Microsoft may have been one of the last to come to the wearables sector, but they certainly seem to be making a push for sales ahead of the Black Friday/Christmas bargain/New Year sales season.
While the original Microsoft Band may have been a somewhat clunky, chunky mess for many people, I actually thought it was a pretty good, albeit somewhat expensive offering. It did all the basics and more, and while it may have had better functionality for the 2 Windows Phone users out there, it still worked pretty well with Android and iOS. It wasn’t perfect, but it was very good.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, this quality did not reflect itself in sales of the device with the likes of Fitbit and Jawbone already well established in the fitness tracker market. On top of this Pebble, Android Wear and Samsung’s Tizen watches had taken an early lead in the smartwatch category. Since then, the market has become even more crowded with the addition of the underwhelming Apple Watch and a seemingly endless supply of similarly half-baked offerings from crowdsourcing sites. But that hasn’t stopped the firm coming back with a redesigned, up-specced Microsoft Band 2, which is endeavouring to walk the same fine line between fitness band and smartwatch with renewed gusto. Sadly, once again, Microsoft may have out-priced themselves from the market by slapping the Band 2 with a hefty £200 price tag.
However, the company have made their latest offering more appealing with a trade-in offer if you purchase directly through the Microsoft store. Owners of the original Microsoft band will get £70, while customers who trade in a Fitbit originally priced £99 or above get £50. Other wearables originally priced at or over £89 get £40 according to the trade-in site. This takes the price of the Band 2 to £130, £150 and £160 respectively…which, while still a little higher than other options in the market, certainly makes it a more affordable purchase and brings it in line with the cheapest end of the smartwatch sector.
Unfortunately there are a couple of catches. The return listed above is paid as cashback through a redemption scheme so you’ll still need to fork out the full £200 up front. Additionally, the Band 2 purchase must be pre-ordered by 19 November 2015 in order to qualify for the scheme and have a minimum price of £199.99, so it looks like the cashback isn’t available with other offers.
A similar offer is also being offered on the Surface Pro 4 with various trade-in cashback dependent on the device. Unfortunately that offer is only valid for purchases made by the end of today, so any prospective Surface bargain hunters will really need to get their skates on!
For those who do want to take advantage of these deals, there isn’t long until it expires so it might be worth heading over the the Microsoft store and the trade-in website to check out the details before you miss out.