How to extend your Microsoft Band's battery life
It's no secret that wearable battery life is atrocious. Two days is typically when smartwatches and fitness trackers start notifying you they're hungry for more power.
The Pebble Time, Misfit, Razer Nabu X, among a few others, can hold a charge for extended periods of time. The Pebble series is notable for its seven day battery life which matches up with the Razer fitness tracker, while the Misfit Flash can last months thanks to its lithium ion coin battery.
The Microsoft Band falls under the category of wearables that needs to be charged every few days. Fortunately, there are ways to prolong usage.
You don't have to follow every step, since that means your fitness tracker will become a useless piece of jewelry, but at least there are options if you feel like extending the life of your Microsoft Band battery life.
1. Toggle the GPS
Having the GPS on constantly during runs or bike rides is a definite battery eater. The GPS is normally inactive up until the point you go for an outdoor exercise. If you're not married to tracking every little detail of your workout, leave it off.
To turn off the GPS, select the run or a bike ride tiles on the Band, then swipe left. From there, you can choose whether to turn it off or leave it on.
Of course, turning off the GPS means the Microsoft Health app won't be able to map a chart of your run or ride. Alternatives would be using the GPS on your phone especially if it's already going to be with you, or simply using the GPS sparingly on the Microsoft Band.
2. Check your heart rate sparingly
The heart rate monitor is a great feature for fitness but it doesn't need to be on all the time. Unless you really want to know how many daily calories you burn, it can be turned off until it's selected manually.
Regardless of being off, the Band will continue to monitor you during sleep mode and workouts automatically so that data will still be available.
To turn off daily heart rate go the Settings tile > Tools icon (looks like a wrench) > Heart icon > Turn off daily heart rate
3. Use the low brightness setting
The Microsoft Band has a great screen despite being 1.4-inches (320 x 106 pixels). Compared to most other trackers, turning down the brightness from medium or high to low hardly affects visibility on the Band. In fact, the display remains pretty vivid on low mode.
To turn down the brightness, select the Settings Tile > Brightness icon (looks like a sun) > Choose a lower brightness setting.
4. Change the buzzing
The vibrations from notifications can be a little jarring so turning down this setting is a win all around. The Pebble Time recently updated its own settings to include different vibration levels to lessen the intensity.
You can always turn the haptics back up if you want to receive notifications during a rigorous workout.
To adjust the haptics, go the Settings tile > Tools icon (looks like a wrench) > Swipe left once > Change to a lower setting
5. Minimize the pesky notifications
With social media, phone calls, email and text messages, your Microsoft Band is probably bombarded with notifications on a daily basis, which doesn't help the battery life.
You can change the buzzing and brightness notifications popping up as previously mentioned, but you can also simply reduce the amount of notifications you get.
Select the calendar, phone call, text message or email tiles from your Microsoft Health app on your phone. Tap the icon on the top right then choose Manage Tiles. Under enable notifications on your Band for the four options, tap to turn the notifications on or off.
For all other notifications, simply deselect the Notifications Center from the Manage Tiles page and save.
6. Who needs to know the time?
Having a clock on fitness trackers without needing to press a button almost makes it feel like a smartwatch - especially since most trackers don't have screens to tell the time. However, turning off Watch Mode if you don't need it will definitely extend the battery life. Pressing the power button will still display the time - or you can turn it back on when you'd rather just glance at your wrist.
To turn off the watch, choose the Settings Tile > Watch icon (looks like a clock) > Turn off Watch Mode
7. Go into Airplane Mode
A barrage of notifications is sure to lessen the battery life on your Band. One way to disconnect from all the alerts and messages completely? Airplane Mode.
To turn on Airplane Mode, head to the Settings Tile > Airplane Mode icon > Turn it off
When Airplane Mode is on, an airplane icon displays on the Me Tile and Bluetooth won't work.
8. Ignore the world completely
When all else fails and you just want your Microsoft Band to live as long as possible - turn all notifications off with Do Not Disturb. This feature is probably also useful if you don't want any distractions since it will effectively cease every calls, social media messages, texts, emails and calendar alerts. Unlike Airplane Mode, Bluetooth shouldn't be affected.
Go to the Settings Tile > Do Not Disturb icon (bell with a slash) > Turn on Do Not Disturb