Microsoft has taken Microsoft Band back into the lab and cooked up its successor, and it finally feels ready for the mainstream. Gone is the clunky, near-prototype styling, replaced with a smooth, flexible circular band, topped with a curved touchscreen protected with rounded Gorilla Glass 3. Meanwhile, the sensors and software have improved, too.
As before there’s GPS and UV monitoring, along with guide workouts, sleep and calorie tracking, and smart notifications.
New, though, is a barometer, which should allow the new Microsoft Band to track changes in altitude. That could be make exercise tracking more accurate if you’re climbing hills, chasing mountain goats, or just running uphill.
Meanwhile, Microsoft can now calculate VO2 Max, the measure of how much oxygen an athlete can use at any one time.
While the new Microsoft Band is compatible with iOS and Android devices, Microsoft Health should really shine on Windows 10 devices, synchronizing across PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
The new Microsoft Band will go up for preorder from today, priced at $249. It’ll ship October 30th.