The day the announcement was made for Band 2, I was watching the keynote and keeping my finger on F5, repeatedly refreshing my browser and eagerly waiting for the Band 2 “Coming Soon” page turn over to an “Order Now” page. The week before launch, I added my credit card as a saved card on the Microsoft store. As soon as the page flipped over, I pulled the trigger and reserved my new edition.
I’ve worn it every day since November 2, 2015 and here’s what I’ve learned about the Microsoft Band 2 battery life, including tips on how to keep yours running all week long.
Updated Jan 19: Added info about the battery and links to resources based on feedback on Reddit.
The Band is easily charged by unhinging the clasp and sliding the device off your wrist, then attaching the magnetized charger, which snaps automatically in place. A full charge for a fully depleted battery should run you less than two hours.
Under normal usage, your Band will deplete about 30% per day. This includes getting notifications, syncing with your phone, controlling music, setting timers and alarms, using the daily heart rate tracking and buying coffee at Starbucks, should you be so inclined.
Adding workouts to your day will drive the battery down a little more quickly, and I seem to burn about 10% of my battery when I go for a 30 min run with GPS turned on.
One feature that I really do enjoy about the Band 2 is the glance mode that allows you to turn your arm up as a cue for the Band to display the time. While this is super handy - the gesture replaces the need the press a button to see the time - it is also taxing on your battery life. With this feature one, I was losing more than 55% of my battery’s charge each day, meaning it was impossible to keep it running for the week. I, therefore, disabled the feature and have reverted to clicking the primary button to call up the time.
The “bottom half” of the battery seems to charge a little quicker than the “top half”. What I mean is that going from 0% to 50% seems to take about 40 minutes or so whereas from the 50% mark and higher, the Band 2 charges at a rate of about 1% per minute.
The battery on my Band 2 lasts me through the week. While it depletes every day about 30%, I also charge it every day during my daily routine and after workouts while I shower, and I never let it run all the way to 0% if I can help it. Here’s a log from my last week of use starting with a full charge on Saturday:
- Sunday AM: 72%, charged to 91%
- Monday AM: 66%, charged to 83%
- Tuesday AM: 51%, charged to 70%
- Tuesday workout: 60%, charged to 79%
- Wednesday AM: 63%, charged to 80%
- Thursday AM: 49%, charged to 64%
- Thursday workout: 48%, charged to 63%
- Friday AM: 50%, charged to 65%
- Saturday AM: 31%, charged to 100%
Basically, I’m charging it when I get ready in the AM, which doesn’t quite catch it up for what it lost over the previous day. However, when I workout, I typically shower afterwards and this gives me an extra 15-20 minutes to charge it again. So, interestingly, I actualy use up the Band 2 battery less when I’m working out more.
Most Saturdays I actually wear my Band until the battery warning goes off, then I plug it in until fully charged. I called into the Microsoft support line and asked if this was a good practice for using and charging the Band 2 - essentially letting it run down to about 10% through the week and then giving it a complete charge on the weekend. The support technician on the call agreed that this was a good strategy and commented that she has a similar routine. In the two-and-a-half months of use, I have not seen depreciating performance on the battery life.
There is a great resource on lithium batteries that supports most of this approach located here. Frequent charging and the occasional charge to capacity will help extend the life of your battery and keep the meter accurate:
If at all possible, avoid full discharges and charge the battery more often between uses. Partial discharge on Li-ion is fine. There is no memory and the battery does not need periodic full discharge cycles to prolong life. The exception may be a periodic calibration of the fuel gauge on a smart battery or intelligent device.
Of course, an important note there is that the “depth of discharge” is a factor in the logevity of your battery. Allowing the Band to get down too low may impact it over the longer term, so charging often to keep your charge up seems to be a benefit.
Here’s a few things you can do to keep your Band 2 running all week:
- Keep your charger plugged in where you get ready in the AM
- Clean the contacts before you attach the charger, and thouroughly after a workout
- Let it run down without completely depleting and give it a full charge occasionally to help keep the meter accurate
- Buy a second charger if you need one, for example if you walk or ride to work