Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Review
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to use, ergonomic
Cons: No dieting aids, so-so score in our heart rate test
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Xiaomi Mi Band 5
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|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to use, ergonomic||Excellent display, great health and fitness capabilities, ergonomic||Easy to use, accurate step counter, excellent smartphone app||Good value, great fitness tracking ability, excellent battery life||Good display, fairly inexpensive, accurate step counter|
|Cons||No dieting aids, so-so score in our heart rate test||Runs on the pricey side||Not the most comfortable, so-so cycling tracking||Could be more convenient to use, doesn’t have the most smart functions||No stair tracker, limited community compare functions|
|Bottom Line||If you are limited to a tight budget for your next wearable, then we think this is one of your best bets||If you are looking for a top-tier wearable, then we think this tracker is hard to beat||If you are searching for a great wearable that won’t wreck your budget, then we think this is one of the best trackers you can get||This watch has plenty of smart features and functions, as well as being a very capable fitness tracker, all at a great price||The 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 5||Fitbit Charge 4||Fitbit Inspire 2||Fitbit Versa 3||Samsung Galaxy Fit|
|Fitness Impact (30%)|
|Health Impact (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Xiaomi Mi Band 5||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 14 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||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, push notifications||Text, call, push notifications||Text, call, push notifications||Text, call, push notifications||Text, call, push notifications|
|Music Control||No||Yes, with Spotify Premium and phone nearby||No||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
However, one of the biggest flaws that we found with this tracker is that it only offers fairly limited options when it comes to an online community or other social features, so this might not be the tracker for you if you were hoping to compete and challenge your friends and family for that extra motivation.
We began our testing and review process by looking at how the different fitness tracking features of the Mi Band 5, focusing on how it counted steps, tracked flights of stairs climbed, and how it logged workouts. We also looked at the social or community aspects offered by this tracker. The Mi Band 5 did alright, earning a score just above average.
This fitness tracker got off to a solid start in this metric, delivering some very accurate results when it came to our step counting test. We compared the count shown on the Mi Band 5 against a manual count for three separate one-mile walks, then averaged the results to determine the score. This tracker only had an average error of around 9 steps. It was also fairly accurate when it came to calculating distance, only having an average error of 0.03 miles for these three trials.
This fitness tracker doesn't have a built-in GPS so it relies on your phones for speed, distance, time, and elevation. The metrics are limited if your phone isn't connected but it actually can be quite accurate in our experience, depending on what type of phone you are paired to.
This wearable has 11 different activities that it can track, like outdoor running, treadmill, cycling, indoor cycling, walking, elliptical, rowing machine, yoga, jump rope, pool swimming, and freestyle. It mainly just collects your duration, heart rate, and distance for these, though it will also tabulate strokes and strokes per minute while swimming.
Unfortunately, it doesn't track the number of stairs you climb throughout the day and it's fairly limited when it comes to social functions. You can add friends to compare steps or sleep info and keep track of your history but there aren't other options for challenges or competitions.
Our next set of tests looked at the health-specific tracking abilities of the Mi Band 5. We awarded points based on the heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, and diet aids, as well as if the tracker has reminders to get up if you have been sedentary for too long. The Mi Band 5 performed similarly, again, earning a score just above average.
We scored the accuracy of the heart rate monitor by comparing it against a chest strap model, looking both at resting and active heart rates. The Mi Band 5 delivered fairly accurate results compared to our chest strap with resting heart rates but would be off by an average of 15 bpm or so at more elevated levels.
We didn't find any aids for keeping with a diet and this tracker doesn't estimate any calories burned from your resting metabolic rate, only ones burned from an activity. The Mi Band 5 will notify you if you have been sedentary for too long.
We found the sleep tracking to be lackluster on this tracker, as it would tend to miss times where our tester woke up during the night. It will automatically turn on though. The Mi Band 5 also has a silent alarm, vibrating for about 10 seconds based on what you set on your smartphone.
Ease of Use
Next, we rated and ranked how user-friendly and easy to use the Mi Band 5 is. We compared the battery life, the ease of navigating the menus, how water-resistant the wearable is, its companion app, and how easy it is to take on or off. The Mi Band 5 did quite a bit better in this metric, earning one of the higher scores of the group.
The Mi Band 5 has a claimed battery life of up to 14 days and took about 2 hours to charge. It has a proprietary magnetic charger that is fairly strong and isn't easily knocked off. We like that the companion app is easy to navigate with straightforward menus.
We found it to be very simple to navigate through the menus on the device itself using the home button or the touch screen. This fitness tracker is also water-resistant to 5 ATMs/ 50 meters. The band is nice and stiff, making it quite easy to put on or take off. We also like how easy the latch is to operate.
We based the bulk of the score for our ergonomics metric on how comfortable the Mi Band 5 and the other trackers are to wear, as well as how they looked and how high the profile is. This tracker again did quite well, earning a score well above average.
We like how lightweight and comfortable this tracker is to wear, making it easy to forget that you are even wearing it. It is fairly plain when it comes to appearances, so it isn't the best option if you are looking to make a style statement, though it's a great option if you prefer your wearables on the more discreet side.
This tracker also maintains a very low profile with cleanly rounded edges, so it rarely gets caught when putting on a backpack or jacket.
Our last set of tests focused on the screen for each fitness tracker, scoring the screen on how it looked, how responsive the touchscreen is, and the information shown. The Mi Band 5 finished out with another good score, earning a score well above average.
The screen is easy to read at night but the backlight isn't bright enough to make it easy to see in full daylight. The touchscreen is responsive to taps and swipes and will get most smart notifications that your phone can get. You can customize the watch face and there are subsequent menus that show your current fitness data tallies.
While this tracker is one of the least expensive options out there, it does have some fairly major concessions to keep the price down. It's a great value for those that value budget above all else but might fall short from someone with more substantial expectations from their fitness tracker.
If you are shopping on a tight budget and only want a bare-bones fitness tracker, then the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is a great option. It's comfortable to wear, easy to use, and won't break the bank. However, it does have some limitations when it comes to health and fitness tracking features, making it a poor choice for someone looking for a comprehensive training aide compared to casual use.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise