It is already happening.  Microsoft Band has changed my daily habits – at least on day one anyway.

Earlier, after I finished work, I took Microsoft Band on its first official walk. Of course it was attached to my wrist so that benefitted me but still it is not my thing to pick up and walk after work.

I opted to use the GPS on Band to track my activity so that more than just my steps would be counted for distance – plus there is a very cool measuring stick that shows up in the map overlay of the route taken.  There is however a battery cost to using GPS on Band.

A couple of quick notes before I show off the pictures:

  • When I entered tracking mode for the activity notifications from my phone were automatically disabled on Band – no distractions I guess.
  • Before walking I checked my battery level on Band and it was at 100%. When I returned from the walk, which lasted 33 minutes and used GPS, the battery had dropped to 80%.  Roughly 20% per 30 minute segment of using GPS.
  • Heart Rate, GPS and step count was very solid. At only one point in the charts do you see a drop out of the GPS that failed to meausre my pace accurately.  As I understand it using Band during an activity actually helps it calibrate to your stride so that daily step counts and distance are more accurate.
  • Before starting the activity – well it was a walk but you actually use the Run tile to access the tracking tools as there is no specific Walk tile – I selected to use GPS first. Just swipe over to the left on the Run page to access the setting. I have a shot of that setting page in the images below. I did get prompted to confirm I wanted to use GPS once I hit the action button. On subsequent activities I was not asked to confirm its use.
  • Once I tapped the action button the tracking began. This screen will stay on by default unless you push the power button on the bottom of the Band.  Obviously turning this off will conserve some battery power. I left it off except for the handful of times I checked on progress, etc.  When that screen is on you can swipe down on Band to see GPS status (Searching/Locked) as well as calories burned and elapsed activity time.
  • When the one mile mark was crossed the Band vibrated and showed a screen indicating that milestone and how long it took to get there.
  • The Band only retains the details of the last run/walk (see images below).
  • The info in the Microsoft Health app for the activity is where all the cool charts and maps are (see images below).

It was very easy and intuitive to use this feature to track my walk and I look forward to continuing this process and diving into the Guided Workout Couch to 5K to see how that works out.

Images from my walk in the Microsoft Health App

Check out the color coding on the map of my route – lets me know when I was slow as a snail or fast as a cheetah. Those are comparatively measured I am sure.

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Images from my walk in the Microsoft Band

The first batch is what things look like setting up the activity.

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These images show you the activity results.

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