Besides the physical improvements of the Microsoft Band in version 2, there’s actually a bunch of small but valuable nuances you won't find unless you're using it as a fitness device. I’ll be digging into each of those as my testing continues.
The new Barometer sensor, located at the very top of Band v2 (the pin-sized hole in the metal casing) does more than just allow the Band to track flights of stairs. Measuring the tiny changes in atmospheric pressure, Band v2 can more accurately identify elevation which also relates to activity effort, i.e., it’s more difficult to take a run in the mountains of Colorado than the flatlands of Kansas.
But, the Barometer seems to be so sensitive that it can actually identify when you change the incline level of the treadmill. GPS, of course, is the best way to judge elevation, but if you’re stuck on the treadmill for some reason, it’s great to know that Band v2 has you covered there, too. Being able to monitor and record elevation changes for the treadmill means you’ll get more accurate readings for the efforts you put in during long winter months when its bitterly cold outside.
Here’s an example of what Band v1 shows for treadmill incline…
And, here’s what Band v2 shows…
There’s not too many fitness trackers that can do this, or even come close to providing this feature. Is it accurate? No. But, it could be with a calculation adjustment. For example, during one of my recent treadmill activities, the treadmill recorded a 250 vertical foot increase (I kept bumping up the incline) during a 6 mile run, but Band v2 only reported a 16 ft gain.
Microsoft Band v2 on Amazon.com: Microsoft Band 2