I’ll be honest: I have an on again/off again relationship with Fitbit. I’ve been using their trackers for 6 years now and while my first tracker (the Ultra) was rock solid, the two subsequent models (the One and the Flex) have been less than stellar. I found neither of these tracked exceptionally well and with the One in particular, I was constantly fighting to keep it connected to my Nexus 6 or 6P as the Bluetooth was just not reliable.
Initially, in an effort to find a tracking alternative, I started using Google Fit and my Moto 360 smartwatch to track my activities. It was, shall we say, painful. Syncing was not accurate nor were step and exercise tracking. While Fit has grown up a lot, it still has some growing up to do. That experiment lasted about three weeks and that was all I could really handle.
Finally I had enough and I decided to step way out of the bounds of what most people consider for a fitness tracker. I picked up an Microsoft Band 2 and I have to say, it is a solid performing device that is very accurate in tracking your fitness information. In fact, after two weeks of using it, my Fitbit One is now quietly sitting connected to its charging cable on my desk – untouched and likely not being touched for a while. I’ve deleted the app from my 6P and moved to Microsoft Health for my exercise and step tracking.
To be sure, the Microsoft Band 2 is not perfect. It has some things that need improvements, most notably how it tracks stairs and the overall weight of the device. That said, I’m comfortable in recommending it. It integrates nicely with Android thanks to the Microsoft Health app (and there is one for Windows 10 users too). It ties in with other services and apps like Lose It!, MFitnessPal, RunKeeper and Strava, and it has a battery life of a couple of days. That’s better than most smartwatches today which, in a limited way, the Band 2 can perform for you.
Here is my review of the Band 2 and the companion Microsoft Health app.