Thursday, July 30, 2015

Xiaomi Mi Band - Hands on review

Xiaomi - Oh, how did you guys manage to put so much into this little thing. I am talking about the Mi Band, which is an year old now, the Mi Band is a must have if you are a fitness freak and are looking for a cheap fitness band(in terms of price). Rest assured, this small gadget is capable of tracking everything, from your walk to your run, your sit ups to sleep. It even tells you how many hours were you in the deep sleep and how much time you were awake. 

Xiaomi Mi Band

I bought this little device on 26 June' 15 and have been using it everyday to track my steps and sleep. So, lets get started one by one on all the aspects of this band.

The Xiaomi Mi Band has been on sale for last one year and until now has shipped over six million bands worldwide, which makes it one of the biggest selling fitness band in the world. There is no screen, hence no number and no nothing. Just 3 LED lights in different colors in combination of a vibration notifies you about different things. The Mi Band comes in a size of a toffee, a bigger cadbury eclairs you could say, in a black rubber strap out of the box, with an options of buying different colors.

On top of everything, this is an IP67 certified, waterproof for 30 minutes. You could accidently take a shower with this without a regret.

It is very light to wear and hardly noticeable, and with different color options for the band, it is truy unisex.

Activity Tracking

The Mi Band tracks your steps, the distance, estimated calories burned, estimated fat burn along with a timeline of how long you are active each day. To my findings, the accuracy is pretty much what close to 95%, which is amazing. I walk and count the steps and check this band and they are on times close to 99% of what I counted. Even tracking of the running is great.

Other plus is its Sleep tracking, you don't have to tell your Mi band that you're going to sleep. It automatically enters the sleep mode as soon as you are in the bed. I have noticed that the sleep tracking is pretty much accurate. Overall, it approximates the sleep pretty well with the amount of deep sleep, awake time during the night and the light sleep.

Sleep tracking graph
Steps tracking graph
Steps counter real time graph

Mi Fit App

Well, to add a surprise here, I am using the Mi Fit app on a BlackBerry Z10, and it runs pretty smooth. The app is pretty basic with sleep tracking, steps tracking and their respective graphs. You could see the data in days, weeks and months. There are many added features such as setting the phone to vibrate when you get a call, works pretty well. A silent alarm, works like a charm.
You set the goals, and when you complete it, it will vibrate and blink 3 green LEDs, so you know you have done it for the day.

The app shows how much have you walked, how much steps are left. You can see your goals, your weekly achievements on different screens.

The Good

Apart from the great tracking and accuracy, the best part about the Mi Band is the battery life. Xiaomi claims it to be 30 days and they could not be more wrong in guessing that. At the time of writing this article, I am still left with 28%, and it was charged 34 days ago, the day I bought it. So yes, I have charged it just once for a couple of hours. I am sure this 28% would easily last for another couple of weeks, and that too when I have enabled call alerts, 3 morning alarms. The vibration sucks up a lot of battery. So, kudos for the backup.

      Battery Backup is impressive!                        When you set a record                                           Weekly achievements                                                                                       

The Bad

It is not possible that you'd get everything perfect in this world. Even the costliest of the bands out there are having issues. I am going to list down few which I have had so far.

1. I still don't know why didn't it track my sleep one night, no graph, nothing when I woke up.
2. I wouldn't say but if they can add vibrate on call, they could do same for messaging, and for that matter anything like whatsapp, facebook etc. Not a downside but just an ask.
3. App could have been more detailed. More graphical.
4. App skips the data when you restart the phone, on some occasions.

This is the image I took today, I have actually completed 15,000+ steps, but I restarted my phone and now it shows on 1400 steps. The graph however shows correct data.

Wrong data on restart.
Below is the actual numbers,15K +

Daily Graph
Weekly Graph
Monthly Graph

It comes in a small cardboard box with a black rubber band, the unit itself and a charger, which is a proprietary one, so keep it safe. Priced at just 999, and bands costing additions 199 each, this is one killer deal. I have been able to motivate my self using this band, it really pushes you to get better than yesterday and really does its job perfectly.

Just a tip, DO NOT buy the bands from ebay or any other store as they might claim to be original but they are not. I bought one from ebay for the same price but when I received it, that was a bad quality band, I could have lost the band as the strap had very loose grip. Then I bought 2 new bands from Xiaomi's own site for same price, and rocking them since.

Post your thoughts on this.

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