You can pre-order the Microsoft Band fitness tracker now

After being available in the US for a while, the Microsoft Band is now about to hit the UK. It’s a fitness wearable that can measure your heart rate, sleep quality, number of steps taken, and calories burned. Connecting it to the accompanying app lets you see all this health info in detail. You can also connect it to existing health apps like myfitnesspal for even more info. And, as Dork Adore points out, there’s even a ‘guided workout’ option.

The band lets you link it to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, so you can get those all-important updates about your friends’ baby photos while you’re on the go. You can also get email previews and calendar reminders, just in case you never want to leave work behind for a second.

Probably the best thing about the Microsoft Band is that (unlike some other gadgets we could mention) it’s cross-platform, working with iOS and Android devices as well as Windows Phone.

Unlike the Apple Watch, however, it’s not about the looks. The design’s a simple, generic black band indistinguishable from dozens of other wearables. Then again, it’s more about function than design. Head of Microsoft’s devices division Matt Barlow told the BBC that data was his team’s focus. ‘We want to take that data and turn it into insights, and share it with any health or wellness service that a customer would choose,’ he says.

The Microsoft Band costs £169.99 and you can pre-order now via the website. It’ll be available from other retailers including Amazon, PC World, and O2 from 15 April.

Diane Shipley