The Microsoft Band 2 has just been released in the UK and my Band arrived yesterday. My first impression of the Band 2 is it feels a very differently designed device, it is not as ridged as the first Band which makes it a lot more comfortable on the wrist. It also feels a lot more durable then the first Band which is a good thing as I had to return my original device as the rubber split and I know this happened to other. The main difference is the display which is curved and slightly taller than the old device, the curve and the chrome edging makes it look a more elegant device. In use the screen’s extra height is a big improvement over the old device.
The redesign also means the charging cable has changed which is a bit of a shame as I had a couple of spare cables for emergency charging but I do like the redesign. Hopefully the Gorilla Glass 3 screen will not scratch like the old Band. I have only had the Band 2 for a couple of days so I haven’t really been able to work out the battery performance but it does seem to use more battery than my old Band.
There a couple of new features, there is now an extra option in watch mode. Previously you either had the display on permanent with the time (which I use) or off, now there is a Rotate Mode which only shows the time when your wrist is rotated, it actually works pretty well and should help to extend the battery life. I will still be using the permanent mode but it’s a good option to have. There also extra sensors in the Band it has a barometer which should help detect stairs.
As I already had a Microsoft Band I when pairing up the Band 2 to my Lumia I selected the Replace Band option which works fine but left the old Band in Device Hub which meant 3rd party apps were still trying to talk to the old Band, I fixed this by removing the original Band from the Devices Hub (you can see how in the video).
In this video I unbox the Microsoft Band 2 and pair it up with my phone and take a look at the differences between the new Band and the old one.