Microsoft has officially revealed its new Band fitness tracker. The device, which delivers smartwatch–style features in a slim design, is due to go on sale in the US today, October 30th, for $199 (£124). There is no word yet on UK availability.
The Band comes with a string of sensors for tracking vital data. As with key smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear 2, it features a heart rate monitor and can track your steps and pace too.
But there are some added sensors too that put the Microsoft Band slightly ahead of the curve.
The device has a UV sensor for tracking skin exposure, a clever feature already seen this year in Netatmo’s June sunlight bracelet. And it can detect galvanic skin response, which can purportedly measure stress levels.
Perhaps the biggest draw, though, is battery life. Microsoft claims the Band will keep kicking for 48 hours on a single charge, impressive seeing as it’s designed to be worn day and night in order to track sleep patterns.
By comparison, Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company’s smartwatch, which admittedly has a lot more tech under the hood, will require daily charging when it is released next year.
Beyond fitness smarts, there is also access to Twitter and Facebook, plus weather and stock information.
The Microsoft Band will dovetail with companion apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
It's also set to work with Microsoft Health, a new aggregation tool which gathers details from the the Band as well as rival smartwatches.