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Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Review: Better And Pricier Than Before
The 2019's best value-for-money fitness tracker-Mi Band 4 has ben finally unveiled in the Indian market. Xiaomi introduced the new budget fitness tracker along with four new Mi Smart TVs and an entirely new product category- Mi Smart Water purifier at the company's 'Smarter Living 2020' event.
- Bigger 0.98” Colored OLED Display
- Light On Wrist
- Best-In-Class Battery Life
- New Watch Faces
- Supports A Variety Of Workouts
- Value For Money
- No Built-in GPS
- Cannot Auto Detect Heart Rate Anomalies
Like every year, the new Mi Band brings some significant upgrades. The Mi Band 4 boasts a new colored OLED display and is powered by a slightly bigger battery cell for an improved battery life. These additions make the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 the most expensive fitness tracker in the Mi Band line-up. It will retail at Rs. 2,299 in Indian market.
Inside the box we have the Mi Band 4, a charging dock, warranty cards and a manual to get you started with your fitness journey. We first fully charged the fitness tracker to start testing its performance. Here's what the new Mi Band 4 has to offer.
Display: The Biggest Upgrade To Mi Band Line-up
My biggest complaint with the Mi Band 3 was the underwhelming display performance. The 0.78" Black and White OLED screen on the Mi Band 3 failed to offer a comfortable viewing experience outdoors. The Mi Band 4 addresses such issues by offering a new RGB OLED screen.
The 0.95" colored OLED touch display brings vibrant colors and offers crisp visuals. The OLED strip placed inside the capsule offers 128 x 240 pixel resolution and can touch a peak brightness level of 400 nits.
As a result screen offers a comfortable viewing experience outdoors. The colored OLED screen comes with some new watch faces and allows you to see much more data in the form of notifications from calls, texts, alarms, reminders and app notifications with app icons and even the name of the message sender.
The OLED display is also protected by a 2.5D tempered Glass with anti-fingerprint coating to make it smudge-free.
User Interface And Navigation
The RGB OLED screen supports touch controls. You can tap and swipe to navigate throughout the user interface. Simply swipe up or down to scroll through the menu to select different modes, check notifications, weather, etc. The new Mi Band 4 can also play/pause music on your phone.
You can swipe left or right on the primary watch face to access music controls. The touch-capacitive button at the bottom of the OLED strip works as a back button.
Design: Minor Upgrades
Compared to the last year's Mi Band 3, the Mi Band 4 has a slightly bigger casing to hold the OLED capsule. The OLED capsule also gets a flatter front unlike the curved edge display of the MI Band 3. Other than this, there's not much difference in the design and build quality.
The Mi Band 4 comes with similar silicon rubber straps that have retained good quality standards. At 22 grams, Mi Band 4 feels extremely light and comfortable to wear. The design is also fairly durable and gets 5 ATM water-resistant rating.
New Charging Dock And Connectivity
The Mi Band 4 also gets a new charging dock with a more streamlined cup design. The band's capsule comfortably fits in the cup and connects via pogo pins placed at the bottom of the capsule. The fact that you still need to pop the capsule out from the silicon band is quite annoying. For the Mi Band 5, I really want Xiaomi to come up with a new alternative for charging the band's capsule.
The new Mi band 4 uses Bluetooth 5.0, an upgrade from the Bluetooth 4.2 profile used by the predecessor. I paired the band with several devices and did not face any connectivity issues during the review duration.
Heart Rate Sensor, Sleep Monitoring, No Dedicated GPS
The Mi Band 4 comes equipped with a heart rate sensor but once again fails to offer a dedicated GPS. The fitness tracker only offers a connected GPS, which works in conjunction with your smartphone. This means you cannot leave your phone behind and just rely on the band to track the distance and route you cover during a running sessions. It uses your phone's GPS to provide the accurate tracking details.
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 features a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope. It can track your steps, calories burned, distance travelled and even your swimming sessions. The Mi Band 4 can recognize 5 different swimming styles and multiple data sets. There are minor discrepancies in the data recorded but these sensors are largely accurate in tracking the vitals.
On the other hand, the built-in heart rate senor offers near accurate readings of resting and active heart rate. The affordable fitness tracker can also help you track your sleeping pattern. It offers readings such as light sleep, deep sleep and the time awake when you were just staring at the ceiling fan.
Mi Fitness Band For Workout Profiles
The fitness-related profiles include- outdoor running, cycling, treadmill, walking, swimming and basic exercises like squats, pushups, crunches, etc. I recommend you to enable the ‘Behavior tagging' mode which allows the band to better track the details of daily life activities such as stairs climbing, walking, running, driving, badminton, etc.
A good thing, you can now start and stop workout profiles from the band itself. Earlier, a phone with Mi Fit app installed on it was required to start and stop the training sessions. However, this is only limited to certain workout profiles and not all the profiles available in the behavior tagging section. Last but not least, you can set goals to achieve a healthy lifestyle and can even sync data from Mi Fit app to your Google Fit account.
Control Everything From Mi Fit App
Like every iteration of the Mi Band, the new fitness tracker also requires the Mi Fit app to give you a full control over its features and functions. This time around, you can customize the watch faces. A variety of watch faces are now available in the Mi Fit app to give the OLED screen a new look and feel. You can even customize your own watch faces with images stored on your device to be used as background templates.
Besides, you can enable incoming call notifications; set app alerts of the applications installed the phone, enable idle alert, find the band from the phone itself and customize all basic functions of the band within the Mi Fit application. Sadly, you cannot reply to notifications but it is still quite convenient to see them on your wrist. You can even customize the vibration pattern of different notifications, if you find it difficult to read the text on the tiny OLED strip.
Battery Life And Connectivity
The Mi Band 3's 110mAh battery lasted for 9 days on one charge during our review duration. With the Mi Band 4, the company claims even better battery life on one charge cycle. Powered by a bigger 135mAh battery, Mi Band 4 is claimed to last for 20 days.
We have fully charged the battery once and it still shows 73% charge even after four days of connected use with the smartphone. It seems that the band will easily last for more than two weeks on one charge.
Xiaomi has once again designed a very affordable yet feature-packed fitness tracker. The price is slightly higher as compared to the predecessor but the solid battery life and the new OLED colored screen makes the Mi Band 4 the best budget fitness tracker in the market. If you are just starting with the wearable category to achieve a healthy lifestyle, the Mi Band 4 is the ideal companion.