Written by Cheryl Tan
The Xiaomi Mi Bands have always represented a great value proposition; S$48 for a smart fitness tracker that tracks your exercise, heart rate, sleep patterns and can push notifications from your phone? That’s not bad at all. The one thing that I didn’t like was the fact that everything was black and white, but that’s all changed with the new Xiaomi Mi Band 4.
Granted, the omission of colour in a display makes it cheaper to produce and saves a bit of battery life too. But when most other smartwatches out there are able to at least display in colour, it really makes you wonder why Xiaomi has left it out for so long. The new model comes in NFC and non-NFC versions, and currently only the non-NFC version is available in Singapore.
And if you’re upgrading from the Mi Band 3 or older, you’ll find the inclusion of colour to be a sight for sore eyes. Notifications are now more discernible, thanks to the colourful logo popping up. I now know exactly whether I’m receiving messages on WhatsApp, Telegram, or Instagram, and then I can decide whether it’s worth me picking up my phone to reply.
Aside from push notifications, the band also tracks steps, but other forms of exercise like running (outdoor and treadmill), cycling and swimming can be manually selected as well for better tracking.
I did find that the steps counted were mostly accurate, but could count movements inaccurately if you have the band on while you’re doing stuff that moves your arms a lot. I checked in increments of 10 steps and the band counted the steps accurately for each test.
Sleep tracking on the band is spot on, in regards to sleeping and wake timings. On occasions when I woke in the middle of the night, the app would track the moments that I was awake. I’m not too sure whether the deep sleep tracking is accurate, but I’m not too fussed about it either.
All the features can be used on any Android phone, even the Screen Unlock feature which unlocks your phone if a trusted device is nearby, so you won’t need a Xiaomi phone to fully utilise the band.
Xiaomi claims the Mi Band 4 will last 20 days on a single charge, but I suppose that’s quite dependent on how many notifications you get in a day and whether you turn on constant heart rate tracking or sleep tracking. With sleep tracking and notifications turned on, my band is currently sitting at 28% after 10 days of usage. Granted, I get close to 400 message notifications a day, so all that buzzing is bound to eat more battery. So I would say the battery life is quite impressive, all things considered, but I definitely won’t get 20 days out of a charge.
Overall, the band is light on the wrist and the silicon strap is definitely comfortable enough to be worn 24/7. At S$48, I doubt there’s any other smart fitness trackers out there that can match the Mi Band 4’s plethora of features at a similar price point.
More details about the Mi Band 4 (S$48) can be found on Xiaomi’s website. The band is now available on Lazada, Shopee, Qoo10, Amazon and authorised Mi stores in Singapore.