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article imageLeaked renders of Microsoft Band 2 show a more cohesive wearable

By James Walker     Sep 21, 2015 in Technology
Images of Microsoft's upcoming second-generation wearable device have emerged online just weeks before the company's New York launch event. The Band 2 appears to be a much more developed design that loses the "concept" feel associated with the original.
Although the Microsoft Band contained a healthy feature set and capable companion apps, its reviews all noted the same thing. The smart-band come fitness-tracker didn't seem to know its own purpose and appeared to have been thrown into the world as a testing device.
This wasn't helped by the clunky, cumbersome design. Thick and often noted as uncomfortable to wear for long durations, the Band could feel like a hardware engineering sample at times. Microsoft included a screen protector in the box and with good reason — the glass on the display was left unprotected and became a notorious scratch collector.
The Band 2 is expected to change all of this. Over the weekend, Microsoft news site MicrosoftInsider got its hands on the first leaked renders of the new device, showing a much more attractive design that may appeal to more fashion-conscious fitness fans.
Leaked renders of the Microsoft Band 2 [Courtesy]
Leaked renders of the Microsoft Band 2 [Courtesy]
It follows the same basic shape as its predecessor but appears to have considerably matured, featuring a subtly curved ergonomic display and a shiny metallic finish. The two buttons from the original Band have been retained but now seem better integrated into the chassis.
Under development as codename Envoy, the Band 2 has apparently been undergoing extensive on-campus testing for months. The device will feature an increased array of sensors allowing it to more accurately track different areas of an exercise routine. It is also expected to expand on the number of available customisation options and smart band features to create a more-rounded and accessible Microsoft wearable offering.
If the original Band could be credited with one thing, it proved that Microsoft has a place in the wearables market. It quickly became popular with fans who demanded it in far greater numbers than Microsoft had anticipated. Despite the clunky design and decidedly first-generation feel, the Band often sold out within hours of each new shipment becoming available online.
The Microsoft Band 2 is almost certain to get its official unveiling at the company's October 6 event in New York City. It will be revealed alongside the new Lumia Windows 10 phones and the Surface Pro 4. As with its predecessor, the Band 2 will pair with the Microsoft Health app and be compatible with Windows, iOS and Android devices.
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