The Microsoft Band may have quietly just become the best value in the fitness tracker space, but probably not with the version the company hoped for.
Microsoft announced a completely redesigned Band at a press event in New York this week, and now it has slashed the price on the old model by 35 percent. The original Microsoft Band clearly had its issues, but it’s hard to completely write-off at just $129.99.
Who knows how long the discount will last as Microsoft clears out inventory and ushers in the new generation. But that price positions the Band below the Fitbit Charge, which doesn’t have a touch screen or a heart rate monitor, and can’t do things like check email.
It also puts the original at just over half the price of the new Microsoft Band, which will cost $249 when it launches on Oct. 30.
Without doubt, the new model is a massive step up from the first. I’ve been a longtime Microsoft Band user, but I still find the original extremely uncomfortable. The new Band is lighter, more form-fitting and stylish. There have been some upgrades internally, like adding a barometer to track elevation changes. But overall, the functionality is about the same.
The biggest downside to the new Band is the price, which jumped $50 from the original’s usual price of $199. And now that the old model is even cheaper, it becomes an interesting option.