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The first Microsoft Band wasn't exactly a looker. The all-black look the company went for was likely to make it sleek and discreet, but ended up a tad boring and forgettable for most.
The Band 2 has a silver metallic finish on the edges instead of the plastic on the previous wearable. This little change has certainly increased the visual appeal, but it still isn't entirely what you'd deem attractive. It's also far larger than the first Band, which means you get more screen real estate but it's less discreet.
The new Microsoft Band is made of thermal plastic elastomer silicone vulcanate. In English, that just means soft, durable plastic that feels smooth on the skin.
Along with the flat screen, the rigid band is gone. Instead, Microsoft opted for a more flexible strap. Many people notified me about the deteriorating condition of the first Band over time, which I noticed started happening with my own device. However, with the side sensor compartments gone, I feel like the problem should be solved on the second Band – at least, I hope so.
The home and action buttons are back and in the same spot underneath the screen. They're less resistant than the first set, and depress more quickly and easily. They're also brushed silver instead of black, matching the border of the Band.
The clasp is also basically the same adjustable one found on the previous wearable, except it's larger and silver. It also houses the UV sensor and the charge port, showing that Microsoft very deliberately utilized each and every inch of the Band 2.
I thought the first Microsoft Band was moderately comfy in spite of its awkward fit. It would get annoying when I was typing, forcing me to take it off. And, regardless of me wearing the small version, it still didn't quite sit around my wrist properly.
I've found a similar comfort level with the Band 2.
In addition to the flexible strap, the curve has definitely helped making it fit much better. But, because the screen is larger, I can actually fit two fingers in between my wrist and the band. If I tighten the strap any further, it feels like my circulation is cut off. However, if I loosen it, the wearable dangles like an annoying bracelet.
I experienced similar issues with the first Band, so I'm not entirely surprised. Wearables are rarely a good fit for people with tiny wrists, but they're getting better, thanks to the increasing amount of size variations.
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Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.