If wearable like the Fitbit Charge HR and Sony Smartband 2 fails to make as much splash as expected, it will probably be because of devices such as Xiaomi Mi Band. While it is true this cheap fitness band does not have a heart rate monitor and few other features the rival trackers have, it could do enough to sway those operating on very tight budgets.
The look of the Xiaomi Mi Band is rather more minimalist, compared to that of the Charge or Smartband 2, but the build is practical. Its Chinese manufacturer says the fitness band, which features a slim aluminium alloy core surface, passed through a 12-step process to give it a sleek texture.
The wearable is both dust and water resistant, as indicated by its IP67 rating. It is built to withstand rugged use and a bit extreme conditions. Xiaomi says it can survive drop from a height of 1.2 metres on a marble surface and endure extreme temperatures (up 70 or -20 degrees) for up to 128 hours. Impressive! The fitness band has also undergone successful corrosion testing. It is made of soft TPSiV, one of the best thermoplastic elastomers in the world, to make it ideal for sensitive skin.
Xiaomi Mi Band promises similar tracking capability as some other fitness trackers you may have come across. It features a ‘military-grade’ exercise sensor made by the US company ADI and said to have the least power consumption among comparative sensors. The wearable tracks number of steps taken, distance covered and calories burned. With the aid of its three LED indicators, the Mi Band lets you have an idea of how well you are doing with regard to your daily fitness targets.
Like the Charge HR and Smartband 2, Xiaomi Mi Band automatically monitors your sleep – the length and quality. This way, you are able to determine whether you are indeed getting restful sleep and, if not, use available information to work on improvement. As you probably know, the quality of your sleep has something to do with the quality of your life. The tracker gives off a vibration to gently alert you to wake up 30 minutes prior to the alarm going off.
Awesome Battery Life
The Mi Band leaves many competing fitness bands, including the more expensive ones, in the dust in terms of battery life. Xiaomi promises 30-day battery runtime on one full charge. I’m sure that sounds like one of those exaggerated claims from manufacturers. It is appears to be a case of under-estimation, actually. Andy Boxall of Digital Trends says the battery actually lasts at least twice the runtime stated by the device manufacturer. If battery is an important consideration to you when buying a device, Xiaomi Mi Band should be somewhere around the top of the pile.
You can sync the information gathered by the fitness tracker with the Mi Band app to save records for future reference with charts generated. Syncing is done via a low-power Bluetooth 4.0 chip. Xiaomi says you will able to save up to a full year’s worth of fitness data – this will allow you make comparisons over time.
Xiaomi Mi Band vibrates to notify you of incoming calls on your phone, ensuring you never miss a call again, unless you wish to. If you happen to misplace the fitness tracker, you can use its app to cause it to light up so long it’s within Bluetooth range.
Pricing and Availability
The Mi Band carries a price tag of just $15, which translates to a price of around N3,000 in Nigeria. You can see that it is indeed dirt-cheap since that price is just about a tenth of how much you will need to part with to get a Fitbit Charge HR or Smartband 2.