Perspective on Band v2’s Battery Consumption

Perspective on Band v2’s Battery Consumption

Microsoft Band v2 does some awesome things and is a solid fitness wearable. We’ve covered Band v2 a lot here on Supersite already and have plans for even more. Coming from Band v1 it’s hard not to compare the two, but I also think it’s important to do so. In almost all areas, Microsoft has improved its fitness device. New sensors, new capabilities, a more comfortable fit, even better accuracy, all make Band v2 a tempting purchase. But, there’s one piece to Band v2 that may cause pause and that’s battery life.

Band v2’s battery is impressive for what it does – but really so was v1. When launched, v1’s battery wasn’t phenomenal (though still pretty good), but through firmware updates Microsoft was able to tweak improvements. I’m hoping that the same will happen with Band v2 because again, at launch, battery life isn’t phenomenal – and it’s definitely the one area where Microsoft seems to have skimped on improvements.

Here’s some stats I kept from v1:

  • Sick and bedridden with the flu earlier this year, the band was used in Watch mode, tracked my sleep, monitored my heart rate, and provided alerts from my smartphone. The battery lasted 3 days without a charge.

  • A single day that contained a 3 mile run, Watch mode, step tracing, heart rate monitoring, and sleep tracking, the band's battery was at 40% the next morning.

  • 10 mile GPS run that lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes (with Band v2 battery starting at 100%), battery was at 60% when the run was completed.

Some v2 stats I’ve recorded so far:

  • 6-mile treadmill run (no GPS) that lasted 48 minutes and 16 seconds (with Band v2 battery starting at 100%) = 86%

  • Monitoring a 7hr 52m sleep (without Smart Alarm enabled) = 72%

  • 6 hr 15 min sleep with Smart Alarm enabled and a 30-minute morning weight workout = 66%

  • 10.14 miles GPS run that lasted 1hr 29 min = 55%

One could also argue that Band v2 is just better at detecting true battery percentage. v1 seemed to only report battery life in 10% increments. Band v2 now reports the full range of values. So, maybe when v1 reported 70% is was actually 66% or something. That’s fair. But, after living with Band v2 for the last week, I does seem like I need to charge it more often.

Because of this I’m having to constantly tweak my charging routine and I’ve not yet settled on a solid program. I’m heading out of town this next week and that will also present some charging complications. Once I finalize my own charging routine for Band v2, I’ll share it with some tips. It’s easy to say “charge it when you shower,” but it’s a bit more complicated than that and deserves some thoughtful configuring.

One small tip I can share now, is simply to snag an extra charger just for the car. There’s no reason you need to track anything fitness-wise while driving and makes for a perfect charging session. My drive to my local airport is about an hour and I always find this one of the best times to charge the Band. You probably commute to work, so this could fit well in your routine, too.

You can get one on Amazon for $19: Microsoft Band USB Charging Cable. And, of course Band v2 is on Amazon, too: Microsoft Band 2.

What’s your experiences with Band v2 battery life so far?

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