Xiaomi Mi Band 6 overview: A transparent winner

by akoloy

Each 12 months, Xiaomi provides a handful of recent options to its Mi Band line. And every year, the corporate is ready to preserve its value down below €50. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is not any totally different, gaining trendy options like a much bigger show and blood oxygen monitoring. But different rivals are catching as much as Xiaomi’s lead within the sub-€50 health tracker house, generally providing extra for the value. Read our full Xiaomi Mi Band 6 overview to see if that is a budget health tracker you’re in search of.

About this Xiaomi Mi Band 6 overview: I used the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 for seven days working software program model It was related to my Google Pixel 5 all through the testing interval. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 overview unit was offered to Android Authority by Xiaomi.

What it is advisable know concerning the Xiaomi Mi Band 6

xiaomi mi band 6 review display close up

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

  • Xiaomi Mi Band 6 (world, no NFC): €44.99 (~$53)
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 6 (China, no NFC): 229 yuan (~$35)
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 6 (China, NFC): 279 yuan (~$42)

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 (aka Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 in some areas) is Xiaomi’s flagship health tracker for 2021. True to kind, the Mi Band 6 affords extra options than you’d count on for a sub-€50 wearable.

New options embody a much bigger AMOLED show, greater than double the exercise monitoring modes, blood oxygen monitoring, and respiratory high quality assessments throughout sleep. Those options alone could not make present Mi Band 5 (and even Mi Band 4) customers wish to improve, however they could be simply sufficient to get individuals to contemplate Xiaomi’s providing over the most affordable Fitbit.

However, Xiaomi’s Mi Bands are now not shoo-ins for the best cheap fitness tracker crown. That could have been the case for the previous few years, however now corporations like Amazfit provide alternate options to the Mi Band that may additionally ship on the fundamentals.

Related: The best fitness trackers — Fitbit, Garmin, Xiaomi, and more

Xiaomi sells two variations of the Mi Band 6 in China: one with contactless funds and Xiaomi’s Xiao AI voice assistant, and one other mannequin with out these two options. Unfortunately, the worldwide mannequin misses out on these options too.

The firm is conserving quiet concerning the nations through which the Mi Band 6 might be out there. Based on the Mi Band 5’s availability, we will assume the Mi Band 6 will come to most components of the world and presumably India at a later date. It possible gained’t see an official launch within the US, however that shouldn’t cease you from importing one from a world retailer like Amazon. It might be out there in six colorways: Black, Orange, Yellow, Olive, Ivory, and Blue.

Design: Same ol’ identical ol’

xiaomi mi band 6 review watch face display on wrist 2

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6’s design is basically unchanged from the earlier two generations of Mi Bands. It’s fabricated from a small tracker module that matches into a skinny silicone strap. The black mannequin of our Xiaomi Mi Band 6 overview unit isn’t all that eye-catching, however there are plenty of third-party options out there across the web.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6’s design is basically unchanged from the earlier two generations.

The strap that comes with the Mi Band 6 feels okay. It’s tender and doesn’t accumulate mud or hair, which is all the time a win. I’m not an enormous fan of the pin-in-hole buckle, however I do know many individuals choose them. Also, the Mi Band 6 works with Mi Band 5 bands (and vice versa). So, Mi Band 5 homeowners can use their present straps in the event that they improve to the 6.

The one massive enchancment on the design entrance is the upgraded show. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 boasts a a lot bigger 1.56-inch AMOLED show, which is 50% larger than the Mi Band 5’s 1.1-inch display screen. The show almost spans to the sting of the case and makes the health tracker look far more trendy.

xiaomi mi band 6 review strap on cement

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Unfortunately, there’s no ambient mild sensor. The show will get lots brilliant, even when viewing it open air in direct daylight. Still, you would possibly end up manually adjusting the show brightness if you happen to’re transitioning between darker and lighter environments.

There are effectively over 100 watch faces out there for the Mi Band 6. Fewer than 10 are customizable, and the vast majority of the watch faces are themed with cutesy anime characters. Honestly, I actually struggled to discover a watch face that wasn’t cheesy.

xiaomi mi band 6 vs mi band 5

Left to proper: Xiaomi Mi Band 6, Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Battery life is rarely a difficulty for Mi Bands, and that’s additionally true for the Mi Band 6. Xiaomi claims the health tracker can final 14 days on a single cost with “normal” utilization. That’s definitely attainable if you happen to’re solely utilizing probably the most fundamental capabilities, however it hasn’t been my expertise.

Many of the Mi Band 6’s options drain the battery rapidly. Turning on Xiaomi’s new respiratory rating function, all-day stress monitoring, or growing the frequency of resting coronary heart price readings all have an effect on battery life and don’t represent “normal” utilization. This is a overview, so I had all these issues turned on. Realistically, I’d say most individuals will be capable of get simply over per week out of the Mi Band 6’s battery in the event that they plan on utilizing all the brand new options.

Health and health monitoring: Fine for every day exercise monitoring

xiaomi mi band 6 review activity summary

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is a health tracker that excels on the fundamentals.

The Mi Band 6 will monitor your steps taken, energy burned, distance traveled, resting and lively coronary heart price, and sleep all through the day. There’s no standalone GPS, although there may be connected GPS if you happen to don’t thoughts bringing your telephone with you whilst you’re out exercising. Step monitoring and calorie burn have been each in step with what comparable wearables from Fitbit and Garmin reported. Heart price monitoring is one other story.

xiaomi mi band 6 review heart rate sensor

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Xiaomi health tracker studies resting heart rate readings in 30, 10, 5, or 1-minute increments. Monitoring each half-hour would be the greatest for battery life however will get you the spottiest information. Monitoring each minute will provide you with one of the best general image on the expense of battery life. To play it just a little protected, I set mine to watch each 5 minutes. If you need really all-day coronary heart price monitoring, you would possibly wish to take into account a health tracker from Garmin. Most Garmin health wearables report each few seconds all through the day.

Also learn: The best Garmin watches and smartwatches you can buy

Like its predecessor, the Mi Band 6 can warn you in case your coronary heart price will increase over a sure threshold during times of inactivity. I’ve personally by no means had points with this, however the possibility is there if you happen to want it.

Resting coronary heart price readings have been advantageous when examined towards the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music and Wahoo Tickr X chest strap. Various occasions all through the week, all three coronary heart price sensors reported inside 5bpm of one another.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review heart rate data 1

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

I’ve discovered the Mi Band 6’s “sweet spot” to be anyplace from 90-140bpm throughout exercises. Anywhere above or beneath that vary and the tracker begins to go off the hinges. A latest 5K treadmill run (screenshot above) confirmed my coronary heart price peaking at 172bpm on the ~10-minute mark, although my Wahoo Tickr X (2020) chest strap reported 139bpm at the moment. That’s an enormous distinction, and sadly, not a one-off occasion. That total run, the Mi Band 6 reported my coronary heart price to be above 150bpm at varied occasions, whereas my chest strap was solely peaking at ~140bpm.

Most individuals shopping for the Mi Band 6 will possible solely wish to preserve normal tabs on their normal health tendencies and every day exercise, and I believe the Mi Band 6 can be advantageous for that. If you actually wish to dig into your exercise information (and have dependable information general), I’d suggest you choose another fitness tracker.

The Mi Band 6’s coronary heart price sensor is okay for conserving tabs in your every day exercise, however not far more than that.

One main enchancment over the Mi Band 5 is the variety of sports activities profiles out there. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 can monitor 30 actions, up from 11 on the Mi Band 5. Niche profiles like Zumba, kickboxing, and badminton have been added to the tracker this time round. It also can robotically detect six actions: working, strolling, treadmill, biking, rowing machine, and elliptical. For all different actions, you’ll want to pick out it on the system and hit begin manually.

xiaomi mi band 6 review spo2 blood oxygen tracking pulse oximeter

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Blood oxygen monitoring (aka SpO2) has been an more and more necessary metric in health trackers currently. Xiaomi included an SpO2 sensor on the worldwide Mi Band 6, permitting you to spot-check your blood oxygen ranges all through the day. The Mi Band 6’s SpO2 sensor is definitely higher carried out than the Xiaomi Mi Watch’s sensor, which is kind of stunning.

Related: Xiaomi Mi Watch review | Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite review

It solely takes a number of seconds for the Mi Band 6 to report your blood oxygen ranges. It’s fairly a bit quicker than my Forerunner 245 at taking readings, too. Once you get a studying, it’ll hopefully present a proportion someplace between 95-100%. I examined the Mi Band 6’s numbers towards the Forerunner 245 Music and a dependable fingertip pulse oximeter, and all three units confirmed almost the identical outcomes.

Again, it solely works with spot checks all through the day, so the Mi Band 6’s sensor gained’t run at evening to watch for potential sleep apnea indicators. This is the place SpO2 sensors are most helpful in health trackers, however you often have to pay up for a tool that tracks blood oxygen at evening. Xiaomi clarifies in its press supplies that the Mi Band 6’s SpO2 readings “should not be used or relied on for any medical purposes. All data and tracking should be used for personal reference only.”

SpO2 spot checks are an necessary function to have if you happen to battle together with your blood oxygen numbers, however most of us will use this function a handful of occasions and depart it’s.

xiaomi mi band 6 review workout activity details running

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Menstruation cycle monitoring is again with the Mi Band 6, serving to girls monitor their cycle length, ovulation, historical past, and likewise predict when their subsequent cycle will occur. You’ll have to allow this function if you wish to use it. Once arrange, you’ll be able to see a month-view calendar within the Xiaomi Wear app that exhibits your cycle and estimated fertile and ovulation home windows.

What’s out there within the Xiaomi Wear app appears okay, however it’s definitely not as totally featured as standalone period-tracking apps. It’s additionally a little bit of a step down from what Xiaomi used to offer in Mi Fit, the place you possibly can report moods and signs for every day of your interval.

xiaomi mi band 6 review stress tracking

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 integrates PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) metrics to present you a greater thought of your coronary heart well being. You’re given a PAI rating, and any exercise you do all through the day provides to that rating. Higher-intensity exercises that preserve your coronary heart price excessive add probably the most factors to your PAI rating. The objective is to maintain your rating over 100 to enhance your cardiorespiratory health.

It’s a singular metric that makes an attempt that will help you perceive how your exercise displays your general well being. It forgoes the easy step depend to gauge your health degree, which Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes and Google’s Move Minutes and Heart Points additionally do.

I want the purpose system have been a bit clearer; I believe the extra course you’ll be able to present customers with any such factor, the extra they’ll get out of it.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 can preserve monitor of your sleep length, levels (mild, deep, and REM), sleep respiratory high quality, and naps all through the day. It’ll additionally offer you an general sleep rating from 1-100. Sleep monitoring is generally one of many Mi Band’s robust fits. However, I’ve had some difficulties getting the Mi Band 6’s information to line up with different sleep trackers.

Read extra: The best sleep trackers you can buy

One evening, through which I achieved a great 93/100 rating, the Mi Band 6 didn’t report any REM sleep or durations of being awake. In distinction, my Fitbit Sense mentioned I used to be awake for 41 minutes and had over 1.5 hours of REM sleep. My Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) additionally informed me I had a very stressed evening, inflicting me to doubt the Mi Band’s information.

This wasn’t an outlier, both. On one other evening of notably poor sleep, my Fitbit Sense and Google Nest Hub each informed me I used to be stressed all evening. Even although the Mi Band 6 picked up on one time I used to be awake, it missed the opposite handful of occasions that the Nest Hub and Sense each caught. Furthermore, I awoke feeling groggy and drained, but the Mi Band mentioned my sleep rating was 95/100. This quantity would have been a lot decrease if the Mi Band caught all my sleep disturbances.

xiaomi mi band 6 review xiaomi wear app breathing score sleep tracking

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Mi Band 6’s respiratory price monitoring throughout sleep is kind of fundamental. It offers you a rating from 0-100 primarily based in your blood oxygen readings at evening. You’re given a short overview of the function within the Xiaomi Wear app, in addition to some suggestions on find out how to breathe higher. That’s actually all the information you get, although. I’d actually wish to see why I scored a 96/100 on a sure evening as an alternative of simply being given a rating.

The Xiaomi Wear app: Nice wanting, with room for enchancment

xiaomi mi band 6 review xiaomi wear app status home screen

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Wear app is what you’ll use to dig into all of your health and well being information. The app is break up up into three tabs: Status, Workouts, and Profile.

Status is mainly the house display screen. It exhibits your latest actions, present step depend, final evening’s sleep, and another well being metrics tracked by the Mi Band. This web page is kind of easy and simple to navigate. The Workouts tab allows you to begin a exercise of any kind. You can view your real-time metrics from this display screen, in addition to a map of the place you’re. The Profile tab is a catch-all settings menu. Here, you’ll be able to see system settings, change notification preferences, and extra.

Don’t miss: The best fitness apps available

Xiaomi Wear is a step up from Mi Fit aesthetically. You can inform Xiaomi took the time to design the app with trendy practices in thoughts. Unfortunately, the care that went into its aesthetics doesn’t switch over to usability. I believe the entire app might use some TLC.

xiaomi mi band 6 review xiaomi wear app running activity workout

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Xiaomi Wear can not hook up with third-party apps like Strava, Google Fit, or any others. You can also’t export uncooked information information. So, the info collected by your Mi Band 6 stays in Xiaomi Wear. That wouldn’t be an enormous deal if the app made it straightforward to see your information, however it doesn’t.

Take coronary heart price information in exercise summaries, as an illustration. You’re given a graph that exhibits your max and common coronary heart price, however it doesn’t will let you see the rest. You can’t faucet on the graph to get an actual coronary heart price at any given time. I believe that is too fundamental, even for the typical person.

It’s time for Xiaomi to spend extra time fixing up the Xiaomi Wear app.

US customers will even battle with Xiaomi Wear in the event that they’re used to the imperial system. Xiaomi Wear solely helps the metric system. On prime of that, there’s no 12-hour time help, no Fahrenheit help, and a few Chinese textual content discovered all through the app.

The Xiaomi Wear app is an effective begin. It simply wants polish.

Smartwatch options: Globally restricted

xiaomi mi band 6 review telegram notification messages

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 affords fundamental smartwatch performance and some smaller options that aren’t often discovered on different health trackers. The Mi Band 6 can mirror your smartphone notifications for any app. Notifications aren’t actionable — nor are they notably straightforward to learn on a show this measurement — so that you’ll possible solely look at that incoming electronic mail or textual content then want to choose up your telephone to see the entire thing. If you need an improved notification expertise, you’ll wish to purchase a full-fledged smartwatch.

If you reside in China, Xiaomi sells two Mi Band 6 fashions: one with NFC and a voice assistant, and one with out. The world model doesn’t have NFC or a voice assistant, both, so I couldn’t check contactless funds or Xiaomi’s Xiao AI assistant. If you’re after a Mi Band that’s just a little smarter, Huami launched a Mi Band replica final 12 months that comes with Amazon Alexa.

xiaomi mi band 6 review alarm weather music apps

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

I praised this in my Mi Band 5 overview, however it bears repeating: Xiaomi does evening mode higher than many different corporations, together with Google with Wear OS. You can set the Mi Band 6’s show to dim on a set schedule or primarily based on when the solar units. You also can set raise-to-wake performance to a schedule, so that you’re not by accident triggering it whilst you’re in mattress. It’s a pleasant contact that basically goes a good distance.

Finally, the Mi Band 6 has a number of fundamental apps built-in like an alarm, stopwatch, timer, occasion log, a “find my device” app, and a digicam management app. You also can management your smartphone’s music from the Mi Band. That’s the place the app record ends, although. There aren’t any third-party apps and no third-party watch faces.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 specs

  Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Display 1.56-inch AMOLED
Tempered glass with anti-fingerprint coating
152 x 486 decision
Up to 450 nits
60+ band shows
Sensors PPG coronary heart price sensor
3-axis accelerometer sensor
3-axis gyroscope sensor
SpO2 sensor
Connected GPS
Battery 125mAh
14-day promised battery life
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0
Tracking and different options 30 health modes
6 auto detection modes
SpO2 monitoring
Sleep monitoring
Breathe train
Stress monitoring
Female well being monitoring
PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence)
Idle alerts
Camera distant shutter
Water resistance 5ATM
App compatibility Mi Wear app
Mi Fit app
Charging methodology Magnetic charging
Supported units Android 5.0 and above
iOS 10 and above
Dimensions 47.4 x 18.6 x 12.7mm
Strap: 155 – 219mm
Colors Black, Orange, Yellow, Olive, Ivory, Blue

Value and competitors

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 (Chinese model) Now with SpO2 monitoring and extra sport profiles

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 (aka Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 in some areas) is Xiaomi’s flagship health tracker for 2021. True to kind, the Mi Band 6 affords extra options than you’d count on for a sub-€50 wearable.

Note: The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 will not be but out there for world markets. The AliExpress itemizing on this overview is for the Chinese model. We will replace our Xiaomi Mi Band 6 overview when the worldwide model goes on sale.

There’s stiff competitors within the sub-€50 health tracker house, and most of it comes from Xiaomi, Huami, and Huawei. Xiaomi’s personal Mi Band 5 will be discovered at a reduction these days if you happen to don’t thoughts the smaller display screen and restricted function set. However, it’s in all probability greatest to spend just a little extra and get the brand new Mi Band 6.

Don’t miss: The best cheap fitness trackers you can buy

You additionally would possibly wish to take into account the Fitbit Inspire 2 if you happen to’re not tied to the Xiaomi ecosystem. It’s out there for €99/£89 and comes with a free 12 months of Fitbit Premium. Buying from Fitbit additionally means you’ll get to make use of the Fitbit app, which is much superior to the Xiaomi Wear app.

As talked about, Huami’s Amazfit Band 5 is basically a Mi Band 5 clone with Amazon Alexa help, and it’s readily available in the US. If you’re in search of extra of a smartwatch kind issue, the Amazfit Bip U is a stable providing. Available for around $60, the smartwatch affords week-long battery life and correct (but fundamental) health monitoring.

We’re additionally excited to check out the brand new Honor Band 6 and Huawei Band 6, the previous of which prices simply $35. These health trackers preserve the slim kind issue but in addition have massive AMOLED shows.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 overview: The verdict

xiaomi mi band 6 review running workout summary page

Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is among the greatest low cost health trackers you should buy and completely well worth the €45. It handles the fundamentals effectively, and that’s what we count on out of a tool at this value level.

It’s now not the one low cost health tracker value contemplating, although, so it’s possible you’ll end up deciding between the Mi Band 6 and an Amazfit system. Luckily Xiaomi and Huami’s merchandise are comparable in some ways, so shopping for one over the opposite gained’t be an enormous deal.

Unsurprisingly, the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is among the greatest low cost health trackers you’ll be able to spend your cash on.

Xiaomi is not off course with its Mi Band line. The firm delivered a stable health tracker that provides trendy options like blood oxygen monitoring and a bigger AMOLED show. Certain features of the system might use some extra consideration, however general, the Mi Band 6 is a well-rounded bundle.

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