The Mi Band 2 is the latest fitness tracker from Chinese tech giant Xiaomi. The Mi Band 2 keeps all the features of its predecessor, but adds what we’ve all been anticipating – a screen. The screen shows you information such as the time, the number of steps, the distance, the calories, heart rate, and battery level. The tracker has most of the features you would see in a FitBit, but how well does it pit against it?
The Good: Even though Xiaomi has added in a screen, the company still managed to keep the tracker very affordable. You can purchase the device for about 149元 ($22) in China. However buying it in the US may cost up to $50 on third party seller websites. Although $50 may seem a little pricey, a Fitbit Charge or Alta could cost double the price. Xiaomi also claims 20 day battery life. Battery is one of the Mi Bands strongest areas, whereas my Fitbit Charge lasts me just 5-7 days. Activity tracking is decent, on a run my FitBit Charge showed 2,877 steps and the Mi Band showed 2,874 steps. My favorite feature of the Mi Band is sleep tracking. The Mi Band does sleep tracking much better than my FitBit. It records the time when you fell asleep, woke up, the time you slept, and the hours of deep/light sleep. The Mi Band also lets you select up to 5 apps for notifications, and the tracker vibrates when you receive a notification. You can also add call or text notifications, whereas you can only add calling notifications on the Fitbit.
The Bad: The Mi Band 2 does include a heart rate monitor. Unfortunately, if you want to check your heart rate, you have to stay extremely still. Sometimes the band fails to read my heart rate even when my arm is resting on my desk. Another taboo about the Mi Band is its horrible sunlight visibility. The display is almost impossible to see outdoors, but compensations had to be made for the Mi Band battery to last such a long time. The timer feature on the Fitbit was great, but I wish the Mi Band incorporated a timer to make tracking my daily runs easier.
Overall Verdict: 8.7/10
The Mi Band 2 is a huge step up from last year’s Mi Band. The company has kept the wearable super affordable, making it the best fitness tracker for beginners. While it doesn’t have a timer, it has most features that a fitness tracker a couple times more expensive offers, and even includes a heart rate scanner.