This is what I’ve been waiting for – the Xiaomi Mi Band – my first wearable gadget ! And that too lucky enough to bag this one for a mere 1 Rupee in the Flash Sale organized on 5th May on Mi’s own website and this definitely makes it all more exciting !! For those of you who missed it, Mi is having a flash sale again on the 12th May, but there’s a twist, you will have to shell out 999 Rs to get it in your hands, so make sure you register on their website. But is this piece of wearable technology actually worth ? Should you consider buying this ? Well, let’s find out !
It is still pretty early days for wearable gadgets. Even though the market is flooded with smart watches and fitness bands, this technology will still take sometime to get into mainstream. People need to be accustomed to use these, and the prices, well they aren’t affordable for many like me ! Today If you go out to purchase a smart watch, you definitely have to shell out atleast 20-25,000 Rupess for a branded watch (Moto 360, Sony Smart Watch, LG G Watch et all I know LG watch was being sold for around 6.5K few months back) and if you want a decent Fitness band, then atleast 10,000 Rs you have to give. But this little device from Xiaomi, the Mi Band makes wearable gadget more affordable. For a mere 1000Rs you get a fitness band that does just more that monitoring your fitness ! Read on for the first look review…
I’ve love Xiaomi for their packaging (I love unboxing btw :P) They make one of the best product boxes I’ve seen. Sleek, simple no bling-bling. I fell in love with these since the last time I got my Redmi 1s. Even for the Mi Band, the packaging is similar. Comes in a small square box, beige in color alongwith the elegant Mi logo on the top. The box has a nice sponge on the inner side and is beautifully crafted. Well, Inside the box is the main Activity Tracker which is the first thing you will see when you open the box. Underneath this is the silicone band,charging cable and user manual. So it’s simple and has the bare minimum things required.
The Activity trackers looks big compared to the slot in the silicone band. It was a tough task putting the tracker in the slot for the first time. At one point I was scared that I would tear the band. However that didn’t happen. But this can happen, so if you are getting one, take care while putting the tracker in the slot. The strap is big enough to fit my hand comfortably, uses the second last hole of the strap. And if it fits my hand, then it surely will fit your hand too 😛 It feels nice on the hand, but because I’m used to wearing loose watches, this skin hugging stuff – I need to get used to this. Further the company claims that Mi Band has a battery life of around 30-40 days on a single charge. Since the device use the Low Energy Bluetooth, this might be true. Currently I’m charging the tracker, will update here once the battery reaches below 5%.
Moving on to the setup, well that’s no rocket science either. Firstly you need the Mi Fitness App to use the Mi Band. You can get it here and here. By the way these default apps don’t have the functionality to give notifications for all your apps like WhatsApp, Facebook etc. If you want that, then download the app from here. But mind it, this will take some life off your Mi Band ! Make sure you have an Android phone running Kitkat and above to utilize all the features this has to offer. Switch on the bluetooth and open the app, the app will automatically start searching for the band. Once it finds it, the band’s led glow up. It then asks you to tap the led, once you tap it, you have successfully paired the band with your phone. Now you can track your activity – walking, running etc etc. You can set your goal as to how many steps you want to take in a day and so on. This device can track your sleep too, well I haven’t tried it yet, but will definitely know whether it works or not, tomorrow morning 😛
Talking about features, the band allows you to unlock you smartphone without the pattern, pin lock. Once you band is paired, you should get a notification to enable smart unlock. Enter your current lock pattern and enable smart unlock. Choose the Mi Band as a trusted device and voila ! You dont need to enter the passcode again and again. However, I felt there’s a disadvantage, bluetooth has a decent range, So even now when my activity tracker is getting charged in another room, I can unlock my phone without a pattern lock, guess this shouldn’t happen.
Updated May 9, 2015: This band also a feature to track your sleep pattern as mentioned above. The app does a decent job and provides some great data about your sleep. The data seemed quite accurate. Well here’s a screenshot that will say it all. Plus the current battery status is 99% had charged it 100% last night and have been wearing it continuously since then.
Just like smartphones now a days have the Find my Phone features, this Mi Band along with the App has Find my Band feature. When you tap on this, the band will vibrate and the LEDs will lit up IF it is within the range of the phone. Apart from this, you can choose 4 different colours for the LED – Blue, Green, Orange and Red (looks more like Pink) Further, you can set an alarm using the Mi App, and you band will vibrate at the designated time. The vibration isn’t that soft so you WILL get up when this vibrates. Also the vibration continues until unless you move your hand ! Imagine you are sleeping and the band vibrates, you HAVE to move to stop the vibration, this is definitely something good. Apart from this, you can make your Mi Band to vibrate on incoming calls and SMSs. Their Play Store listing says you need MIUI to use this feature, but I am able to use it perfectly on my Nexus 5. Only drawback I felt here is that the band will vibrate after a specified time within which you fail to answer the call i.e. if you don’t answer the call for 4s, then the band will vibrate, not before that. And the minimum timeout is 3 seconds.
So the final verdict for the 1 Re Xiaomi Mi Band. Should you buy the Xiaomi Mi Band ? Well my answer is Yes, Definitely ! Xiaomi has ensured that wearable technology is not only meant for the uber class with the launch of Mi Band. For a mere 1000 Rs, this band has a lot of features that you can use. From tracking your daily activity to your sleep pattern or be it adding extra functionality like vibrate on call / SMS. This device does bit more that what it has to do. For the price, we can’t ask for more. On the downside, the silicone band looks a ted timid, especially the loop. If you try too hard or try to wear it too tight, you might do some damage to the band.
All in all, I felt this is a great companion to have. And to get it for a mere 1 Rupee,what else could I ask for !