Mi Band 5 Review: The King Has Become Even More Beautiful

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 has deservedly become the “people’s” fitness bracelet, because it was able to offer the most requested features at an affordable price. No wonder so many have been waiting for the fifth generation, imagining the borderless screen and the automatic coffee brewing feature. Unfortunately, not everything was implemented, but many of the shortcomings of the previous model were corrected, and the functionality was expanded. The cost has also grown. Let’s see if it’s worth overpaying 31 dollars for new “chips”, or maybe it’s better to give preference to Mi Band 4 NFC, which is identical in price to the fifth generation?

Wanted, but not yet purchased Mi Band 5? Black Friday is a great excuse to fix that.

Buy Mi Band 5 50% off on Aliexpress

Don’t want to wait? You can take the bracelet on the official English website of Xiaomi.

Equipment

The gadget comes in a compact black box, which lists the main features of the device. Inside lies the bracelet itself, magnetic charging to it and insctions. As they say, nothing more. The device comes with black, green, red or yellow straps, but you can find hundreds of alternatives online. There is no continuity of accessories for the previous generation.

Design

The appearance of the gadget has changed little: it is a slightly enlarged (47.2×18.5×12.4 mm) elongated polycarbonate capsule inserted into a silicone bracelet. The strap has an adjustable length from 15 to 22 cm and is fixed on the arm with a metal button. Due to its softness and hypoallergenic properties, it will not irritate orb the skin, and its light weight (23 g) allows you to wear Mi Band 5 around the clock. The main problem of the Quartet, many called the need to remove the device for charging, but now the connector can be magnetized even when the capsule is in the strap.

Another important change is the screen increased to 1.1 inches (was 0.95). The already familiar AMOLED-matrix with rich colors and large viewing angles is used. The resolution has also grown to 294×126 (all fonts look smooth), and the display now displays 12 lines of text instead of 10. The screen is covered with Gorilla Glass protective glass with an oleophobic layer.

In the settings, there are 5 gradations of backlight without auto-correction, and at maximum brightness, the display will remain readable even in the sun. The Always on Display feature is not supported, but the screen can be activated by turning the wrist. From a prone position, this does not always work, but at night it is better to disable this option altogether so as not to waste the battery in vain. Just below the display is a circled touch key that activates the screen and performs a number of other functions.

At the bottom of the capsule is a pumped optical Biotracker PPG heart rate monitor. The manufacturer claims that its accuracy has increased by 50%, but it still continues to measure the pulse of inanimate objects. Nearby are contacts for charging. The case is sealed and withstands pressure of 5 atmospheres, which allows you to swim without removing the bracelet, but not to dive.

Mi Band 4 vs. Mi Band 5

Dials and controls

If earlier it was supported to work with two types of dials: regular and animated, now interactive ones have also been added to them. The latter have a couple of active zones where you can display different data, and when you touch them, the corresponding function will start. So, touching the step counter will open the daily summary of activity, and touching the heart rate monitor will activate the measurement of the number of heartbeats (HR). Only three dials are pre-installed in the memory of the bracelet, but six dozen more are available in the proprietary application. If this is not enough, then from the Play Market you can download additional sets with thousands of Watch Faces.

Mi Band 4 vs. Mi Band 5

Navigation through the menu is carried out by swiping up and down, and everything is also displayed on the screen with only one icon. To select an item, you need to touch it, and to go back, press the button. To provide more convenient access to frequently used functions and data, widgets have been added to Mi Band 5. They are accessed by swiping left and right on the watch face screen. For example, I use widgets for weather forecast, music control and heart rate measurement.

Opportunities

The developers have finalized the functionality of the gadget, but all this is more of a software “chip” than a pumped “iron”. The accelerometer determines steps with high accuracy (the error is usually no more than four per hundred steps) and almost completely ignores shaking in transport. After that, the calories burned and the distance traveled are calculated (here the accuracy is lame, since the step length is calculated only on the basis of growth), and all information is entered in the “Status” section. There is also a history for the last seven days.

In the “Pulse” section, you can measure the heart rate, and if auto-tracking is enabled, you can also find out the breakdown by activity zones. In a calm state, the results are close to real values, but the higher the heart rate, the more accuracy drops, however, this is a problem with all optical heart rate monitors. A separate item is the measurement of the level of stress, which is calculated based on the heart rate, but, of course, does not fully reflect the emotional state of the user.

An important innovation was the calculation of the Individual Activity Index (PAI). The fact is that a walk and an give a completely different result, and PAI just takes this into account by comparing the number of steps with heart rate. As a result, several points are awarded for each day, and the main goal is to score a hundred in a week. This is a good motivator to work out. Another interesting feature is called Breathing. In fact, the user is simply offered to breathe in time with the pulsating picture. This quickly normalizes the heartbeat after an active workout.

Notifications contains messages from various applications. The length of the text is not limited, but the bracelet has not yet learned how to display emoticons. In addition, if there are several notifications from one program, only their number will be displayed, and not the text itself. Short “reminders” set by the user are sent to “Events”, and now they are already limited to only 16 characters. When you receive an incoming call, the bracelet will vibrate, and the name or number of the caller will be displayed on the screen. You can mute or drop the call. Unfortunately, calls from messengers are not shown. The “Weather” section displays the current temperature, humidity, wind, solar radiation level, as well as the forecast for the week. All data is loaded from the Internet and synchronized with the current position of the user.

Since the bracelet has accumulated quite a lot of possibilities, the developers decided not to “produce” shortcuts, but to group all the remaining functions in the “Additional” section. From there, you can activate Do Not Disturb mode for a specific time, interval or during sleep, remotely put your phone on silent mode, select an alarm preprogrammed in the application, enable remote control of the camera or music player (almost everything is supported, including YouTube), configure backlight and turn off the screen, start a stopwatch or timer, find out the time in other cities, select a watch face, find a smartphone, and pay for your purchase using Alipay. Also, the bracelet will remind you when you have reached your daily goal or, conversely, you have been sitting too long, and it’s time to warm up.

The bracelet quite accurately determines the time of falling asleep and waking up, is able to determine the three phases of sleep and fixes the day’s rest. Based on the results of the measurements, an overall rating is set and recommendations are given for optimizing sleep. Sleep monitoring on the bracelet screen is not available – it can only be viewed in the application. Added to Mi Band 5 and the function of determining the female cycles, but they are shown only if the user is a girl. It’s a pity, because a man would also not hurt to know when his girlfriend has critical days on the way.

The set of workouts has been significantly enriched: now eleven different activities have become available, instead of six: walking,nning outdoors, a treadmill, yoga, jump rope, a bicycle, an exercise bike, an ellipse, a rowing machine, a pool and floor exercises. Since the Mi Band 5 does not have its own GPS chip, it has to use a signal from a smartphone to determine the coordinates. The received data allows not only to record the track, but also the height, as well as the speed. In addition, time, steps, pace, calories burned, cadence, heart rate (graph and zoning), strokes, swimming style and SWOLF index are recorded.

In Mi Band 5, they added the ability to automatically record activity: just startnning, and the bracelet itself will offer to record the workout, and the segment that was overcome before the notification will also be taken into account. This “chip” also works with walking. There is also an automatic pause here, which stops time if the athlete is forced to stop. To exit the training mode, you must hold the key under the screen.

Appendix

To synchronize with a smartphone, the Mi Fit application is still used, which, upon entering the account, will load all past achievements. Only one bracelet can be active, so when you add Mi Band 5, the rest are deactivated. Supports smartphones on Android and iOS.

The interface is divided into three sections. The Workout screen displays a quick summary of the day: steps taken, PAI, stress level, sleep, heart rate, workouts, and weekly activity graph. By clicking on any of the options, the user gets a more detailed report. To synchronize, just swipe down. All information is well sctured. On the same page, you can start several workouts. The “Friends” tab allows you to track the activity of your friends.

The “Profile” section is devoted to the various settings of the bracelet. There are both general and individual for each device. The application allows you to flexibly customize the gadget for yourself: you can change not only the dials, but also menu items, vibration, widgets, a list of available workouts, as well as applications from which notifications will come. The “Heart rate monitoring” item allows you to enable automatic heart rate measurement and stress control, activate more accurate sleep tracking, and notify you of abnormally fast heartbeats. It is possible to activate the unlocking of the smartphone using the bracelet, determine its location and update the firmware.

autonomy

Xiaomi “smart” bracelets have always been distinguished by good autonomy, and Mi Band 5 was no exception, although due to the smaller battery capacity (125 mAh versus 135 mAh for Mi Band 4) and the enlarged screen, it still decreased somewhat. With all auto-tracking options enabled at maximum display brightness, the gadget lasted 9 days. By reducing the frequency of measurements and the brightness of the backlight, you can count on 12 days. Finally, if you turn off all unnecessary, and use the gadget only as a clock with notifications, then it is quite possible to hold out for 18 days. Starting workouts additionally consumes the battery level. It takes about 90 minutes for the device to fully restore energy and, as already mentioned, there is no longer a need to remove the capsule from the strap.

findings

Of course, Mi Band 5 has become better in every way: convenient charging, a larger AMOLED screen, interactive watch faces and widgets, improved heart rate and sleep quality monitoring, breathing recovery and stress measurement, camera control and PAI calculation, 11 training modes with auto-on and autopause. Although the development is rather evolutionary, the novelty has every chance to push its predecessor from the pedestal of the most “popular” fitness bracelet. If all of the above features are not very interesting to you, then it’s better to save 1000 *** and take the still up-to-date and time-tested Mi Band 4. Well, if your smartphone does not have NFC or you just don’t want to constantly take out your phone for payment, then the choice worth doing in favor of Mi Band 4 NFC.

Wanted, but not yet purchased Mi Band 5? Black Friday is a great excuse to fix that.

Don’t want to wait? You can take the bracelet on the official English website of Xiaomi. Link below

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