Microsoft Band, first impressions

So I got an initiation to the new MS store pre-opening through Yelp because our community manager is awesome. I went.  It was pretty super.  It was even more super when they told me that they could sell me a new Microsoft Band right then.  Score!

I got it.  They showed off some basics, but didn’t seem to know much about it or the tech behind it.  I showed one of them how to fool the more advanced differential momentum sensor to fake steps.  On the other hand, the guy there who put the screen protector on knew exactly what he was doing and seemed to understand “gas permeable membrane” as it related to the screen protector.

Speaking of, they have screen protectors made specifically for the devices and seem pretty super.  They’ll probably all but insist that you let them put one on before you manhandle the phone.  You should probably let them.  In the first couple of days of having this thing, I was sure that I’d scratched the face horribly, but it turned out that I only gouged the protector.  Not only that, the protector healed over almost ever instance of damage.

The thing is a little big and clunky, but very light. I quickly got to a point where I didn’t notice it much. Like everyone else is doing, I started wearing it “upside down” on the bottom of my wrist. It’s easier to interact with it and read it, since it needs two hands and at least one eye.

One disappointing bit is that the app is phone only, not universal, so you can’t get at all the data from your computer. It’s only on your phone. Lame. There is a desktop app that apparently lets you sync, but you can’t see any data from it. Like others have said, it looks like they had a lot of this stuff half finished and were told that they were releasing in a few days. I’ve noticed that the band software version has updated a couple of times.

Another disappointing bit, and I mean REALLY disappointing, is that it uses a proprietary connector to sync and charge. Someone needs to get slapped for that. I’d have to carry around another cable for their special pet device everywhere I travel. And if something happens to it on the road, I have about a day to get to a microsoft store and replace it (at a nice premium cost of twenty dollars) or my band turns into a wrist weight. Forget slapping, someone should probably be fired for screwing that one up.

I’d really like a better way to read up on it, get news updates, and interact with the development and engineering teams.

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