Microsoft’s event is currently live and the company has just taken a few minutes to show us a brand new Microsoft Band. The previous model was sadly one of our least favorite wearables, mainly because of its design. At a time when fashion and fitness have taken a new roll in the industry, it’s clear that Redmond received the memo, and that’s where much of the changes were focused with the new Microsoft Band.
The new Microsoft Band sports a sleeker design that reminds us of the Nike Fuel Bands of a few years ago. The display is a horizontal curved arc like the previous model, but the band that straps it around our arm looks far more ergonomic and fancier. The display is actually a curved OLED panel that’s protected by Gorilla Glass 3, and we also have built-in GPS, UV monitoring, guided workouts, sleep tracking, calorie tracking, a barometer for accurate elevation tracking, and the band also supports Hey Cortana commands. Microsoft isn’t calling the Band a smartwatch, but it’s hard to not call it one, when you look at the features included. At this point there’s only one Android Wear model with built-in GPS for example. Microsoft also claims that the battery will last up to 48 hours of normal use, but the GPS could definitely reduce that.
The Microsoft band will retail for $249, a rather expensive price tag, but will be compatible with Windows smartphones, in addition to Android and iOS devices.