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Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review | Is the Mi Band 5 Better Than Its Predecessors?

Eyeing for the Xiaomi Mi Band 5? Check out our Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review for all the details.

Like Clockwork, Xiaomi launches a new edition to their famous line of Mi Band fitness trackers, and it's that time of the year again. Xiaomi launched the Mi Band 5 in China in June and the Global Version has just hit the markets. So, it's time we did another review of the fifth edition of the most popular Xiaomi Products since its inception.

The Mi Band 5 does have quite a few upgrades when compared to its predecessor the Mi Band 4. It's equipped with a larger screen and features highly accurate sensors that elevate its value as a fitness tracker. And for the first time, Xiaomi has introduced a solution to their annoying charging methodology.

Related: Mi Band 5 vs Fitbit Inspire HR

Want to know more about this flagship product. So, let's get to it, shall we? Here's the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review.

After having used this band for the past 5 months, I've certainly gone through the ups and downs. I've reviewed the Mi Band 5 based on various factors like design, function, battery, performance, and price. I found that:

The Mi Band 5 is one of the best smart bands in the market. While it is not as good as a Fitbit, it is certainly one of the best among the low to mid-range fitness trackers. Most importantly, it comes with 11 exceptional sports modes and a brilliant battery life of 14 days. It's also extremely affordable at just $27.99.

Mi Band 5 Features

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKHOLFr2MFQ

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Specifications

Display 1.1 inch AMOLED with full-color touch screen
Resolution 126 x 294p
Screen brightness Up to 450 nits
Color depth 16 bit
Button Single touch button ( to wake up and to return)
Connectivity Base model: Bluetooth version 5.0 BLE
High-end model: NFC on some models
Battery LiPo, 125mAh, 14 days of battery life (NFC), 20 Days (non-NFC)
RAM 512KB
Storage 16MB
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, PPG heart rate sensor, Capacitive Proximity Sensor, IR detection (NFC variant), Barometer
Waterproof Up to 40 meters for 30 Minutes, 5 atmospheres
Features 1) Heart rate monitor(24/7)
2) Step counter, Sedentary reminder, and stress counter.
3) Workouts(11 modes) and breathing exercises
4) PAI Score
5) Timer and Stopwatch
6) REM + Sleep Monitor
7 ) Camera controller
8) Weather alerts
9) NFC (in some models)
10) Virtual Assistant (Only in the Chinese version as of now)
11) Microphone (Only in the Chinese version as of now)
12) Alarms, Reminders, Notifications
13) Call mute & decline
14) Find phone
15) Silent phone
16) Minor features like brightness control
17) Music controller
18) Event reminder

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review - Unboxing

The Mi Band 5 comes in standard black cardboard packaging. On the packaging, you can find the image of the product and a huge illustration of the number 5. On the sides, you'll find some technical specifications.

Now, Inside the box you will find:

  • A magnetic cable charger (New)
  • The Mi Band 5 itself
  • And an instruction manual.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review - Design

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review

The Mi Band 5 is similar in design structure to its predecessor. However, the Mi Band 5 is slightly larger in size when compared to the Mi Band 4. It weighs only 11.1 grams which makes it feel likes a breeze on my wrist. This smart band has dimensions of 46 x 12 x 18 mm.

  • It is the first Xiaomi smart band to support dynamic display and most importantly, it has a 1.1 inch AMOLED dynamic color display which is around 20% larger than it's predecessor.
  • Although the increase from 0.95 inches to 1.1 inches is negligible, I found it to be useful. As the screen size increased, the bezels have been reduced, resulting in a screen that can display up to an additional line of information. Of course, not an amazing improvement in terms of practicality, but it's an improvement nonetheless.
  • Of course, the Mi Band 5 has a Full Touch-enabled screen. It has a resolution of 126 x 294 pixels and supports DCI-P3 color gamut. The display quality has definitely evolved when compared to the Mi Band 4 and I love it.
  • Most importantly, the surface of the screen is equipped with a 2.5D tempered glass panel that easily protects the display from scratches and minor abrasions.
  • Even the screen backlight has been enhanced up to 450 nits with 5 levels of adjustable brightness settings. With the help of the brightness range, this smart band can display information even under direct sunlight.
  • The Mi Band 5 at the end of the day is still an accessory. So, it does have a fashion component to it. You get to choose your band from a total of 8 rich color schemes: Graphite Black, Deep Blue, Vitality Yellow, Lotus Root Powder, Light Green, Bronze Purple Dark Cyan and Dynamic Orange.
  • Most importantly, the band itself is highly practical. It's made from a TPU which not only makes it comfortable to wear but also sweat and water-resistant.

At the end of the day, while The Mi Band 5 is not vastly different from the Mi Band 4 it still is a cool watch. Especially, since it comes with more than 100 themed dials, including 54 exclusive IP features themes such as the nostalgic Neon Genesis Evangelion, Spongebob Squarepants, Detective Conan, Hatsune Miku, Ali the Fox and many more.

Like all Xiaomi products, the Mi Band 5 is highly customizable. I was able to revamp the user interface to suit my needs and personal style. Even with respect to the user interface, I was able to customize a lot including functions and modes.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review - Functions and Use

The Mi Band Series of Smart Bands are primarily fitness trackers. So, clearly, the fifth edition won't stray away from its core competency. However, in terms of functionality alone, I found it to be disappointingly similar to the Mi Band 4.

  • It's the same old same old. You just have to swipe up and down to access the various apps and modes that are on the device.
  • While the majority of the apps are the same, there are a few new inclusions. It now has a menstrual cycle tracker, a stress level monitor, a personal activity indicator (PAI), and improved sleep tracker, a more accurate health sensor, a remote camera shutter control and 5 new additions to the fitness modes.
  • You simply need to keep swiping horizontally to access the various short to your favorite Apps. Of course, you can set the Apps you want to be displayed there through the Mi Fit App.

When it comes to the usage of the Mi Band 5, You certainly get your money's worth.

  • Since health and fitness is the primary function of the device let's start there. This fitness tracker is equipped with an accurate PPG biosensor that's been further amplified with an optimized heart rate monitoring algorithm.
  • It supports 24- hour heart rate monitoring and a sleep monitoring function both of which have been highly accurate. The health data acquisition feature has also been improved, thereby resulting in a total upgrade of 40% (compared to Mi Band 4) with respect to accuracy.
  • It also can be used to monitor pressure, which helps you determine the course with respect to your get. This band also provides a menstrual cycle tracker for female users.

The Mi Band 5 has introduced a personal activity indicator (PAI). This indicator is a first of its kind and converts heart rate value into a PAI value which is more useful as it allows the user to control the body state.

  • When it comes to daily functions, it does have the basic apps that can be found in all smartwatches, including social media and other play store apps. Other functions include a UnionPay Quick Pass and a remote control photography support.

The Mi Band 5 offers 11 sports modes, unlike its predecessor which offered only 6. The majority of these sports modes are indoor-oriented.

Sports Modes

  • Walking Mode
  • Outdoor Running Mode
  • Treadmill Mode
  • Cycling Mode
  • Pool Mode
  • Freestyle Swimming Mode
  • Jump Rope Mode - New Mode
  • Yoga Mode - New Mode
  • Rowing Machine Mode - New Mode
  • Elliptical - New Mode

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review - Battery Life

When it comes to the battery life of the Mi band 5 there isn't any significant improvement. The fitness tracker can easily last 14 days on a single charge. However, if you run various modes constantly, it will shorten the life to around 6 days. While the battery life is still maintained at the same level of innovation, the charging process has drastically changed.

  • The Mi Band 5 is a huge improvement with its all-new magnetic charger. This charging cable connects to the charging dock magnetically.
  • This means that you don't have to remove the Smartwatch from the band every time you want to charge the device. This was an extremely annoying issue that Xiaomi solved with the Mi Band 5.

Unfortunately, while the process of charging has significantly become easier with the magnetic charging cable, the charging speed itself hasn't changed which is quite a bummer.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review - Performance

When it comes to the performance I'm a little conflicted, to be honest. Real-time and long-term performance is pretty good. There isn't any issue with the screen sensitivity, execution, or overall system performance. With a powerful processor, a 16GB internal memory, and a 512KB Ram, you can certainly expect to run your tasks smoothly. I didn't find any lags or stutters with the transitions or animation, even if the internal memory is almost close to completion.

  • Most importantly, Bluetooth 5.0 that really makes it a great device. It offers seamless connectivity. So, notifications appear in real-time without any issues. It is also compatible with smartphones with Android 5.0 or iOS 10 and above.
  • While the sports modes are pretty good, there are some issues with the sensors. Which I'll come to in a bit. The 11 sports modes are great. they run smoothly, offer great insights and data. Especially with PAI score, keeping a track of your health becomes much easy.
  • However, while the majority of the bugs have been fixed with the firmware updates, there are some issues. For example, the sleep tracking feature does not accurately capture your deep sleep and REM sleep. Even the heart rate isn't as accurate as a Fitbit. So, it's best to invest in this smart band only if you look to use the data as a reference or guideline.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review - Final Thoughts

The Mi Band 5 is certainly a unique edition to the Mi Band series. While there are certain remarkable features and additions, the level of improvement from the Mi Band 4s is still dismal.

After using the band for around 2 weeks we can honestly say it's a good fitness tracker with an astonishing level of accuracy. However, when it comes to daily use you really can't tell the difference between the Mi Band 5 and its predecessor.

  • If you primarily use it for fitness, you can definitely see the difference as this one comes with an additional 5 sports modes which are quite useful, to be honest as the majority are indoor modes. If you're going to use it as a regular smartwatch you're better of investing in the Mi Band 4.
  • While there are certain drawbacks to the device. We should give credit where its due. Xiaomi has drastically improved the charging process with the magnetic charger. However, it's a shame that the charging speed hasn't increased one bit.

All in all, it's a product that's worth it for those that absolutely require it. If not, stick to the one you have now and wait for the next edition. Hopefully, we can see some major innovation with the Mi Band 6.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Price

You can get the global version of the Mi Band 5 on Aliexpress for $30.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs Xiaomi Mi Band 6

With the latest version of the Mi Band Series, the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 proving to be extremely popular, check out what makes it better than the Mi Band 5 and if you should upgrade. 

The new Xiaomi Mi Band 6 features a larger screen that stretches from top to bottom. The Xiaomi Band 6 has a significantly larger 1.56-inch display compared to the 1.1-inch display on the Mi Band 5. The display on the new Mi Band 6 is also sharper compared to Mi Band 5.

Both bands share many features like 50m water resistance, 24-hour heart rate, sleep monitoring, 14-day battery life, magnetic charging, and more. The Mi Band 6 one-ups the Mi Band 5 by including a SpO2 sensor that can measure blood oxygen levels. 

Overall, the Mi Band 6 offers some nice upgrades to the screen, adds more fitness and sport tracking modes, and offers a SpO2 sensor. 

All this makes it significantly better and worth upgrading too. Since the Mi Band lineup is affordable, upgrading won't cost much too. I would recommend upgrading if you have the cash.

FAQs

Is Mi Smart Band 5 worth it?

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is still available to purchase on sites like AliExpress. It costs a bit less than the newer but significantly better Mi Band 6. You can find the Mi Band 5 for under 30 USD, while you would have to fork out 35 USD for the Mi Band 6. For just 5 dollars more, you are getting a much better band, so I would advise getting the Mi Band 6 over the Mi Band 5.

Is Mi Band 5 harmful to health?

There gave been some rumors circulating that the Mi Band 5 is harmful to health, but none of these are true. The Mi Band 5 is approved by all regulatory bodies. It is safe to wear and use on a regular basis.

How reliable is Mi Band 5?

Smartwatches and fitness bands offer a lot of tracking features, but they are not always accurate because of technical and size limitations. Even then reputed manufacturers like Xiaomi offer the best sensors and software to make sure users get data that is accurate and reliable. The Mi Band 5 uses top-quality sensors and algorithms to provide decently accurate tracking data. You can rely on it for health and fitness tracking.

Should I stick with the Mi band 4 or buy the Mi Band 5?

Although the Mi Band 5 has improved when compared to the Mi Band 4, the upgrades don't warrant speedy replacement. Honestly speaking, if you already have a Mi Band 4 your better off waiting for the 6th edition. However, if this is your first fitness tracker. Then, by all means, go for the Mi Band 5. It is equipped with highly accurate health and fitness sensors and modes that will definitely help support your goals. Check out our Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review for more details.

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