Fitness trackers have a huge market in Asia and around the world. While some markets prefer premium offerings, there’s always demand for low-cost high performance fitness trackers like the ones that Xiaomi makes. Known as Mi Band, the company has made three brilliant fitness trackers so far, with the fourth iteration breaking cover a few days ago. This model brings a bunch of new changes, worthy of considering it an upgrade over the predecessor. So what are these changes and how does the Mi Band 4 stack up against the competition? Well, let’s have a look.
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Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitness Tracker Review
While there are a few new features on board the Mi Band 4, the one that strikes attention is the gorgeous color AMOLED display. Interestingly, the 0.95-inch panel here is 39.9% bigger than the Mi Band 3 display. Xiaomi has been mindful enough to also add a 2.5D scratch resistant tempered glass to keep the display safe. The bigger display also means there’s more room for app notifications now. Just like the predecessor, the Mi Band 4 handles pretty much everything about the wearable, including fitness and sleep data.
Some models of the Mi Band 4 also come with NFC on board, paving the way for wireless payments wherever available. For now, it appears to be limited to services like Alipay in China. In terms of fitness tracking, the Mi Band 4 comes with all new sensors to measure swimming data and even detect strokes like Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, etc. This feature can be a big plus for swimmers as the wearable now offers the complete suite of fitness controls that are otherwise seen in expensive fitness bands. The Mi Band 4 can also comes with continuous heart rate monitoring, alerting you to any unusual activity in your heart immediately. Xiaomi mentions that the Mi Band 4 is water resistant up to 50 meters, which is a prerequisite for fitness bands of late.
Xiaomi is also bringing its own AI voice assistant dubbed “Xiao Ai” with the Mi Band 4. Although the wearable has no speaker, it does have a microphone for this very purpose. Your speech is converted into text on the screen, just like any other mobile voice assistant. The company is only unveiling the Mandarin version of Xiao Ai for now, while the English version is reportedly scheduled to release soon.
Thanks to the larger display, quite a lot is different with the design. The company retains the same TPU wrist band, which is easily replaceable. The front now has a flatter button to control the wearable which is quite a shift from the predecessor. The company also unveiled the Avengers edition Mi Band 4, although it’s unlikely to see broader launch since it’s only been produced in limited quantities. One huge bonus with the color display is the fact that you can enjoy content on the wearable more. Although you still can’t have images and media on the wearable, the company offers up to 77 themes to choose from. You can also set custom watch faces with the Mi Band 4.
The wearable is offered in Black, Orange, Blue, Claret and Pink colors, thus offering something for everyone. This is yet another upgrade from the predecessor which was only sold in a solitary Black version. But third party replacement bands made this a non-issue. It is also important to mention that the Mi Band 4 is slightly heavier than the Mi Band 3 at 10.7 grams, although the soft material used in the band ensures you can wear it for long intervals without any trouble.
The charger also deserves a special mention here, primarily because it’s slightly different here. This means the Mi Band 4 is not compatible with older Mi Band chargers, although this is an expected change. You will still be required to remove the tracker from the band before charging it, which can be a bit of an inconvenience.
As you would expect, the Mi Band 4 is every bit as good as the predecessor and adds some more features on top. My favorite feature is the 6-axis high-precision sensor that assists in swimming, whereas the fact that you can make wireless payments is also quite an attractive feature to have here. However, real world performance is something that we’re yet to ascertain since the device is still fairly new. The heart rate monitoring is fairly accurate here, and I also like the cool animation when it records your data. The color display makes every single task so much better on the Mi Band 4.
Xiaomi is using a slightly better 125 mAh battery pack under the Mi Band 4, which is expected to last up to 20 days on a single charge. Naturally, battery life will depend on the kind of usage you have from the wearable. Features like continuous heart rate monitoring can eat into the battery quickly, so disabling this could bring the battery life closer to 20 days.
Pricing & Availability
The Mi Band 4 is currently one of the cheapest fitness trackers available in the market with an official price tag of 169 CNY or $24. While the wearable is only available in China for now, a wider global rollout is expected very shortly. We expect the pricing to be bumped up to around $30 or $35 by the time it reaches U.S. markets, however. Be sure to keep an eye out on Chinese retail outlets for more information on the Mi Band 4.
We don’t often get to say this, but this is definitely an upgrade worth checking out given the kind of features it introduces to the fold. Color displays are not particularly new, but the price tag here plays a big part here. Time and again, we he have seen companies like Xiaomi push the envelope with their (sometimes objectionable) innovations. It’s great to see a high-quality product such as this one stream through the markets. American customers might have to wait slightly longer to get their hands on the Mi Band 4, although it’s always possible to get one from Europe or Asia. Even at $30, this is definitely a bargain.