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Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 Review | A budget fitness band that gets the basics right

The Mi Smart Band 5 looks identical to its predecessor but gets a couple of noteworthy improvements.

Xiaomi recently launched several IoT products in India, one of which was an updated Mi smart band. The Mi Smart Band 5 looks identical to its predecessor but gets a couple of noteworthy improvements. The Mi Smart Band 5 is priced at a reasonable Rs 2,499. So, without any further details, let’s take an in-depth look at the Mi Smart Band 5.

Xiaomi recently launched several IoT products in India, one of which was an updated Mi smart band. The Mi Smart Band 5 looks identical to its predecessor but gets a couple of noteworthy improvements. The Mi Smart Band 5 is priced at a reasonable Rs 2,499. So, without any further details, let’s take an in-depth look at the Mi Smart Band 5.

Design | First off, let’s take a look at the design of the new Mi Smart band. Not much as changed from the Mi Smart Band 5, it is small and light, with a rubber strap, which feels quite comfortable wearing it throughout the day. The band uses the loop-and-clip mechanism and will fit most wrist sizes. You can also purchase different coloured straps separately. The Mi Smart Band 5 features a minimalistic design and feels quite comfortable. Additionally, the band is also water-resistant up to 50 meters.

Design | First off, let’s take a look at the design of the new Mi Smart band. Mi Smart Band 5 is small and light, with a rubber strap, which feels quite comfortable wearing it throughout the day. The band uses the loop-and-clip mechanism and will fit most wrist sizes. You can also purchase different coloured straps separately. The Mi Smart Band 5 features a minimalistic design. Additionally, the band is also water-resistant up to 50 metres.

Display | One of the most noticeable improvements comes on the display front. At 1.1 inches, the OLED display on the Mi Smart Band 5 is slightly bigger than that of its predecessor. The screen on the Mi Smart Band 5 supports 100-percent of the P3 colour gamut. The display gets pretty bright outside and is easily visible in direct sunlight. However, you don’t get an ambient light sensor, so you’ll have to adjust brightness manually. Overall, the screen here is quite nice, and there’s really nothing to complain about.

Display | One of the most noticeable improvements comes on the display front. At 1.1 inches, the OLED display on the Mi Smart Band 5 is slightly bigger than that of its predecessor. The screen on the Mi Smart Band 5 supports 100 percent of the P3 colour gamut. The display gets pretty bright outside and is easily visible in direct sunlight. However, you don’t get an ambient light sensor, so you’ll have to adjust brightness manually. Overall, the screen here is quite nice, and there’s really nothing to complain about.

Battery | The new Mi smart band can run for two weeks on a single charge, not quite as much as the 20-day mark on the Mi Smart Band 4. However, Xiaomi claims that you can surpass the 20-day mark if you use the band in power saving mode. This would mean turning off features like heart rate monitoring, raise-to-wake, and sleep tracking. We’ve not had the band for long enough to fully test the battery life, although we didn’t notice the battery drain when all the features were on as opposed to when some of them were turned off.

Battery | The new Mi smart band can run for two weeks on a single charge, not quite as much as the 20-day mark on the Mi Smart Band 4. However, Xiaomi claims that you can surpass the 20-day mark if you use the band in power saving mode. This would mean turning off features like heart rate monitoring, raise-to-wake, and sleep tracking. We’ve not had the band for long enough to fully test the battery life, although we didn’t notice the battery drain when all the features were on as opposed to when some of them were turned off.

Charging | With the Mi Smart Band 5, you will hardly find yourself looking for the charger. And speaking of charging, Xiaomi has added USB magnetic charging cable, which powers the band through pins. This means you no longer need to remove the strap to charge the band. Thankfully, the charger is much longer now, so you aren’t stuck with a short cable.

Charging | With the Mi Smart Band 5, you will hardly find yourself looking for the charger. And speaking of charging, Xiaomi has added USB magnetic charging cable, which powers the band through pins. This means you no longer need to remove the strap to charge the band. Thankfully, the charger is much longer now, so you aren’t stuck with a short cable.

Modes | The Mi Smart Band 5 is equipped with 11 different sport modes. Apart from the standard, running and cycling, you also get nine other modes including freestyle workout, rowing machine, elliptical, pool swimming, treadmill, indoor cycling, power walking, yoga, and jump rope. Apart from the new modes, there are some interesting features here like PAI - Personal Activity Intelligence mode. You also get a breathing exercise, stress monitoring, menstrual cycle tracking, and a camera shutter.

Modes | The Mi Smart Band 5 is equipped with 11 different sport modes. Apart from the standard, running and cycling, you also get nine other modes including freestyle workout, rowing machine, elliptical, pool swimming, treadmill, indoor cycling, power walking, yoga, and jump rope. Apart from the new modes, there are some interesting features here like PAI - Personal Activity Intelligence mode. You also get a breathing exercise, stress monitoring, menstrual cycle tracking, and a camera shutter.

The Mi Smart Band 5 can record your heart rate 24/7, even while you sleep. You can set the band to automatically track your heart rate throughout the day or set it to track heart rate only while you’re asleep. The Mi Smart Band 5 also offers better sleep tracking, allowing you to track deep and light sleep or even rapid eye movement (REM) while you sleep. You can also track mid-day naps.

Sleep Tracking | The Mi Smart Band 5 can record your heart rate 24/7, even while you sleep. You can set the band to automatically track your heart rate throughout the day or set it to track heart rate only while you’re asleep. The Mi Smart Band 5 also offers better sleep tracking, allowing you to track deep and light sleep or even rapid eye movement (REM) while you sleep. You can also track mid-day naps.

Personal Activity Intelligence | One of the best parts of the Mi Smart Band 5 is the integrated PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) metrics, which Xiaomi claims can calculate the heart rate data and transform it into “a personalized score that indicates the level of activity required to maintain good health.” This is designed to give you a better idea of overall health and wellness. PAI calculates and provides a score based on your age, gender, heart rate, and other data. We don’t know how well this works, but if you exercise regularly, it will increase your PAI score and may eventually end up making you more active. The goal with PAI is to keep your score above 100 points.

Personal Activity Intelligence | One of the best parts of the Mi Smart Band 5 is the integrated PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) metrics, which Xiaomi claims can calculate the heart rate data and transform it into “a personalised score that indicates the level of activity required to maintain good health.” This is designed to give you a better idea of overall health and wellness. PAI calculates and provides a score based on your age, gender, heart rate, and other data. We don’t know how well this works, but if you exercise regularly, it will increase your PAI score and may eventually end up making you more active. The goal with PAI is to keep your score above 100 points.

And There's More | Two excellent new additions are breathing exercises and stress level monitoring. While it isn’t clear how the band measures stress, the breathing feature is pretty straightforward and uses animations and vibrations to alert you when to inhale and exhale. It might seem insignificant, but breathing exercises are really important to alleviate stress and just feel better. This is arguably one of the best features, especially given our current predicament.

And There's More | Two excellent new additions are breathing exercises and stress level monitoring. While it isn’t clear how the band measures stress, the breathing feature is pretty straightforward and uses animations and vibrations to alert you when to inhale and exhale. It might seem insignificant, but breathing exercises are really important to alleviate stress and just feel better. This is arguably one of the best features, especially given our current predicament. The one feature we couldn’t test for obvious reasons was menstrual cycle tracking. The Mi Smart Band 5 records menstrual cycles and ovulation phases. The Mi Fit app will also give you a reminder before each period. This is a great addition to the band if it works accurately.

Software | The Mi Smart Band 5 is quite easy to set up using the Mi Fit app. You will have to grant the band a few permissions to access notifications, calls, and more on the band. You’ll also have to give location permission for outdoor tracking. If we are honest, the software could use a little work and takes some time getting used too.

Software | The Mi Smart Band 5 is quite easy to set up using the Mi Fit app. You will have to grant the band a few permissions to access notifications, calls, and more on the band. You’ll also have to give location permission for outdoor tracking. If we are honest, the software could use a little work and takes some time to get used to it too.

Verdict | For Rs 2,499, the Mi Smart Band 5 offers great value with a ton of new features and improvements. At its price, the smart band is built for everyone. What the Mi Smart Band 5 does well is offer all the basic features without any flaws, although we aren’t convinced about the band’s accuracy while providing readouts. But for the price you are paying, the band provides a good overview of how your day is progressing and is a neat way of tracking your activity. This could be helpful in setting fitness goals, but you should always rely on health professionals for accurate information. We think the Mi Smart Band 5 is a worthy upgrade over its predecessor and is worth considering if you are working with a 3K budget.

Should you buy it? | Yes, this is arguably one of the best fitness bands under 3,000. For Rs 2,499, the Mi Smart Band 5 offers great value with a ton of new features and improvements. At its price, the smart band is built for everyone. What the Mi Smart Band 5 does well is offer all the basic features without any flaws, although we aren’t convinced about the band’s accuracy while providing readouts. But for the price you are paying, the band provides a good overview of how your day is progressing and is a neat way of tracking your activity. This could be helpful in setting fitness goals, but you should always rely on health professionals for accurate information. We think the Mi Smart Band 5 is a good upgrade over its predecessor and is worth considering if you are working with a 3K budget.

First Published on Oct 3, 2020 05:02 pm
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