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Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Review

This is one of our top recommendations If you are shopping for a bare-bones tracker on the tightest of budgets
Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $70 List | $36 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to operate, solid display
Cons:  Limited fitness tracking features, no diet tracking
Manufacturer:   Xiaomi
By Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman  ⋅  Oct 17, 2019
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Fitness Impact - 30% 5
  • Health Impact - 25% 5
  • Ease of Use - 20% 8
  • Ergonomics - 15% 7
  • Display - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is by no means the best or most comprehensive fitness tracker that we have tested to date. It's fairly sparse when it comes to features and isn't the most stylish tracker around but it gets the job done at a fraction of the cost of the top trackers and you shouldn't be disappointed if you don't expect too much. It also doesn't have all that much in ways of community compare or social features to compete with your friends and family but you will be hard-pressed to find a tracker that does more and costs less.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Xiaomi Mi Band 4
This Product
Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $70 List
$35.98 at Amazon
$150 List
$138.73 at Amazon
$100 List
$93.85 at Amazon
$230 List
$229.95 at Amazon
$100 List
$79.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy to operate, solid displayExcellent display, great health and fitness capabilities, ergonomicEasy to use, accurate step counter, excellent smartphone appGood value, great fitness tracking ability, excellent battery lifeGood display, fairly inexpensive, accurate step counter
Cons Limited fitness tracking features, no diet trackingRuns on the pricey sideNot the most comfortable, so-so cycling trackingCould be more convenient to use, doesn’t have the most smart functionsNo stair tracker, limited community compare functions
Bottom Line This wearable doesn’t have a ton of features but is your best bet if you are shopping on a tight budgetThis wearable is one of our favorite options, delivering top-notch performances across the majority of our tests and easily earning our recommendationOffering great all-around performance and a budget, we think this wearable tracker is a fantastic option for any bargain-conscious shopperThis watch has plenty of smart features and functions, as well as being a very capable fitness tracker, all at a great priceThe Fit is a good option for anyone who wants a basic set of fitness, health, and smart features in a slimmer package than most smartwatches
Rating Categories Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitbit Charge 4 Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitbit Versa 3 Samsung Galaxy Fit
Fitness Impact (30%)
5
9
7
7
7
Health Impact (25%)
5
7
7
7
6
Ease Of Use (20%)
8
8
8
7
7
Ergonomics (15%)
7
7
6
6
6
Display (10%)
7
8
7
8
8
Specs Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Fitbit Charge 4 Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitbit Versa 3 Samsung Galaxy Fit
Heart Rate Monitor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Altimeter (stair tracking) No Yes No Yes No
Battery life Up to 20 days up to 7 days no GPS
up to 5 days w/ GPS
Up to 10 days 2-5 days Up to 7 days
Charge time 1-2 hours 3 hours 1-2 hours 2 hours 1-2 hours
Memory 512KB (RAM) / 16MB (ROM) 7 days of detailed motion - minute by minute; daily totals 30 days 7 days of detailed motion - minute by minute; daily totals 30 days Saves 7 days of detailed motion data; Saves daily totals for past 30 days 2MB (RAM) / 32MB (ROM)
Water Resistance 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM 5 ATM
Operating Temp N/A -4 - 140 F -4 - 140 F -4 - 140 F N/A
Notifications Text, call, app Text, call, push notifications Text, call, push notifications Text, call, push notifications Text, call, push notifications
Vibration Motor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
GPS Tracking No Yes No Yes No
Multi-Sport Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music Control Yes Yes, with Spotify Premium and phone nearby No Yes Yes
Sleep Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Silent Alarm Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mi Band 4 doesn't do much besides count your steps, measure your heart rate, and track some basic workout stats. This pales in comparison to the top-tier models but is more than enough features for anyone who wants a simple and easy to use fitness tracker that won't break the bank.

Performance Comparison



The Mi Band 4 is fairly limited compared to the rest of the group...
The Mi Band 4 is fairly limited compared to the rest of the group when it comes to fitness tracking features.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Fitness Impact


The most significant of our testing metrics, Fitness Impact accounts for 30% of the final score for Mi Band 4 and the other wearables in this review. To determine its scores, we looked at the accuracy of the step and stair counters, as well as how the Mi Band 4 did at tracking different workout and other activities. Additionally, we also looked at the various community compare functions available with this tracker. Its results were fairly lackluster, earning it a mediocre score overall in this metric.


The Mi Band 4 has a surprisingly accurate step counter and was within 10 steps of the true step count in most of our 1-mile walks when compared with a manual step counter. On average, it only differed from the true step count by 0.2%. We had one anomaly where it was off by more than 500 steps but didn't happen again so it seems likely this was a mis-test. The distance estimate by the Mi Band 4 is also pretty accurate, only differing from the true distance by a tenth of a mile or less in most cases.

The Mi Band 4 did score very well in our step count accuracy tests.
The Mi Band 4 did score very well in our step count accuracy tests.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Next, we looked at the cycling workout tracker on the Mi Band 4. This tracker relies on your phone's GPS and can show you your heart rate, speed, duration, current time, and distance while riding. After you finish, you can also see a map of your route, estimated calories burned, top speed, climbing distance, HR zones, and elevation change.

The Xiaomi app doesn't offer all that much when it comes to...
The Xiaomi app doesn't offer all that much when it comes to comparing and competing with your friends.

The Mi Band 4 doesn't have much in the way of other trackable activities, limiting you to swimming, outdoor running, treadmill, walking, and exercise. Running shows similar stats to cycling, while exercise only shows duration and heart rate. The swimming workout will also show the number of strokes, distance per stroke, distance, calories, and time while in the pool as well.

The Mi Band 4 doesn't come close to having the same number of...
The Mi Band 4 doesn't come close to having the same number of trackable activity profiles that other watches have.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Unfortunately, this tracker doesn't count the number of stairs climbed throughout the day and the functions to compare with your friends are pretty limited. It shows you your stats day-to-day and you can scan a QR code to compare steps, last weight (odd, we know), and sleep info but we didn't really see any competitive challenges or a way to link it with your existing social media profiles.

The HR sensor on the Mi Band 4 delivered lackluster results in our...
The HR sensor on the Mi Band 4 delivered lackluster results in our assessments and the other health tracking functions are quite limited.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Health Impact


Next, we ranked and scored some of the various health tracking abilities the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 has, which is responsible for 25% of its final score. In particular, we looked at the accuracy of the heart rate monitor, if it has any dieting tracking aids or reminders to get up and move, if it has an alarm clock, and if it can track your sleep. The Mi Band 4 did alright, earning a score in the middle of the group for its so-so performance.


We didn't find the heart rate sensor on the Mi Band 4 to be very impressive, as it averaged about 15 bpm off of our chest strap heart rate monitor throughout our tests. It also had some significantly larger discrepancies — 30-50 bpm — when compared to the chest strap with an elevated heart rate.

There isn't really a way to use this tracker to monitor your calorie intake and it doesn't estimate your daily calories burned, only any additional ones burned by exercising. It also doesn't link to any third-party dietary tracking apps. However, it does notify you if you have been sedentary for too long and we particularly liked that you can adjust both the timing and the intensity of the alarm. It has a progress bar that fills in with steps throughout the day so you have an easy visual reference if you are on track to hit your step goals and automatic sleep tracking. This didn't seem incredibly accurate in our tests, as the Mi Band 4 completely missed the three or four times our tester woke up in the middle of the night.

The Mi Band 4 has such a small set of features that it is very easy...
The Mi Band 4 has such a small set of features that it is very easy to use.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


Next, we moved on to rating and comparing how much of a hassle it is to use the Mi Band 4, looking at its interface, companion app, battery life, and ease of actually putting it on, as well as its water resistance. While the Mi Band 4 is fairly bare-bones in nature, it is very simple and easy to use, earning it one of the better scores of the group in this series of tests, which account for 20% of its final score.


Xiaomi claims that this tracker can last for up to 20 days, assuming default settings (30-minute heart rate monitoring, and 100 notifications, 2 alarms, 5 minutes of vibrations, and 10 taps of the touch button each day). It stood up very well in our tests and didn't give us a reason to doubt that claim, though actual battery life will slightly vary user to user. It uses a proprietary USB charger to recharge when it does die.

The limited set of features and functions also give the Mi Band 4 an...
The limited set of features and functions also give the Mi Band 4 an impressive battery life.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The companion mobile app is simple and straightforward to use and data from the tracker usually syncs within 10 seconds or less. You can see some of your past data or select one of the four different activity profiles to track, as well as adjust your profile and basic settings.

The tracker itself doesn't have a huge set of menus so it's easy to navigate through the various options by swiping or tapping. The Mi Band 4 is rated as being waterproof up to 5 ATM or 50 meters and the stiffer band makes it easy to put on or take off.

This tracker is low-profile enough that it hardly ever gets hung up...
This tracker is low-profile enough that it hardly ever gets hung up, though we didn't love its clasp.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ergonomics


In this metric — responsible for 15% of the final score — we compared the look and feel of each fitness tracker, as well as their profile to determine scores. As this is a fairly subjective metric, we enlisted the help of a panel of judges to try on each tracker and then averaged their scores. The Mi Band 4 is fairly plain when it comes to looks but is comfortable and has a slim profile, earning it an above-average score.


The Mi Band 4 is basically a black plastic oval but it makes up for its lack of style with its discretion. It's small and lightweight, making it easy to overlook and even easier to forget that you are wearing it. Its smooth finish and low profile also work in tandem to keep it from getting caught on backpack straps or sleeves when you are taking on or off a jacket.

The display on this tracker is alright but can be hard to read in...
The display on this tracker is alright but can be hard to read in bright light.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Display


For our final metric, which constitutes the remaining 10% of the total score for each tracker, we evaluated and scored the quality of the display, as well as the information conveyed. For being such a minimalistic tracker, we were impressed with the display, earning the Mi Band 4 a score well above average.


The home screen shows you the date, time, and day of the week. It's easy to read the screen in dim conditions but the backlight is a little on the weaker side, making it hard to read in bright sunlight. It wakes almost instantly when you raise your wrist and the screen is quite responsive, though it does misread the occasional swipe.

The Mi Band 4 can display most push notifications.
The Mi Band 4 can display most push notifications.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

You can get call, text, and app notifications and you can also scroll through secondary menus to see your steps, distance, active calories, and idle alerts.

Value


The Mi Band 4 by Xiaomi is a great value option if you are shopping on a tight budget, packing a ton of features in a package that costs far less than the top models.

Conclusion


If you want the bare-bones fitness tracker that doesn't cost a ton, it's hard to go wrong with the Mi Band 4.

Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman