|Review At A Glance|
|Product||Xiaomi Mi Band Fitness monitor and Sleep tracker [product link]|
|Summary||The Xiaomi Mi Band is an affordable fitness monitor and sleep tracker that offers pretty much the same features as what Jawbone UP and Fitbit Flex can offer but at a fraction of the cost.|
|Pros||+ Affordable |
+ Tracks the number of steps taken
+ Tracks sleep states
+ 30 days battery life
|Cons|| – Lack of social networking features |
– Replacement charging cables could be tricky
– Requires Android 4.4 and above
The Xiaomi Mi Band is an affordable fitness monitor and sleep tracker. It does pretty much the same things as Jawbone’s UP or Fitbit’s flex but at a fraction of the cost. In Singapore, the Xiaomi’s Mi Band retails for S$19.99 while Jawbone UP and Fitbit Flex goes for S$129.00 each.
In terms of hardware, there is nothing much to wow about. The fitness tracker itself is mostly made of plastic except for the silver aluminium face. You will find three LEDs on the silver face that lights up in your chosen colour (e.g. orange, red, blue, green). The LEDs tell you on your progress of meeting your daily (steps) target (e.g. 1 lighted LED denotes a third completed).
The Mi Band comes with an adjustable hypoallergenic silicon band to secure the fitness tracker to your wrist. Currently the band is only available in black. Xiaomi would be releasing other coloured bands soon.
The two golden pins featured above are the charging connectors. The Mi Band fitness tracker charges via its proprietary USB cable so make sure you don’t lose the cable. I don’t see the charging cable on sale on Xiaomi Store.
The Xiaomi Mi Band fitness tracker is rated IP67. What it meant is that you can bring it out for a jog, get caught in a rain (not thunderstorms) and it would still work fine. Essentially, water splashes in the shower or water immersion of depth between 15 and 100cm.
In terms of battery life, Xiaomi stated that the Mi Band can last up to 30 days on its 41 mAh battery due to its low power consumption components. In the past 5 days of usage, the battery dipped to 83%. Working the sums, it seems to be able to last 29.4 days.
Lastly, in terms of build quality, I felt that it is pretty decent for its S19.99 price tag. It feels study enough to handle a few drops from the table (the silicon strap would likely cushion the fall).
I guess I am a pretty rough user, I (accidentally) brushed it against the wall while walking round a corner, dragged my arm across the table and it got a fair bit of scuff marks now. Well, for a S$19.99 fitness tracker, not much of an heartache. Not sure if I would say the same if I had gotten the Jawbone or Fitbit.
The software and features
The Mi Band, together with its accompanying software, tracks the number of steps taken and the amount of sleep you got.
Pedometer / Step counter
The pedometer feature is pretty standard and nothing much to elaborate on. What it does is to keep track of the number of steps taken, the speed (of the steps taken) during different times of the day. So within a day, you will be able to see how many steps you have taken during each hour. It does a cumulative total for the entire day as well.
What I found to be more interesting was the sleep tracker. It was able to differentiate the different states of sleep:
- Ready to sleep/ Ready to wake up
- Deep Sleep
- Light Sleep
Originally, I thought one would have continuous deep sleep all the way but I was wrong. It seems like it alternates between Deep Sleep and Light Sleep. Seems like my sleep pattern isn’t very good? Shall work on it in the coming year.
Tracks even when offline
One very cool thing is that the tracking data are temporarily stored on the Mi Band itself. What I meant is that you can keep the Bluetooth on your mobile phone off while you are asleep and the Mi Band will continue to track your sleeping pattern. It will synchronise the data back to the mobile phone once the Bluetooth connectivity is restored.
This offline tracking also applies to the pedometer function.
If you always wanted to test drive a fitness tracker but don’t want to spend a bomb, the Xiaomi Mi Band might just be the right one for you. The results might just encourage you to be a little more active more during the day and try to sleep better at night.
Lastly, I hope that the software could be improved to include social networking features. It would be more fun to motivate one another to live healthier and more active lifestyle.