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This is probably my favorite aspect of the Band. Once you get over the feeling of wearing a giant clasp on your wrist, I really enjoyed the feedback the Band gave me upon waking of just how I'd done the night before. I'm a restless sleeper, and of course looking at numbers in the morning doesn't help that, but it did at least help me track just how sleep-deprived I can get on the road. (Considerably, for the record.). Having a built-in alarm clock that's quick and easy to set was another bonus I enjoyed -- until one night it didn't work. Band was showing about a half-charge when I went to sleep, yet it was dead when I woke up.

Thankfully I had a backup alarm on that particular morning, but needless to say that would be the last time I'd try to wake via the Band, If you're serious about fitness, chances are you're serious about monitoring your heart rate, The Band is one of the few wearables to offer continuous heart-rate monitoring, So, while the 360 and the Gear Live and others will read your heart rate, they'll only do it on command, and only while you're standing perfectly still, Not much use for fitness, then, As it happens, that's the kind of info I really crave, I spend between 60 and 90 minutes a day, six days a week, doing what I would consider strenuous exercise -- the sort where you're too winded to really talk so instead resort to mutterings of profanity, Three or four times a week, that's cardio, covering miles on a road bike (or spinning away indoors as one does in the north this time of year), The other days I balance scratch on iphone screen protector things out with P90X for strength, The Band promised to help me in both activities, It doesn't deliver on either..

For the cardio side of the equation, the Band was consistently off. I typically wear a Garmin chest strap, which I've verified with a fingertip pulse oximeter, and the Band generally delivered a reading much higher. On one 90-minute recovery ride Band indicated a maximum heart rate of 147 and average of 123. The actual high, according to the Garmin monitor, was just 121 and an average of 108. I'm not the only one to notice this. One user, after complaining to Microsoft technical support, was told that the Band is "entry level" and "not a precise measurement of heart rate." Zulfi Alam, general manager of engineering on the Microsoft Band, told me that "all consumer HR devices average the measurements to reduce errors," and that some level of variation across devices should be expected. He also indicated that if the result is very inaccurate, it's likely because the strap is too loose. As with most, I found the Band to be generally uncomfortable, and if I'd worn it any tighter I'd have cut off the very circulation I wanted the thing to measure.

All that said, heart-rate monitoring isn't always inaccurate, The Band estimated my resting heart rate while sleeping to be around 42, which matches what I've seen from other my fingertip pulse oximeter, (Yes, I have a slow ticker.) So, it seems, to get an accurate heart-rate reading, you simply need to lie totally still, something one rarely does while exercising, And how about the built-in workouts, from partners like scratch on iphone screen protector Gold's Gym and others? Borderline useless, The Band doesn't give you any description of any of the moves, so unless you already know what you're doing you're liable to get lost, It also doesn't help count reps and won't let you tailor those workouts to your needs, Want to build muscle size? You want fewer repetitions of any given movement, To build lean mass, you want more reps, Here, you don't have a choice..

It's easy to imagine the Band using its accelerometer to count repetitions for one arm, and at least give tactile feedback to help you pace reps for the other. Instead, you get a one-line description of the current move and a prompt to hit a button when you're ready to move to the next. Something you're asked to wear on your wrist must be durable enough to survive the sort of abuse it will receive there. It quickly became apparent that the Band isn't up to the task. Within a few days, fine scratches started to appear around the bezel of the device, and the rubberized band had picked up plenty of scuffs. As time went on, it got uglier and uglier.

Lest you think I was out there grinding this thing along concrete walls, let scratch on iphone screen protector it be known that I wore a Pebble for many months, a Pebble that has a face made of similar plastics, That thing saw far more abuse than this Band did, yet comparatively it looks brand-new, More problematic, though, is when this Band broke, I was buckling my seat belt before take-off on a commuter flight, I reached down to my left, and when I pulled the buckle back up my wrist brushed against the armrest, That was enough to pull the clasp/pulse sensor free from the band, leaving a skinny flex cable looking naked and sad, It wasn't a big impact at all; in fact I barely felt it and was surprised when the Band fell onto my lap..

I'm unable to find anyone else reporting the same issue, and indeed Microsoft indicates this is the first it's seen. In other words, I wouldn't necessarily worry about this happening to yours -- but then again I'd probably take it off before engaging in any roughhousing. I had genuinely high hopes for the Microsoft Band. It's as if Microsoft had me in mind when conceiving the thing. But somewhere through the design and implementation processes, it just didn't come together. For such a simple device, I'd expect better battery life. For something promising continuous heart-rate monitoring, I'd expect that rate to be accurate. And, for something I'm supposed to wear on my wrist all day and night, I expect durability -- and some token water resistance, too.

Conceptually, the Band is great, Practically, it's a bit of a mess, Bring scratch on iphone screen protector on version 2.0, From sweating through P90X in the morning to snoozing through a full night of sleep, we put the Microsoft Band through its paces for a full month to see how it held up, I've been fortunate enough to try out various wearable devices of various sorts over the years, I reviewed the first FitBit way back in 2009 and have sampled plenty of glorified pedometers since, For the record, I've liked none, Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic, We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read, Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion..



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