The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is available in the UK and continues the company’s tradition of super cheap fitness tracking. The Mi Band 2 introduces a screen for the first time in Xiaomi history, and also debuts smartwatch style notifications. Xiaomi shifted over 10 million Mi Band (1) fitness trackers in the first nine months of 2015 and sits in third place to only Apple and Fitbit in the wearable tech space.
With Xiaomi’s super competitive pricing enabling it to take on the likes of Apple and Fitbit, it’s set to be one of the most anticipated fitness devices of 2016. The 24/7 activity tracker features a 0.42-inch OLED screen that’s covered by scratch resistant glass and an anti-fingerprint coating for that extra layer of protection. It sports a single physical button just below the display, which enables you scroll through three different screens. The screens show time, steps and heart rate information. The only missing metric is that there’s no screen dedicated to distance.
Xiaomi claims the silicone strap holding the screen in place is made from a more breathable, anti-sweat material and will be available in black, orange, green and blue colours. The Mi Band 2 has an IP67 water and dust-resistance certificate, which means you can wear it in the shower and it’s okay to get a little splash of water when you’re washing the dishes or your hands.
As far as tracking goes, you still get an optical heart rate monitor that Xiaomi claims will offer improved accuracy over the previous Mi Band Pulse. A new pedometer algorithm coupled with ultra low power accelerometers is also designed to deliver improvements to step tracking.
Of course, sleep tracking is still a key feature, breaking down your deep sleep and light sleep patterns. A built-in vibration motor also means the introduction of inactivity alerts, giving you buzz when you’ve been sitting too long at your desk. With the addition of a display, you do get some smartphone notification love here as well. The Mi Band 2 will vibrate for incoming calls and texts. It’s pretty basic, but that’s no real surprise here. Like its predecessor, the Mi Band 2 can be used to unlock a selection of Android smartphones.
The Mi Fit app has been given a makeover introducing a new-look user interface, and adding more ways to drill into your data. It’ll work with Android phones running 4.4 or later and iPhones running iOS 7.0 and above. In terms of battery life, the Mi Band 2 packs a 70mAh battery that can deliver up to 20 days on standby. That is an impressive number but users may find this variable depending on usage. Enabling notifications and activity will take a chunk out of that figure.
The Mi Band 2 won’t be the only wearable we will see from Xiaomi this year. The Mi smartwatch will be launching in the next couple of months. This will obviously provide enhanced functionality but for the price this unit is hard to beat. If your into fitness monitoring or just have a healthy interest in your body metrics the Mi Band 2 is definitely worth purchasing.