Summary For the fifth version of its connected bracelet, Xiaomi delivers a more complete activity tracker than its predecessor. The main asset of the Mi Band 5 still lies in its low price, even if it continues to climb from year to year, but which is justified by the contribution of new features.
On the shape, point of revolution, the fifth installment of the Mi Smart Band from Xiaomi sports the same canons as its predecessors: a stretched oval screen and a thin strap that adapts to both female and male wrists. The contribution of the Mi Band 4, in this case, a color screen, has been slightly improved. We will come back to this in more detail. It is on the substance that the difference is played out. The provision of new features takes wearable up a notch in the monitoring of sports activities and health data.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review
The rise in the range of the exterior appearance of the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 is not necessarily obvious, but it is there. The screen of the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 is slightly larger than its previous version. This 16.2 mm Amoled (and 126 x 294 pixels) size 1.1 inches against 0.95 for the Mi Band 4. The difference may seem infinitesimal, but the reading comfort is still greatly improved.
In particular to consult its notifications, calls, and messages as well as health data in real-time. The Chinese manufacturer has also made a marked improvement in the brightness of the screen which now reaches 450 nits. The latter is also adjustable in intensity from the parameters of the bracelet. Thus, with indirect sunlight, no data reading problem, the display holds up well, especially since the screen suffers from little glare.
Compatible with iOS and Android, the Mi Smart Band 5 has also been enriched, on the software side, with new sports activities. There are now 5 more, making 11 in total, including, among the news, yoga, rowing machine, elliptical trainer, jump rope, and indoor cycling. Running, walking, rowing, hiking or swimming remain on the menu.
And to watch over the constants and analyze them, Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Band 5 now includes a heart rate sensor whose performance has been improved. compared to the Mi Band 4. This sensor, which is based on PPG technology (photoplethysmography), determines the blood flow and therefore the heart rate by analyzing the reflection of a green light sent through the capillaries.
The function is energy-intensive, but Xiaomi has thought of everything: to save the battery of the wearable, it is possible to decide on the measurement frequency (every minute, every 5 minutes, etc.) according to the use that is made of it. made. Convenient to save the autonomy of the bracelet, estimated by the manufacturer up to 15 days.
Measurement of sleep, stress level, or monitoring of the menstrual cycles of these ladies, live weather, or music control are also on the program. All of this can be controlled from the Mi Fit application which allows in-depth analyzes over short and long periods. All for a compressed price of € 49.99.
Design: take the same one and start over
It is difficult to distinguish the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 from the Mi Smart Band 4 at a glance. The two bracelets look like two drops of water with their thin plastic bracelet adjustable with a pin. Advantage, it is discreet on both large and small wrists and adapts to all body types.
The most visible of the changes: the screen of the Mi Smart Band 5 has slightly increased diagonally, allowing the easier reading of the data. It is always in color, which provides a well-contrasted reading that highlights the salient elements. On the other hand, no revolution on the rest.
No capacitive button on this connected bracelet. A button integrated into the screen allows you to go back or validate the actions (start training sessions, validate the change of parameters). Simple and effective although it takes a bit of practice to get used to.
Mi Smart Band 5 Interface And Software!
With the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band, when it comes to settings, you have to learn to juggle between the bracelet and the Mi Fit application. It is first from there that the bracelet must be paired with the smartphone during the first connection. Then, it allows you to refine certain settings, such as the mode of unlocking the screen, the activation/deactivation of the relay of incoming calls and messages, or the programming of an alarm.
Here too, sporting goals are set that we want to achieve (number of steps and weight) and above all are displayed monitoring data of health data (activities, sleep, goals …). However, the interface would benefit from being more ergonomic. The first tab allows you to display the dashboards, but the other 3 are in fact only shortcuts to initiate a walking, running, and cycling exercise. A simplification would be welcome on this point.
On the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 itself, navigation is carried out with slides and backtracking or validation via the integrated key at the bottom of the screen. You can access the menu with a slide up or down to scroll through the information and actions: a number of steps, achievement of goals, weather forecast, heart rate, stress level measurement, control of the playlist hosted on the phone, stopwatch, etc.
A sub-menu is dedicated to activities, each of which can be activated in two clicks (choice and launch). In addition, the home screen is fully customizable with a choice of display of a measurement combo (steps, heart rate, etc.) or even the weather forecast (with wind and UV light), all in welcome sobriety.
The Mi Smart Band 5 is perfectly waterproof, whether it is immersed in the treated water of swimming pools or in seawater. The summer season requires, so we have generously tested the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 at sea and in the swimming pool. Here, you have to launch the activity from the bracelet for it to be recorded.
For the swimming pool, an adjustment must be made before starting in the pool: choose the length of the swimming pool on the bracelet, namely 25 meters, 50 meters, or a personalized choice (practical for “small” summer pools). He is even able to recognize the practiced swimming, the breaststroke for our part. On that side, therefore, everything works.
Our only regret: that the Mi Smart Band 5 does not automatically detect the start of activity when you forget to mention it. A function that generally equips higher-end bracelets.
Data that does not overbid:
To assess the quality of the measurements taken by the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5, we used two data, sleep and the number of steps, and made a comparison with another bracelet worn simultaneously: the Fitbit Charge 4.
Result, not side, the Xiaomi underestimates the number VS those recorded by the Fitbit. The fault is probably less sensitive sensors than on the higher-end device. For people with their eyes fixed on their step goals, the Mi Smart Band 5, therefore, pushes them to go even further (no pun intended)!
On the sleep monitoring side, the Xiaomi Mi Band Smart 5 correctly detects the time to fall asleep and the time to get up. The same times having been recorded by the Fitbit. The difference comes in the analysis of the data.
For Xiaomi, the sleep time is longer, because the bracelet being less sensitive, it does not detect all the phases of nocturnal awakenings, which do not count in the overall sleep time for Fitbit. On this point, the Xiaomi can therefore be a faithful companion for your nights.
Mi Smart Band 5 Battery & Performance
If the manufacturer announces 15 days of autonomy, the latter obviously depends on the number of requests to which it will be subject. With one or two recorded activities per day and keeping it on the wrist day and night, the bracelet lasted 9 days without fail. A good performance is explained in particular by the absence of GPS, battery devourer.
The Mi Smart Band 5 has also made a big leap in practicality since it is no longer necessary to “reverse engineer” it to recharge it. While the Mi Band 4 was a case that nestled in its bracelet, and therefore had to be pulled out to recharge it, the Mi Smart Band 5 is in one piece. It can be recharged easily thanks to a magnetic charger which magnetizes with childish ease on the back of the device.
This greatly simplifies the task. It is easily set up in one movement and clips itself onto the recharging ports. As for the time needed to fully recharge it, allow an hour and a half for it to reach its maximum capacity.