There has been huge craze for wearables in past few years. The craze has just increased. However none of the companies have been able to crack the secret recipe for success in this segment. 75 million wearables are expected to be sold this year and 100 million in 2016. Amidst these there is an economical fitness band by Xiaomi, the Mi Band.
The Mi Band has got a good sturdy build quality. The band is made up of Thermoplastic Elastomers. It is hypoallergenic. It simply means that it is designed to minimise risk of allergic reaction. The band has 3 LEDs which act as indicators for call alerts, milestone alerts, etc.
The core is made of Aluminum. It has a Military-grade exercise sensor with Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility thereby utilising very minimal amount of battery power. It is powered by a 41mAh battery which is just 8mm thin and can last up to 30 days.
Moreover the band is IP67 water resistant. So you can go up to 1m deep in water with the band for a maximum period of 30 minutes.
The MI Fit app syncs the data from band if the band has already been paired else the band has to be paired with the app first. If the band is paired, user can locate the band right from the app itself. There is a limitation to this. The band can be located only if it is in the bluetooth range. The band vibrates to give indication about its whereabouts.
The LED color of the band can be changed from the app. There are several color options to choose from like Blue, Orange, Green and Red. The LEDs on the band blink to indicate color change. Apart from this if the band is also paired with the device itself, it can be used to indicate incoming calls via vibration.
The battery is pure magic. After 3 days usage the battery was drained by just 4% and because of this user does not need to charge the device frequently, thereby making it convenient to use the Mi Band.
There are 3 sections in the app:
It shows only last 3 latest runs or walk. Other runs or walk for the day can be seen through the bar. The way it tracks the time is weird. Like for example, I ran for 10 minutes and then I walked for 3 minutes and then I ran again. It will show the entire distance as a single activity and the type of activity will switch to the one which you are performing at that current moment. In this case it will be Running. It doesn’t give information about the exact time you started or ended the run/walk. It gives generalised information.
- Sleep Analysis
It does a great job at performing sleep analysis. And believe me it is damn accurate. I woke up today at 7:29am and yesterday at 6:29am. On both the days the Mi Band was highly accurate and precise.
Users can manually record their weight and feed it in the app. This will maintain a history of information if you sync with the Health Kit of iOS or Android.
Friends can be easily added by scanning the QR Code or sharing your own QR Code. Your health stats for the day can be shared using several social networking sites. Alarms can be easily set. And for a person who doesn’t wake up by alarms this device is just perfect. The vibration on your hand just wakes you up. You can also integrate it with iOS Health Kit app. Unfortunately it doesn’t sync the data. Probably a software bug. But due to this you can have only a day’s information stored on MI Fit.
It is really comfortable but you will find band marks on your hand after prolong usage. I haven’t removed the band since the day I got it and result is in the picture below.
I went out for a run of 1Km and the Mi Band was damn accurate in detecting the distance and calories (999m and 46 calories respectively). Both this figures match with Nike+ Running app which uses GPS.
Because the MI Band is waterproof, I used it while swimming and it didn’t get damaged. I ensured that I didnt go more than a 1m deep to avoid damage. For swimming stats this is not the band to go for. It calculates every single workout as steps which is not the right way to calculate swimming stats.
The right term to describe the Mi Band is The Electronic Pedometer. Apart from calculating the distance you ran or walked, it performs sleep analysis. Calculating distance is fine but in the time department, it is extremely poor. Probably a software tweak may improve activity and time tracking.
It lacks an LED display. So to view your stats or time, you have to remove your smartphone from the pocket every single time. That’s quite a hassle. It’s waterproof up to 1m for 30 minutes. That enables the user to take bath with it or swim with it.
It doesn’t have support for heart rate monitoring, GPS, GPS routes, Coaches, etc. Overall it is a device with bare minimum features. Hence I would not suggest this model. Rather, I would suggest you to wait for the next generation of this band or check out other bands like YU Fit, GoQuii, FitBit, Apple Watch, etc.