amazon XIAOMI MI SMART BAND 5 reviews
Mi Band 5 is the next variant of Xiaomi’s very popular low-cost smart bracelet. Not too different in the overall design compared to the previous generation, Mi Band 5 mainly focuses on improving the experience and health monitoring features, and overcoming some outstanding weaknesses.
This review was performed on the latest firmware 18.104.22.168.
Design: The screen is bigger and charging just got easier
The overall design of the Mi Band 5 is essentially the same as the previous generations: Sporty, relatively simple, black capsule body, detachable from the strap. The strap of Mi Band 5 is made of synthetic TPU rubber which is quite soft and comfortable with the wrist, but still uses a hold button, not a latch like the Honor Band 5, so the feeling of wearing is not as sure.
With dimensions 46.95 x 18.15 x 12.45mm, cable length 155-219mm, and weight 11.9g, you can wear Mi Band 5 all day, even while sleeping without feeling uncomfortable.
The screen of the Mi Band 5 is slightly larger, 1.1 inches compared to 0.95 inches on the Mi Band 4, the resolution is also higher, 126 x 294 pixels. The brightness of the Mi Band 5 is also increased to 450 nits, covering 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and the screen is covered with 2.5D curved anti-scratch glass. Practical experience, Mi Band 5 has good display quality, can see in the sun, but because there is no light sensor, adjusting the brightness (5 levels) must be done manually, and depending on This adjustment is deep in the settings so changing it often is not convenient.
Due to the changing screen size and strap groove, users will not be able to change the band of Mi Band 4 for Mi Band 5 and vice versa.
One of the biggest problems with previous Mi Band generations was charging. Due to the design, the user will have to completely remove the capsule and plug it into the charging dock, not only inconvenient but also leading to a stretching the strap around the cocoon, causing the capsule to fall out while in use. This has been overcome on the Mi Band 5 when Xiaomi uses a magnetic charging dock that connects the battery straight to the charger, also does not need to go through an adapter like the Honor Band 5. Of course, this change also means You cannot use the Mi Band 4 charger for Mi Band 5 and vice versa.
The point that many users like about Mi Band is the abundant number of watch faces. Besides some built-in faces on the watch, users can also download more via Xiaomi’s Mi Fit app. Mi Band 5 has over 100 new themed dials for you to choose from on-demand, including 54 popular IP themes like SpPal Squarepants, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Ali the Fox.
Inside, it is quite surprising that despite having a larger screen, the Mi Band 5 only has a 125 mAh battery compared to the 135 mAh of the Mi Band 4. Health monitoring features still mainly depend on the gyroscope sensor and acceleration, but the Mi Band 5 is equipped with a more advanced PPG heart rate sensor, which promises more accurate results. As mentioned above, the international version of the Mi Band 5 has a reduced NFC feature and a sensor for measuring oxygen in the blood SpO2. Mi Band 5 supports 5ATM water resistance, so you can wear it when taking a shower or swimming without any problems.
Software: Continuing to add many new types of movements
Because users have switched to using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, to take full advantage of the features of Mi Band 5, users need to connect to their smartphones through the Mi Fit software provided for free on the Android application store (5.0 and above) and iOS (10 and up).
From the Mi Fit app, users can track the parameters recorded by Mi Band 5 such as step count, heart rate, sleep quality (deep sleep time, now measured on Mi Band 5. the time the user is in REM – Rapid Eye Movements, essentially “dreaming”, and measuring his naps), … as well as setting the bracelet settings. Because it is a cheap bracelet, it is understandable when the Mi Band 5 does not have built-in GPS, but if connected to Mi Fit, this application can provide maps of the route of walking, running, or cycling.
Heart rate monitoring is one of the features that users are most interested in smart bracelets in general when it is the best way to check the health situation. I tried to quickly compare the ability to measure the heart rate of the Mi Band 5 with the Apple Watch Series 4, although the difference is huge in price. In most cases, the Mi Band 5 gives quite close results with the Apple Watch Series 4, though it takes longer to display results.
With Mi Band 5, Xiaomi has also integrated PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence), a measure for you to assess as well as have a deeper look at your health and dynamic level. PAI scores you based on gender, age, heart rate, and other data. Everything you do during the day counts towards your PAI points, but you’ll get more points from exercising hard and keeping your heart rate high (within limits). An ideal goal is to have a PAI of more than 100 per day.
Since PAI continuously measures your heart rate and movement throughout the day, Xiaomi warns that this feature will greatly affect the bracelet’s battery life – total usage time can be cut in half.
The tracking modes of Mi Band 5 are also significantly improved in quantity and quality. In addition to the 6 modes of Mi Band 4: outdoor running, treadmill, cycling, walking, swimming, and free-style training, Mi Band 5 also tracks elliptical and skipping machines indoor cycling, yoga, and canoeing, a total of 11 track modes.
For female users, Mi Band 5 also has the feature to track the menstrual cycle, calculate the time of ovulation, and give reminders before the “menses” day comes. Of course, I can’t test this feature, so can’t comment on its usefulness.
In addition to the functions of a fitness tracker, the Mi Band 5 can also be used as an alarm clock, timer, countdown, receive app notifications, messages as well as incoming calls. Connecting to Mi Fit, Mi Band 5 can also adjust music, find a phone through the bracelet and the new feature is to do a remote to take pictures with a smartphone camera remotely.
The automatic step counting feature, although there has been an improvement compared to the Mi Band 4, still has a certain deviation. For testing, I tried wearing both bracelets and riding a motorbike for about 10km, not walking, limiting limb movement to the maximum. As a result, Mi Band 4 increased by 125 steps, while Mi Band 5 increased by only 35 steps. Still, on the same road, the Honor Band 5 I’m using hasn’t taken a single step up. Besides, when on the road, Mi Band 5 lights up many times because of the feature “light up the screen when holding hands”, but in fact, my hand is still on the handlebar of the motorcycle.
In terms of battery life, Xiaomi claims the Mi Band 5 gives a total usage time of up to 14 days with a “normal” frequency of use. During my experience, I turned on PAI, maxed out screen brightness from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and enabled band notifications. As a result, Mi Band 5 lasted more than 5 days before depleting the battery. The charging speed of Mi Band 5 is equivalent to Mi Band 4, about 2 hours is full.
The improvements of Mi Band 5 compared to Mi Band 4 are remarkable, especially the new magnetic charging dock not only helps to recharge the bracelet less picky but also limits the drop of the pupa. In terms of software, PAI as well as the addition of new monitoring modes will help users significantly in assessing their health.