Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

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Introduction

One of the most popular wearables got a massive upgrade this year with the new Xiaomi Mi Band 2. The first Mi Band was a breakthrough because of its battery life, compact size, and bargain price. Then the Mi Band Pulse added a heart-rate sensor, but took the RGB notification LEDs.

And now – with the Mi Band 2, Xiaomi fans all around the world are finally getting the display they wished for.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi’s Mi Band 2 keeps the iconic design, but replaces the three LED lights with a 0.42″ OLED display. There is also a touch-sensitive key below the tiny screen, which helps you switch between the different notification panes.

Other notable upgrades are the bigger battery (70mAh), improved HR sensor, better motion tracking sensor, and enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. The strap also got a refreshed design.

Unboxing

The small retail box of the new Mi Band 2 hides no surprises – the new Mi Band 2 is inside, a soft strap, and a small USB cable for charging.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Unboxing the Mi Band 2

Design

The Mi Band 2 is slightly bigger and thicker than its predecessors, though Xiaomi managed to keep its elegant style rather intact. The entire front is covered with a scratch and fingerprint resistant glass, while the touch-sensitive key is made of anodized 0.05mm metal piece.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Naturally, the bottom of the Mi Band 2 has the new optical HR sensor, while the charging pins are at one of the sides.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi’s Mi Band 2 is dust and water proof (IP67), so you won’t have to worry about anything. And if smudged, you can easily wash it under tap water.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2

The new strap is softer and more pleasant for the skin. It features an enhanced design in order to keep the Mi Band 2 firmly inside. Xiaomi promises it won’t accidentally pop up from the strap, and I can confirm this never occurred over the month I used the band.

The display

The small 0.42″ OLED display is of the monochrome variety. It can display the time, step count, total distance, burnt calories, heart rate, battery percentage, and icons for incoming notifications (messages, email, calls, among others).

The screen is bright enough and is visible even under direct sunlight. And it blends well underneath the back glass on the band’s front.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

The Mi Band 2 screen

Due to the small pixel count the screen can only display notification icons such as message or email icon, and not text, but that still counts for something. The older bands did this with different LED colors or number of vibrations.

Features

As I already mentioned, the display of the new Mi Band 2 is definitely the highlight new feature. Thanks to the small thingy, you can now see the time by lifting your wrist or tapping the key. Tapping repeatedly will start cycling between the panes you’ve enabled from the Mi Fit app – Time, Steps, Distance, Calories, Heart rate, Remaining battery.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Configuring the Mi Band 2

You can measure your heart rate by cycling to the appropriate pane, or, if disabled, you can use the Mi Fit app to fire the heart rate sensor.

The band tracks your step count quite well and sleep. Its software automatically calculates distance and burnt calories and those are transferred to the Mi Fit app upon sync. You can set a step goal if you like.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Steps Steps history the profile screen Sleep Sleep history

You can enable automatic heart-rate measurements during your sleep and they will provide much more accurate information, but this will have a rather huge impact on the battery life.

You can also set up idle alerts and avoid long non-activity intervals. There is also a neat DND mode which I used to avoid distractions at night.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

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Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Heart rate history Measuring HR Idle alert DND mode Allowing the Health app to use band data

All health data collected by the Mi Band 2 – heart rate measurements, steps, distance, calories, sleep info and activity – can be used by other apps such as Apple’s Health app.

Finally, the Mi Band 2 supports alarms which you can set from the Mi Fit app.

Notifications

Notifications may have kicked off as a bonus feature with the first Mi Band, but they have become an invaluable feature in the latest wearable devices. Xiaomi knew that, especially when it angered a lot of people by ditching the RGB LEDs and opting for white-only lights in the later batches of the first Mi Band and the Mi Band 1s after it.

Now with the integrated display, there is a lot more room for showing notifications. Indeed, the screen size is limited and it can’t display text, but Xiaomi still found a way to show notifications in a meaningful way.

First – incoming calls. The Mi Band 2 can vibrate when you have an incoming call. You can set up a notification delay between 3s and 30s. Upon a call (and after the delay) the band starts vibrating and the screen will show an earphone icon.

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App notifications are available as well. Currently the Mi Band 2 supports vibrating and displaying an icon on its screen for Mi Fit, Mi Talk, WeChat, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Whatsapp.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Managing app notifications

SMS, Email, and Goal notifications are also available, from the Band Notifications menu. They do the same – initiate a short vibration and an icon pop-up.

Finally, you can set the band to notify you about achieved goals such as daily step target reached.

Mi Fit app and Smart Unlock

The Mi Fit app is available on Android and iOS. There is one major feature unavailable on Apple’s devices and that’s the Smart Unlock.

If your smartphone runs on MIUI 5.6 or later, or Android 5.0 or later, you can use the Smart Unlock feature. Once you configure it from the Mi Fit app, your phone won’t require PIN of fingerprint to unlock when the Mi Band 2 is in close proximity.

The Mi Fit app is your place for tracking your activity – sleep, step count, heart-rate data. Here you can check your weekly and monthly progress, share achievements with Mi your friends or social networks, as well as set new goals.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Mi Fit app steps sleep heart rate

The Mi Fit app also supports weight tracking via the Mi Scale, or manual input.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

Mi Fit app and weight tracking

Battery life

My Xiaomi Mi Band 2 lasted exactly 30 days on a single charge. It had the accurate sleep tracking via heart rate monitoring turned off to achieve this score. All other trackers and display options were on, including the wrist gesture for checking the time.

The 30-day battery achievement included per day: about 50 time checks, 8-10 heart rate checks, 5 cycles through all the panes, and two synchronizations with the Mi Fit app.

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Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

36% left after 20 days of use

I am yet to test how the Mi Band 2 will do with accurate sleep tracking, but it should halve the battery life.

Anyway, I am nothing short of impressed by the Mi Band 2 battery life. One charge per month is absolute lovely and I applaud Xiaomi for the good job they did with optimizing the Mi Band 2.

Final thoughts

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is far from a perfect fitness tracker. There are a lot better wearables out there, with better designed software and tracking procedures. The Mi Band 2 can’t give you advice during your training sessions, can’t record them accurately because it doesn’t know if you are running or lifting.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

But for about $25 nobody should expect that. If step count, heart-rate and sleep tracking are all the fitness data you need, and you like the notification handling of the Mi Band 2, then you should get one. There are lots of color options and with a 30-day battery life for $25 – it’s a bargain.

Special thanks to HonorBuy.com for providing the review unit.

Source: gsmarena.com

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20 thoughts on “Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

  1. a month of battery? jokers.
    mine lasts a week at best… same setup(without using heart rate duribg sleep tracking)

  2. You will have to add to this the cost of paid apps in order to configure the app to do what you want and get proper information. The MiBAnd app is GROTESQUE. Total lack of functionality and stuff gets taken out with newer updates(like silent alarm). Also, i hate reviews like this one that just state positives instead of pointing out the negatives of the device. I would almost say this was an advertisment

  3. Look at the last pic in article. How does ur guys reads time ? Upside down ?

  4. ashish1607, 19 hours agoLook at the last pic in article. How does ur guys reads time ? Upside down ?
    Did you see thumb is on which side?

  5. 1. Screen isn’t Glass, it’s Plastic.
    2. 30 Days of work is BS.
    3. 25$?!?!?! WHERE?? it’s freaking 39$ everywhere!
    4. I prefer my Metal S1 Band, looks unusual, the laser cut around looks stylish, and the Lights provide me with all the info I need, got the Time in my Phone anyway!
    5. This Band 2 is all Plastic, looks like some cheap noname, compare to the Previous Bands.
    6. The Heart Rate is Useless on all the Xiaomi Bands, it won’t work when you’ll need it on some training.
    7. Waiting for the Next Xiaomi Band, hopefully with some METAL design!
    As for this “review” seems like a commercial.

  6. vladu, 20 hours agoa month of battery? jokers.
    mine lasts a week at best… same setup(without using heart rate … moreMine after ~2 weeks is at exactly 60%.

  7. ashish1607, 19 hours agoLook at the last pic in article. How does ur guys reads time ? Upside down ?
    He wore it that way so we the readers can see time

  8. $25 where? that’s ballsheet! the cheapest i could find on ebay is about $45. Well for that kind of price i’d rather go with $100 1st gen moto 360 cuz it does more for what you pay.

  9. ashish1607, 19 hours agoLook at the last pic in article. How does ur guys reads time ? Upside down ?
    Euh.. Am reading 2:02.. And you? 20:2?Guess he is wearing it right..

  10. take my money!

    all i need is a watch and phone notification alert (vibrate) on my wrist so my phone will kept silent forever

  11. Does this have in-bulit GPS, or user has to carry it’s phone everywhere, because imho that is a let down for any fitness tracker ?

  12. Some haters just can’t accept that Xiaomi has made such a Great Fitness band for such a price.
    For the ones complaining where to get one for $25, just don’t be that Dumb.
    $25 price is the one which is for the countries it officially sells in. Obviously if you are buying in other countries it will be priced higher.
    And yes it does around 30 days battery life and a minimum of 20 days. That’s impressive. Haters can hate but this thing is just too good

  13. Got one and love it, although I also paid more then $25, that’s probably got something to do with the currently limited supply and quite heavy demand :)

    One question: you mention in the article the Band can be setup as a trusted device for Android’s smart lock in the Mi App. Where is this option? I just can’t find it and setting it up as a trusted device through the Android settings has so far failed for me…

  14. Anonymous, 12 hours agoYou say Mi Band is great for 25 $ BUT HonorBuy.com which gave you Test Unit sells it for 38 $ … morethat’s whitout shipping of course…

  15. Li, 18 hours agoMine after ~2 weeks is at exactly 60%.in this case I have a faulty one…
    usually I get 4-6 days, though once I got 13+ days… once.

  16. It would be nice if you said what are the other wearables better than Mi band 2.

  17. Rex, 18 hours ago1. Screen isn’t Glass, it’s Plastic.
    2. 30 Days of work is BS.
    3. 25$?!?!?! WHERE?? it’s fre… more1. Xiaomi says it’s glass.
    2. It’s not BS. I am now 20 days since my last charge and I have 36% battery left. I’ve attached a screenshot in the battery section of this review. Maybe it’s a Bluetooth issue with an older BT revision, I don’t know. But for me (iPhone SE) and a friend of mine (iPhone 6s) – we both get 30+ days of battery.
    3. $25 when it’s officially released. If you have followed the news, Xiaomi is not ready to ship the Mi Band 2 due to some factory issues. It will be out officially later this year, for now EVERYTHING is BLACK market. That’s why you can’t find it priced at $25/€25.
    4. OK
    5. Xiaomi says it’s glass and metal, and I believe them. It sure looks like glass and metal
    6. It’s not useless, I have no problems with the HR – it won’t work only when I am moving or the strap is loose.
    7. We’ll see.

    Nobody pays us for the reviews on our website, stop with this nonsense already. We are absolutely independent. It doesn’t work this way, it never did. We are not some insignificant blog relying on free gadgets, we are a TOP500 website – we acquire the devices as we see fit and write whatever we decide is fair.

    – Kaloyan

  18. I have purchased a Mi Band 2, and I absolutely love it. I know there are plenty of other wearables out there, like Garmin, Fitbit, etc, but those are all above USD50. For this price point, I’m happy to get all this tech into one small tiny device.

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