Xiaomi Mi Band: What the Experts are Saying
Tracking, Extreme Budget Edition
Xiaomi may not be a household name like, say, Fitbit and Jawbone, but this Chinese electronics company is looking to make a splash in the fitness tracker market. Its offering is the Mi Band, and while it’s certainly not the best tracker out there, it does hold the distinction of being the cheapest — by a long shot.
So, while other trackers carry price tags of £50, £100, or more, the Xiaomi Mi Band can be purchased for under £15. You read that right: under £15.
And while, to a certain extent, you get what you pay for (this is not an advanced tracker by any stretch of imagination), the Xiaomi Mi Band is still impressive for just 15 quid.
Words From the Wise
As you might imagine, tech reviewers and industry insiders are all very interested in seeing how a £15 tracker operates. This is especially true for the Xiaomi Mi Band, since for a while, it was available only in China or online for more than its retail price. Now, however, it’s easy enough to find on Amazon and other retailers.
Many top influencers in the tech industry got their hands on one, and here’s what they had to say.
1. CNET’s Xiaomi Mi Band Review
Look, says CNET’s Aloysius Low, this is a super cheap yet still capable fitness tracker.
It’s got flaws? They’re forgiven. What do you expect?
He applauds the fact that the Mi Band more or less does the same thing as other basic trackers like the Misfit Flash and Fitbit Zip, but for half the price.
Plus, it’s waterproof and has a long lasting battery, two other check marks. One of Low’s biggest gripes is that the devices works only with Android devices, though according to Xiaomi’s website, the Mi Band is now compatible with iOS 7.0 or later. (The review was printed in November of last year.)
It earns a 7.6 out of 10, a totally respectable rating.
2. NDTV Gadgets’ Xiaomi Mi Band Review:
Giving it a 3.5 out of 5, reviewer Pranay Parab isn’t terribly excited about the Mi Band, but says that its low price makes it fine for anyone looking for a basic tracker.
He is not shy about pointing out that your smartphone can do just about everything that the Mi Band can do (and, in some cases, do it better), and the lack of display on this tracker is a little frustrating, especially since it can be tricky to make the goal-tracking LED lights come on.
However, its 30-day battery life, fairly accurate tracking, sleek design, and of course, ridiculously low price make it an acceptable choice.
3. Digital Trends’ Xiaomi Mi Band Review
Reviewer Andy Boxall seems genuinely excited that a £15 tracker could be so good.
He’s impressed with how comfortable it is to wear, pleased with its activity and sleep tracking capabilities, and thoroughly amazed at its battery life — he claims he got twice the 30 days that Xiaomi promises.
As for the Mi Band’s drawbacks, Boxall writes, “it’s almost a waste of time to list [them].”
Sure, the indicator lights aren’t all that encouraging, and it’s difficult to master the gesture that makes them come on, and the device’s accuracy is maybe a little questionable, but it’s £15!
You can live with the flaws. He gives it 4 out of 5 stars.
4. Tech Advisor’s Xiaomi Mi Band Review
Four and a half stars! That’s what reviewer Marie Brewis gives the Xiaomi Mi Band. She’s truly serious about how much she likes this device, calling it a better choice than the Jawbone UP Move.
It’s lightweight, it’s waterproof, it’s comfortable, and the battery lasts for over a month.
The accuracy is somewhat off, as demonstrated in the accompanying video, but she’s quick to point out that this is an issue with many non-GPS trackers.
The Mi Band is cheap, the auto sleep detection is helpful, and it even lets you know when you’ve got a call coming in on your phone.
5. Daily Star’s Xiaomi Mi Band Review
The word “superb” is in the headline, so if you wanted to, you could probably stop reading right there, buy the Mi Band, and feel pretty good about your choice.
However, reviewer Dave Snelling is happy to explain why he likes it so much. In a word, it’s cheap. OK, it’s also simple to use, lightweight, full of features like alarms and notifications, and syncs with a useful app.
Yes, it overestimates your steps and distance (as other reviewers have pointed out), but as long as you keep that in mind when you look at your stats, this is a useful (and cheap!) tracker.
We’d Have To Agree
Aside from Best Budget Tracker, the Xiaomi Mi Band probably isn’t going to win any awards. It does a decent job of tracking, but you have to account for its inaccuracy.
It looks nice enough, but it’s not exactly fashion forward. It has a few LED lights to let you know how close you are to your goal, but they’re tricky to bring up. It has some extra features, but you still need to have your smartphone nearby for all of your communication needs.
Still, as all of the above reviewers have pointed out, this is a ridiculously cheap device. If you want a fully featured, highly accurate, super sleek tracker, you’re more than welcome to drop a few hundred quid on an Apple Watch, or a Pebble, or a Fitbit Surge, or something else that costs more than a measly £15.
But if you want to take a first step into the world of fitness tracking, or if you don’t have much money to spend, you won’t do much better than the Xiaomi Mi Band.