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Xiaomi Mi Band 2 [Review]

  1. HiFiChris Contributor
    Introduction:

    Welp, I’m not going to bore you long texts and descriptions in this very review because the official promo photos on the product page and several videos on the internet already do that, and you’ve likely also seen them if you are interested in the Xiaomi Mi Band 2.

    We all know Xiaomi and their Mi brand feature some very cool tech and household products at very accessible prices, and when the Chinese company released the first generation of their Mi Band, the whole tech and fitness world was more or less in shock because the smart health tracker offered many stats and features but cost way less than its competition.
    Time has passed and they have meanwhile released the Mi Band 2, a ~$25 smart fitness health tracker with heartrate tracking, sleep monitoring and many more features, and it received a small OLED touchscreen. While it has got various more or less similar-looking competitors nowadays that offer similar features, its key advantages should be accuracy (I do have one tracker with similar features and design, and it is quite convincing, however it sometimes records motion and steps even though I didn’t move my feet), a good monitoring app and sleep monitoring features.
    So here is my brief take without bothering you with info that you likely know about the Mi Band 2 anyway:

    DSC05127-small.JPG

    Let me also thank GearBest who provided a sample of the Mi Band 2 to me free of charge, to write a review about it. And if you have read my German review of the Knowledge Zenith ZS6 (that I also received from them) in that I talked really badly about its sound, you already know that in my evaluation, I don’t give an eff about whether it’s a sample product or not, or in several other reviews that I have written and published.


    Technical Specifications:


    Price: a bit above $25 (GearBest) or ~€30 (directly from Germany)
    heart rate monitoring
    step, distance and calories monitoring
    sleep monitoring
    digital clock
    alarm clock
    message and app notifications
    vibration
    IP67 waterproof rating
    several other features and stuff


    Delivery Content:

    You get the Mi Band 2 tracker, already with a silicone wrist strap, and a proprietary charging cable (make sure not to break it doesn’t look all that much trustworthy to me).


    Design, Build Quality, Fit, Functions, App etc.:

    Other than the charging cable, the tracker itself can take a lot of abuse, water, sweat and dirt and will still work well – it’s made of plastic after all and waterproof.

    The screen is quite small but easy to read due to its high contrast (it’s OLED after all). With the help of the app, you can configure what features you want the Mi Band 2 to display, and you can rotate between the various screens by touching the circular sensor button below the screen.
    A neat feature is that the Mi Band 2 has got built-in vibration for notifications or to be used as an alarm clock.

    The Mi Band 2 is a fitness tracker that records your steps and can calculate/estimate the walked/run distance and burnt calories based on your body’s parameters (weight, height, step length…) that you can input into your smartphone (iOS/Android). This it does quite accurately it seems, at least the distance I actually run is comparable to what the tracker shows me. As it couldn’t be expected otherwise for the price, it doesn’t have any GPS sensors built in, so it doesn’t take height differences into account and will be less accurate for cross-country runs with greater height differences as a result (my weekend runs are cross country runs with greater height variance, and it shows, not much surprisingly, a somewhat greater distance (a few hundred meters more) than the one I have actually run).
    By the way, you don’t have to have your smartphone and Bluetooth with you all the time, but the tracker will automatically sync the captured data once it is connected to it again – something that is, at least to me, very important, since I don’t have the phone with me all the time.

    What really impresses me is that the step tracker is very reliable and accurate, since it almost never recognises feet motion if there isn’t any. Well done, all you Xiaomi software people who were responsible for “translating” the sensors’ data with some very good error correction and protection. In this regard, the Mi Band 2 performs better than the similarly looking and similarly-spec’d tracker that I have as well.

    Heart rate monitoring works accurately, but that is what I expected anyway, being already familiar with optical heart rate tracking from the other tracker I have as well as from a free iOS app that can do the same and works with the rear camera and LED flash.

    The silicone wristband is functional but not exactly stylish. Additionally, I would have wished for two pins instead of just one to close/secure it, but fortunately it hasn’t opened unintentionally yet. Just like for the Apple Watch, there are however many third-party wristbands offered for sale.


    Battery Life:

    I am able to get more than a full week (easily more than seven days) with a full charge out of the Mi Band 2. In order to charge the tracker, it has to be removed from the silicone wristband, which goes for a lot of trackers on the market.


    Conclusion:

    It’s inexpensive, it is as accurate as a tracker without GPS can be, its step monitoring is very reliable and only rarely tracks motion although there isn’t any, it has an accurate heart-rate monitor and its battery life of a week is very nice as well. So yeah, the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is an easy recommendation if you are looking for an inexpensive but reliable and accurate smart health and motion tracker or if you want your colleagues to believe that you are a modern, health- and sports-/fitness-conscious person while all you want is just a digital wristwatch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018

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