts:

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Week with Microsoft Band – Day 2 – Cycling

First sport activity which I have tried with Band was short (9.5 km) cycling to work and back. I wanted to compare it with my Suunto Ambit2 S sporttester.

GPS signal was found quite fast (about 30 seconds), almost the same as on my watches. There is no possibility to set how often should be GPS signal checked, watches are set to “good” (5s interval) in cycling mode. What forgot was to take heart rate belt with my watches, so next time.

There is a comparison of the final route records:

Suunto Ambit2 S MS Band
Distance 9.23 km 9.21 km
Autostops 10 10
Avg. speed 21.7 kph 19.8 kph
Top speed 39.6 kph 38 kph

Recorded routes are very similar, there are only small differences.

GPS records (Suunto up, Band down)
GPS records (Suunto up, Band down)

Speed graph from the Ambit is more accure, but differences are not big.

Speed graph records (Suunto up, Band down)
Speed graph records (Suunto up, Band down)

Next time I will try running mode

Parts:

 

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Week with Microsoft Band – Day 1

Thanks MS BizSpark program, I can try MS Band for (only) one week. So these days I’m going to write some observations about this “another smartwatch device” from MS. Yes, it is quite long time since it was released, but it is still not possible to buy it worldwide, although there are rumors about it successor Band 2.

Size

I was little afraid of the size I will get, but, size M seems ok for my thin forearm. I have no problems with its height (60g), but a little with its size. It is probably because the bracelet is quite firm.

Synchronization with phone

Sync with my Lumia phone was without any problem. All you need is Microsoft Health app (it is available for other platforms too). After download, you have to register with your MS account, set you body metrics (weight, height, age) – same as configuration of another sporttester. At the end, switch on your Band and pair it via bluetooth. In the app, you can see various data and statistics from your Band or you can change its configuration.

Synchronization with computer

For this purpose, there exists application Microsoft Band Sync, available for Windows and Mac OS. It is very similar to mobile app except possibility to view data collected by Band.

Microsoft Health Dashboard

Next, on the Microsoft Health site there is a Dashboard section. Here you can see data from your sport activities, statistics, graphs, routes from GPS, etc.

Band in box
Band in box
It seems that it was already used
It seems that it was already used and tested by others 🙂
Wow, 62 steps
Wow, first 62 steps

Parts: