Xiaomi managed to impress everybody with its low-cost $30 Mi Band 4 that easily kept up with much costlier products from Fitbit, Garmin, and Co. (as long as you're not a swimmer, that is). Exactly a year after its introduction, the company has released a follow-up in the form of the Mi Band 5, packing a slightly bigger screen, a much-improved charger, more tracking capabilities, and a ton of new animated watchfaces.
|Display||1.1" AMOLED, 126x294, 16 bit, adjustable brightness|
|Battery||125 mAh, ~14 days of battery life, magnetic charging|
|Sensors||six-axis sensor, PPG heart rate sensor|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 BLE version|
|Software support||Android 5.0 or iOS 10.0 and above|
NFC variant only: NFC, microphone
|Measurements||47.2 x 18.5 x 12.4mm
Standard version: 11.9g
NFC version: 12.1g
Wrist band: 155-219mm
|Price||Regular model: ¥189 (~$26)
NFC model: ¥229 (~$32)
On the outside, not too much has changed compared to the predecessors. The pill-shaped form lodges into a rubber band that uses a loop and clip mechanism to stay on your wrist. There are quite a few colors to choose from, though it's unclear if they will all make it to international markets. The screen grows from 0.95" to 1.1", but otherwise, it's still a colored AMOLED panel. The Band also keeps the capacitive section below the display that functions as a home/back button. The biggest hardware improvement can be found in the charging department. You finally don't have to remove the device from the wrist band when the battery is dying — a magnetic charger pops onto the back.
Like the previous model, the Mi Band is available in two versions: One with NFC and a cheaper one without. The Mi Band 4's NFC variant never officially made it to markets outside of China, so it remains to be seen what Xiaomi plans for the Mi Band 5. The NFC model also supports better heart rate tracking thanks to an additional infrared sensor, so hopefully, we'll be able to get our hands on it. Chinese customers can additionally look forward to Xiaomi's voice assistant, smart home controls, and contactless payment support.
Finally, a proper magnetic charger for the Mi Band 5.
On the software front, the Mi Band 5 now allows you to log your menstrual cycles, which is something most other fitness bands already offer. There are also improvements to the six-axis sensor array, which gives you a total of eleven sports modes and enhanced sleep tracking capabilities, now available 24/7 — great for those who have night shifts. The tracker additionally calculates a PAI score (Personal Activity Intelligence) based on a Canadian health company's research.
Battery life still comes in at about 14 to 20 days, depending on whether or not you turn on 24/7 heart rate monitoring and lift-to-wake, which is consistent with the Band 4's advertised endurance. Xiaomi has also introduced a slew of new, animated watchfaces with popular characters like SpongeBob and Jimmy Kudo, and the band can be used as a remote shutter for taking pictures.
Some of the new watchfaces.
For now, the Mi Band 5 will only be sold in China starting June 18. The NFC-less model goes for ¥189, which is approximately $26, so a $30 price tag shouldn't be surprising once Xiaomi brings it to other markets. The NFC variant goes for ¥229 (~$32).