Friday, July 10, 2015

Microsoft Tape: The angular Fitness Bracelet

Microsoft Tape: The angular Fitness Bracelet

After a long wait it's finally here: the Microsoft tape. We has nabbed a tested and put through its paces. The Microsoft tape is SmartWatch and fitness tracker in one device. The Microsoft band is anything but an unobtrusive companion: With 63 grams and its very angular shapes that can be felt on the wrist permanently, it is quite a crusher. And that should persuade the buyer? Apparently it worked, the first production batch was despite the high price of 199 US dollars out very quickly. eVivam kidnapped and tried a Microsoft tape from the USA.

Microsoft tape - What can the Microsoft tape?
The fitness bracelet should stay around the clock on the wrist and thereby count steps, measure and analyze the heart rate to sleep. Based on the heartbeat, it displays the calories burned. Clear advantage: Per GPS measures the Microsoft tape the distance traveled very precise. This can otherwise no fitness bracelet.

The information is transmitted via power-saving Bluetooth LE to your smartphone and from there into the Microsoft cloud Health. All you need is one of the major operating systems: Windows Mobile 8.1, Android (from 4.3) or iOS (iOS 7.1). In addition, you need to install the Microsoft Health app, available free in the Windows Store, the Apple AppStore and Google Play Store. If you have anything better on the desktop, you can use and exchange data via USB to the band and the software for Windows 7/8 or Mac OS X (10.9). The prerequisite is a Microsoft account.

Band Smartphone and work hand in hand
The interplay between band and smartphone worked in the test smoothly and quickly, and the data exchange went smoothly. If you change, for example through the Health App that display color of the belt (15 colors) or the background (twelve wallpaper), it only takes a few seconds until the tape responds. Also in between the tape synchronized permanently, for example, the number of steps.

Microsoft Tape: The angular Fitness Bracelet
With corners and edges, but not quite uncomfortable
The two massive plastic inserts on the side wearing is not really fun. Even the chunky heart rate monitor on the inside of the band interferes, such as when the user puts his hand on a table. In addition, the band does not fit under the shirt, because it is very rigid. Nevertheless, after a few uncomfortable hours you get used to the Microsoft tape, it looks more like a thick mechanical clock with thermoplastic tape.

Everything is tracked
The Microsoft tape shows off nine sensors. The motion sensor is standard but with its other sensors, the tape of the competition has little ahead: about a position sensor and a UV-eye that measures the solar radiation. An ambient light sensor adjusts the display brightness. In addition, the fitness band convinces with a GPS chip, which detects even jogging trails reliable - a unique feature for a tracking band. The capacitive sensor is installed (320x106 pixels) at the cover glass of the 1.4-inch color display, this controls the display.

The belt also has two flat buttons on the side facing the chest. The orientation of the display does not rotate, unlike, say, the competitor, the Samsung Gear Fit. An interesting new feature is the skin resistance meter. He ensures that the optical pulse sensor turns on when you have tied the bracelet on and off when you discard the tape. Why the band, however, has a skin temperature measuring device, but does not use, did Oliver Scheer, do not say Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist, on demand. It also remains unclear why the band only to 1,200 meters above sea level is available and not waterproof.

What does Microsoft really
Practical for everyday use: The Microsoft volume offers a "Watch" mode, with which you constantly - dimmed subtle - see the date and time. The next good idea: In sleep mode, the display is made and there are no alerts. Actually quite simple. Funny that other bands do not provide these functions. A plus point is also the mutability of Microsoft bands. The tape in three sizes (39-49 mm wrist diameter) although there are only in black, but the color selection for the display provides an option for any outfit.

Microsoft Tape: The angular Fitness Bracelet
What can the competition better
With around 39 hours of battery life in our test is too short. Yes, the pulse measurement can be switched off, and the GPS chip goes on only in the sports setting, however: The result is not enough. It is also annoying that the tape is not waterproof and therefore not even survive a shower. Even the handcuffs feeling need not be, the Motorola Moto 360 and the LG G Watch R make example before that an optical pulse sensor can be integrated almost imperceptibly into a fitness wristband.

Conclusion of the tests
The Microsoft tape has numerous sensors and works with all popular smartphone and computer operating systems. The GPS measurement convinced. However, the band's hard, chunky and has only a maximum of two days battery life. It is neither waterproof nor particularly robust. In addition, the height restriction at 1,200 meters is questionable.

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