Review: Xiaomi Mi Band 2 – Cheap fitness band with best features

Mi band 2

Xiaomi is almost in every field where you can use gadgets. The Chinese manufacturer has introduced a number of different products which has gained instant popularity. Being one of those makers who believe in providing affordable gadgets, the company is destined to be loved by affordable gadget lovers. Apart from mobile phones, the fitness bands by Xiaomi are quite famous. Since the launch in 2014 with the first fitness band at a shocking price of USD 13, the company has come a long way. The MI Band 2 has some serious up gradation as compared to its previous version. It is still affordable and quite attractive. The flaws, you can choose to embrace but cannot ignore. Overall the device is a good mixture of pros with a pinch of cons.

IMG_0410Design

If you leave the strap aside, there is nothing in the device that looks similar to its previous version. The whole structure has been changed to include the new features. It is still very light weight which is good for the regular user. You may simply forget that it is on your wrist. There is a bump in the price. The retail value of the band is USD 40 to USD 50 in different markets. The main reason behind this increase is that the company has decided to include an OLED display. The previous version missed that.

There is a small button right below the display which is used to check steps, distance, calories, heart rate, time and battery. If you lift your wrist, it will show time. This may be a little slow, though. It sometimes takes up to 2 seconds to show the current time.



IMG_0412Display

As per company the 0.42-inch screen are a fingerprint, scratch, and dust resistant. It does work well against scratches and dust but not that well against the fingerprints.  The display works perfectly inside. If you try to check the screen in sunlight, it can be messy. Still, something is better than nothing. In case you need to check the stats outside, do find some shade under a tree.

Features and performance

When it comes to performance, the device has everything which you can expect from an entry level fitness wearable. It tracks steps, distance travelled, calories burnt along with the sleep pattern. In most of the cases, the device is good enough to track everything flawlessly. The device is designed to automatically send the data to the Mi Fit app. This comes in handy in several situations. In some of the devices that are available in the market, you have to sync the data which may cause unrealistic representations in case you miss to sync it.

The device is designed to record different sleep patterns. It can tell if the user is having a light or deep sleep. In both the cases, the device works perfectly. It automatically detects when you go to sleep. This is different from other entry-level gadgets where you have to activate ‘sleep now’ option. It also comes with a silent alarm system. When the time comes to wake up, it will vibrate in a subtle manner. This is way better than the noisy alarms which eventually cause headaches and sleep deprivation.

The most talked about feature of the Mi Band is the heart rate monitor. Unfortunately, it is not that accurate. In some cases, it is even 15 bpm short than the actual heart rate. In case you are looking for some device which can track your heart rate perfectly, you should choose some other high-end device.

Another interesting feature of the device is the Idle Alert. In case you are bound to the desk job, the device will alert you to move around. This works perfectly and allows you to move every one hour. Studies have shown that those who are concentrated in desk jobs should leave the chair once in every one hour to keep the body in good shape. This device helps the user to achieve the target.

The device has a notification option which tells the user about incoming calls or messages. This is not up to the level of the high-end devices, though. The Mi Band only vibrates to alert the user and show an icon on the screen. To check the message or the info about the caller, you have to check your phone. It works via Bluetooth connection which is again not that reliable.

The company claims that the device is good to run for 20 days with a single charge. Even if you regularly check the health alerts on the screen every day, the Mi Band actually runs for 20 days without any need of recharging. The process of charging the device is fairly simple. All you need to do is to remove the dongle from the band and hook it to the computer after connecting to the proprietary charger.

IMG_0409Software

The Mi Fit app can be called a good example of what a good mixture of pros and cons will look like. It has a lot of features which looks promising and on the other hand lacks some basic options. Talking about the pros, it shows a graphical representation of the daily, weekly and monthly fitness regime. It can connect to Google Fit, WeChat and Sina Weibo. You can check the stats from your favorite app as well.

When it comes to the cons, the major issue is the way the app is divided into the parts. The user interface is a little bit confusing which may be overlooked if you are good with the gadgets. It has three sections by the names Status, Play, and Profile. The status is basically the home screen of the app which shows the data related to a daily workout. The play section has different features like third-party connectivity. It also has a QR code section which can be used to communicate with another Mi Band user and compare the stats. This feature is somehow not that important and most of the users may never use it. The company could have made the app simpler and more users friendly.

Is the Mi band 2 worth?

At a price of USD 40, it is. There are a lot of advanced features in Mi Band 2 which are normally missing from the entry-level fitness bands. The device can be really useful for those who want to track the daily usage but do not want to spend too much on a fitness device. It is user-friendly, lightweight and very affordable. All these features make it a must buy.

The Review

Xiaomi Mi band 2

7.5 Score

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The Good

  • Long battery life
  • IP67
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Accurate sleep tracking

The Bad

  • Inconsistent heart rate monitor

Breakdown

  • Battery 90%
  • Display 80%
  • Heart rate monitor 50%
  • Overall performance 80%
Amit Shinde

Author

Amit Shinde

I am a simple person trying to go beyond my boundaries. Technology is my passion, and I like to play with gadgets to find the new technologies. I need the internet in every step of my life, and without the internet, I feel like it's a waste of my life.

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