Right now with the wearables market boom we have many, many devices coming to market daily, we have VR headsets, smart watches, and fitness trackers. The one segment that has seen robust growth in 2015-16 has been the fitness trackers. With the popularity of the Apple Watch and Fitbit, many companies have tried to play catchup and bring similar quality products at much more affordable prices. One such company was Xiaomi, which is known to make excellent quality products at much cheaper prices than their comparable competitors.
Last year Xiaomi attempted to enter the market with their extremely cheap Xiaomi MiBand 1 & 1S. They were very successful selling the item at sub $20USD prices, however both suffered from many bugs and inaccurate measurements, which really hurt people’s perceptions regarding the ability for Xiaomi to succeed in this very competitive fitness tracking segment of the wearables market. As a result many MiBands weren’t being used, and they ended up on the sides of people’s desks or just put away in their drawers, not to be touched again.
Did Xiaomi just give up and concede defeat? I would say NO. Like any good tech company, they bit the bullet, learnt from their mistakes, improved their product and now we have the Xiaomi Miband 2! With MSRP Price of $25 this 2nd generation MiBand has shown up on various websites ranging from $33-50USD. Obviously Xiaomi has put more time and research into better more accurate components, which is why the price has gone up. So has Xiaomi delivered a new and improved MiBand? Continue reading to find out!
Just from opening the box, we see the familiar packaging design as the original MiBand. We see the Miband 2 displayed on the front, while the wristband and the Charging dock are hidden underneath. Everything looks very similar to the original MiBand, but that is where the similarities end. This MiBand 2 is extremely light (ONLY 18.7 grams!) and comfortable to wear. New to this generation of MiBand is a very power efficient OLED display which can display a wide variety of information, functions and notifications (choices are customizable from within the Mi Fit app). In addition there is a small touch sensitive button directly under the display that allows you to toggle between the functions that you chose in the app. Asides from that there isn’t much more to mention physically about the MiBand 2. Im sure many previous MiBand 1/1S users are wondering ….. what about the actual usage of the device? Did they finally fix all the bugs? Please continue reading.
I have been using my MiBand for 3 Days now and I can say that the MiBand 2 is a HUGE improvement over its predecessors. No longer do you need to adjust your height to extreme levels or hold your arms a special way inorder to get some sort of accurate readings. I find this version to be EXTREMELY accurate when it comes to counting my steps. I have tried many ways of trying to create false readings, such as; Swinging my arms wildly, holding my arm in a set motionless position, and just typing away on my smartphone while walking. However my attempts at creating false & false positive readings on this new MiBand 2 was in vein. The counter would stay at the same number while flapping my arms, while on the opposite spectrum, continue to count my steps in lock-step when I held my arms motionless or while typing away on my phone. Furthermore Xiaomi’s claims that this new MiBand 2’s battery could last 20 days is nearly 100% accurate (keep in mind I have the Sleep Mode activated since I started using it, which drains the battery faster). You can see from my pictures that 3 Days of Usage has yielded an overall drain of only 14% (or 4.66% per day). If we extrapolate this usage, that would be either very close or exactly 20 days before the MiBand 2 would reach 0%. This by itself is just MIND BLOWING….what smart device do you know that has that kind of battery life in such a tiny package? Lastly I would like to mention the last feature that I found very helpful, and that is the Sleep Monitor. The sleep monitor is quite accurate in determining when I fell asleep and when I woke up. Im not 100% sure how it determines deep sleep vs light sleeping, but I can only assume that slight movements while sleeping would trigger “light sleeping” measurements while motionless sleeping is Deep sleeping. But it is still a good feature that helps educate us on the amount, or lack thereof, of sleep/rest we get daily. Many recent health studies have proven a correlation between the amount of sleep we get and certain attributes of our health like metabolism and more long term ailments.
So in conclusion, the new Xiaomi Miband 2 is a great and immense improvement over its predecessors. It has much more accurate step, heart rate, and sleep tracking, has amazing battery life and a very nice and welcome addition of a OLED display. Those that bought the original MiBand can be assured that the extra cost of $10-20 (depending on retailer) is worth its weight in Gold. Why spend Hundreds of dollars on an Apple Watch or Fitbit, when you can get such quality at a fraction of the price? I always believe that companies and people can learn / build / improve from their previous mistakes, and with the Xiaomi Miband 2, you should to!
As a sidenote, there was a small bug with the MiBand 2 when I initially received it. After doing the first Bluetooth paring, it would NOT count steps at all, and was stuck on 0 for a few hours. I tried forum suggestions of charging it fully but that did not fix the problem. I later found out that Mi Fit 4.1.2 was the problem, only 4.1.2 is on Google Play store, however after downloading/installing Mi Fit 4.1.3 directly from Xiaomi’s forums, a firmware update was uploaded to my MiBand 2 and everything was fixed and working once again! Note that there has been a new update to Mi Fit 4.1.4 as well now! Here is the coupon code: GBMI2 to get it at SP: $25.99.
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