With the launch of the Mi Band 6 on the 23rd of March, Xiaomi returned to annually renew its “smart” bracelet introducing some new features.
I wanted to take a look at the features up to the Mi Band 5, also doing a review of this last model. The reason for this article is to evaluate the progression and realize that the upgrade was not always justified. Notably from Mi Band 4 to 5, we could have passed this version and it will be interesting to see what the progression of Mi Band bracelets has been so far and the features of Mi Band 5, before we carry out the comparative review with Mi Band 6.
It should be noted that the Mi Band 6 has an advertised price for the European market of 44.95€ ($53 / £38), an increase of 60% in relation to the last Mi Band 5 that I purchased for 28.90€ ($34 /£24.50) in Portugal.
It is therefore important to understand whether the additional investment will be really relevant and for that we will analyze the previous versions and what has been introduced throughout the versions.
I personally and despite knowing the functionalities and technical characteristics of the Mi Band, I am not a Mi Band user, not dispensing with my Huawei GT Sport, a product in a totally different price and feature range. But to do a “knowledgeable” review, I decided to invite Irene Ferreira, author of the portuguese life style blog Amoras & Mirtilos (www.amorasemirtilos.pt), a longtime user of Mi Band, that owns several versions of the bracelet and finally and most importantly, my wife 😊 and she is a regular backstage contributor at TechCorner.TV.
In our comparison we present the Mi Band from version 2, but in reality, in terms of functionality, only the last 3 versions (from 3 to 5) will be covered, not counting the recently launched Mi Band 6, that we will analyze as soon as the new bracelet arrives, it is already on the way (at the date of writing the article and recording the video).
I will start by presenting a comparation features tableof the last three bracelet models:
|Feature||Mi Band 3||Mi Band 4||Mi Band 5|
|Music remote control||–||✔||✔|
|PAI – Personal Activity Index||–||–||✔|
|Remote mobile camera shutter||–||–||✔|
|Battery duration *||20 days||10 days||7 days|
Mi Band 5 new features
Looking at this table visually it seems that there has been a big evolution from Mi Band 4 to Mi Band 5 and in reality there are new features, but these are features that, with the exception of the screen that is physically bigger, could possibly all be done with an upgrade of software. In reality it wasn’t an evolution so evident that it justifies an upgrade, as it happened from Mi Band 3 to 4 where the color screen and the mobile phone remote music control was introduced.
The event reminder is also a feature introduced in the Mi Band 5, which, although interesting, is of little use, would be much more efficient if it connected to the phone’s calendar, not doing so, there is a need to insert the reminders directly into the application, duplicating the work, in my view it makes no sense.
The introduction of support for menstrual cycles, is for women, a really an interesting feature and allows them to know their fertile period among other information.
The PAI (Personal Activity Index) is not very intuitive, taking a long time to understand how a positive index really works and how to stay in a “good” zone.
The Mi Band 5 supports face masks an interesting feature for personalizing your bracelet, but nevertheless, it also existed on the Mi Band 4.
The screens have increased in size and there was the introduction of color (much appreciated), killing the battery, of course, faster. But this is the normal trade off between having features on the device without space to increase the battery, understandable, but is a little annoying having to charge the bracelet more often, .
We have a fail on Mi Band 5, and as already been announced, the Mi Band 6 will also fail to include a GPS on the bracelet, having Xiaomi opted in version 6 to have the possibility of NFC, which although useful, is not comparable to being able to have GPS tracking on the bracelet, eliminating the need to bring the mobile to every walk/run.
In conclusion, shared by our dear collaborator Irene, it is clear, in her and my opinion, if you have the Mi Band 4, it is not worth the investment for the 5, unless you consider the Mi Band 6 is already starting to get out of budget, in that case and if you think you need more exercises / activities available on the Mi Band or if you need some functionality like menstrual cycle control, then go ahead and upgrade your Mi Band 4 to 5. If you are willing to invest a little more, it is recommended that you go directly to 6.
On the other hand, if you still use the Mi Band 3, either version, 4 or 5, will be huge improvement in terms of functionality, as you already know, sacrificing battery time. But in my view it worths the upgrade by far. Likewise, if you are going to invest and are willing to spend another 20€ ($35 / £25,50), you should probably upgrade directly to Mi Band 6.
If you want to know more, you have the links to the different Mi Band versions below:
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