The latest product update to the Xiaomi Mi Band is a budget fitness tracker, which has become one of the most popular selling products in history. However, with emerging competitors like Amazfit, Samsung, and Huawei, becoming affordable and competing for the cheap tracker space, Xiaomi will have to work hard to stay on top.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is one of the latest upgrades to the Mi Band series. With a bigger, higher-resolution display and more workouts, it’s staying on top of the competition. The Mi Band 6 has also enhanced exercise modes and jumped on the blood oxygen measuring bandwagon.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 At a Glance
- Display: 1.57 inches, AMOLED, 450nits Touchkey
- Body: TPU, polycarbonate
- Sensors: Six-axis sensor and PPG heart rate sensor, 24hours smart heart rate monitoring
- Battery Life: 14/19 days
- Compatibility: Android 5.0+ and iOS 10.0+
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is almost identical to the Mi Band 5 released last year, with one exception: Its display is brighter and clearer than ever before. This makes it a breeze to check your daily stats at a glance, and for those who need it, its heart rate monitor is also more accurate than ever.
This smart band has a variety of features to help you stay healthy. It pays attention to your general wellbeing, not just workouts, with all-day stress monitoring and breathing exercises, as well as a pulse ox sensor that can do spot checks. Period tracking is also possible with a tap and swipe. There are plenty of workout modes available, both indoors and out. We found that heart rate tracking is impressive in our tests.
The Mi Band 6 is a fantastic device for the price, but it’s not perfect. The band’s lack of GPS is no surprise at this price point, but the fact that it is inaccurate during test runs is a bit more disappointing. It’s also not the most comfortable band for long-distance running as the band is difficult to fasten tight enough to prevent small, mildly distracting movements.
These are not that big of a deal for casual users, but if you’re looking for an affordable Fitbit alternative, the Mi Smart Band 6 is the way to go. It’s got more than just step-tracking, and it’s plenty affordable.
As you’d expect at this price point, the Mi Smart Band 6 is a no-frills fitness tracker. It comes with a slim silicone band and looks almost identical to the Mi Smart Band 5. One key difference is the display. The Mi Smart Band 6’s screen is brighter and has a crisper picture than the Mi Smart Band 5. The two are practically indistinguishable, though, as the case is only fractionally longer.
It’s available in six colors – black, orange, yellow, olive, ivory, and blue. Plus, the similarities with the Smart Band 5 mean that you can use your favorite strap with the new device.
We found the Mi Smart Band 6 to be a less-than-comfortable device. Despite its slender case and strap, the buckle’s pin-and-hole design makes it difficult to get a good, firm fit. This can lead to the device shifting slightly during workouts.
The Mi Band 6’s touchscreen is very responsive, with a resolution of 152 x 486 pixels. Text and icons are not only crystal clear but the shape is made to maximize usable screen space. To make things easier for you, there are many faces to choose from, many of which can be customized with shortcuts. This includes quick links to your preferred workout type that will appear when tapped.
This watch is water-resistant to 50 meters. This means that you can swim in deep waters, take a shower, or snorkel. Just make sure you take the watch off before you go skiing, surfing, or jet skiing, which are all high-speed watersports.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is perfect for everyday use. It has features that you would expect to find in more expensive devices such as blood oxygen tracking, stress monitoring, sleep tracking, and period tracking.
The Mi Smart Band 6 is a compact device with no onboard storage for music. That’s not surprising. You can still use it to control your phone’s media playback, though, so you don’t need to dig in your pocket for it every time. One note: during setup, make sure you give the Mi Smart Band 6 the necessary permissions.
You’ll get notifications on your watch from your smartphone, but no ability to reply to texts or take phone calls. There is no voice assistance or microphone, so don’t expect to use your watch for things like Alexa or Google Assistant.
We were pleased with the Mi Smart Band’s sleep monitoring. It was on par with a much more expensive device. It doesn’t measure REM sleep, but it accurately records deep and light sleep cycles. This allows you to tell how many cycles you experienced, and any waking periods during the night.
Although the watch is great for tracking everyday activity and sleep, it’s worth noting that using these features will decrease battery life. Although Xiaomi claims the watch can run for up to 14 days with normal use, enabling these features will decrease this measure by half. However, this is still a respectable number for a fitness tracker.
The Mi Smart Band 6 can be synced with your phone’s GPS. Before starting a workout, you will be prompted to connect your phone to track your activity. Our tests, however, found it was not as accurate as it could be when measuring pace variations. It also failed to register some of these changes at all. We’re not sure if this is an issue with our phone or the watch itself, but we did have issues with the watch’s accuracy when measuring pace.
Auto-pause works well, halting tracking after a few seconds when you wait at a crosswalk or stop at a traffic light. There’s also the end and save feature for workouts. When you hold down an icon on the screen, the tracker stops and saves your workout so you don’t accidentally stop midway.
There are some small problems with the watch. For example, it will vibrate for each mile or kilometer. However, it will also notify you when you complete step goals or trigger PAI alerts. This can make notifications so regular that you won’t know what they mean without looking at the screen.
PAI stands for Pulse-Adjusted Intensity, which is your overall cardiovascular health score, and it is calculated using changes in your heart rate. The number is a representation of your fitness progress and improvement. With regular exercise, the number should increase in line with your increased fitness.
The Smart Band 6 accurately and reliably measures heart rate, even when you’re doing a tough workout. It’s a great way to track your progress if you prefer counting time or heart rate over distance.
Mi Fit App
The Mi Smart Band 6 can be easily connected to the Mi Fit app. The app is easy to navigate and has a refreshingly clean design. Similar to most apps, you are required to sign up for an account with some basic data (name, age, height, weight, gender). From there, logging in to the app is simple and only involves selecting ‘Profile’ and selecting ‘Add device’.
Xiaomi has a lot of features that allow you to connect with your friends in an easy way. For one, you can connect by scanning QR codes. This allows you to see one another’s activity and sleep data. But sadly, that’s where the social functions end.
The app is designed to track your activities by using the phone’s GPS and monitoring your movements as you’re running, walking, or cycling. The app will immediately start tracking when you tap either ‘Walking’, ‘Running’, or ‘Cycling’ and will pause when you stop. The Smart Band 6 has a few customization options that are only accessible on the device itself. This is not a bad thing, and it prevents cluttered menus that come with sports watches or trackers.
The Mi Band 6 is a surprisingly capable smartwatch, and for a low price, it’s hard to find one better. The screen alone is worth the cost of admission, and for such a low cost you really get your money’s worth.
The Mi Smartwatch 6 is not a smartwatch for advanced athletes, but it’s still effective at tracking your heart rate. This information is used to create a personal PAI score. By working to improve this score, you’ll become more fit without getting into the unnecessary details.
The Mi Smart Band 6 is here to help you get through your day by tracking your stress levels and giving you advice on what to do when things get too hectic. It can also be used to perform spot checks of your stress level during the day. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, the guided breathing exercises may help calm down your heart rate.