Quite unexpectedly, I went and bought Xiaomi Mi Band 4. It became interesting.
For three years, every second European has praised the “bands” and almost puts them on a par with the Apple Watch.
This, of course, is complete nonsense. If the Apple Watch is a shiny German tractor, then the Mi Band 4 is a two-wheeled plow. It gets tangled, burrows into the ground, you have to constantly get it out of the mud with your hands. Wheels sometimes fall off. But she does her job.
I turned out to have a version with NFC, it’s “seryak”, thanks to one “verified” store, about which I already wrote twice here. But that’s not the point, let’s talk about the main thing.
The bracelet is long, tall and inconspicuous
There’s been worse than just a boring black bracelet.
It’s the same height and thickness as the 44mm version of the Apple Watch, but it’s half as wide. A thin strap, almost zero value as an accessory – this thing does not attract attention at all, you can wear it under anything, and no one will care about it. “Killing” against a wall with a careless movement is also more difficult, and not as offensive as AW.
Mi Band 4 is not the worst option that you can put on your hand. But, of course, it looks “soviet” compared to a normal smart watch, and even more so the Apple Watch.
The display is colorful and awful
Real visibility in the world.
In Mi Band 4, they finally put a color display instead of black and white, and immediately OLED. That’s where the pluses end. The resolution is scanty, the screen size is just ridiculous.
And if you haven’t noticed from the beautiful renders, the display itself doesn’t take up the entire front panel. At the bottom, it is “eaten off” by a touch button for activating the screen. So, depending on the illumination of the case, Band 4 can either look normal or look terrible, like a Chinese craft (which it actually is).
The quality of the screen is at a digestible low level, a three. The brightness is not very high, but in the sun you can somehow recognize the text. The viewing angles are excellent, and the color reproduction is so-so, it will do for a bracelet.
Synchronization with the iPhone is tolerable, you can get used to it
The heart rate monitor is less accurate than the Apple Watch. But sometimes their results are the same
App notifications and messages (including iMessage) are shown. The name of the sender or caller is visible. In general, everything that comes to the iPhone will also appear on the Mi Band. Pushes are delivered to the bracelet only half a second slower than the Apple Watch.
Strange flaw of the bracelet: no notification bar. None at all. If you missed the “push” or accidentally hid it, don’t look it up a second time, you will have to get your iPhone.
Activity data, such as steps and heart rate, is recorded in Health on iOS no problem. At least, I have. I have read so many reviews to the contrary that without this clarification, well, nothing.
There is no way to call Siri, to answer incoming calls – too, although the version with NFC has a microphone. There are no quick replies to messages, so you can’t do without a smartphone.
Controlling the music player on the iPhone works at a basic level: you can’t start playback when the Music app is closed, but you can switch tracks if something is already playing. No access to the Media Library and playlists. You can’t change the volume level either.
If you set an alarm in the Clock app on your iPhone, then the bracelet won’t react to it at all.there won’t even be any vibration. You need to set alarms in the app MiFitlook make no mistake.
There are many different pitfalls, at least write a separate post about them. But in general, the bracelet will do as an ultra-budget wrist screen for iPhone notifications. Yes, even AW Series 0 in this format will be more useful, but that’s to be expected.
The font is disgusting
For moire on the AW5 screen, we say thanks to Deep Fusion in the iPhone 11 Pro.
The European text in Mi Band 4 is like 15 years ago, when fonts suddenly crashed in Windows, or like a dialer of those times without normal localization. Fonts are so ugly that you can only fully get used to them with a weakened sense of beauty (and self-esteem).
The emphasis is on maximum utility and information content, so as many as 80 crooked and chopped characters are pushed onto a tiny screen (1 inch!) Thanks for making them readable. Third-party “packs” and hacks do not greatly save the situation.
In short, decent European fonts for MB4 simply do not exist. After them, look at the Apple typography and notifications from the Apple Watch – how to go to the shower.
Works for a very long time
The main strength of the Mi Band 4 is its huge battery life. It is not measured in hours, as, say, in the Apple Watch 5, not even in days, but in weeks.
Version with NFC (gray import) works up to 15 daysand without NFC plows whole 20 days. A huge figure, unrealistically rare for wearable gadgets. Two weeks the bracelet does not charge, miracles. And after all, it will not just hang on the arm, but will work, show notifications, measure the pulse, and so on.
Charging at the same time takes a miserable 2 hours, and again you can wear it for two weeks without removing it. It is clear that all this is not without reason: the bracelet will not repeat even a tenth of the functionality of the Apple Watch. But no one is asking him to.
Charging is terribly inconvenient
The creators of Mi Band do not like it when a person feels good and comfortable. Otherwise, one cannot explain the dumbest (you can’t say otherwise) charging system, which the fourth generation in a row cannot think of.
Mi Band is charged from a small docking station. How to install a bracelet in it? Think it’s enough just to attach like AW? Nothing like this. It is necessary to remove the entire bracelet (and it is tight) and put the tracker inside the dock. And do not forget to press the module harder on top, otherwise it will not fit.
I can imagine how much hatred on the Internet would be if for each charge of the Apple Watch it was necessary to remove the strap. It’s good that MB4 works for a long time, and you can shove it into the dock only a couple of times a month. This, however, does not negate the curvature of the system and the lack of thoughtful usability.
Forget about NFC, better without it
The global version of Mi Band 4 is being released without NFC module and microphone. It’s not scary, because both features will not bring no real utility European who are not ready to dance with a tambourine around forums for the dubiously necessary AliPay and NFC tag repeater.
In addition, the model without NFC has a more capacious battery. So, other things being equal, the global version will be better than the Chinese one.
But buying a Chinese model is not dangerous. By installing the latest version MiFit with the App Store, you get full European localization and the same features. Just remember that the “seryak” in EU will not be serviced under warranty, well, or privately negotiate with the seller later.
I ordered in one well-known online store, received the Chinese version with NFC and have not yet found any problems with it.
The app is required and buggy
The official rating of Mi Fit, the proprietary application through which all Xiaomi fitness gadgets work, is 2.3 stars. This is, of course, a coincidence (no).
Experienced Mi Band owners never install new firmware or even updates to the companion app without reading 3-5 forums with reviews from the first ones who took the risk. They can be understood.
Features may disappear or stop working without warning. Bugs appear in almost every new release. And you can also catch a “brick” with the next update.
Therefore, around the Mi Band there is a good community of straight-forward developers who create custom firmware and “forks” of the Mi Fit application with additional features and corrected “jambs”.
There is no other way, because in Xiaomi it is customary not to fix problems, but to quickly release a new generation of devices and completely forget about the old one.
The current revision of the iOS app allegedly breaks notifications. Everything is fine with me, but this is not an indicator.
Problems cannot be ignored because bracelet settings available only in the application. If it is buggy or does not work, then alas.
Given the frequency of fresh, juicy bugs in Mi Fit, I recommend having some kind of Android smartphone in the daytime availability. On it you can freely download and install the previous version of the application.
There is another important important detail: training and heart rate data are transferred to Health on iOS only when you open the Mi Fit app. So open it up more often. And hope that it will work after the next update.
So what are your overall impressions?
IMHO, you can take it.
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is a normal thing, which is normal to buy even just for fun. Because it’s fabulously cheap, performs universally useful tasks, and runs obscenely long.
Even the owner of an Apple Watch can take such a bracelet to see what they have been praying so fiercely for on the other side of the barricades for three years now. I myself bought a clean look.
Just don’t expect any revelations from the bracelet. Mi Band 4 can cause gadget-manic ecstasy in the average owner of a budget Android smartphone, but not in an iPhone user paired with an Apple Watch. This is generally a different league of quality.
While I plan to use my MB4 as an alarm clock. Well, I look like him a little more. Maybe I’ll pick up something interesting for the second article.
As a result, we have a harsh, but justifying device for its money, which, through “I don’t want to”, copes with its tasks. And do not forget to remind each time: bought Xiaomi – must suffer.