Xiaomi's first generation Mi Band was a revolutionary fitness tracker that had a minimalistic design with biometric sensors and yet cost a fraction when compared with top-selling brands.
Its successor Mi Band 2 too followed the same principle with the addition of LED display and heart rate sensor and as expected, it registered phenomenal sales as well helping the company's hold on to the top position in the second quarter (2017) with 13.4 percent share, which was once co-held by Apple. The Cupertino company is currently at number two with 13 percent market share.
Last month, Xiaomi launched the special Mi Band 2 series dubbed as the HRX Edition (Bollywood celebrity Hrithik Roshan's personal brand). It comes with improvised fitness tracking algorithm, bigger cell capacity with up to 23 days of battery life in a single charge, and IP67 water-and-dust resistance, meaning a person can use it in a swimming pool. It can survive immersion in water for 30 minutes up to 1 metre (3.3 feet).
Also read: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 quick review: True flagship phone with elegant design and powerful hardware
But, it misses out on heart rate sensor as seen in the original Mi Band 2, as a cost-cutting measure to bring down the price from Rs 1,999 to Rs 1,299.
So, is it worth the hype and price-tag? I have been using the Mi Band HRX edition for close to two weeks. Here's my take on the Xiaomi fitness band.
Design, display and comfort:
Like the Mi Band 2, the new HRX edition also comes with smooth silicone black strap with a detachable capsule. It is ergonomically designed and is as light as a feather. When strapped to the wrist, there is no sign of discomfort even when sweating. I felt the quality of the material is of high grade. It has LED display, huge upgrade over the first generation Mi Band. On the screen, a user can see the time and number of steps walked. Other statistics such as sleep time, the total distance covered in kilometres can be viewed on the connected smartphone.
A user will also get vibration notifications with caller name on the LED screen. This is a praiseworthy value-added feature that comes handy when the user has kept the phone in silence mode, he will be able to know the mobile is ringing and answer it.
Xiaomi's Mi Band HRX is as easy as it gets. You just have to install the Mi Fit app on the smartphone (both iOS and Android versions available). It's very easy to connect Mi Band to phone via Bluetooth. Mi Fit interface is very simple, even a naive user can set the profile, goals and get going with fitness regime within a few minutes.
There are three boards on the Mi Fit app: Status, Activity and Profile. Each can be viewed with simple taps on the on-screen icons. In Status, users can see the summary of today's distance walked along with week's walking streak information tabled in the form of easy-to-understand bar graphs, last night's total hours of sleep including details of light sleep and deep sleep timings (based on body movements).
In the activity board, the user can initiate band to track outdoor running, Treadmill, outdoor cycling, walking in terms of distance covered and time taken to finish the task. He/she can also enable alerts on the pace, but only for outdoor running. Also, there is an option set alerts to get you up from the chair. If the band sensors know that the body has been dormant for one hour, it will vibrate on the wrists and the animation on the screen will definitely motivate you to get up and go for a small walk so that body never rests longer than usual.
Users can also set alarm for wake up call. This I found to be very useful, as sometimes the phone ring might not be heard when in deep sleep, but the Mi Band's vibration sensation on the wrists will wake you up for sure.
In the profile section, a user can get a summary of average steps taken per day, total distance covered and the number of times he/she has managed to reach goals. Users can tap the Activity goal to set the average number of steps you want to cover each day and also set weight reduction/gain goal and work on activity to achieve that milestone.
As far as the battery life is concerned, the company claims that the Mi Band HRX Edition will last close to 23 days. In our testing, I have been using it for two weeks and it showed 35 percent left. So, going by this rate, it will definitely last another week, which is impressive.
It can be charged by simply removing the display capsule from the band and connect to the charging tube. It comes with a short cable having a USB port to connect to the laptop or PC and get the capsule charged in less than an hour.
Xiaomi Mi Band HRX edition review: Final verdict (4.5)
All-in-all, Xiaomi Mi Band HRX edition is a cost-effective fitness tracker. It has everything a user needs to maintain fitness regime and with the activity goal tracker, every achievement on profile board will motivate you to increase walking distance goals and other activities to improve health in the long term.
If you are looking for a new fitness band to start a fitness regime, Mi Band HRX edition (Rs 1,299) or the Mi Band 2 (Rs. 1,999) will not disappoint you. It can also be a thoughtful gift to your loved ones.
- Simplistic design
- Excellent build quality
- Long last battery
- LED display with call notifications
- Cost-effective price
- There is no heart-rate sensor, but if you really need one, go for the Mi Band 2.