We have been using the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Fitness tracker band for the last two weeks or so. The second iteration of the Mi Band comes with a capacitive touch enabled button and a tiny .42″ screen. The first gen did not have any screen, or a capacitive touch enabled button. It had only 3 LED indicators to work with. All the settings and data in the first gen had to be synced using the Mi Fit software. That changed in the Mi Band 2. In addition to the inclusion of a capacitive button and a screen, the surface is protected with a scratch resistant glass.
The Mi band 2 is slightly thicker than the previous generation but with a bigger and longer battery life. Xiaomi also promises us a more accurate pedometer for proper HR (Heart-Rate) readings. The military grade gravity sensor detects your movement and sleeping patterns. With a price tag of approximately $33 in India, this one is going to find a lot of takers. Read more about our Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Fitness Tracker Review below.
Before we get into the details, let us look at specifications first.
- Mi Band 2 Model Name “XMSH04HM.”
- 70 mAh (Li-on Polymer) Battery
- Approximately 70 grams in weight
- Connectivity: Low Power BlueTooth 4.2 BLE
- Adjustable Wrist Band Length of 155mm – 210mm. Full length of 235mm when fully stretched.
- Aluminum casing with a plastic band and Anti-sweat, Thermoplastic elastomers
- IP67 certified Water & Dust Resistant materials
The Mi Band 2 fitness tracker review unit was only charged once, and it ran for 20 days with 44% of charge to spare. Impressive? There is more. We enabled all the software App notifications like WhatsApp, Facebook from the device software. Even then, the battery ran for over a month.
The only thing that we did not like was the inclusion of a separate proprietary battery charger. You can charge the Mi Band 2 using a standard USB port. Our review unit took a little over an hour to get fully charged.
The Mi Band 2 fits into a removable plastic strap. Replacement colorful straps are also available on the market online pretty quickly. But that is up to one’s taste. Personally, we like the black band provided in the box. Xiaomi wants its users to wear the band at all times to capture your lifestyle patterns. The on-screen display only gives you high-level information such as steps, heart rate, calories burned and of course the time.
While all being good, we would like to point out that wearing the Mi Band 2 continuously gave us an itchy and uncomfortable feeling at times. It has been particularly true before going to sleep, and that is not a good thing. But that is just our perspective which differs from person to person, obviously.
Since the Mi Band 2 has a tiny little screen, most of the functionality resides on the phone App. Xiaomi supports both Android and iOS devices. For Windows users, however, there are 3rd party apps that one needs to rely on.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Fitness Tracker Review: The Software
To configure and pair your Xiaomi Mi Band 2 with your phone, you need to download the Mi Fit App from the respective App Stores. However, you can only pair a single device at a time. Once the pairing is complete, the Mi Band 2 will be paired with the device’s unique Mac address. You would also need to have a Mi account before activating the device. If you are using a Xiaomi Mi branded phone, you should already have one. We tested our Mi 2 band with an Asus Zenphone 2 as well as an iPad. In both cases, we had to use a standard Mi Account first before pairing the device.
We tested our Mi 2 band with an Asus Zenphone 2 as well as an iPad. In both cases, we had to use a standard Mi Account first before pairing the device.
Once your device has been setup, you can enable the optional features which can only be configured via. The Mi Fit App. The App is divided into three sections as given below:
- Status: You Daily activity details such as heart rate history and the number of steps for a specified period.
- Play: This section allows you to customize alerts such as Incoming calls, Alarms, App notifications, etc.
- Profile: You Mi Band 2 device and account details.
We found the sleep details to be pretty accurate with one major flaw. The App will only track your sleeping patterns in the night. If you decide to take a power nap in the afternoon, it will not be tracked. We did not see any software settings that can be changed or tweaked to modify this default behavior in any way.
Your daytime sleeping patterns will not be tracked by the Mi Fit Software
Users in the online forums have complained about the heart rate inaccuracies. However, in our unit, the HR data seemed to be accurate. We saw HR data anomalies only with sweaty hands or when the band was loosely fit. The Mi Band 2 is a decent upgrade for anyone who has used the first the first generation devices.
What you will like
- The killer price tag with no compromises on the features
- More accurate pedometer and gravity sensor than its predecessor
- Supported on both iOS and Android
- Water and dust resistant
- Excellent battery life
What you will not like
- The software does not track sleeping patterns during the day
- The band feels uncomfortable in the hand when you wear it continuously for a couple of days
Overall, this is an impressive package even for people who are not commonly active or someone who aggressively tracks calories daily. The Android version seamlessly integrates with Google Fit for more accurate data. We would recommend you to buy this even if you want to use it casually.