Xiaomi recently launched the much-awaited Mi Band 5 in India, a few months after its global launch. At the same event, the company also introduced its first-ever smartwatch, the Mi Watch Revolve. But such is the price and appeal of the Mi Band 5 that it hogged much of the limelight. For the right reasons as we understand in this Mi Band 5 review.
Xiaomi has launched the Mi Band 5 at a competitive price of Rs 2499. It is interesting because the Mi Band 4 sells at around Rs 2299. So basically, now the fitness band to buy from Xiaomi is the Mi Band 5 because for just Rs 200 extra it brings so much more to the table.
Mi Band 5: Design
The Mi Band 5 features the classic Mi Band design that has been with this fitness tracker since the first Band. Although there have been minor changes in the display size, the capsule-shaped tracker has been one constant. That is alright, though. The design is fine enough, and even if it doesn’t change, the one good bit is that it works well.
The Mi Band 5 looks identical to the Mi Band 4 but comes with a bigger 1.1-inch display, which is a welcome change. So, Xiaomi has retained the compactness but at the same time, it has managed to provide a bigger and brighter viewing display to the Band fans. Xiaomi has used the AMOLED panel for the display, and true to character the display shows bright and brilliant colours.There is a touch key right below the display that pretty much helps you in controlling the fitness band.
Xiaomi has used the silicone straps that will fit almost all wrists sizes. There is nothing outlandish or eye-catching about the straps and they are quite comfortable to put on for hours. While trying the band, I rarely removed it and not even once did my skin felt itchy or uncomfortable.On the rear of the Mi Band 5, there is the heart rate sensor. There are also two pins below the sensor which connect to the charger
This brings me to the most endearing thing about the Mi Band 5: its magnetic charging point. This means that you now no longer have to struggle to pop out the fitness tracker from its strap to charge it. The magnetic charger can be attached to the port and charged with the straps on.
Mi Band 5: Performance
To set up the Mi Band 5, users will have to first download the Mi Fit app and create an account. The app records health data, step count, and analyses sleep. However, for everything that you want your app to know, you will have to grant permissions. For instance, if you want to get notifications for calls or messages you will have to enable that in the settings. Although the app caters to some of the most practical needs, it is slightly convoluted and the user interface could be a bit complicated for first-time users.
The Mi Band 5 has a total of 11 professional sports modes such as running, walking, indoor cycling, outdoor cycling, treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, yoga, jump rope, pool swimming, freestyle that can be tracked. Considering most of us are homebound these days due to coronavirus, Mi Band 5 can conveniently track all the indoor activities too. To access the menu, you need to swipe up and down. The touch key is pretty responsive as I could browse the menu even with wet fingers.
Xiaomi has also introduced a couple of new features with the Mi Band 5 such as the breathing exercise to soothe your nerves, stress level calculator, and the menstrual cycle tracker. Now, how exactly the band calculates the stress level in the body is something we don’t know yet. So we also cannot comment on the accuracy of the data that has been calculated. But if you like to see everything quantified, even stress, you will like the feature.
Xiaomi’s first step towards helping users keep track of their menstrual health is welcoming. The menstrual health tracker as the name suggests tracks your menstrual health and ovulation phases. To activate the feature, you need to enter your data on the app. The band will then send reminders to you for the next cycle. This is one of the features that I really found useful.
The Mi Band has got the new PAI tracking system or Personal Activity Intelligence, that we have seen in Huami’s Amazfit wearables. It gives ratings or scores to the user between 1 to 100. The score is calculated on the basis of the heart rate, so the more you exercise your heart the better the score is. Based on your age, gender, and heart rate, this feature tells you how active you should be in a day to lead a healthy lifestyle. But do remember when you activate the PAI, your band’s battery life will cut short.
The Mi Band 5 comes with continuous heart tracking technology but I cannot comment on how accurate the reading is. Sometimes when I was sitting idle, the heart rate showed around 90 beats per minute, which in my opinion felt too high. I mean I wasn’t feeling that my heart was racing at that moment. And during my evening strolls, the heart rate wasn’t strangely high.
However, when it comes to step counting, the Mi Band 5’s reading is accurate. The band not only gives you accurate readings but also tells the users when they are active or not active. So it can be a good self-assessment tool. You can take a look at the graph and work on your activities accordingly.
The sleep tracking feature is accurate too but it only calculates your sleep time during the night. It would not calculate your sleep time if you sleep in the afternoon or in the evening. Looks like the Mi Band 5 does not approve of the idea of afternoon siesta!
The band notifies when you get a call or a message on WhatsApp, Instagram, and other apps. However, I wish the font size was larger as it is currently too small and some people will find it difficult to read the notifications in a glance.
Coming to the fun stuff, the Mi Band 5 has around 100 watch faces to choose from. Some of them are animated, so you will never have a dull day with a Spongebob dancing in your little screen whenever you raise your wrist to look at the time or to see how many steps you have taken in a day. Apart from this, the Mi Band comes with a 50-meter water resistance feature, which means you can wear it while taking shower.
When paired with a phone, you can decline calls, control music, click a picture, and set alarms though the Mi Band 5.
Mi Band 5: Battery
Xiaomi claims that the Mi Band 5 can run for 14 days on a single charge but its predecessor could go on for a good 20 days. However, I have been using the band for a little over 10 days and now at this point in time, the band still has 33 percent battery left in it. This means it can easily go on for another two-three days at least. You can also save a lot of battery and make the band run for 20 days if you select the power saving mode but then you will have to stop using a lot of features.
I have no complaints about the battery life of Mi Band 5 even if it is 14 days and not 20. For the features that it comes with, it is way better than most smartwatches or fitness bands that are available in the market.
Mi Band 5: Should you buy it?
Xiaomi has upped the fitness tracking game in all these years. Especially, at a time when our fitness regime has gone for a toss due to the coronavirus-induced restrictions, Mi Band 5 can be the perfect tool to keep the fitness game on track.
Priced at Rs 2499, Mi Band 5 takes on some of the more expensive fitness bands such as Fitbit. It comes with a brighter and bigger screen and loads of new features. However, if you are expecting features like Blood Oxygen level monitoring and other high-end features, you should spend more money and get a Fitbit device or a Huami Amazfit watch. But for its price, and as a well-rounded fitness tracker, the Mi Band 5 is a fantastic fitness band for Rs 2499.