The Mi Band 5 is the most recent in a long line of low-cost fitness trackers that have been a worldwide success since 2015.
A Mi Band 5 smartwatch or fitness tracker is available for $49.99, giving it a run for its money against Fitbit in terms of functionality and availability.
Xiaomi has struggled to keep up with Fitbit and other wearables, so the price has risen. The first Mi Bands cost about $22, almost twice as much as the fifth wave.
With companies like Realme and Redmi selling workout bands for as little as $15, Xiaomi now looks like the premium choice in this emerging ultra-low-cost segment.
Is the Xiaomi Mi Band 5, however, a decent investment? Is it any good compared to a Fitbit Inspire HR or, dare we say, a Fitbit Charge 4? To find out, we’ve been wearing it.
The design of the Mi Band 5 has not been developed at once, but it is the largest screen since the launch of the Mi Band. It has a 1.1-inch AMOLED display with 126 x 294 resolution.
It looks great, bright and clear, it has a lot of information in it. It is lighter than the lightweight Inspire and is charged with a monochrome display, which we criticized in our review.
Below is no physical button, but a capacitive home button, and you can swipe/tap on the touchscreen to scroll through the toys and menus.
Scroll up / down through key features such as daily symptoms, PAI, heart rate statistics, notifications, stress, breathing, events, and exercise routines.
Scroll left / right through the weather widget, media controller, and calendar.
Xiaomi packs a lot of information on the screen, which can be a little difficult to read and is not well suited for those with eyesight or thick fingers. Scrolling down through the info pages is a bit more.
The standard Mi Band 5 strap is paired with a pin-style clap, which is not secure. We have found that hitting everyday life is so easy and it feels like it hangs from our wrists.
However, you can pop out the module and change the band, which we highly recommend.
We are pleased that Xiaomi has replaced the new magnetic charger on the back, which is convenient, easy, and well-integrated.
In short, we are fans of bright performance, and usually, the build is a little black and plastic, usually aggressive.
Xiaomi cites 14 days of battery life, although we find that it is very low in terms of real-world consumption. Some caveats. Mi Band 5 has many features that are disabled by default.
Automatic heart rate monitoring and sleep assistant, auto exercise detection, heart rate alerts, and stress monitoring all reduce back-end settings and battery life. We also change the brightness of the screen. The result is 5 days of battery life.
Fitness tracking is likely to be on your list if you are leaving for the Mi Band 5.
We have previously defined fitness and sports tracking differently with daily activity and sleep goals, the second being actual tracking of workouts.
As a regular fitness tracker, the Mi Band 5 price 40 works for a low price. However, since the app experience and built-in hardware are on par with AmazonFit, we expect better accuracy and more insight.
At the base level, you get step tracking, distance, calories, and static alerts. All these are tracked on the status screen and the device in the Mi app. And at this stage, the Mi Band 5 is perfect.
We found for sure that the Garmin and Fitbit devices have the most beautiful location with the steps we have compared. A 10-mile walk was also done for comparable accuracy, so we are not qualified to recommend it here.
Heart rate monitoring throughout the day is part of the mix, and can also be accessed from the device. You can check your current heart rate status throughout the day and see the time spent in the heart rate zones.
Xiaomi finds sleep automatically by putting the Mi Band 5 device to bed.
In the settings you can turn on Sleep Assistant including REM tracking and personal sleep tips for tracking – but at the expense of battery life.
However, as with the experience of the Mi Band 5, we found it to be useful as a rough guide, but the data did not go well.
The hours in bed are properly tracked, which gives you a useful overview of sleep and wake times. This is good for most people because it can build good sleep on sleep stability.
You can also watch sleep stages such as deep sleep, REM sleep, and light sleep.
But the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will go ahead and provide a sleep score to rate the overall quality of your kip. But we found it to be consistently messy high and not with any rival tracker.
We tested against Fitbit Charge 4 and With Sleep Analyzer (both verified by sleep studies) and found that Mi Band 5 had a sleep rating on another planet.
After a broken sleep in our heatwave, Charge 4 detected 6hr 14 sleep and 1hr 32 minutes awakening 65/100. The MI band found 5 6 minutes 55 sleep, 1 minute awake (not correct), and scored 95/100.
Although we urge Fitbit Charge 4 to be very strict on sleep quality, rate sleep 95/100 insanely.
And some of the poor sleep scores that my band tracks are often equated with better scores than Fitbit and Whitings.
We are like sleep assistants who analyze activities such as bed-time schedules, as well as some general advice on good sleep hygiene. Also, many statistics such as deep sleep levels and sleep regularity are compared with your average and user bases, which is nice.