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Mi Band 5 Review: Find Me A Better Budget Fitness Band, I’ll Wait
Every year Xiaomi drops a new budget fitness band that delivers fantastic value for your money. The company increases the price marginally with every installment but also adds new features that improve the overall performance. This year is no different and calls for a better budget fitness band. With reduced physical activity and increased stress in everyone's life due to COVID-19, a small accessory can prove quite useful if you are ready to give wearable technology a chance to bring a positive change in your lifestyle.
- Vibrant Display
- Sturdy Design
- Improved Charger & Long-Lasting Battery
- High-Quality Heart Rate Monitor
- Display’s Touch Response Could Have Been Better
- No Ambient Light Sensor
- Long-Charging Time
That said, I used the Mi Band 5 as my fitness companion for over three weeks during the 'Work From Home' routine. I wore it day and night to find out if the new Mi Band can help in bringing small but necessary changes in lifestyle, physically and mentally. Did it work? Let's find out.
Design- Upgraded Design For Better Functionality
The Mi Band 4 had a good overall design but lacked a functional charging mechanism. Thankfully, Xiaomi has addressed the design issue with the new band. The Mi Band 5 comes equipped with a hassle-free magnetic charging setup which plugs directly into the bottom of the capsule, thus putting an end to the annoying process of pulling out the capsule from silicon straps to refuel the battery. The small design change makes a big difference in functionality and the overall user-experience. Just make sure you don't lose the bundled magnetic charger.
As far as the band's design is concerned, the Mi Band 5 is reminiscent of its predecessor but now flaunts a bigger and brighter display. The fitness tracker has a very sturdy design and feels very light on the wrist. I could sleep with the band strapped to my wrist without any discomfort, which is quite important for me as I am very particular in keeping a record of my sleep patterns. A big and bulky smartwatch makes it an unpleasant experience to record sleeping pattern if you aren't used to wearing a watch all day long.
The Mi Band 5 is 5ATM waterproof (50 m water resistance) which means you can wear it while taking a shower and during intense workout sessions. The band can even survive your swimming pool sessions. As far as customizability is concerned, you can buy the Mi Band 5 in 5 strap color options- Black, Teal, Purple, Navy Blue, and Orange.
Display-Bigger and More Vibrant Than Before
The Mi Band 5's 1.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen is a good improvement over its predecessor. The text and graphics look crisp as the display offers a respectable resolution of 126 x 294 pixels. And the screen gets fairly bright (450 nits peak brightness) making the Mi Band 5 comfortably usable during an outdoor workout session.
I could comfortably check the time and health-related stats on the band while cycling during bright sunny days in Delhi/NCR. What could have been better is the touch feedback of the OLED display. The screen feels a tad slower in registering the input which can be annoying while working out as it shifts your focus from workout to consuming information from the band.
Also, the Mi Band 5 lacks an ambient light sensor which means you have to manually adjust the brightness level if you are stepping out for a quick run.
24-Hour Heart-Rate Monitor And 11 Workout Modes
The Mi Band 5's built-in heart-rate sensor offers 24-hour continuous heart rate monitoring, even when you are sleeping. The band even shows your resting heart rate data which is an important measure of cardiopulmonary health. The lower RHR readings are usually considered better for a healthy myocardial condition.
The app shows a graph for your resting heart rate readings recorded by the band, provided that you have enabled the 24-hour monitoring. Besides, you can check manually measured results, Vo2 max data, and useful insights such as Maximum heart rate, Minimum heart rate, and Average heart rate. The heart rate readings are mostly in sync with data recorded on some premium fitness trackers and smartwatches.
The ‘My Workout' section in the Mi Fit app shows detailed insights about your activities such as steps taken, activity records (Running, Cycling, Swimming, etc.), and calories burnt throughout the day. Similarly, the sleep data can be checked from the app which covers Deep sleep, Light Sleep, REM, and Awake time.
Stress Monitor And PAI Score
Also, the Mi Band 5 can measure your stress level and features ‘Breathing Exercises' to help you relax on a busy day. Xiaomi has also added an all-new women's health tracking setup that records the menstrual cycle (Ovulation phases) and provides timely reminders.
The combined analysis of the aforementioned data (Athletic ability and Physical data) is used by the app to give you PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) score, which should be 100 and above as your goal to lead a healthy lifestyle. Higher the PAI score, the better the cardiorespiratory fitness and heart condition.
Mi Band 5 Specifications And Other Useful Features
The Mi Band 5 has 16GB internal memory and 512KB RAM. It uses Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to smartphones running Android 5.0 & above and iOS 10.0 & above. Other notable features include- customized watch faces, music and camera control, Find mobile phone, mute mobile phone (only for the android system), Notifications support (Call, message, app, calendar, etc.), weather forecast, timer, alarm, and charging status.
Long-Lasting Battery Life But Longer Than Usual Charging Period
The 125 mAh battery cell gives the Mi Band 5 a battery lasting capacity of 11-13 days on one full charge cycle depending upon your usage pattern, which involves interactions with screen, brightness level, and sensors' usage. If you disable the 24-hour heart rate monitoring and enable the power-saving mode, the Mi Band 5 can easily touch 17-18 days battery life, which is impressive.
The magnetic charger takes 2-hours to refuel the 125 mAh battery cell which is too long for such a tiny battery unit. Make sure you have a good charging window to give a full refuel to the band before putting it to good use.
With the kind of features it offers and performance delivery, the Mi Band 5 comes across as the best value for money fitness band in the Indian market. You cannot find a better budget fitness tracker than the Mi Band 5 at this price-point. Priced at Rs. 2,499, the Mi Band 5 is the ideal budget fitness band for new users and long-time Mi Band 4 users if they are looking for an upgrade.