In cooperation with the pros from TaylorMade, the Microsoft Band now offers golf shot tracking, analysis capabilities and more. Even before you step up to the first tee, you can use the new course finder on the Health app to quickly find the courses nearest you.
Band's on-board GPS sensor automatically detects the hole you're playing, displays your score for the hole you just completed and can give you accurate distance to the front, middle and back of the green. An automatic shot detection feature keeps track of your score. steps, heart rate and calorie burn. Add TaylorMade's new myRound Pro application and you can plot your entire round on the course.
The actual Microsoft device is a fitness band that can be set to always tell you the current time, but not all fitness monitors or smartwatches can do that. The two-ounce Band is much bulkier than the Xiaomi Mi Band I've been wearing, and loving. Band's band is quite thick and made of stiff thermoplastic with a rubber-like coating. The device can be worn with its screen on either side of your wrist.
There is a 1.4-inch long, color TFT touchscreen display (320 by 106 pixels), two control buttons on the side, and a pair of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries on the band's underside which Microsoft claims can last as much as two days on a full charge. Behind the screen is a magnetically-attached charging port. Opposite the screen is a clever adjustable-fit clasp with a skin sensor on the back.
On the inside is a Freescale (FSL) ARM (ARMH)-based Cortex M4 processor linked to only 2 MB of RAM and 64 MB of internal storage. While other smartwatch/exercise monitors may sport beefier internals, Microsoft's Band always performed flawlessly and never seemed to lag for any reason.
In addition to having GPS built-into the band, there are loads of sensors that can measure ambient light, ultraviolet light and our heart rate. There's also a skin temperature thermometer, a pedometer, a three-axis accelerometer and three-axis gyro sensor. Band syncs with the outside world via Bluetooth 4.0 and offers applications for Microsoft Phone 8.1, Google (GOOG) Android (4.3 and later) and Apple (AAPL) iOS (7.1 or later) devices.
Band tracks your heart rate, the number of steps you walk, your calorie intake and the amount of time you sleep, It syncs with and displays that information in Microsoft's free Health app on your smartphone or tablet. The system allows you to set personal exercise goals and measure your progress, via the internal GPS system, whether you walk, run, hike or cycle.