Though the hardware isn’t going to win design awards, it is undoubtedly better than before. Microsoft has ditched the hard edges of last year’s angular Band, going with a smooth, round-edged bangle instead. It has a larger, OLED touchscreen display, coated in Corning Gorilla Glass. It is bright and responsive. The Band’s two physical buttons are uncomplicated; one triggers the backlit display and gives you a glimpse of the time of day, the other starts and stops recording an activity.
It has wrist-based heart rate sensors, skin temperature sensors, and built-in GPS (take that, Apple Watch). It depends on how excited you get about this stuff, but there was something wonderful about going for a long hike or run without my phone and knowing my distance and knowing I had the digital footprint proving I did it.