Can't wait for an Apple Watch? Should you get a Microsoft Band instead?

There's a long wait if you want an Apple Watch. If you're dying to get something smart on your wrist, should you instead opt for a Microsoft Band?

The Apple Watch is back ordered until June if not later, so you've got a long wait if you want one. And you'll have to dig deep to pay for one as well -- $549 and up, depending on the model, although the Sport model goes for $349 and up. If you've got a big trust fund and you're dying to burn through it, you might consider the Apple Watch with an 18-karat rose gold case for $12,000.

Or you could instead buy the Microsoft Band. It's certainly no direct replacement for an Apple Watch, because it focuses mainly on fitness and health tracking. The Band won't win any style points, especially when you compare it to the beautifully designed Apple Watch. The Band's clunky design is so awful that when you wear it people might assume that you're out on parole, and mistakenly put your ankle bracelet on your wrist.

If you buy the Band, you'll save money compared to the Apple Watch --- the Band goes for $200, a hefty saving over Apple's offering. And you'll get more cross-platform compatibility, because it works with iOS, Windows and Android. The Apple Watch works only with iOS.

The Band also bristles with sensors, including many that the Apple Watch doesn't have, including GPS and a variety of fitness and health sensors. And it's got a longer battery life, three days versus likely one day for the Apple Watch.

But it's pretty much a one-trick pony. Yes, you can read emails, do text messaging, check your calendar, and other simple tasks. But the screen is to small, you won't enjoy doing them. And it doesn't do much more than that. No big collection of apps. Its capabilities don't even come close to what the Apple Watch can do.

So if you're looking for a fitness and health tracker that's affordable and works with most OSes, you may want to consider it instead of the Apple Watch. But for anything else, your best bet is to wait for the Apple.

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