While last year’s Xiaomi Mi Band got the price (Rs. 999 at launch) spot on, there were a few compromises that we weren’t too happy with, most importantly the lack of a display. Xiaomi attempts to fix the flaws of their first band by adding a display and a heart rate sensor a year later, in their Mi Band 2. The former is vital feature that should have been there in the first version, and we’re pleased that it’s available now.
The Mi Band 2, like its predecessor, has two components – a capsule and a band. The band is made of a rubber-like material that is very comfortable. The Xiaomi Mi Band 2’s capsule fits snugly into the band and not once did we worry that it might fall out. The capsule has its display on the top, with a big circular button that lets you check stats such as the number of steps you’ve taken, the distance you’ve covered, the calories you’ve burned, etc. The base of the capsule has the heart rate sensor, which protrudes a bit and tended to dig into our skin. But, you can’t get a heart rate reading unless the sensor is pressed snugly against your skin.
According to us the only problem one can have with the second version of Mi band is the sensor digging into your forearm and causing a rash or a wound, in case you keep wearing it for a long time. The Mi Band 2 also features automatic sleep tracking, which triggered itself fairly accurately. Sleep tracking and heart rate sensing are two features that not everyone needs, but for those who are interested, we found that they work as expected.
We even have a comparison stat between step tracker of an iPhone 5S and Mi Band 2. On average, the Mi Band showed 300 steps more than the iPhone 5s each day, part of this is due to factors such as leaving the phone somewhere while still wearing the band. On the other hand while comparing it to a treadmill ourselves, we ran 4 km on a treadmill and found that the Mi Band 2 showed the distance covered as 4.09km. Both of these deviations are more than acceptable, and much better than we’ve seen in most bands.
If you want a band that vibrates when you get calls, texts, and app notifications, then the Mi Band 2 is a good purchase. All of these features worked well, although you might find this distracting if you often receive a lot of alerts. The Mi Band 2 also lets you set alarms and wakes you up with a discrete buzz. This is one of its most useful features, if you hate loud alarms or don’t want to disturb others sleeping in the same room, silent alarms are just great. The Mi Band 2’s battery life is exceptional. The device needs a proprietary charger, which could be a problem if you lose it or forget to carry it with you. The Mi Band 2 has not officially launched in India yet, though it’s available in Xiaomi’s homeland at 149 CNY. If the India price is around Rs. 2,000 or lower, it will be well worth the amount. This is it for now, we will let you know when the band will launch in India, stay tuned for further updates.