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Xiaomi Mi Band 4 review: Feature-rich fitness companion

ohit KVN
Last Updated : 30 September 2019, 06:44 IST
Last Updated : 30 September 2019, 06:44 IST
Last Updated : 30 September 2019, 06:44 IST
Last Updated : 30 September 2019, 06:44 IST

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Last year, Xiaomi Mi Band 3 was one of the best affordable fitness bands in India. Now, the company has launched the new generation Mi Band 4 in India for Rs 2,299.

The new generation Xiaomi smart wearable comes equipped with a bigger brighter display, battery capacity bump and more features compared to the predecessor. I have been using the Mi Band 4 for a few days and here's what I observed.

Design, display, and durability:
Xiaomi's new Mi Band 4 flaunts a pill-like design language with 0.95-inch AMOLED (120 x 240p RGB and 400 nits) display. The curvaceous module seamlessly sits into the silicone (Thermoplastic polyurethane-based material) strap and you can remove it for charging easily without any struggle.

The Mi Band 4 comes with detachable cradle-like charger dock, which connects to the two-pin pogo connector port. Just above it, the company has incorporated the heartbeat sensor.

On top, the on-cell capacitive display is very responsive to the touch and swipe gestures. The most discernible change I noticed in the new Mi Band 4 is the brightness and I was able to view contents better under direct sunlight, which was one of the pain points in its predecessor.

Mi Band 4 module with the strap (DH Photo/ Rohit KVN)
Mi Band 4 module with the strap (DH Photo/ Rohit KVN)

As far as the durability is concerned, it features 2.5D tempered glass on the display with anti-fingerprint coating. It also comes with 5 ATM rating, meaning it can survive up to 50 meters underwater.

Interface:
Xiaomi's Mi Band 4 is very easy to set up, as you simply have to install Mi Fit app on your mobile and pair it.

It supports Android (with v4.0 or later) and iPhone (with iOS 9 or later) and you can initiate pairing and be done with it in just 10 minutes. Thanks to the new Bluetooth 5.0 LE, the fitness tracker gets easily detected on the companion mobile.

Also, Mi Band has the simplest gesture-based interface for a fitness band.

Just by swiping right or left, you can change music tracks or pause it. By swiping up, you can check for weather details, notifications & messages and track activities. There is also a four square-shaped icon- 'More'. There, you can set alarm, launch stopwatch, set timer to cover a lap of walk or running, 'Find Device' feature to locate the companion phone, change band's display theme, set DND (Do Not Disturb) and change music.

Mi Fit app on Apple iPhone with Mi Band 4 (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)
Mi Fit app on Apple iPhone with Mi Band 4 (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)

You will also find the Settings option to change the brightness of the display, reset and lock the screen.
The Mi Band 4 can track six activities such as treadmill, exercise, outdoor running, cycling, walking, pool swimming; Count steps, distance, and finally show total calories burned.

During the trial period, I managed to test steps count and have to say, it some times exaggerates the numbers. For instance, if you are traveling on a bus and get stuck with slow-moving traffic. It sometimes registers that as steps taken by walking. But, this is not a deal-breaker, as most budget fitness trackers in the market exhibit the same behaviour.

As far as the PPG (photoplethysmography) heartbeat sensor is concerned, I compared the results of the Mi Band 4 with other smart wearables and yes, it works fine. I also like the Idle alert feature, which makes the owner to get up and take a walk, if it senses he or she is resting in one place for too long in a single location.

The Mi Band 4 also has a sleep tracker feature. Based on the hand movements during the night, it can sense when the body is in deep sleep and light sleep.

Battery life:
The Mi Band 4 comes with Lithium Polymer-based 135mAh cell and is said to offer up to 20 days under standby mode. But, in terms of practical usage, it depends on how you use.
If you enable the all-day heart monitor option, The app works in the background and periodically monitor heartbeat and this will drain the battery power. But rest assured, the Mi Band 4 will last up two weeks easily.

Final thoughts:

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)
Xiaomi Mi Band 4 (DH Photo/Rohit KVN)


Over-all, the new Mi Band 4 is a cost-effective fitness tracker. I liked the goal set-up feature of the Mi Fit app. It also lets you set a target to improve your physical activity such as a number of steps (and calories to burn) per day and if you manage to surpass it, the smart wearable will notify that you a reached the milestone. This is particularly helpful to motivate yourself to increase the target for the next session and in the process, help improve the fitness and health.

Pros:
Big and bright display
Simple interface
Long battery life
Cons:
It some times overstate step counts, but it is not a deal-breaker as most fitness trackers show the same behaviour

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Published 30 September 2019, 05:53 IST

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