Xiaomi MI Smart Band – MGW4014CN
The Mi Band sports a minimal, sleek design, consisting of an oblong black plastic sensor module with an aluminum top, fitting into a rubber wristband. The module and band together weigh only about 13g, so you’ll hardly notice it when it’s on your wrist, and the wristband itself is also pretty comfortable to wear. It doesn’t get sticky when wet with water or sweat, and it has enough adjustment holes to accommodate most wrist sizes.
Setting up the Mi Band is fairly simple, just download the app, and sign in with your Xiaomi account. The app will then activate bluetooth to search for your Mi Band.
The app will prompt you to enter your vitals like age, height and weight, and after that you can set up a daily target for steps taken (you can also change this later in the options menu if you find you were a bit too ambitious during setup).
Once set up, the main app page will display steps taken, calories burned and distance traveled. A summary of any exercise done that day will also be displayed below. If you want to track specific activities, like rope jumping and sit-ups, you can access them in the app menu under Activities. One drawback of the Mi Band is that, unlike some other more advanced wearables, it won’t suggest any exercise or fitness plans for you and, for the time being at least, it’s also not compatible with third-party fitness tracking apps like Run Keeper.
Like other activity trackers, you don’t have to take your phone with you for the Mi Band to track, the app will automatically sync as soon as you’re back in Bluetooth range with your phone.
If you want to check your progress without accessing the app, you can raise the Mi Band to your face (as if you were checking the time) and the activity LEDs will light up – one for more than one-third of your daily goal, two for two-thirds, and three for goal completed. You can customize the color of the LEDs in the My devices option menu of the app. Choices include: blue, green, red or orange.
You can also use the Mi Band to track your sleep patterns. Just wear it at night and it will automatically monitor your sleep. To view last night’s sleep activity, just swipe left from the step counter. You’ll be able to see how long you were asleep for, as well as your deep and light sleep cycles.
Aside from activity and sleep tracking the Mi Band can also be used as an alarm. Just set an alarm in the app and it will vibrate a few times at the set time. Unfortunately, there’s no snooze option or other functionality to keep it vibrating until you cancel it, so a backup alarm might be a good idea. The Mi Band can also be set to vibrate whenever you receive an incoming call.
One area where the Mi Band far out performs its rivals is its advertised 30-day battery life. We haven’t been able to fully test this claim yet, but after a day of use, battery life dropped only 3 percent, which sounds about right for a 30-day charge. If Xiaomi’s claim does prove accurate, that’s a huge improvement over the Fitbit’s advertised four-day battery life or the Jawbone UP’s 10 days. You can check your remaining battery life by accessing the My devices menu of the app.
When you do need to re-charge the Mi Band, you’ll have to take the module out of its wristband. The top of the module slots into a small supplied charging dock attached to a short USB cable.