I recently added onto my wish list that I wanted a (new) smart watch. As of 2/1/16, I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 and a first generation Microsoft Band – Microsoft Band 2 and Samsung Gear S2 just came out a few months ago. To me, the hardware is only as good as the software so as a 2-month special, I wanted to compare and contrast each watch’s respective Health app before I lock down on a watch! For those that don’t know, Microsoft Band works with Microsoft Health (MH) whereas Gear S2 works with S Health. Additionally, MH can only work if a Microsoft Band is registered to it otherwise, it’s useless. As for S Health, I can input my data without having a smart watch.
Note that I won’t be covering the exercise portions as much since I believe they are more measurable if I have a smart watch compatible with S Health. I am assuming that S Health will measure elevation, heart rate, calories burned, pace, time elapsed and duration if I have a smart watch while exercising.
Let’s get the commonalities out of the way. Both apps have: pedometer, heart rate, calories burned, able to measure duration of sleep (though with variance due to hardware), and various measurements of activity (most notably are running and cycling).
Microsoft Health (MH) obviously has a simpler view whereas S Health has more in detail. I really love how S Health has stress level, water, food, caffeine, and coach system all in one place in comparison to MH which doesn’t even have a few of those. Food and beverages can be recorded in MH’s partner app, Myfitnesspal. Additionally, S Health has tips while MH does not!
Even though S Health has a detailed home screen, it is not always ideal as this can mean that one has to exit the app in order to access another feature. For example, Focus and Nike+ are 3rd party apps. Yes, S health does record the data but exiting the app can be a pain, whereas MH basically has all of its features in one app.
The above compares two running 5K plans. MH takes into account difficulty whereas S Health does not. In S Health, I changed my activity level and the plan still stayed the same. However, S Health does ask for which days I would like to run but only 3x a week whereas MH already has a set plan in place. Having a set plan is good if one has a 9-5 job but being asked which days are best to exercise is pretty good for people with erratic schedules.
Unfortunately, S Health has very limited workout plans. As of 2/1/16, there are only 4: Baby steps to 5K, Run 5K, First attempt at 10K, and Run 10K – more plans are available through its partner app, Nike+. As for MH, it has plans catered to strength, bodyweight, running, biking, and golfing. It has 133 workout plans as of 2/1/16.
What if I found a workout plan that’s really good but it’s not found in either apps? Good news is that I can input it through MH’s web dashboard! The plan will appear in “My Workouts” under “Find a Workout” at the left side of MH.
As you can see, you can edit the workout however you like whether you want to exercise for x time or do x reps. It’s all up to you. At the bottom, it can describe the focus, what type of body part it concentrates, and even level of difficulty.
I won’t go into detail about MH’s dashboard but I just want to note that it can compare how I’m doing with other people, just to get a sense of what others are up to.
S Health (or most notably Nike+) also reminds me when to run! MH doesn’t do that at all! (Microsoft band 2, the hardware itself, does the reminding though!) It’s nice to have somebody or something remind me when I have to run especially when I blur/merge my days so often in my mind!
MH can only work with Microsoft band whereas S health can work with other smart watches like Samsung, Garmin, Polar, LifeScan, Addidas, and Tanita to name a few.
Are there any smart watches or health apps you’re thinking of buying/getting?