Review: Mi band, Xiaomi first fitness smartband

DSC_0165
The box contains the mi band ‘pill’, the black strap, short charging cable and document which you probably won’t be reading it

 

Introduction:

First of all, the Mi band is affordable, very light weight, flexible and quite easy to forget its existence which is important as a great wearable device. Sometimes I did not realize I wore it during my sleep. The step and sleep tracking is accurate but not on the precise level like any other fitness band in the market. The battery life is probably Xiaomi’s overkill feature, it has more than 30 days of battery life, more than most fitness band in the high end market. When the time I decided to charge it after using a month and 5 days, the battery has still 34 percent of power to spend.

The silicon band replacement though is quite limited in Malaysia. The preconfigured version comes with a black silicon band, which suits me quite well. Other colors such as blue and yellow cost about 16 ringgits about a third of the band price. In my opinion, it is certainly a must for long term mi band users because my band has started to show some scratches and wearout signs. But at a 16 ringgits price tag, all the flaws are forgiven.

 

band
fits nicely around my small wrist

 

The Experience:

It has been two months since I started using the Mi band fitness smartband, sincerely speaking, it is awkward. Maybe it’s because our nation culture is not ready to accept that.

My wearing experience is very fun because people sometimes mistaken my Mi band as a watch. Some even ask why do I wear something like that or why do I need to wear that thing. Take note, most of them use ‘thing’ instead of ‘band’. In the modern Asian culture, wearable device is still a piece of strange technology despite some of them have been wearing a watch for a long time.

There are also people who ask me what is the current time, after seeing me wearing a black band. In this case, I turned the aluminium side to them, showing them this is not a time telling device. Some simply reply with an awkward face and walk away, others who has some free time, may start asking lots of questions about the mi band.

mixed
It can detect whether you are wearing it during night time. However, the deep and light sleep tracking may not be very consistent.


The App:  

Mi Fit app is used to store and show all my fitness data inside my smartphone. These data cannot be exported, however, there are some exploit guide on the internet to export the data. As a regular user, I think it is enough for glancing through my walking steps and sleep cycle. These data can only be use for an reference because similar movement can also triggers the mi band algorithm. For example, flicking the mi band will trigger the step count while placing the mi band facing upwards will sometimes trigger the sleep recording.

There are currently two types of modified Mi Fit app, which are the notify and the official Android & iOS version .

The official version is literally just the play store or app store version. Xiaomi provide weekly updates to the mi band with better integration of social features. The official Mi fit app can automatically link the data to Weibo app ( a Chinese popular social network). The recording algorithm is also supposed to be improved than the notify version because the latest notify version is always older than the latest official ones.

On the other hand, the notify version can allow users to send different light colors and different vibration modes to inform your notification. This function is still very rough and unpolished consider it is a not official supported. Sometimes, there will be missed notification while the lights and vibration requires some time to remember which types of light color and vibration means. For sure, it is only an additional features for mi band users.

running
The picture shown in the right, the step counting can be very detail but the number is only for reference as miss counting happens occasionally.


Conclusion:

If you want to try out the latest wearable technology with budget a few times fold than the Mi band price tag, this is certainly a bad choice. Mi band lacks a proper display screen, heart rate monitor and an app for data export. In the long term, it would only be a old toy sitting on your bottle or inside your drawer. However, for a person who wants to get a roughly idea about what kind of lifestyle, this is certainly a great device. The data is enough to show you the time of exercise, the calories burned and your sleep cycle.

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