Xiao­mi is grad­u­al­ly mov­ing away from the image of a brand of cheap elec­tron­ics: its gad­gets are becom­ing more expen­sive, but at the same time they receive advanced fea­tures. The trend is most notice­able in the smart­phone seg­ment, but oth­er devices are not left out. The new Mi Smart Band 5 is bet­ter than its pre­de­ces­sor in almost every­thing. We’ll tell you why this fit­ness track­er is inter­est­ing.

What has changed?

Before close­ly study­ing the cur­rent ver­sion of the Mi Smart Band, let’s clar­i­fy how the new prod­uct dif­fers from the fourth gen­er­a­tion, which has gained con­sid­er­able pop­u­lar­i­ty. The list turned out to be impres­sive:

  • Increased screen diag­o­nal
  • High­er res­o­lu­tion
  • New mag­net­ic charg­ing
  • Less weight
  • 11 types of work­outs instead of 6
  • Increased accu­ra­cy of sleep and heart rate mon­i­tor­ing
  • New phys­i­cal activ­i­ty para­me­ter — PAI
  • Wom­en’s Health Track­er
  • Remote cam­era con­trol

Mi Smart Band
On the left is Mi Smart Band 5, on the right is the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion bracelet

Old design, new content

Despite the long list of improve­ments to the Mi Smart Band 5, its appear­ance has changed min­i­mal­ly. Even if you put two gen­er­a­tions of devices side by side, it’s not easy to notice the dif­fer­ence. If desired, you can insert a new bracelet into the strap from the pre­vi­ous ver­sion. True, there is no full com­pat­i­bil­i­ty, as was the case with Mi Smart Band 3 and 4 — a gap will be notice­able, but the over­all sim­i­lar­i­ty of design and dimen­sions is obvi­ous.

The com­pa­ny’s engi­neers man­aged to place a larg­er screen in a sim­i­lar case. Its diag­o­nal has grown from 0.95 to 1.1 inch­es, and its area has increased by about 20%. The res­o­lu­tion has also been improved, which in the new mod­el is 126x294 pix­els. The mat­ter also could not have hap­pened with­out a down­grade. To ensure that the larg­er dis­play size does not impact bat­tery life too much, the col­or depth was reduced from 24 to 16 bits. How­ev­er, you won’t be able to notice this sim­pli­fi­ca­tion with­out a metic­u­lous com­par­i­son with the Mi Smart Band 4 — the dif­fer­ence is hid­den due to its small size.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5

The divi­sion into two ver­sions based on the pres­ence of NFC has been pre­served: so far Xiao­mi is in no hur­ry to aban­don the basic ver­sion, which lacks the cor­re­spond­ing mod­ule. It is this prod­uct that is now rep­re­sent­ed in offi­cial Euro­pean retail. Those who want to get an advanced mod­i­fi­ca­tion will have to wait for some time or look for the Chi­nese vari­a­tion. You can dis­tin­guish Mi Smart Band 5 with NFC from a reg­u­lar one by the icon on the touch but­ton under the screen. As in the fourth gen­er­a­tion, the let­ter U is depict­ed on the NFC mod­i­fi­ca­tion, and a cir­cle on the base mod­el.

Charging in a new way

Despite all the improve­ments that Xiao­mi made annu­al­ly to the design of smart bracelets, the charg­ing method has not changed since the first gen­er­a­tion. In this regard, the release of Mi Smart Band 5 became a land­mark event. The brand from the Mid­dle King­dom aban­doned the usu­al “bath” in favor of mag­net­ic charg­ing — now you don’t need to take the bracelet cap­sule out of the strap every time. By the way, own­ers of the “five” will have to charge the acces­so­ry some­what more often than own­ers of the “four”. The rea­son is a reduc­tion in bat­tery capac­i­ty from 135 to 125 mAh. At the same time, the declared auton­o­my decreased. If for Mi Smart Band 4 with­out an NFC mod­ule the man­u­fac­tur­er promis­es up to 20 days with­out a pow­er out­let, then in the case of the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion this peri­od has been reduced to 14 days. Our test sam­ple lost about 10% per day, and this is tak­ing into account the dis­play of noti­fi­ca­tions and con­tin­u­ous mon­i­tor­ing of heart rate and sleep.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Software and features

The main appli­ca­tion for inter­act­ing with a smart bracelet is still Mi Fit. To pair a new device, you need to click on the cor­re­spond­ing but­ton, select the type of gad­get, wait until the sys­tem detects the track­er, and con­firm pair­ing on it. From now on, you can use Mi Smart Band 5 with­out restric­tions.

The main screen of the mobile util­i­ty is entire­ly ded­i­cat­ed to track­ing the owner’s phys­i­cal con­di­tion and mon­i­tor­ing loads. The sec­ond tab con­tains a social com­po­nent: you can add friends, share infor­ma­tion about activ­i­ty and sleep qual­i­ty, and also mon­i­tor their progress. Final­ly, the third dis­play pro­vides access to set­tings relat­ed to the oper­a­tion of the bracelet, appli­ca­tion and user pro­file in the Xiao­mi ecosys­tem.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Fans of cus­tomiza­tion will also find a store with a huge num­ber of dials, which is peri­od­i­cal­ly replen­ished. The fit­ness track­er allows you to change the main screen wid­gets. By default, this is a step counter and heart rate, but the user is offered over a dozen options to choose from: from a banal list of active alarms to a week­ly phys­i­cal activ­i­ty index.

Anoth­er inno­va­tion of the Mi Smart Band 5 is the remote cam­era shut­ter func­tion — it can eas­i­ly be used in many ways. Of course, the stan­dard options are also there: con­trol­ling the audio play­er, broad­cast­ing noti­fi­ca­tions from a smart­phone, set­ting alarms and the like.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Oh sport, you are the world!

For many, a smart bracelet is pri­mar­i­ly a tool for track­ing the effec­tive­ness of train­ing and mon­i­tor­ing health-relat­ed para­me­ters. By the fifth ver­sion, the Xiao­mi bracelet learned to work with eleven types of activ­i­ties, includ­ing a row­ing machine and yoga class­es. In addi­tion to stan­dard para­me­ters, such as heart rate and calo­ries burned, met­rics unique to each load are record­ed. In the case of the row­ing machine men­tioned, the acces­so­ry doc­u­ments pull and recov­ery times, as well as row­ing tem­po. If we are talk­ing about a walk or jog, the bracelet cal­cu­lates the aver­age speed, the length of one step and the route trav­eled. In the lat­ter case, you need to have a phone with you, because the Mi Smart Band 5 does not have a built-in GPS sen­sor. The gad­get will warn the own­er when the heart rate exceeds a crit­i­cal val­ue — it is set indi­vid­u­al­ly in the set­tings.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5

There is also a new para­me­ter: the Per­son­al Per­for­mance Index (PAI). It is cal­cu­lat­ed based on gen­der, age, heart rate and oth­er infor­ma­tion. The built-in help rec­om­mends aim­ing for a val­ue of 100 units to main­tain opti­mal phys­i­cal shape.

There are also inno­va­tions aimed at a female audi­ence: track­ing the men­stru­al cycle and deter­min­ing the time of ovu­la­tion. In addi­tion, the “five” upgrad­ed heart rate mea­sure­ments and sleep mon­i­tor­ing. The accu­ra­cy of such cal­cu­la­tions, thanks to redesigned algo­rithms and improved sen­sors, has increased by almost 40%.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Results

The fifth gen­er­a­tion of Mi Smart Band can be called a prop­er update. The capa­bil­i­ties of the acces­so­ry, despite the design being sim­i­lar to its pre­de­ces­sor, have expand­ed sig­nif­i­cant­ly. At the same time, the gad­get still remains inex­pen­sive. Own­ers of pre­vi­ous ver­sions of the bracelet should also take a clos­er look at the Mi Smart Band 5. Even own­ers of the “four” may be inter­est­ed in it: in addi­tion to new func­tions, they have a larg­er dis­play, a con­ve­nient charg­ing sys­tem and increased accu­ra­cy of the built-in sen­sors.