Xiaomi Mi Band 4: the best inexpensive fitness bracelet

Xiaomi Mi Band fitness bracelets have been and remain perhaps the most popular devices in their class. And all why? Yes, because they are very, very cheap. Of course, on Aliexpress, if you wish, you can find something even more budgetary, but “it” will work very so-so, and you should not count on the community that has industriously “finished” the bracelets that were initially average in terms of capabilities, providing them with all the necessary functions.

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Not enough dials? Please, now there are as many as you like. Need a smart alarm clock? The application (albeit paid, but not so expensive) Tools & Mi Band has been able to do this for a long time, and not bad, and stably supports all new versions of bracelets. Need to control your music? The Play Market also has applications for this. All this made it possible to put up with the main shortcomings of the Mi Band, which, in my opinion, primarily included a weak-sighted display, which was almost impossible to use during training.

Actually, in Mi Band 4, in my opinion, they fixed the main drawback of previous versions of devices. The display is much larger, and (hooray) color, AMOLED, 0.95”, 120 x 240 RGB, 24-bit color depth, up to 400 nits of brightness. This (in my opinion) is already enough to control the progress of evennning training in bright sunshine.

Of course, compared to expensive smartwatches (like the Amazfit Bip), the display still looks archaic. The frames are thick, and for devices used on the street, it is still more meaningful to use transreflective technology (I carried the Amazfit Pace watch for quite a long time, until its battery died completely, and it did not work for only 1.5 days, which, it seems to me, quite insufficient). But comparing devices more expensive than $100 with those that cost less than $40 with a discount, and even in EU-US, is at least incorrect.

Now a little about the “disappointments” of Xiaomi Mi Band 4. We were told for a long time that the device would have NFC, and on the fms people dreamed that, perhaps, with the help of such a version, it would be possible to pay via Google Pay, or even ride the subway with a virtual payment card. Alas and ah, the miracle did not happen – the Chinese version, which has NFC, turned out to be unsuitable for using our payment methods.

Nothing can be done about this – because payments through such technologies are not only the chip itself, but also all kinds of security technologies that need to be established together with Google or other American corporations, and the Chinese company did not want to do this for penny bracelets. And they can be understood – it is unlikely that a working NFC would have raised the popularity of the bracelet so much that it would have paid off the delay in release and the costs of bureaucracy and approvals.

Of course, the user can here nod at Xiaomi smartphones that support payment via Google Pay, but here you need to understand the difference – after all, the phones are installed, albeit finished, but still Android, in which everything has already been carefully written by Google, and in the bracelet has its own proprietary axle, for which the bike would have to be fenced on its own.

Another advertised feature is the ability to (finally) switch music out of the box. Yes, earlier this could all be done using third-party applications, but not everyone wants to give their data to an independent developer (and even the fact that we are already giving it to Chinese giants is not an argument for everyone). Works well, switches quickly, does not depend on the application. If the device is connected via Bluetooth 5, then generally a bullet, according to the 4th – with some delay.

By the way, about Bluetooth 5.0. Now the bracelet supports this new communication technology, which means that it “falls off” less and responds faster, moreover, it lasts longer even when constantly connected to the phone. Moreover, according to my feelings, the difference is really great – the new Mi Band 4 never fell off my main Samsung Galaxy S8 +, and this happened all the time with the previous one. But when I tried to connect the device to the Samsung Galaxy S7, which the fifth blue tooth does not support, the situation was just familiar – again periodic falls off (and yes, I know that the Korean giant is partly to blame for this, whose smartphones for some reason constantly have small , subtle, but no less annoying problems when communicating with Chinese bracelets).

In terms of battery life, I did not notice any special features. Yes, the screen on the bracelet is now larger, but the battery has also increased. With constant heart rate measurement and three workouts, the device worked for me for almost 10 days. In my opinion, this is more than enough – when Mi Band 4 starts to “ask to eat”, you have 1-2 more days to connect it to charging.

And here is the biggest, in my opinion, miscalculation in the design of the fourth band. Instead of an elasticbber charging cable, which was much easier to lose than to break, they slipped us some kind of ridiculous “bath” on a thin wire that looked utterly flimsy. At the same time, the capsule still needs to be removed from the strap in order to charge! The charger itself has become more cumbersome, and if we make it like that, then why not give the opportunity to charge the bracelet as an assembly? Yes, of course, bracelets are different, but for emergency cases it was possible to come up with some kind ofbber insert for attaching the capsule separately!

What fans of individuality will like is that bracelets from the third Mi Band are also supported. So, if you suddenly bought yourself hipster clothes for a previous generation band, then you can use them. At the same time, the assembly looks much stronger than last year (I just about a month ago safely lost my Mi Band 3 due to the fact that it simply slipped out of the mount, but I didn’t notice it). Let’s see what happens after a few months of continuous wear, of course.

At the same time, in terms of design, the new version of the bracelet, in my opinion, loses to the previous one. There was a spectacular (and convenient) recess, indicating the position of the touch button, and the rounded screen looked nicer. But on new devices, you can easily stick protective films on them (many Chinese stores even immediately put them in the kit). e, I immediately tore off mine, unsuccessfully kissing on the door frame. But there were no scratches on the screen, the tempered glass with an oleophobic coating is good (again, we’ll see in six months, but on the last Mi Band, the third version, I “planted” a scratch in the first week of use). By the way, I still don’t understand why the oleophobic coating is scolded on the Internet – yes, fingerprints remain, but if you don’t look closely at them, they don’t interfere at all.

The new bracelet also claims protection against leaks, the moisture resistance level is 5 atm, the water resistance class is no longer WR30, but WR50 – that is, you can take a shower and swim without diving. I had nowhere to swim during the test, but I took a shower on purpose without removing the device – and no drops appeared under the glass (as it, alas, happened to my Mi Band 3). But when I swim in the sea, I will still take off the bracelet – just in case.

Another plus is that even the version that came to me from the Chinese store (international, without NFC) immediately worked correctly with English, no bugs were visible on the screen, no dances with a tambourine were needed for Russification.

From impossible dreams – yes, Xiaomi Mi Band 4, like its predecessor, does not support GPS. However, this should not have been expected – satellite location requires a lot of energy, and the chip itself and antennas would increase the cost of the design. So, for training, you still have to take your phone with you.

At the same time, the new bracelet now has a three-axis accelerometer, a three-axis gyroscope, as well as a new heart rate sensor. In my opinion, now the data has become more accurate, and swimming has appeared in the training list (however, I could not try it out). The pulse measurement still does not work very accurately, and in order to bring the bracelet’s indicators closer to the real ones, you need to tighten it quite tightly, which is inconvenient and unpleasant during training.

In general, despite some reservations, Xiaomi Mi Band 4 seems to me the best purchase for the money. When buying in China, it costs about 2000 *** (and in gray shops you can find it for about the same), and the official delivery will cost you 3000 ***. The band’s competitors include the Honor Band 4, which has a better display (and shorter battery life). But given the Xiaomi community, Honor’s device loses in terms of functionality – yes, it has a “smart alarm clock” out of the box, but there are much fewer options for finishing.

Thank you for the bracelet to the GearVita store. Here they sell Mi Band 4 at a price of $30.99 (you need to use the coupon IXBTM4RE, then there will be such a price.

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