Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Exercise Tracker

“The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is filled with sensors to trace your exercise, easy software program to make it simple to make use of, and a cushty match for 24-hour wearability. It is not for the critically sporty, nevertheless it’s nice for everybody else.”

Snug and light-weight

Simple to make use of with a dependable app

Complete sensor array

Coronary heart price sensor accuracy considerations

The Xiaomi Mi Band, or Mi Sensible Band because it’s usually recognized, has all the time been among the best low-cost health bands obtainable. Ever for the reason that first one grew to become obtainable in 2015, Xiaomi has steadily up to date it yearly to maintain up with new tech developments and it has solely acquired higher. The newest model is the Mi Band 6, which I’ve been sporting for greater than every week now, and the components hasn’t modified a lot.

It crammed the area left by the Honor Band 6, one other low-cost health tracker that shocked me with its means and magnificence, which means that though there’s loads of goodwill in direction of the Mi Band 6, it nonetheless had a tricky job forward of it. Does Xiaomi’s tried and examined wearable nonetheless succeed when others are edging extra in direction of a smartwatch-like design? Right here’s the way it did.

Design

Xiaomi hasn’t dared to be totally different with the Mi Band 6’s seems, so it’s similar to the Mi Band 5 — a generously sized display on a core module, hooked up to a silicone band with a pin-and-hole becoming to maintain it in your wrist. It weighs barely something at about 13 grams, is simply over 12mm thick, and within the black shade scheme right here, is an virtually fully incognito piece of tech. The module can come out of the band so you’ll be able to swap it for brighter variations if you need the Mi Band 6 to face out just a little extra.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The display is a 1.56-inch AMOLED panel, up from the 1.1-inch AMOLED on the Mi Band 5, and it’s sharp, colourful, and vivid. I’ve been in a position to look and see it in all lighting circumstances, though there’s no auto-brightness function, so I’ve simply left it set to most. Sadly it’s not an always-on display, however you’ll be able to set the period of time the display stays on (as much as 10 seconds) and the raise-to-wake gesture is correct and doesn’t require extreme motion to activate.

You’ve got the selection of a whole lot of various watch faces by means of the app, however don’t suppose this implies you’re spoiled for alternative. There isn’t a lot variation between them, and plenty of are pretty unattractive. I struggled to search out even a handful that I favored. I settled on one, and haven’t had any want to change it for an additional.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

I’ve discovered it to be very snug, and have had no difficulty sporting it 24 hours a day. The pin-and-hole becoming can generally be awkward, nevertheless it’s simple to do up right here, plus there are lots of changes, so it’ll match no matter how thick your wrist is. It doesn’t get too sweaty, isn’t annoying at night time, and the band itself hasn’t collected fluff both, so it’ll preserve trying neat and new for longer.

No, the Mi Band 6 isn’t a method icon, however there’s a cause Xiaomi hasn’t deviated removed from the Mi Band’s established look — as a result of it really works. Smartwatch-like health bands are superb, however there’s nonetheless area for a extra compact, much less intrusive health band that might be worn alongside a conventional watch. If you would like a health tracker that matches nicely, is designed to be worn all day and night time, is provided with a reasonably display however isn’t making an attempt to be a smartwatch, that is it. It’s additionally much better trying than the numerous low cost smartwatches that infest Amazon’s wearable part, and a significantly better choice total.

Exercise monitoring

Earlier than going into element, let’s discuss concerning the app. I’ve been utilizing the Mi Band 6 with an iPhone 12 Professional. Xiaomi’s app, known as Xiaomi Put on, is accessible from the App Retailer. Nevertheless, the band additionally works with the Mi Match app, which is developed by Huami, the corporate behind the Amazfit vary of wearables, and producer of Xiaomi’s wearables. Each combine with Apple Well being, nevertheless it’s the Mi Match app that I’d suggest utilizing.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Complicated, proper? Sure, particularly as a result of Mi Match — the app not developed by Xiaomi — is the higher choice, as a result of Xiaomi Put on hasn’t been fully localized to be used exterior China and there are nonetheless just a few choices and menus in Chinese language. Mi Match will not be that engaging to take a look at, nevertheless it incorporates all the knowledge you want, stays linked with out difficulty, and received’t put newcomers off.

Let’s transfer on to the exercise monitoring. The band has 30 totally different exercise modes, six of which could be routinely detected, or shortly activated within the menu. The standard choices together with strolling, operating, and swimming are there, plus a spread of extra uncommon actions like road dance, Zumba, and boxing. I discovered the auto-detection to be just a little haphazard, so ended up beginning the exercises myself.

The information collected within the app is visualized properly, with graphs exhibiting coronary heart price, tempo, and coronary heart price zones, together with GPS routing in the event you present the app entry. The simplicity is repeated all through, with every little thing from sleep to emphasize knowledge illustrated logically and clearly, however generally menus could be fairly dense and historic knowledge laborious to search out. The primary display within the Mi Match app reveals stats to do with the band, together with battery remaining.

It does take some studying, and doesn’t look as graphically trendy because the Xiaomi Put on app, nevertheless it gives all the knowledge you want in a single place, and syncs reliably too. It additionally gives a PAI rating, and the helpfulness of this statistic will increase the longer you put on the band, however requires some studying into what it truly means because the in-app explanations are fairly poor.

How concerning the accuracy? Throughout each day exercise steps and calorie burn had been per my Apple Watch, as had been SpO2 blood oxygen measurements. Nevertheless, coronary heart price accuracy is much less sure. Throughout train and when monitoring within the background, it tends to present a better studying. This can be a consequence of the fastening of the strap, because it’s not simple or snug to get the pin-and-hole system actually tight in opposition to your wrist. While you pressure a coronary heart price measurement the outcomes are per the Apple Watch at relaxation, exhibiting there are some points with the way in which it measures.

For sleep, I in contrast it to the under-mattress Withings Sleep Analyzer. It measured a really comparable complete sleep time and REM sleep, however under-estimated my deep sleep stage, and overestimated my mild sleep stage in comparison with the Withings, each by about an hour. It reveals a sleep rating, and assesses respiration whereas asleep too. The sleep stage discrepancy isn’t a priority, because it’s not sure the Withings Sleep is 100% correct both. Nevertheless, the respiration measurements didn’t line up with the Withings, which once more could also be to do with sporting the band loosely at night time. In any other case, for common use by somebody with out particular sleep points, the Mi Band 6 is an efficient sleep monitoring associate.

the Mi Band 6’s exercise monitoring is superb — complete, simple to make use of, and logically offered for simple understanding

Different options embrace cycle monitoring for ladies, respiration workouts, alerts to remind you to maneuver round, and computerized stroke recognition when swimming. I had issues with the auto-pause function, which appeared to pause exercises after I was nonetheless in the course of it, forcing me to dig into the settings and switch the perform off.

A software program replace might remedy the slight overestimation of the guts price sensor and a few of the different accuracy considerations, however the remainder of the Mi Band 6’s exercise monitoring is superb — complete sufficient for the informal health fan, simple to make use of, and logically offered for simple understanding.

Software program and battery life

The Mi Band 6 is straightforward to make use of. Swipe up on the display to indicate a vertical scrolling listing of choices, which incorporates exercise modes and notifications, plus options like alarms and a world clock, and entry to the guts price monitor, stress monitor, and the SpO2 blood oxygen take a look at. The order of the listing could be modified within the app, as can options accessed with a facet swipe, serving to personalize the Mi Band 6. It’s all comparatively clean and as soon as the options have been positioned in an order appropriate in your personal use, it’s very handy to stay with.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The band reveals notifications out of your cellphone with average regularity, with most, however not all, alerts exhibiting in your wrist. It appeared to have an issue exhibiting Gmail notifications, for instance, however not with Twitter or Outlook. It might be right down to settings in iOS, however I couldn’t appear to unravel it. It’s a pleasant addition, however don’t count on alerts to be that useful, as lengthy messages don’t present of their entirety, and there’s no method to work together with them.

Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

Xiaomi claims the battery will final for 2 weeks earlier than it wants a recharge, however it will rely by yourself use. If you wish to reap the benefits of the continual monitoring options for coronary heart and stress, observe sleep, and report a exercise every day, it should final half this period of time. My use with all these options energetic noticed the battery at eight% on day seven. Recharging is fast, however is completed with a brief proprietary cable which is small and straightforward to lose.

Worth and availability

The Mi Band 6 prices 40 British kilos, which is round $55. It’s obtainable by means of Xiaomi’s on-line retailer within the U.Okay. Anybody within the U.S. should import one, though the Mi Band 6 will discover its method onto Amazon, identical to the Mi Band 5. One factor to notice is to safe the U.Okay. or “international” model, in any other case it should embrace some China-specific options that received’t work.

Our take

The Mi Band 6 is a superb health band for folks desirous about their total well being, and who wish to observe their on a regular basis actions and make enhancements. I phrase it this fashion as a result of the Mi Band 6 shouldn’t be a critical health tracker for sports activities addicts. It doesn’t have GPS in-built, for instance, and the accuracy considerations imply anybody critically trying to enhance their efficiency might discover it insufficient.

That is all mirrored within the worth. Excessive-end health monitoring merchandise, just like the Suunto 7 or Garmin Forerunner 745, value $500 or extra, and are much better suited to people who find themselves coaching for a marathon, or are critically into a really particular exercise. If that’s not you, then spending a lot is a bit pointless, and the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is a superb worth when you think about what it might probably do, and the sensors it incorporates.

Xiaomi hasn’t damaged its tried-and-tested components with the Mi Band 6, it stays an inexpensive, snug health band with a listing of targeted exercise options, and all of the essential sensors a contemporary tracker must fulfill most individuals.

Is there a greater various?

Samsung’s Galaxy Match 2 prices $60, has an analogous design, and is extra available, nevertheless it doesn’t have an SpO2 sensor for improved sleep monitoring, or GPS both. The Honor Band 6 is an efficient various in the event you want a bigger display and a extra conventional clasp-style band. If Fitbit is your model of alternative, the Fitbit Cost four is our advisable model however at $150 it’s much more costly. Typically there are respectable offers to decrease this worth just a little although.

How lengthy will it final?

The Mi Band 6 must be hardwearing attributable to its easy plastic building and being encased within the protecting strap, which could be cheaply changed if it breaks. The entire band has 5ATM (50 meters) water resistance so it’s appropriate for swimming however not for diving. Offered Xiaomi maintains app assist (each variations had been up to date inside the final two weeks when scripting this assessment) the Mi Band 6 will final for a number of years with out difficulty.

Do you have to purchase one?

Sure. It might require some effort or persistence to safe one within the U.S., nevertheless it’s a great health tracker at a really wise worth.

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