I’ve been wearing my Xiaomi Mi Band for slightly more than 1 month now and is still in love with it. The band cost $19.99 on it’s official site (PS: it’s a little cheaper on Qoo10) and comes with an interchangeable strap with the removable sensor in the middle. I bought it to track my steps more accurately as I’m currently obsessed with walking more steps (>8000 steps) for a healthy heart. My iPhone’s tracker can’t satisfy me since I don’t carry the phone with me all the time. Here goes the review…
First things first, the Mi Band needs to be paired with its Mi Fit App to show you your data (think sleep tracking, step tracking and weight tracking) so you will need to download it off your App Store or Google Play Store.
Open the app and follow the onscreen instructions to do the initial pairing. Try to be at an area without other bluetooth devices so that the Mi App can find your Mi band without interferences.
What’s good to know is that you will not need to constantly turn on your phone’s bluetooth in order for the Mi Band to track the data. You can sync your Mi Band periodically with your phone to display your data.
Tracking steps is simple enough. Strap the Mi Band to your hand and start walking.
With all things tracking, the band must be able to track my steps accurately and yes, it does so pretty well. I go for my runs with it and it usually tells me that I have reached my preset goal of 8000 steps after 5+km (I run at about 180steps per mins, 7.7km/h on a treadmill).
You can set your own goal ie. 8000 steps and the band will vibrate when you have reached your goal. The 3 dots on the Mi Band will light up sometimes from 1 dot to 3 dots as you work towards your step goal for the day. However, I have noted that the dots light up erratically so it is better to depend on the vibration to know that you have completed your step goal for the day.
The Mi App also tries to encourage you to continuously reach your daily step goal by it’s “You have reached your goal for x days in a row!” statement. I have found it to be motivating and I try to meet my step goal daily.
The Mi Band tries to detect your runs too, and will show grams of fat burned together with the calories (not shown). However, this is again not accurate all the time. I could be walking sometimes and it says that I’m running. Well, keep in mind that this band costs $19.99.
The sleep tracking is smart as the sleep mode is auto-activated to start tracking your sleeping time. You will not need to trigger it before you sleep. I don’t know how it does this but it can track your deep sleep (maybe less movement when you are sleeping). I have found sleep tracking to be accurate as the display on Mi App does show my 5-mins-awake-to-visit-the-toilet movements too. It’s highlighted in orange on the display (not shown).
Lastly, you can track your weight. It shows your BMI and you can indicate your weight goal and it will be marked by a line on it’s scale display. Enter it daily and soon enough a graph forms to display your weight changes.
The Mi Band is charged by it’s own USB cable that comes included it the box. Pop the sensor out of your band to charge it and also try clean the 2 gold charging points on it regularly so that not much excess sweat and water is left in contact to the charging tips as it may spoil the device.
It is advertised that one charge last you 30 days and I have found it to be more lasting than that. One less worry of the constant need to charge.
The Mi Band’s strap is interchangeable and comes in many colours that you can change to. The one that comes with the box is black. I have read that some users commented that their band snaps easily but this is not an issue to me since I hardly remove it besides bathing.
You can set up the band for it to act as a morning alarm. I use it to wake me up. It vibrates at your preset time just enough times to wake you up. No more blaring scary iPhone alarm! Notice the early bird alarm option and what it means is that the band detects your movement when you sleep and wakes you up when it feels that you are in light sleep so that you are less likely to snooze and more refreshed when you are wake up.
There is also an option to set the band up for it to vibrate when your phone rings. However, for it to work, bluetooth needs to be always turned on and since it works in close proximity, the phones needs to be near the band for it to be paired to work. I find this rather useless.
In conclusion, I like this band because it is inexpensive, no frills and does the job that it is supposed to do. Since it only costs $19.99, say slightly more than the price of 2 Starbucks Venti drinks, don’t hesitate to get it and start tracking your data! This can also be a good X’mas gift idea!