Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 Review

Mi Smart Band 5 1 scaled

Xiaomi has cracked the code for making value for money fitness trackers that have proven time and again. Since the inception of the Mi band line-up in 2015, these trackers have gotten rave reviews and now we have the newest Mi Band 5 in store.

This new band brings some nifty changes when compared to the outgoing Mi Smart Band 4 while sticking to the same price. With the market currently flooded with fitness trackers available at every imaginable price point, let’s find out how the Mi Smart Band 5 can counter the competition in our full review.

Mi Smart Band 5 Specifications

  • Display: 1.1-inch Color AMOLED
  • RAM: 512KB
  • ROM: 16MB
  • Bluetooth: 5.0 LE
  • Sensors: PPG heart rate sensor, Six-axis sensor: three-axis acceleration sensor + three-axis gyroscope
  • Standby Time: 2 weeks (Normal mode), 3 weeks (Power saving mode)
  • Battery: 125mAh

Box Contents

Mi Smart Band 5 1 scaledA complete list of items you get inside the box:

  • Mi Smart Band 5
  • Wrist Strap
  • Proprietary Magnetic charger
  • Warranty and User Guide

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 features

  • Heart rate tracking
  • Waterproof and swim tracking
  • 11 sports profiles
  • Step tracking
  • Sleep tracking including REM
  • Music controls
  • Notification support
  • iOS and Android support

Design

The Mi Smart Band 5 carries the pill-shaped design that we have been seeing since the first-generation products. You get a 1.1-inch AMOLED display with a 126×294 resolution, it’s a touch display with a curved plastic coating on top.

The display is bright and clear which helps in cluttering out the UI which wasn’t the case on the Mi Smart Band 4. The display has a peak brightness of 400+ nits which helps with the outdoor legibility. While there’s a need for a capacitive button, Xiaomi still has packed in one.

Mi Smart Band 5 2 scaled

On the back of the Mi Smart Band 5, you’ll find the PPG sensor suite which is raised slightly for a better fit. Beside that is the two-pin connector to which you attach the magnetic charger. This is one of the biggest improvements that the brand has made. This eliminated the need to pull the tracker out of the strap every fortnight to get it charged.

Coming to the straps, they’re still made out of high-quality silicone which is soft on the skin and doesn’t cause irritation. The band still uses a loop-and-clip mechanism and provides a snug fit. Xiaomi does sell extra bands in various colors, so you should opt for those if you don’t like the default black color or go for some third-party options.

Performance

Pairing the band is simple, just download the Mi Fit from the PlayStore/AppStore and follow the steps to pair up the band. Once paired, you will see four main tabs such as Status, Walking, Running, and Cycling. You get access to the app the historical data, which can be exported to the Google Fit app for a much better analysis.

Mi Smart Band 5 4 scaled

There are a lot more settings that have been buried deep either on the band or inside the app. For instance, you have to manually enable the 24/7 heart rate monitoring from the app, same is the case with PAI.

When looking at the performance, there isn’t much of a change compared to the Mi Smart Band 4. The band comes with nifty features and lets you track different types of workouts including swimming, sleep tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring just to name a few. The brand claims that they have improved the algo for tracking the vital metrics but to us, it seemed the same.

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What’s added is the ability to detect stress, minimize it using the breathing exercises, and the ability to track menstrual data for women. During our brief testing period, all the important metrics were quite consistent with the data being provided by other fitness products. The band doesn’t have a built-in GPS and instead takes the GPS data from the smartphone it is paired to.

So, during our running sessions, distance tracking was spot on. There are options for indoor exercises, which in this pandemic is a nice addition. Moving to sleep and heart rate tracking, the band registered the sleep quite well and even detected irregular sleep patterns with ease. There seems to be a slight improvement in the accuracy of the heart rate sensor, which is a welcome touch.

The Mi Smart Band 5 comes with a 125mAh battery, with Xiaomi claiming that the band will last close to 20 days with the power-saving mode. In our tests with every possible feature turned on, the band dropped 40-50% juice within a week. This falls in line with the claimed 2 weeks of battery life under normal usage. It takes around 60 or so minutes to charge it completely with less than 10% battery left.

Pros

  • Color Display
  • Swim Proof
  • Great Battery life
  • Affordable
  • Magnetic Charging

Cons

  • Mi Fit app needs refinement
  • Blood Oxygen monitoring would’ve been great

Verdict – Should you buy it?

The Mi Smart Band 5 brings over the goodness of all the previous-gen models while addressing the shortcomings. It still comes at an amazing INR 2,499 price, has a new magnetic charger, a bigger and brighter display, and an overall improved health tracking suite.

We would’ve liked the addition of Blood Oxygen monitoring, given the current pandemic. But for now, the Mi Band 5 is a product with which you can’t go wrong.