After using it for a year, it is finally time – time to review my current smart band Xiaomi Mi Band 5.
Now, you might ask one thing – hey, didn’t you had Xiaomi’s previous version Mi Band 4 and you told there that you didn’t bought it back then because of pricing, what gives now? Good question, might I say so, but here is reason why after about 6 months of using Mi Band 4 I switched to newer version – Mi Band 5.
Reason to migrate is good package from our mobile provider which gave us Xiaomi’s Redmi 9A in 3GB RAM/32GB ROM version with Xiaomi Mi Band 5 for price of a coffee in coffee shop (about 1.5€, give or take 25 cents to that price because of currency conversion for Croatian Kuna to Euro, for now, until Croatia get into European Monetary Fond in 2023, but for now it is conversion, still).
As first things go, I need to write some basic specs for Xiaomi Mi Band 5. Those are: stunning 1.1 inch 2.5D AMOLED color display with great color reproduction and brightness even for super bright days at summer at noon while sun in as full blast* (even with 450 nits it is great), 6 axis sensor with improved PPG sensor for heart rate monitoring, 125mAh battery which can survive up to 18 days without charging (even if Xiaomi claims about 14 days of usage, but I can say – 18 days is maximum that is reached) using way improved charging method then old Xiaomi Mi Band 4. Other important things are almost same as Mi Band 4, like all day tracking of hearth rate but with some improvements which now include feature Stress testing and even more Sports Tracking. Detailed specifications could be found on official Xiaomi’s Web Site.
And how it is to use Xiaomi Mi Band 5 for a year? It is great, and I really mean it. With improved heart rate tracking (pulse to be precise) it is very much helpful, especially for my health tracking.
Sports tracking is good, it is on par with Mi Band 4. It also needs to be connected to be phone with Zepp Life (ex. Mi Fit) application so it can track GPS while running, walking or biking. As previous version it is also great with water resistance, this model is tested in sea water and it survived long swimming sessions in Adriatic Sea. It tracked few times “50m lanes” decently at timings and it correctly monitored heart rate. With new Mi Band 5 it also have some new sports tracking methods which I don’t use, but also improves on previous version – now it have Indoor Cycling which is useful for us with Stationary Indoor Cycling equipment and for days when there is so cold outside for regular biking.
Other features include – Stress monitoring, which is, fine I guess as I use it rarely because sometimes it says Mild while I’m not stressed at all; Weather which is linked with my current location and now when I can see it on bands watch-face from cover photo. It is sort-of accurate as it syncs with phones Weather application which collects data from Accuweather every few hours or on manual sync. With that there are some basics like Stopwatch, Timer and Alarms (especially useful when synced with Phone so I can get it to stop whenever phone is on other side of room and bed).
There are few features which I use almost regularly whenever I need it – Music Playback and option to get track forwards, backwards especially when don’t want to get to Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earbuds Basic 2 with cold hands to switch songs from YouTube Music or from small collection of songs on microSD card of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 9 Pro and Remote Shutter which helped few times whenever I had to do some group shots with me in it.
Other notable feature is Smart Do Not Disturb Mode which is enabled when you go to Sleep or to Power Nap so smartband don’t buzz around with random e-mail, Telegram or WhatsApp notifications from some of bigger groups in which I’m, while still getting notified about calls (that is my setup on phone when turn on Do Not Disturb mode at night).
As for custom watch-faces – there are some in Zepp Life application, and few default ones already on watch but those aren’t my style so I searched trough Mi Band 5 WatchFaces application and found one which is my go-to created by Lamachin, screenshot of it is below.
Now to battery life – for my usage it can take up to 14 days of getting up to 100 notifications daily, regular viewing of time, all day hearth rate monitoring, sleep monitoring and walking tracking which is on par with Xiaomi’s claims about battery life. Only time when it survived almost 20 days, but those days I had you know, COVID-19 and didn’t moved lot and didn’t had lot of tracking for sports as I was so exhausted so quickly.
Here is bonus part before conclusion – there are official and unoficiall replacement bands for it. As original one is silicone based it can destroy itself with usage, so that is one good thing, plus interoperability with Mi Band 4 bands, but narrowly as it is bit bigger than it, grip is weird for Mi Band 4 bands. By the matter of fact – 3 pack of official Xiaomi’s Replacement bands costed me about 10€ (again, conversion rates – check note at start) while latest pricing on same one is higher, damn you inflation.
For conclusion it will be pretty much same to old version – Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is still perfect Smart Sports Tracking Band for somebody who wants affordable and perfectly usable smart band with lot of customizations and great support from manufacturer.
* How it is bright on noon’s sun blasting at full, few days back it can be seen in this picture near car as it was perfection of time and weather to show full blast of brightness.
All images are my own, shot on Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro.
Side-note: you might see lot of mentioning other Xiaomi products that I own and use. Yes, it is true, migrating from mix of products to one “ecosystem” is great, but hey, for me it is perfect as I will keep supporting Xiaomi with new phone in Q4 of this year or Q1 next year when new contract for mobile provider get option to buy new devices, and it might be even Xiaomi 12 Lite (to be relased) or Xiaomi 12X (or something in that range, higher-end mid-range device or lower specifications of flagship). For now my current ecosystem from Xiaomi products include – smartphone(s), power bank(s), True Wireless Earbuds (used Mi True Wireless Earbuds Basic S prior to migrating to Mi True Wireless Earbuds Basic 2 and soon Redmi Buds 3 Lite) and lastly smart bands. There might be some other products like Mi Robot Vacuum Lite but those will be reviewed if I buy them this year.