• Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 Review - Affordable fitness tracker

Introduction

It’s February, and recently, here at MOBOSdata, we started training because summer is fast approaching. As you know, we are tech geeks, and for us nothing is as easy as it should be. We simply needed to have a fitness tracker, because how else would we be able to keep track of how many calories we’ve burned or how much exactly we’ve run? This is what prompted us to search for a tracker, and we’ve settled on the Mi Band 3. Inside the factory box, Xiaomi has placed the tracker itself, a silicon strap, some user manuals and a charging cable.

Xiaomi sadly doesn’t offer many other official wristbands, you can only get one in black, pink or blue, but you can get a third-party band in a variety of colors and patterns.

This Xiaomi’s smartband proved to be all we could ever need, so let’s take a closer look together at what this device really is.

Display

At the very beginning, it’s important to keep in mind that this device is not a smartwatch, so you can’t look for the same features. Sure, it does have some, but not all of them. First of all, we don’t have a round, circular display, but only a small 0.78” AMOLED display with the resolution of 120 x 80 pixels. This is a black and white display, which is sadly not the brightest, so at direct sunlight you’ll have to cover it up to check the information you need.

Also, this is a touch screen display, and it uses swipes for interaction. This is sadly not the best touch screen that is, so sometimes you’ll have to repeat the swipe. This gets better over time as you use and get used to the device, but still it’s not the best of screens.

Enough with the bad things though. As we’ve said, you shouldn’t really expect a smartwatch nor the bells and whistles that come with it. This is a smartband, and for one such device, the display is more than good. You can interact with it, and it’s fairly easy to get used to exact movements needed to do so effectively. Also, it’s bright enough to show all relevant information as long as you’re not exposed to direct sunlight.

Hardware and OS

It is not specified which chipset powers this little guy, but whichever it may be, it does the job well. Interaction with the band is snappy, it’s not lagging, and navigation is pretty smooth.

Aside from the display, the smartband uses a single capacitive button for interaction. You can either tap on this button to return to the home screen or long press where this option is supported to execute certain operations.

It’s important to mention that the Mi Band 3 is made of plastic, and it weighs only 20g. You really don’t feel that you’re even wearing it, which is an incredibly useful thing when working out. Also, the smartband has IP67 water and dust resistance which means that it’s safe to wear it even when sweating, and you can even bring it in the shower or on a swim as it’s capable of enduring depths of up to 50m.

Mi Band 3, like the previous version, has a heartrate monitor which works well enough. This is nice information to have after a hard workout.

When it comes to the OS, the manufacturer stated only that the device uses a proprietary OS. It’s not that impressive, but it offers good fitness tracking features. It can track how many steps you’ve taken, the distance you’ve walked or ran and the number of calories you’ve burnt, and it does all this passively. If you want more detailed exercise information, you can choose between two options. The band tracks either running on a treadmill, or a custom workout, so you can choose what you wish.

It’s now time to say that this band demands Mi Fit application installed on your phone to work properly. All the information tracked by the band are synced with the app, which is where you can find detailed information about your exercises, including average heartrate, peak heartrate, calories burnt etc.

Mi Band 3 also tracks sleep information, and in the Mi Fit application you can precisely see your sleeping pattern, when you’re in deep sleep, when you’re sleeping light, when you’re awake and so on. We must say that sleeping with the band on takes some getting used to. We’ve only tried this for the purposes on this review, but it’s not our cup of tea.

Connectivity

The Mi Band 3 connects to your phone through Bluetooth, and the connection process is fairly straightforward. It’s easy to set the band up, and almost the moment you install the app, you’re ready to go.

Through the app, the band accesses all your phone’s data, or more precisely the one you give it access to. You can receive notifications on the band, information about who’s calling you, you can read SMS, emails and even notifications from other apps such as WhatsApp or Viber. Sadly, you can’t respond from the band, but you don’t really have to, do you.

The band doesn’t have to be connected to the phone to keep running, so you can leave your phone and go for an exercise. As soon as you come within the reach of your phone, your exercise’s details will be synced with the phone anyway, which is a nice feature.

Battery

On paper, it looks like the Mi Band 3 has a small battery. It comes with a Lithium Polymer battery with the capacity of 110 mAh. However, if you take into account that this device has an AMOLED display that only works on demand and that fires only certain pixels, this battery is more than enough.

On a single charge the band can last up to 20 days, according to the manufacturer, however, we believe that it can last much longer. It charges through an adapter you receive in the factory box, and charging time is around 75 minutes.

Final words

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is just great! It’s not a smartwatch, it’s just a band, and it does its fitness tracking very well. It being waterproof is just another additional excellent feature, and we really recommend this band to everyone who wants to keep record of their exercises.

Also, a nice thing to add is that the smartband only costs around 30€, which is a bargain in the market where similar wearables can go up to hundreds.

Do you like the Xiaomi Mi Band 3? We’d like to hear your opinion in the comment section below. If you have any suggestions or you would like to see some new devices being reviewed, let us know either here or on our Facebook page. If you liked this review, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, sit back and relax as we’re working hard on new material for you.

Advantages and disadvantages

Reasons for and against it

Low price
Heart rate monitor
Exercise tracking
Battery
Poor sunlight legibility
Difficult interaction