I continue to watch the Microsoft Band communities, despite having moved on from that failed device in June of 2016. Why? Well, the Microsoft Band concept was awesome. The features, the sensors – it was all pretty spectacular and in many ways was a superior device to what was available at the time. Since then, many of the current wearable manufacturers have adopted similar features.
Personally, I took a big upgrade when I moved on from the Microsoft Band, but did so only after testing a few devices that were touted to be good enough. I ended up with the Garmin Fenix 3 HR. Its an amazing device but also comes with a hefty price tag. Its not for everyone. Its an expensive athlete device and too much feature-set for casual fitness. As most of you know, I’m an avid fitness person – lift weights, do martial arts, run quite a bit (logged almost 3700 miles last year) – so the Fenix 3 HR is a perfect device for me.
But, the Fenix series is not a comparable replacement for the Microsoft Band. During my testing period, I tested many different vendor offerings and found the majority of them lacking. Fitbit tends to get a big industry nod, but Fitbit’s offerings are still a compromise. Fitbit’s devices are still essentially just step counters. I’m positive, though, this will change in the next year or so after a couple of the company’s recent acquisitions. So, I’m prepared to take a second look at Fitbit when it announces new devices in 2018.
But, for the price, features, accuracy, and style, I found that the Garmin vivosmart HR+ is probably the closest to the Microsoft Band of any device. It provide much of the same features but is also more durable.
- GPS Integration
- Running Metrics
- Move IQ technology automatically tracks your walking, running, biking, swimming and elliptical training
- 24/7 Heart Rate Monitor
- Rugged, durable construction with 5 ATM water rating
- Smartwatch capability with notifications that include email, text, call, social media, calendar alerts and more
- Battery life = up to 5 days
The wearable is available on Amazon for $170: Garmin vívosmart HR+ Regular Fit Activity Tracker
Be ready, though! Enter the Garmin ecosystem at your own risk. Its a much larger community with a lot of highly competitive people that may actually make you work hard. I thought I was a pretty well-rounded fitness nut, but then joined the Garmin fitness communities and it amplified my efforts and results to 11 (Spinal Tap reference).
Don’t give up on fitness just because Microsoft gave up on you. Go Garmin.
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