Microsoft's iPhone and Android-friendly Band arrives in the UK

Cross-platform £169.99 fitness band will complement your watch, says Microsoft.

Microsoft Band: Coming to the UK. Image: Microsoft
The Microsoft Band wearable device will go on sale in the UK for £169.99 from the middle of April, the company has confirmed.

It will be available from Amazon, Currys PC World, Dixons Travel, Harrods, and O2.

Microsoft's device offers most of the standard fitness band features, including heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, and calories burned, but also supports email snippets, calendar notifications, and Microsoft's personal assistant software Cortana alongside built-in GPS.

Unlike many rival devices, the Band works with iPhones and Android devices as well as Windows Phone, although Cortana only works with a Windows Phone device.

The band was initially only available from Microsoft stores in the US in limited quantities. But Matt Barlow, Microsoft's general manager of new devices, said its stores will be getting larger and more regular shipments of the $199 device, which will also be available via retailers Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.

Barlow said the Band was a "complement to your watch" and "the beginning of a multi-year vision for the category".

He added that Microsoft had chosen the UK as the next market for the Band because of an increased adoption of both free and paid-for health and fitness apps and devices. Around seven million people are already using "fitness-focused wearable devices" -- a number that's expected to nearly double by the end of 2015.

But Microsoft will be facing stiff competition, especially from the Apple Watch, which also goes on sale next month. For more details on these watches, see the full gallery below, which shows the evolution of the smartwatch from the earliest devices right through to the most recent.

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