In our country, people have woken up to the health and fitness culture. The digital revolution has brought many health devices to our shores including fitness bands, smart watches etc. One of the fitness band developers is Xiaomi who is producing bands in the name of Mi Band.
Xiaomi entered the wearable market four years ago, emulating a similar strategy as its phone business that saw the brand edge out its Chinese rivals. The key takeaway from the first-gen Mi Band was its affordability. As far as fitness bands go, Xiaomi’s line up of Mi Bands has been one of the best selling in the world. Ever since the company launched the original Mi Band, it has caught the eye of a mass audience thanks to the aggressive pricing strategy by the company. In China, the band launched 2-3 weeks ago and now it is here in India.
Xiaomi’s design for its Mi Bands has roughly been the same all along. You have a capsule that has all the guts of the Mi Band 3 and a strap made out of thermoplastic elastomer which latches securely onto your hand. The capsule has grown in size and the Mi Band 3 has the biggest one yet in the series. It is curved at the sides and is slightly extruded from the strap when snapped in place. The OLED display is also bigger than the one on the Mi Band 2, and it is also brighter making it more legible outdoors.
Mi Band 3 Specs
Before starting lets see some of its specs:
Display: 0.78-inch OLED
Resolution: 128×80 @ 193ppi
Water-resistance: 5ATM (50 meters)
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2 BLE
Sensors: Tri-axial sensor, PPG Heart-rate sensor
Weight: ~20g (with wristband)
Battery: 110mAh Li-ion
Price Rs.: 1,999
Design and Build
As far as the design is concerned Xiaomi has quite updated some of its aspect that was present in Mi Band 2. They are the eyesore of a button and non-touch enabled display. The Mi Band 3 comes with a touchscreen display and a button that’s more like a depression in the panel. Though the 3D curved design of the screen is susceptible to scratches. The button here manages to easily blend in with the rest of the glass panel on the front and manages to look almost low-profile. This button has two functions — a single tap to go back, and a long-tap to accept. Turn the capsule around and you can see the slightly raised heart rate sensor. The quality of the strap is quite good. The clasp latches firmly and never came undone during the duration of this review. We did notice that the strap has more adjustment holes compared to the Mi Band 2, which should help users find a comfortable fit, even those with thinner hands.
Performance and Battery life
The Mi Band 3 pairs with a smartphone using the Mi-Fit app and Bluetooth 4.2 LE, which keeps the power consumption down. The app is available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, and it is very easy to pair the band with a phone. When using the Mi Band 3, one can swipe upwards to go through various bits of information. When more than one readout is available, you will see a scroll indicator hinting that you can swipe right to left to see more. Features present in it can be divided into 2 categories, fitness features, and other features. The band can count the number of steps you’ve taken, the distance you’ve walked, and the number of calories you’ve burnt. Sleep tracking is also present. It gives a detailed information about your sleep that is deep sleep, light sleep and awake. Mi Band 3 can also measure heart rate, that too in regular intervals.
Other than the fitness-oriented features, the Mi Band 3 brings some pretty great additional features as well. There is a stopwatch built-in on the Mi Band 3. Mi Band 3 allows you to locate your smartphone by a couple of taps. The phone will ring even in DND mode. This feature was absent in Mi Band 2. Also notifications. Mi Band 3 handles notifications a lot better than Mi Band 2. You can reject the incoming calls also. You can see the notification as well as also clear it. Though reject option is shown it will only silent the phone. It also shows a three-day weather forecast.
Coming to what is probably the one thing Mi Bands have been known for — the battery life. The Mi Band 1 had a battery life close to a month, the Mi Band 2 had a battery life of around 15 days, and the Mi Band 3 manages to push a pretty decent life out of a single charge as well. It will last for around 20 days. With more features enabled, including heart-rate monitoring while sleeping, notifications, and the exercise mode while working out, we saw a faster dip in the battery level. To charge the Mi Band 3 you will need to remove the capsule from the band and use its proprietary charging cable with any computer or USB adapter.
After considering all these things we can say Mi Band 3 a true upgrade over the Mi Band 2. Mi Band 2 can do many things but Mi Band 3 can do it better. Band 3 has a bigger, brighter display, an overall better design, all the fitness features you want in a fitness tracker including automatic heart rate tracking, stopwatch, notifications, and call alerts, and more. Band 3 has a bigger battery that easily lasts 10 days, even with automatic heart rate tracking enabled. You get three color option here- blue, black, orange.
At Rs. 1,999, the Mi Band 3 is simply unbeatable. Whether you’re looking to buy your first fitness band, or thinking of upgrading from a Mi Band 2, we have absolutely no problems in recommending the Mi Band 3.