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Microsoft (Smart)Watch 'Band' Beats Apple and Fitbit to Market

Image: Microsoft (Smart)Watch 'Band' Beats Apple and Fitbit to Market
(Microsoft; Apple; Fitbit)

By    |   Friday, 31 Oct 2014 10:02 AM

Microsoft beat Apple and Fitbit to the punch when it released its new smartwatch and fitness tracker, the Microsoft Band, for just $199 on Thursday.

Re/code noted that the new device features a full color touchscreen, and "somewhat resembles Samsung’s Gear Fit" launched earlier this year.

Even though Microsoft isn't billing the new "Band" as a smartwatch, it has all the capabilities expected of one, plus it's a full-fledged health monitor.

Above and beyond the Samsung Gear Fit and Fitbit's new Charge band launched this month, the Microsoft Band offers continuous heart rate monitoring, dramatically increasing the accuracy of health metrics like calorie burn, sleep patterns, and peak and resting heart rate.

At $199, it costs roughly $70 more than the aforementioned wearables, but remains $50 cheaper than Fitbit's recently announced Surge watch. Like Apple's forthcoming Watch, the Fitbit Surge isn't expected to debut until early next year,however, leaving the field wide open for Microsoft to dominate the category during the holiday shopping season.

Smartly, Microsoft made sure its Band works with all the major smartphone platforms.

"We are as open as you get," said Matt Barlow, chief marketer for new devices. "We are iOS, we are Android, and we are Windows Phone."

In addition to common smartwatch features like email and calendar reminders, and in addition to common fitness tracker features like step count, Microsoft endowed its Band with a few unique abilities. It's able to sense UV light to measure sun exposure, as well as take a galvanic skin response measurement, which can help identify stress.



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Microsoft beat Apple and Fitbit to the punch when it released its new smartwatch and fitness tracker, the Microsoft Band, for just $199 on Thursday.
microsoft, smart, watch, band, apple, fitbit
260
2014-02-31
Friday, 31 Oct 2014 10:02 AM
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