Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi recently launched in India the Mi Band 4, the fourth iteration of its ultra-affordable fitness band. At Rs 2,299, the smart wearable is slightly expensive than the predecessor, but it brings several upgrades that makes it an interesting preposition in the entry-level smart wearables segment. The Mi Band 4 retains most of the Mi Band 3 features, and adds a bigger display, new watch faces, and a new gyroscope sensor that helps it track the fitness activities with more precision.
I tested the band for around two weeks to test if the Mi Band 4 makes a suitable upgrade over the Mi Band 3, and here's how it fares:
Design and display
The Mi Smart Band 4 has a capsule-shaped body that fits in a silicone strap. It has a 0.95-inch AMOLED display that looks dazzling and is definitely one of the most intuitive displays in its segment. It has good brightness levels that makes it easy and convenient to read content on band’s screen in bright outdoors.
The band has comfortable straps and its light-weight build makes it easy to wear and carry all day long. However, its design seems old-fashioned. The band’s home button, which you can use to navigate across choices, sits at the bottom of the screen. To charge the band, you need to take the band’s body out and thrust it into the charger dock. And herein lies its first problem. The capsule doesn't fit the charger well and keeps popping out which can be very frustrating. The only saving grace is you won't need to charge it too often anyway because of its impressive battery life. Xiaomi claims the band can go on for 20 days on a single charge, but there's a catch here, most of the basic features of the fitness band are disabled by default, presumably to keep up the battery life. To be fair, despite manually turning on most of the features, you can still expect the band to run for two weeks on a single charge, which takes less than a couple of hours to accomplish.
Like many basic features, the facility to awake the band by lifting your wrist is also disabled. So, you need to turn that on first. Even then, I couldn't trust either this or the touch feature to respond to my first try every time. The band is waterproof up to 50 meter, so swim, shower, sweat is never a problem. It also boasts quite a list of watch faces, which can be synced using phone in no time.
You can access basic work out details, heart rate monitoring, weather and phone notifications, alarm, and music controls directly from the band. To customise the list and view the stats in detail, you need to pair the band with your phone and download Mi Fit app.
The band can track sleep, heart rate, and different types of workouts including swimming. The step count is quite good. Expect accurate tracking, plus-minus 10-15 steps. The band doesn't have an in-built GPS but it lets your phone's GPS help track your runs. All in all, the tracking features are fairly accurate. So are the heart rate tracking as well as the sleep tracking features. You can also analyse your sleep quality on the Mi Fit app which also sprinkles in an advice or two on what might help improve your sleep quality.
The Mi Smart Band 4 has some other good features like find your device and the option to automatically dim the band's brightness as evening sets in. You can also customise the strength of the band's vibration to your liking.
The Mi Smart Band 4 offers a decent looking, fairly accurate fitness tracking at a pocket-friendly price of Rs 2,299. A few new additional features only do good to the already well-regarded series of Mi fitness bands. However, the band isn't without problems. As stated earlier, the charger and disabled features are an annoyance. Despite these, Mi Smart Band 4 is a good buy worth its price