Microsoft Band, Redmond's first wearable was launched in 2014 amid increased hype. But the device was soon found to have fallen prey to a number of inherent issues that include below-par battery-life and the display being comparatively more vulnerable to scratches. To offset these issues, Microsoft is expected to release a next-gen variant of the Band.
This wearable, tentatively termed Microsoft Band 2, is widely rumoured to be released in 2015, although an official release-date is still yet to be made public by Microsoft. Now, a new development adds substance to reports about loyalists getting to see the wearable in 2015.
E-tailer Best Buy in the US has effected a $50 reduction from the original $200 (£131) pricing of Microsoft Band. The latest discount is applicable to all size variants of the wearable: small, medium and large.
With this reduction in price, loyalists can purchase the first-gen Band at just $150 (£98), on Best Buy. Earlier, popular e-tailer Amazon also effected a 27% discount on the original price-tag of the Band ($200). Prospective buyers, still interested in purchasing the wearable can do so by shelling-out $146 (£95).
The latest reduction in price seems to be a clear indicator about the impending launch of Band 2, at least in the US initially. However, a similar development in the UK also indicates that Microsoft could release the next-gen wearable in the country.
Microsoft Band 2
With Microsoft expected to have developed the Band 2 as a high-end wearable, the device is currently said to be undergoing testing at Microsoft's unit in Europe, as per a Winfuture Deutschland report (translated). The key technical-specs of the new Band will be better than those of the current-gen device.
Key technical aspects of the current-gen Microsoft Band Touch-enabled TFT full-colour display:
- 64MB internal storage
- ARM Cortex M4 processor
- Optical heart rate sensor, GPS, UV Sensor, along with other sensors
- Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
- Microphone and Haptic vibration motor embedded
- Compatibility: Windows Phone 8.1 Update, iOS 7.1, iOS 8, and Android 4.3, 4.4
- Built-in Smart UV Monitor
- Ability to read text messages, and view incoming calls, even when on the move
- Email notifications and calendar integrated
- Two 100mAh rechargeable Li-Ion batteries, that are claimed to operate for at least 48 hours in normal usage conditions
- Batteries can be fully charged in less than 1.5 hours
- Dynamic accessibility to Microsoft Windows Store, Google Play Store and Apple App repositories
- Weight of the wearable is said to be 60gm.