Whenever the term “fitness band’ is mentioned, I am sure, the first image that strikes in many peoples’ minds is of the pill-shaped wearable which was popularised back in 2015. That was the OG Mi Band, and six years later, a lot of other tech giants have tried to recreate the magic Xiaomi originally created, but as this famous movie dialogue goes, “Baap baap hota hai!”, and so, say hello to the new and improved Mi Band 6!
Xiaomi Smarter Living 2022 saw the launch of six new products, including the latest iteration of the company’s fitness wearable that I just mentioned, the Mi Band 6. Now, I have already been using the latest fitness tracker for a few days, and while this is not a full review, in this article, I’ll giving you my initial thoughts about the Mi Band 6.
Designwise, not much has changed honestly. At first glance, while you can make out that it’s a Mi Band, you can’t exactly tell whether it’s the new one or the old one. But that’s not a bad thing, right? I mean, don’t fix something that isn’t broken. And that’s the approach Xiaomi has once again taken with the Mi Band 6. However, look closely and you’ll see that the 1.1” AMOLED screen from the Mi Band 5 has now evolved into a fairly large 1.56” AMOLED panel, with higher resolution (152×486 pixels), it gets bright up to 450 nits, there’s an oleophobic coating on top and there’s adjustable brightness. Of course, I would’ve loved auto-brightness and an AOD here, but that’s just me nitpicking. Maybe next year!
Coming back to actual display quality, the Mi Band 6’s panel is definitely larger and sharper than Mi Band 5’s display, and that’s one of the biggest improvements here. Besides, the Mi Band 6 also brings around 60+ band displays that you can set from the Mi Wear app, and it comes in a choice of six different strap colours — Black, Orange, Yellow, Olive, Ivory and Blue.
One good thing about the Mi Band 6 is that the old bands of the 5 series fit the new ones. Xiaomi sent me a couple of Mi Band 5’s straps, and because of the marginal difference in the dimensions of Band 5 and Band 6, I had no problems at all using the old straps on the new Band 6. So, owners who are looking at upgrading, this right here is a plus-point. On top of this, the Mi Band 6 is 5 ATM water-resistant, it features Bluetooth 5.0, and in terms of support, you can connect it with Android 5.0 and above smartphones, or if you are using an iPhone, you’ll need iOS 10 and above.
As for fitness tracking and health-related features, the Mi Band 6 has the ability to auto-detect 6 fitness activities and features 30 exercise modes versus 11 found on the Mi Band 5. Additionally, while the sensors on both Band 5 and Band 6 largely remain the same, i.e. you get the optical heart-rate monitoring sensor, an accelerometer and a gyroscope; the Mi Band 6 includes a new SpO2 sensor, for monitoring your blood oxygen levels. Moreover, the Mi Band 6 can also do sleep tracking with REM just like the Band 5, however, a new feature also lets you monitor your night time breathing. And this feature is right now in beta, and I found out about it while fiddling with the Mi Wear app settings.
In terms of endurance, the Mi Band 6 gets the same 125mAh battery that we also saw in the Mi Band 5, but then again, there’s nothing bad. Now, Xiaomi claims a battery life of up to two weeks on a single charge, i.e. if you use the fitness tracker under certain conditions. In my case, with the Mi Band 5, last I remember, it used to easily last me 10-12 days on a single charge, i.e. with all the major features turned on, notifications turned on and the brightness set to max. So, it will be interesting to see, how does the Mi Band 6 perform when it comes to endurance. By the way, I can already tell you about its charging time, since I did have to charge the Mi Band 6 on the first boot. So, a 0-100% took roughly about 2 hours, which is pretty much in line with the Mi Band 5 and I feel it’s decent. I mean, you can always charge it overnight, and anyway, you don’t have to charge it frequently in the first place, so not a big deal. However, since the Mi Bands come with a proprietary magnetic charger, I would advise you not to lose it, because it’s not like you’re dealing with a USB-C charger here! If you lose one, you might find another lying around. But if you lose this one, you’ll most probably have to get a new one.
And as we approach the end of my first impressions, I’ll be rigorously testing the Mi Band 6 in the coming days. So, is the Mi Band 6 worth it? Who should upgrade to the Mi Band 6? Should you purchase the Mi Band 6 as your first fitness tracker? And whether Mi Band 5 users should make the switch or not? All of this and much more to be covered in my full review. And if you don’t want to miss that, stay tuned to Mr Phone.
As of now, I have developed this special liking for the Mi Band 6. Maybe because it is not the black colour strap that I had with the Mi Band 5. Of course, this is a fitness tracker first and other things later, but honestly speaking, if you just want a thin and nimble device, that tells you the time, shows you notifications and gives you your health data, I don’t think so there’s anything that beats the Mi Band series. And at this point, if you’re a new potential buyer looking to buy a new fitness wearable on a budget, you should definitely consider the Mi Band 6. Of course, you can save a few hundred on the Mi Band 5, but right now, the Mi Band 6 will definitely make more sense. That said, don’t consider the last few lines as my final verdict, but if I have to give you a spoiler, I am already impressed! Thank you for taking out the time to read. Have a pleasant day ahead folks! 🙂