Is Microsoft Band 2 a step counter, running watch or smartwatch?

…Actually it's all three. Welcome to the ultimate lifestyle wearable

A curvaceous vision in vulcanite rubber and Gorilla Glass, the Microsoft Band 2 is all the wearables you need in one high-tech package.Its advanced sensors are great for daily lifestyle tracking, counting your steps and calories burned, as well as logging your light and deep sleep – a vibrating alarm can be set to gently wake you when you're in light sleep, which really helps to kickstart your day.

However, the Band 2 is far more than just a lifestyle tracker.

With built in GPS and accurate, light-based heart rate tracking, Microsoft's wearable is also a running watch, a cycling computer and a gym companion. It gives at-a-glance info on your speed, distance and current pulse rate zone, so you can train harder and more effectively.

At the gym, the real ace in the pack is Guided Workouts. Ideal for high-intensity interval training and interval training of any kind, these are put together by the health experts Nuffield and time your workout to the second, buzzing and notifying you when it's time to move on to your next set of reps, or take a breather.

Out on the streets, the GPS and pulse tracking mean you can leave your phone behind while you run or cycle, with calorie burn info served up thanks to the cardio tracking and distance supplied by the GPS. The all-new barometer means there's also accurate tracking of altitude, so if you run up a hill, your Band 2 knows. There's also full integration with the likes of Strava and Runtastic.

Fairway fanatics, meanwhile, will love the Microsoft Band 2's golf tracking, in association with TaylorMade. This gives you info on distance to the pin on thousands of courses, as well as giving bio feedback on your swing with the Band 2's arsenal of movement sensors. A UV sensor will warn you if you're being exposed to too much sun as you slog your way around the course, too.

As well as all the health and fitness stuff, the Band 2 also offers customisable notifications from your Android, iOS and Windows smartphone, with voice control of Cortana on the latter.

Modern looking, comfortable and with a two-day battery life that can be topped up to 80 per cent of capacity in just half an hour, or to full charge in 90 minutes, the Microsoft Band 2 is a wearable you won't want to take off.

• The official Microsoft Band 2 page is right this way

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