Mi Band 5 Review: Should you upgrade from the Mi Band 4?

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Mi Bands are a popular option when it comes to budget smart wearables. They offer great value for your money while also presenting a plethora of fitness capabilities. Continuing its trend of the yearly release of Mi Bands, Xiaomi recently announced the successor to last year’s Mi Band 4 (Check out our review), the Mi Band 5.

The new Mi Band 5 features significant updates over the previous generation. Everything, including the display, the processor, and the sensors in the Mi Band 5 have been upgraded. And, much like previous years, the band comes with numerous aftermarket accessories as well.

There are many colors available for the groups, and you can easily swap your current one. The Chinese version of the product is on sale now. The band is exceptionally great for its price of $25 in China. The international version, however, is expected to release somewhere in July.

(Source: XDA)

This budget king offers excellent build quality and an impressive set of features if you’re thinking of buying one. Xiaomi is a well-reputed company when it comes to smart devices, and there are a lot of smartwatches and bands available in the market. This, however, beats the competition with its excellent build quality and a feature-packed product at a low price.

Bigger Screen:

The Mi Band 5 features a larger display as compared to its predecessor model. This newer model packs a 1.1 inch AMOLED display. The new AMOLED display offers better colors and high viewing angles. With the updated display, the band also gets a bunch of new watch faces. That includes watch faces from popular animated series like Neon Genesis EvangelionCase ClosedHatsune Miku, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

(Source:9to5google.com)

The company also provides you with matching color bands if you chose for these custom watch faces.

Also check out our Honor Band 5 Review!

Magnetic Charger:

The included charger with the Mi Band 5 is now magnetic. This is an improvement over the last generation. Including a magnetic charger means that users no longer have to remove the band off the device when charging. A magnetic charger will also ensure proper connection and better charging.

The charger is pretty easy to connect, and the included manual also explains the process pretty well. In addition to charging the battery on Mi Band 5 is also increased from the previous generation. This version now features a 125 mAh battery for longer use time. The bigger battery ensures there is enough screen time for the newer larger display.

Dual Tone Bands :

Mi Band has Dual-tone bands for each color scheme. This means that the top of each band is given a darker color. Doing so makes an illusion that the band is connected to the device and is not detachable. The attention to detail on the device is praiseworthy.

Mi Band 5
(Source: wareable.com)

The bands are available in multiple colors for users to choose from. There are vibrant offers like yellow red and pink or the younger generation out there. And there are also subtle colors for people looking for a more sleek design.

Contactless Payments:

With the newer model of Mi Band comes the feature of payments using NFC. This feature is not new, and we’ve seen it a lot commonly in smartphones. Some smart wearables in the market already include this, and it is great to see this feature coming to mid-tier devices.

(Source: gearbest.com)

A contactless payment method is a great option considering the current pandemic. The less contact you make while purchasing items, the lesser is your chance of getting infected. With the international release, the band will hopefully support Google Pay, which is the leading standard for NFC payments.

Improved Sensors and Processor:

Mi Band supports an improved processor and a couple of new sensors. With the new process or there is also support for Bluetooth 5, which ensures better connectivity. The Included sensors are Heart rate, IR, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Barometer, and a Proximity sensor. The combination of all these sensors provides excellent fitness tracking as well as great usability. The included RAM is 512 KB with 12 MB of storage.

Sports Modes:

The previous generation of Mi band had only six sports modes. That meant you could only track Six sports through the band. This was the main bottleneck as the product is advertised as a fitness band, but it lacked basic functionality. The wasn’t much, the users could complain about as the product was, in fact, in the budget category, and the company had to cut corners somewhere.

The new Mi Band, however, supports eleven sports modes. These include various sports in different categories. There is also support for tracking Yoga and stationary Bikes in the fitness band.

Mi Band 5
(Source: ua-rating.org)

The new sports modes are

  1. Outdoor running
  2. Treadmill
  3. Cycling
  4. walking
  5. Freestyle
  6. Swimming
  7. Elliptical
  8. Rowing Machine
  9. Jumprope
  10. Indoor Cycling
  11.  Yoga

Women’s Health Tracking:

One of the great features included is the ability for women to track their menstrual cycles. There are also things like breath training and PAI Vitality index. PIA Vitality index is a useful feature. It coverts your daily health goals into a game and reward you points for every task you complete. This feature first came in the Amazefit Bip, but it’s great to see other companies adopting this useful option.

Sleep Tracking:

Mi band Supports also Improved Sleep tracking thanks to its continuous heart rate monitoring. The device tracks your vitals as you sleep. Xiaomi uses these stats to predict any irregularities in the user’s sleep patterns. The smartphone application also gives you tips on how to improve your sleep cycle, depending on the data collected. This can help in identifying sleep disorders like irregular and sporadic sleep patterns.

(Source: Xiaomi)

SpO2 Monitoring:

The mi band features Active SpO2 monitoring through a built-in tracker. Ths device is capable of taking around 28800 readings continuously for eight hours straight. This roughly translates to one reading per second, which is extremely impressive. This feature also works in combination with sleep tracking to give a better analysis of the user’s sleep routine.

That is it for the features. Hopefully, all of these will also make it the international market variant of the device.

Verdict:

While the Mi Band 5 has plenty of upgrades to offer, I feel like they are just not enough to warrant an upgrade over the previous version. You are still essentially getting the same experience with a few added modes and a slightly bigger screen. However, if you really do care about those additional features, are making the jump from an older version, or are buying a fitness band for the very first time, it is hard to not recommend something as brilliant as the Mi Band 5.

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